Neighbourhoods of the Peninsula
When it comes to buying your new home, knowing what neighbourhood you want to live in is half the battle. The Peninsula offers many neighbourhoods tailored to suit different lifestyles and price ranges. Here is a list of the neighbourhoods of the Peninsula and a brief description of what each neighbourhood entails.
White Rock borders Semiahmoo Bay and is surrounded on three sides by the City of Surrey, British Columbia. To the south lies the Semiahmoo First Nation, which is within the city limits of Surrey. Semiahmoo Bay and the Southern Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia are also to the south.
The boundaries between White Rock and Surrey are Bergstrom Road (136 Street) to the west, North Bluff Road (16th Avenue) to the north, Stayte Road (160 Street) to the east, and 8th Avenue to the south. The area south of 8 Avenue from Stayte Road westward to where 8 Avenue meets the water is the Semiahmoo Indian Reserve and lies within the bounds of the City of Surrey (though it is governed separately). The Surrey neighbourhoods of Ocean Park and Crescent Beach lie immediately to the northwest.
White Rock has a moderate climate, with average temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius in summer and 6 degrees Celsius in winter. Pilots accustomed to flying around the area often refer to it as 'the hole in the sky', referring to the fact that White Rock is often bright and sunny while the rest of the Lower Mainland is covered by cloud.
The large, white rock figures prominently in narratives of the local Coast Salish native peoples. One legend holds that the white rock marks the landing spot of a stone that was hurled across the Strait of Georgia by a young Indian chief. It was said that he and his bride would move from Vancouver Island to wherever the rock landed to make a home together. It was their descendants who became the Semiahmoo first nation. ('Semiahmoo' is the Coast Salish word for 'half-moon', describing the shape of the bay.)
Map of White Rock
Ocean Park is the most western part of the Semiahmoo Peninsula, bounded by the waters of Semiahmoo Bay and Boundary Bay. On land, Ocean Park borders the neighbourhood of Crescent Beach to the north and the city of White Rock, British Columbia to the east.
Ocean Park was part of the territory of the Semiahmoo people, one of a group of tribes called the Straits Salish, a division of the Coast Salish.
They used this place for spiritual renewal and named the area "Kwomais" which literally means place of vision, because of its high bluffs and unobstructed views to the ocean and islands. Kwomais Point is marked on many early navigation maps and has long been used as a lookout point. For protection against the raids of the Yukulta people, the Semiahmoo built a fort in Ocean Park possibly between 1820 and 1830. The fort fell into disrepair in colonial times. Today, the site is a subdivision called Indian Fort Drive near the west end of 20th Avenue.
Ocean Park is served by two elementary schools: Ocean Cliff Elementary School and Laronde Elementary School, which offers a French Immersion program. St. Mark's Anglican Church opened in 1999. The Surrey Public Library operates a branch in Ocean Park.
There are two waterfront walks in Ocean Park. 1001 Steps Park, at the foot of 128t Street near Camp Kwomais, has stairs down to waterfront access and nature trails. Ocean Park Shoreline Walk is a tidal-beach walk.
Map of Ocean Park
Sunnyside is located centrally on the uplands and mainly towards the plateau and south slope of the Semiahmoo Peninsula. Sunnyside borders the neighbourhoods of Crescent Beach and Ocean Park to the west, the city of White Rock to the south, the historic areas of Elgin and Mud Bay to the north and the new commercial retail area of Grandview Heights to the east. King George Highway (Highway #99A) bisects the eastern part of the area from the northwest to southeast as it runs to the United States border.