A Natural Playground
From a rich farming and agricultural history, Delta grown and developed three thriving communities, Tsawwassen, Ladner and North Delta. The three Delta communities are as rich and alive as the name "Delta" implies: rich in soil and water, rich in history and industry and especially rich in people.
The many facets of Delta living and working are encompassed within 364 square kilometres bounded by the Fraser River on the north, the U.S. Border and Boundary Bay on the south, the District of Surrey on the east, and the Strait of Georgia on the west.
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.
A Brief History
Prior to European settlement, the Tsawwassen Indians, a band of the Coast Salish, inhabited Delta. 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, en route 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.