At just over five square kilometres in size, White Rock is one of BC’s smallest cities – but it’s big on personality. With a dazzling beach and bustling seaside community lifestyle, this town once known as the home of the Lower Mainland’s “newly wed and nearly dead” has become an attractive home for people of all ages seeking a slice of the waterfront lifestyle just an hour’s drive from Vancouver. Here are five key reasons that White Rock is a great place to live for residents both young and old.
1. The Stunning Beach
You can’t talk about White Rock without talking about White Rock Beach. The eight-kilometre stretch of sand along Semiahmoo Bay is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunny day, and a stroll along the promenade and pier at sunset can’t be beat. With live music from city-sanctioned buskers and plenty of beachside cafes to grab a drink or meal in the sun, a day at the beach feels like a mini-vacation without leaving home.
2. Sunny Days
White Rock is far enough away from the Coast Mountains to have its own weather system, and it’s one that locals like to brag about in the depths of a Lower Mainland winter. Environment Canada data1 show that White Rock sees an average of 10 fewer rainy days per year than Vancouver – all the better to head to the beach.
3. Walkable Town Centre
Known by locals as “uptown” (“downtown” refers to Vancouver), the bustling town centre of White Rock is a haven of shops, restaurants and other small businesses, interspersed with condos in buildings both new and old. Unlike many suburbs, White Rock is a truly walkable city, with Walk Scores uptown reaching the 90s.
4. Thriving Arts and Music Scene
Local teens attend high schools in nearby South Surrey that offer award-winning drama and music programs. Students and alumni from those programs, along with artists and musicians who have flocked to the area for its small-town charm, have formed a vibrant arts community. From live theatre at the Coast Capital Playhouse to live music at Blue Frog Studios or one of the many restaurants and bars in the area, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the arts without heading into the city.
5. (Relatively) Affordable Real Estate
Sure, you could drop $6 million on an oceanfront dream home. But you can also get into the condo market for less than $160,000. More than 40 per cent of the homes in White Rock are in low-rise apartment buildings, providing plenty of buying opportunities for those just starting to work their way up the property ladder.
1Source: Environment Canada, Canadian Climate Normals, 1981–2010 Climate Normals & Averages