White Rock is a beachside city just north of the Canada–United States border and Blaine, Washington, and just south of Surrey on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. It’s named for the huge white boulder that sits on the beach, a “glacial erractic” dating back to the Ice Age.
Because of its distance from the Coast Mountains, White Rock is one of the sunniest places in Metro Vancouver, with the lowest annual rainfall in the Lower Mainland. With all that sun, it’s not surprising that White Rock is known for its 8-kilometre beach with a beautiful 2.5 kilometre promenade and historic pier. Along the promenade, residents and visitors can check out White Rock’s many trendy boutiques, listen to live musicians or observe the city’s annual sandcastle contest each summer.
Because of its beautiful seashore views, White Rock’s real estate tends to be priced higher than that in other suburban communities. Prices for homes in White Rock start at around $150,000 for a small apartment in an older building and go up to several million dollars for a seaside estate. The average price is $1,123,466. View White Rock homes for sale and upcoming open houses.
White Rock Amenities
Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, located just outside of White Rock’s borders in South Surrey, is the area’s main shopping mall, anchored by Save On Foods. White Rock’s bustling commercial area, known as uptown (locals refer to Vancouver as "downtown"), is home to many independent retailers offering a wide variety of wares and services. Marine Drive, which runs along White Rock Beach, offers plenty of boutiques and small shops.
Cafés and Restaurants
White Rock offers a high standard and variety of local fare. Whether you crave fresh seafood, sushi, steak, Italian, tapas or an authentic French bistro experience, White Rock has something to suit your tastes. Local favourite Uli’s has been in the same location on White Rock Beach for more than 30 years, and the Washington Avenue Grill has long been a popular spot for residents and tourists alike to enjoy impressive views and live music.
Arts and Culture
White Rock has a thriving arts and culture scene. The White Rock Players Club produces five shows a year at the Coast Capital Playhouse, including the much-anticipated Christmas pantomime, and big-name musicians often come to play at the small theatre at Blue Frog Studios. Many restaurants and pubs offer live music, and the city has an official busking program that allows musicians to play at select outdoor locations, including the beachfront promenade.
The White Rock Sea Festival is an annual three-day event with live entertainment on stages along White Rock Beach, and the White Rock Museum showcases local history and revolving art exhibits.
Sports and Recreation
As a seaside community, White Rock offers numerous green spaces, beautiful beaches and great opportunities for water sports such as swimming, kayaking and canoeing.
The city offers several recreation facilities, including Centennial Park, with its ice rink, playing fields, and spaces for lacrosse and tennis, and the Kent Street Activity Centre, which offers programs and activities for those aged 55 and up.
Schools and Education
Teens living in White Rock attend Semiahmoo Secondary, Earl Marriott Secondary or Elgin Park Secondary, all just a few blocks away in South Surrey.
TransLink buses run from White Rock Centre to Bridgeport SkyTrain Station in Richmond, where riders transfer to the Canada Line SkyTrain for the trip into downtown Vancouver. Several bus routes run throughout White Rock and connect the city to neighbouring Surrey.
Drivers commuting to the city can take advantage of HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes when travelling with one or more passengers.
White Rock Property Statistics
Average home price1
Average rent for a private apartment
Private apartment vacancy rate
Makeup of dwellings3
Total private dwellings
Single detached houses
Semi-detached and row houses
Apartments, less than five stories
Apartments, five or more stories
White Rock Demographics3
65 to 74
45 to 64
20 to 44
5 to 19
0 to 4
Neighbourhoods surrounding White Rock
Why I Love This Neighbourhood
"Simply put, location. Everything is here, or within distance of anything you could possibly want. The community is a close-knit, friendly small town feel. It’s large enough to offer all amenities and variety: serenity, beauty, events, entertainment, prestige, affordability – all available within close proximity. Plus quality education, hiking or biking trails, water sports, a highly functioning transit system and very easy accessibility to other popular local communities including Vancouver, Seattle, Whistler and Victoria. The South Surrey/White Rock territory is for young and old. Traditionally there has been a large retiree population, but there has been enormous growth in the number of young families also calling the area home. New developments and districts, be they housing, shopping, dining or entertainment have further revitalized an already vibrant area into perhaps the most desirable neighbourhood in not only British Columbia but Canada as well."
Submitted by Rich Martin, Sutton Group – West Coast Realty
1REW.ca interactive map, incorporating data from the Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, and Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, January 2016.
2CMHC Rental Market Report, Vancouver and Abbotsford-Mission CMAs, Fall 2015.
3Statistics Canada, Focus on Geography Series, 2011 Census, Census subdivision of White Rock, CY – British Columbia