The seafront at White Rock

The promenade and the White Rock at White Rock, B.C.  Vicki and I recently drove the 40 minutes from Maple Ridge to White Rock for a Saturday outing.  White Rock’s Marine Drive is the closest thing in Western Canada to a British-style seafront resort, complete with an overabundance of fish and chips.  It’s a full-blown tourist strip, but I would say most of the tourists were from the region, like us; people of all colours and backgrounds, with lots of kids.  We ran into Maple Ridge realtor Anil Bharwani and his wife; after years of driving to Stanley Park for their weekend walks, they’ve switched to White Rock, which they find more pleasant.

Vintage housing off Marine Drive, White RockThe City of White Rock, with a population of 20,000, is a bit like the B.C.communities of Comox or Oak Bay, a genteel, land-bound townlet where local government has no space to sprawl.  White Rock has densified, and developed a nice urban village a few blocks above the ocean; I’ll write about that some other time.  Marine Drive has its own scene, which obviously goes back as a kind of bohemian retreat to something like the 1920s.  It’s cool, but short on services other than bars, restaurants and touristy clothing outlets; if you want groceries, you hike, or more likely drive, up the hill. Continue reading