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by salt water on two sides, the South Delta community features
sandy beaches, golf at the Tsawwassen Golf and Country Club,
a super splashdown water park and pleasant shops and boutiques. The
Indian word for "Land of the Sun," or "facing the sea,"
Tsawwassen lies 27 km south of Vancouver, east of the Strait
of Georgia, between the south arm of the Fraser River and Boundary
Handsome single family dwellings predominate in prestigious Tsawwassen. Higher density housing is limited to low-rise townhouses and apartments. Most newer homes attract high income residents, and waterfront homes are $425,000 and up. Other homes prices range from $230,000 + for starter homes to $1,000,000 plus for palatial homes.
Prior to European settlement, Delta was inhabited by the Tsawwassen Indians, a band of the Coast Salish. They lived above high tide level on the beach south of Ladner near what is now the Tsawwassen Reserve. The Tsawwassen First Nations people came to the swampy low lying areas to obtain food. Delta's flatland region was often submerged and remained virtually unexplored until sighted by a group of Hudson's Bay Company men in 1822. Thirty-six years later two British gold seekers, enroute to the Cariboo gold fields, were attracted by Delta's agricultural potential and decided to settle there. Thomas and William Ladner returned in 1868 and each pre-empted 160 acres for farming. By 1879 present day Ladner had been staked out and granted municipal status.
By the turn of the century Ladner's Landing was the thriving centre of Delta's farming and fishing community. An extensive dyking and drainage system alleviated the flooding problems that had previously plagued Delta farmers, enabling them to produce bountiful crops from the fertile soil. Numerous canneries located along the Fraser River provided seasonal employment for many of Ladner's Chinese residents. The Chinese community was located on the dyke along River Road until 1914, when most of the buildings in Chinatown were destroyed by fire. By the early 1900's Ladner was a prosperous community that boasted a variety of goods and services to accommodate a growing population.
The communities are justly proud of the amenities which are vital to the quality of life in each, different as they are from each other. Above all, people still may find a well-preserved sense of rural living in Delta. B.C. Ferries run frequent daily service from Tsawwassen terminal in South Delta to Swartz Bay and Nanaimo (Vancouver Island), the Gulf Islands and Prince Rupert.
The area is accessible to rail, water and major highways in all directions, and is roughly 35 minutes from Vancouver and 25 minutes from the Vancouver International Airport. An airport for small planes exists near Boundary Bay in South Delta. With the exception of two areas in Ladner and North Delta, most new development is "in-fill". A greater emphasis is also being placed on environmental and transportation issues. Industry is the fastest growing sector of the community with new growth focused on Annacis Island and along River Road.
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