The present-day Tsawwassen First Nations Reserve was created in 1878 in the vicinity of a traditional summer camp. Most of the district, as its name implies, is low-lying delta land, and most is farmland designated Agricultural Land Reserve by the province. Pioneers William and Thomas Ladner settled in the area in 1868. By the early 1900s the community supported 40 businesses, but with the shift of marine traffic from the Lower Fraser to Burrard Inlet and the newly emerging port of Vancouver, Delta's importance declined and it became a rural farming area with limited fishing activity.
The opening of Boundary Bay Air Force Station in 1941 significantly increased Ladner's population. Postwar growth was first felt in North Delta as the Vancouver metropolitan area spread south of the Fraser. Completion of the Deas Island Tunnel (now Massey Tunnel) under the Fraser in 1958 increased suburban growth, as did the completion of the Alex Fraser Bridge in 1986 across the Fraser. Completion of a ferry terminal in 1960 on Roberts Bank was followed by construction of the Roberts Bank Superport, which exports coal. In 1997, a container facility was added to the Roberts Bank facility by the Vancouver Port Corporation.
The communities of Beach Grove, Boundary Bay and Tsawwassen offer beaches and other recreational facilities for tourists. Distinctive features and attractions include Deas Island Regional Park, the Delta Museum and Archives, the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary and Burns Bog, a 3000 ha large raised peat bog and habitat for many rare species. Point Roberts (American territory not connected by land to the US) is accessed by land through Delta. The municipality remains largely a suburban community, with a strong industrial base.
Author ALAN F.J. ARTIBISE Rev: KEN FAVRHOLDT
Links to Other Sites
Official website of the Corporation of Delta.
See maps and statistical data for regions and communities throughout British Columbia. A Government of British Columbia website.
BC Geographical Names
Search the BC Geographical Names Information System for historical and geographical data about specific locations in British Columbia.
British Columbia Archives
Explore the fascinating history of BC through online digitized copies of selected government documents, manuscripts, maps, architectural plans, photographs, illustrations, audio and video files, newspapers and much more.
Burns Bog Conservation Society
The website for the Burns Bog Conservation Society in Delta, BC.
Evidence for Conserving Biofilm for Higher-level Organisms
A summary of research into the importance of conserving biofilm found on mud flats and other aquatic environments. From Environment Canada.