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Local Community Profile: Tsawwassen


An area that enjoys the most sunshine of any district in the Greater Vancouver Area, Tsawwassen occupies a region that directly borders the United States. This area maintains its historical independence as a beautiful locale that has been home to humans for thousands of years. Tsawwassen means "facing the sea" and the Tsawwassen First Nation have roots in the area that lead back over 4 200 years, according to prehistoric villages and ancient archaeological sites that dot the landscape. The first non-native travelers to visit the region spoke of the natural splendour of this area, including the plentiful schools of salmon found in its waters. The climate of Tsawwassen is temperate, with average highs peaking at 22.5 degrees Celsius in July and cooling off with an average high of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius in January. The winter season features the most precipitation, with November being the rainiest month.

Community Resources and Recreation

The Tsawwassen Town Center Mall is the largest public shopping area in all of the South Delta and recovered after a fire forced many shops to close in April of 2009. Another significant shopping center is the Tsawwassen Quay Market, a beautiful facility located next to the BC Ferries Tsawwassen Terminal. Tsawwassen Springs is a golf course that provides residents of the Greater Vancouver Area with a picturesque place to get in a round on the links. Tsawwassen also has many parks that offer people the opportunity to engage in culture and an active, outdoor lifestyle. Pebble Hill Park boasts large sports fields for baseball and soccer, as well as tennis courts and forest trails. Diefenbaker Park features open expanses and hills that are popular for sliding and tobogganing for the odd time that it actually snows. This park also has a waterworks playground. Winskill Park has an aquatic center, a youth center, walking trails, an artificial turf soccer field and a facility for field hockey. Grauer Park has the South Delta Rec Center and the Kiwanis Longhouse, providing a library, curling rink, an art gallery, skate park and even a lacrosse box for residents.

Local Access and Public Transportation

Tsawwassen is served by TransLink, the Greater Vancouver Area's public transportation authority, including a variety of buses that connect Tsawwassen with various regions such as Surrey, Downtown Vancouver and other locations in the Lower Mainland. Tsawwassen is also served by the BC Ferries system, providing transportation to Vancouver Island and several of the Gulf Islands via the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The road systems are set up in a grid formation according to plans developed by the British Royal Engineers in the nineteenth century, with numbered avenues running east to west and numbered streets running north and south. The main artery running in and out of Tsawwassen is 56th street, which drives into the United States area known as Point Roberts, also connecting to Highway 17A.

Education: Elementary and Secondary Schools

Tsawwassen has five public elementary schools: Beach Grove, English Bluff, Pebble Hill, South Park and Cliff Drive schools. After graduating elementary school, pupils may attend the only public high school, South Delta Secondary School, located on 750 53 Street. The high school enrols over 1,400 students and features a graduation rate of at least 95 per cent. Private schools also serve the Tsawwassen region, such as Sacred Heart Elementary and Delta Christian School in Ladner. Southpointe Academy is another private school, educating children from kindergarten to grade 12.

Income Demographics and Local Tax Rates

As of 2013, the property tax rate for Tsawwassen residential landowners is 3.1194 percent. An increase of 2.9 percent was implemented in 2012, with two percent contributing to a transportation program and 0.9 percent paying for general services. The 2011 census stated that over 21 181 people call Tsawwassen home, a 1.1 percent increase over the 2006 census that counted a population of 20 933 in this region. In 2011, the average income in Tsawwassen was $104 387 while the median income measured $56 945.

Annual Events and Festivals

The largest annual event is the Tsawwassen Sun Festival. It lasts three days and takes place during the BC Day long weekend every summer. It attracts up to 12 000 people over the weekend and is the largest community-based festival in the entire South Delta region. It features fireworks, food vendors, a midway, live music, an antique fair a market place and sporting events such as a slow pitch tournament and a BMX air show. Every Sunday, people bring cars that they want to sell to the Town Center Mall in order to be seen by those passing through to Point Roberts, creating a weekly, impromptu car show. The Tour de Delta is a growing bicycling event that ends in Tsawwassen, and takes place in July. Over the next 15 years, Tsawwassen is expecting a population explosion of 20 000 people, nearly doubling the current populace. The newest development plan calls for 950 houses, cottages, townhouses and a farmers market, providing space for the community to grow. This development is currently slated to take place on the Southlands, turning underutilized farmland into residential spaces. Tsawwassen’s many festivals and impending growth make it a great place to raise a family.

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