Vancouver ‘burbs: Who Loves Tsawwassen?

Photo credit: Bryanh on Flickr

I can’t spell it, but I think I’m in love.  The little seaside suburb of Tsawwassen is about a 40-minute drive south of downtown Vancouver.  Many people know Tsawwassen on account of its ferry terminal, where passengers can catch a ride to Victoria, the Gulf Islands and other destinations.  But, as I discovered recently, there’s more to do in Tsawwassen than wait for your boat to board.

For starters, there’s the beautiful Boundary Bay Regional Park.  Just a few minutes from the ferry terminal, this expanse of small dunes, wetlands and beach stretches uninterrupted for kilometers along the shore of Boundary Bay.  There’s a big children’s play area near the beach, as well as a sports and picnic area, but the highlight is the network of nature trails that extend through the park and along the waterfront.

On a sunny afternoon, I set out down the 12th Avenue Dyke Trail, which runs the length of the park.  Crossing windswept dunes, I approached the water’s edge.  The tide was out and mud flats extended far out into the bay.  Farther on, the trail doubles back and goes through some well preserved wetlands.

Photo credit: Bryanh on Flickr

I’m not much of a birdwatcher, but even I had to take notice of the wildlife on display.  Overhead, several red-tailed hawks were scanning the marsh for prey.  At regular intervals, they’d swoop down for a closer look, giving me a great glimpse of their incredible array of roan- and white-colored feathers.  I’m also pretty sure I spied a juvenile bald eagle (without the signature white head), although it may just have been an enormous crow.

The best thing about Boundary Bay was that I pretty much had the big, waterfront park to myself.  I passed a few other walkers during my trek, but there were none of the crowds you’d find on a Vancouver beach on a sunny day.

After the excursion to Boundary Bay, I took a very short drive (just a few kilometers) to the other side of  the Tsawwassen peninsula, which borders on the Strait of Georgia.   Puttering through nicely manicured residential neighborhoods, I ended up at the Fred Gingell Park, a tiny patch of grass perched on the bluffs high above the ocean.  From a park bench, I could make out Vancouver Island through the haze in the distance.  A steep stairway leads down from the park, providing the only public access in Tsawwassen to this beautiful beach .

Any other Tsawwassen fans out there?  Please share any other hidden gems around town by leaving a comment below.

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4 Responses to Vancouver ‘burbs: Who Loves Tsawwassen?

  1. Lesley Edwards

    To enjoy more of Bryan’s Boundary Bay photos go to his Flickr set at Always good to post a link.

  2. Would be great if out of town spots listed alternative way to get to a location if one doesn’t have access to a car. i.e. bus, taxi, etc. Liking the website quite a lot so far.

  3. There is a community garden and demonstration organic farm called Earthwise Society ( just up the road from the beach at boundary bay. It is easily accessible by transit on the c89 from 56th street in Tsawwassen. They have farm sales twice weekly and community events, festivals, classes, concerts, yoga in the garden, etc. all summer long. Jump off the bus at the corner of 3rd ave and boundary bay road (other directions on the website). It’s also a beautiful bike ride either along boundary bay road from central tsawwassen; from southeast delta along the dyke trail, or from ladner via “delta routes” a bike route network… maps can be picked up at the info centre on the way to the ferry. maybe online too?

  4. Secret Garden…find out how to get there by visiting Earthwise Garden and walking or biking to the beach from there.