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.
The 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