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Neighbourhood Guide: New Westminster

11 min read
Kristina Ikavalko

Kristina Ikavalko

Creative Content Writer at

Published on February 25, 2020

Last updated on January 24th, 2024

New Westminster was founded in 1858 as the original capital city of B.C. by a group of British military engineers called the Sappers, who set up camp where the majestic Fraser River splits north and south. Today, the vibrant city is a destination for foodies and history aficionados alike thanks to its famed brewery district and a scenic waterfront – not to mention its thriving rental scene. In this post, will look at some of New Westminster’s most popular neighbourhoods for renters to give you an idea of why the city has emerged as one of Metro Vancouver’s premier rental destinations.

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  • What is it like to live in New Westminster, BC?

    It’s no wonder why young professionals from across Metro Vancouver are flocking to New Westminster in droves. The city has something to offer just about everyone, combining the best of the big city with proximity to some of B.C.’s best parks, trails, and its famous riverside. Let’s break it down now to see what New West has to offer its residents.


    New Westminster has a unique location about 17km southeast of Vancouver and 8km from Burnaby, nestled in its own little corner of the Lower Mainland right on the banks of the Fraser River. This means it’s a short drive or transit trip to just about everywhere else in the Lower Mainland, about 30 minutes by SkyTrain or car to Vancouver. Not that you’ll feel the need to leave very often though – New Westminster is a gorgeous city that’s particularly sought out in the summer for its lush parks and picturesque riverside location


    New Westminster has some of the best and most vast public transit options of cities in the Lower Mainland, with five SkyTrain stations, over twenty bus routes and Frequent Transit Networks linking New Westminster to other cities make it exceedingly easy to get around for those who don’t have a vehicle. For those that do drive, getting around and in & out of New West is also quick and convenient. The Trans Canada Highway links the city with just about everywhere else in B.C. and beyond, and will also be your main route to Vancouver. The other major artery connecting New West with the rest of the area is Highway 91A over the Queensborough Connector.

    Culture & Entertainment

    New Westminster has a burgeoning arts & culture scene and bustling waterfront community that make it appealing for renters of all ages. This is best shown by the New West Cultural Crawl, which takes place in October each year and spotlights local artists and all that makes New Westminster unique. Another popular event that runs practically year-round, the New West Farmers Market is a focal point of the community’s locally-focused outlook and provides an excellent place to gather and shop for local produce and goods. New Westminster is also known for its excellent breweries, like Steel & Oak and Another Beer Co.

    Sports & Recreation

    If an active, community-centred lifestyle sounds good to you, then New West should be right up your alley. The city’s famous Quay and the River Market make for an excellent place to spend a weekend afternoon, bordering on the Fraser River and home to plenty of local shops and seasonal events. Queen’s Park is another popular gathering spot for tourists and locals alike, with 75 acres of sprawling parkland as well as its own basketball, pickleball and tennis courts, walking/running trails, and an indoor arena. The city is also just a 20-30 minute drive to Downtown Vancouver, or about 45 minutes by transit.

    Who should live in New Westminster?

    In short – everyone! New Westminster has plenty to offer, no matter your age or goals. The area has tons of elementary and secondary schools, daycare facilities, and parks which draw in families from around the Lower Mainland, especially combined with the city’s many activities and reputation for safety. For students, Douglas College is one of the Lower Mainland’s largest colleges with over 17,000 students and offers a variety of programs as well as both on-campus housing and plenty of nearby rentals as well. Young professionals particularly adore New West for its affordable rental rates, proximity to larger cities like Burnaby and Vancouver, and tight-knit feel with plenty of entertainment, dining, recreation, shopping and other amenity options.

    Average rent in New Westminster

    average rent by new westminster neighbourhood for one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom listings via liv rent

    New Westminster offers incredible value to renters, particularly in its Downtown and Brow of the Hill neighbourhoods. For two-bedroom and three-bedroom units especially, the city has rates well below the Lower Mainland’s average.

    Looking for more insights into Metro Vancouver’s average rental rates? Be sure to check out our Monthly Rent Reports for the latest data and trends.

    Below are the average rental rates for unfurnished units in New Westminster, taken from our March 2022 Vancouver Rent Report.

    1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed

    We’ve also compared the average rent per square foot across the Lower Mainland, and as you can see, New Westminster’s rates are just below Metro Vancouver’s average, and well below those in the city of Vancouver itself..

    average rent across metro vancouver for the march 2022 liv rent report

    Pet-friendly rentals in New Westminster

    Good news for pet owners – looking at our current listings for New Westminster, 31% of rentals in the city are pet-friendly. New Westminster is an excellent place for pets thanks to its many scenic riverside paths and trails and an abundance of parks and green spaces where residents can take their furry friends.

    Average house prices in New Westminster

    Below are the average house prices in New Westminster as of March 2022. These numbers are from with data drawn from MLS listings in the area.

    1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed

    Source: Zolo

    New Westminster Neighbourhoods

    Let’s take a closer look now at some of New Westminster’s many distinct neighbourhoods. For the sake of brevity, we’ll only be focusing on the neighbourhoods with the most to offer renters in terms of value and selection. Below, you can find a map comparing the average rental price for one-bedroom, unfurnished units in each of the six New Westminster neighbourhoods we’ll be looking at here.

    map of new westminster neighbourhoods and the average cost of an unfurnished, one-bedroom unit via liv rent

    Brow of the Hill

    New Westminster’s Brow of the Hill neighbourhood has an ideal location nestled between Quayside to the south and Uptown to the north. With an easy walk to the riverside and Downtown as well, Brow of the Hill residents enjoy quick access to the very best of New Westminster. For families, Fraser River Middle School is in the center of the neighbourhood, and there are plenty of parks in close proximity. In addition to its rich history, Brow of the Hill has emerged as one of New Westminster’s most acccessible, convenient neighbourhoods for a variety of renter demographics. Douglas College is a mere 10 minute walk away, and Columbia Station is 15-20 minutes. The numerous shops, businesses, and public gathering places make for a tight-knit community that’s the perfect mix of affordable and desirable.

    Average apartment rent:

    1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed


    Brow of the Hill has a number of Elementary and Secondary Schools within its borders, as well as just beyond. Herbert Spencer Elementary School is minutes away in nearby Queen’s Park, while New Westminster Secondary School and Lord Kelvin Community School are both close by as well. On the neighbourhood’s southern end closer to downtown is Fraser River Middle School. As you can see, Brow of the Hill is ideal for families as it offers schooling options for children of all ages.


    Proximity to Downtown Vancouver:

    • 25-35 minutes by car to Vancouver City Centre
    • 40-45 minutes by transit to Vancouver City Centre (15-minute walk to New Westminster Station, 25 minutes on Expo Line towards Waterfront Station)

    Sports & recreation

    Simcoe Park is within a 5-minute walk of just about anywhere in the Brow of the Hill neighbourhood, offering a community garden and an off-leash dog area.

    Downtown New Westminster

    New Westminster’s Downtown is home to a good amount of the city’s dining, shopping and entertainment destinations, but it’s not like your typical urban downtown core. New West is Western Canada’s oldest city after all, with a rich history as an incorporated city dating all the way back to 1860. Nowhere is this more evident than in New Westminster’s downtown. Heritage buildings are everywhere, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a high-rise. Instead, the Downtown area is a popular destination for young families both local and visiting with plenty of local shops as well as all the convenient shopping, dining and entertainment destinations one would expect of a modern downtown. As a bonus, it’s also right off the river and a short few minutes’ walk from the Quay.

    Average rent

    1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed


    Though it’s primarily home to colleges, training institutes and alternative learning centres, Downtown New Westminster is nearby a couple of elementary and middle schools, with secondary schools not far away either. Fraser River Middle School is probably the closest, with Qayqayt Elementary School close by to provide an option for younger children.


    Proximity to Downtown Vancouver:

    • 30-35 minutes by car to Vancouver City Centre
    • 30-35 minutes by transit to Vancouver City Centre (5-minute walk to Columbia or New Westminster Stations, 25 minutes on Expo Line towards Waterfront Station)

    Sports & recreation

    Downtown New West is steps from the Waterfront Esplanade Park that runs along the banks of the Fraser River. There’s also Quayside Park close by, as well as the Quayside Off-leash dog area.


    Uptown is another New West neighbourhood with a ton of history, dating all the way back to the city’s early days back in the 1860s when it was primarily a residential area. These days, it’s a lively hub of activity with all sorts of things to do, places to eat, and more. The neighbourhood gets especially busy in the summer when people from around the city and beyond flock to Moody Park’s outdoor swimming pool to cool off. Year-round, this close-knit community is an excellent place for renters of all ages.

    Average rent

    1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed


    Uptown has two nearby schools, Lord Kelvin Elementary School for children in kindergarten to grade 5, and New Westminster Secondary School for grades 9-12. The closest middle school. Fraser River Middle School, is just about a 10-15 minute walk away.


    Proximity to Downtown Vancouver:

    • 25-30 minutes by car to Vancouver City Centre
    • 40-50 minutes by transit to Vancouver City Centre (20-minute walk or 5-minute bus ride to New Westminster Station, 25 minutes on Expo Line towards Waterfront Station)

    Sports & recreation

    Moody Park is a defining feature of the Uptown area, bringing together the community practically every day with its range of activities for residents of all ages. The outdoor pool is a great place to go for a swim in the summer and is very popular in the summer, but Moody Park also offers lawn bowling, a playground & water park, a sports field, and tennis & pickleball courts.


    Sapperton is one of New West’s most historic neighbourhoods, taking its name and identity from the Sappers – Royal Engineers who originally called the city home back in its early days. These days, it’s anything but dated though. The area is home to Royal Columbian Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the region, as well as an impressive variety of shops, restaurants, and more. Like much of New West, Sapperton is immersed in nature with plenty of parks, recreational spaces, and forested areas for residents to enjoy. The neighbourhood is well-serviced by transit as well, with Sapperton SkyTrain station closer to RCH, and Braid Station to the south.

    Average rent

    1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed


    Sapperton is home to Richard McBride Elementary School, which provides classes for children in kindergarten to grade 5. Glenbrook Middle School is only about a 5-minute drive away, or a 20-30 minute walk depending on where in Sapperton you’re located. For older students, New Westminster Secondary School is about a 10-minute drive away.


    Proximity to Downtown Vancouver:

    • 30-45 minutes by car to Vancouver City Centre
    • 40-45 minutes by transit to Vancouver City Centre (5-10-minute walk to Sapperton or Braid SkyTrain stations, 30 minutes on Expo Line towards Waterfront Station)

    Sports & recreation

    Sapperton Park is a spacious green area located adjacent to Royal Columbian Hospital, and has both a playground and a water park which comes in handy in the summer. Hume Park is on the north end of the neighbourhood, and has a spray park as well as a popular outdoor pool.

    Glenbrooke South

    Glenbrooke south is a quaint, expansive area on the eastern side of New Westminster with a laid-back feel, quiet streets, and plenty of smaller apartments. This combination makes it ideal for renters looking for a community-oriented neighbourhood that’s tranquil but still close to the action. Most amenities are within walking distance, like the area’s schools, parks and myriad businesses, and there are plenty of transit stations within Glenbrooke South to easily travel around New Westminster and beyond.

    Average rent

    1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed


    There are plenty of education options for Glenbrooke South residents, most within easy walking distance. Richard McBride Elementary School in nearby Sapperton is a short 5-minute drive away, with Herbert Spencer Elementary School and Glenbrook Middle School also nearby.


    Proximity to Downtown Vancouver:

    • 30-45 minutes by car to Vancouver City Centre
    • 40-60 minutes by transit to Vancouver City Centre (20-25 minute walk or 5-10 minute bus to Sapperton or Columbia SkyTrain stations, 30 minutes on Expo Line towards Waterfront Station)

    Sports & recreation

    Glenbrook Ravine Park and the connecting trails are close by and are a great place to escape into nature for an afternoon. Also close by is Sapperton Landing Park along the waterfront, and Terry Hughes Park is near as well, attached to Glenbrook Middle School. Queens Park is also close by, one of the city’s largest outdoor spaces.

    Brunette Creek

    Idyllic Brunette Creek is on the city’s far east end, nestled between Sapperton and Glenbrook South. Defined by the Brunette River and expanding down to the Fraser River, Brunette Creek is a nature lover’s paradise with easy access to nearby trails at Glenbrook Ravine and Queen’s Park, yet with all the modern convenience you’d expect of a prominent New Westminster neighbourhood. For renters looking for the best of both worlds, Brunette Creek may be your perfect solution.

    Average rent

    1 Bed2 Bed3 Bed


    Glenbrook Middle School is close by for students in grades 6-8, as are Herbert Spencer and F.W Howay Elementary Schools for younger students.


    Proximity to Downtown Vancouver:

    • 30-45 minutes by car to Vancouver City Centre
    • 40-45 minutes by transit to Vancouver City Centre (10-15 minute walk to Sapperton station, 30 minutes on Expo Line towards Waterfront Station)

    Sports & recreation

    Nearby Queen’s Park is a popular gathering place with plenty of picnic areas, as well as a spray park, courts for tennis, pickleball and basketball, a sports arena, off-leash dog areas, and more. For those that want a quick hike without leaving their neighbourhood, The Glenbrook Ravine Park & trails are a popular destination throughout the week for their lush greenery in an urban settings.

    Check out our other Metro Vancouver neighbourhood guides:

    1. Yaletown
    2. Main Street
    3. Chinatown
    4. Commercial Drive
    5. The West End
    6. North Vancouver
    7. Marine & Cambie Hub
    8. Richmond, BC

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