Tsawwassen: A Suburb Looking Toward the Sea

Tsawwassen is a suburban community located on a peninsula in British Columbia, Canada. This town is home to the Tsawwassen First Nation, original inhabitants and people on the Lower Mainland area. The Tsawwassen people who have lived in the region for more than 10,000 years have their own 700 acre reserve close to the city’s Ferry Terminal. Tsawwassen touches a shallow river bank and so the ferry dock was built at the southwest end of the three kilometer causeway that goes to the Strait of Georgia. The ferry terminal is considered as the biggest in North America. The Tsawwassen Indian Reserve is an undeveloped agricultural land located at the northwestern part of the community. It is here where the Tsawwassen First Nation have their Coast Salish ancestry.

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The Tsawwassen real estate market is priced lower than the northern city of Richmond probably because of the barrier created by the Massey Tunnel. Apartments in the area will cost you more than $300,000. If you are looking to purchase a detached, single family home, expect around $700,000 in prices. The average price for houses in Tsawwassen is $600,000.

Shopping & Entertainment

The town’s biggest shopping destination is the Tsawwassen Town Center Mall which offers a wide variety of toy stores, brand boutiques, furniture shops, shoe shops and a huge grocery store. Locals also shop at the 56th Street, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare with its fashion boutiques, paint store, car repair shop and florists.


The town’s relatively untouched environment provides this beautiful, natural setting for many outdoor adventures and activities. Whether you love swimming, kayaking, windsurfing or sailing, Boundary Bay is a great area to enjoy these water sports. The Boundary Bay Regional Park also provides several walking and hiking trails, bird watching areas and picnic areas. Guests can also cross the American-Canadian border at Point Roberts and visit the Lighthouse Park at the southwest end of the region. Hikers and cyclists also enjoy a majestic view of Juan de Fuca Strait and the Strait of Georgia in the park.


Tsawwassen is currently divided into a grid with streets running east/west and north/south. The grid is part of the system set out by the Royal Engineers in the early 19th century. The main street in town is 56th Street, connecting Point Roberts, WA and Highway 17. It also runs along the commercial center of the community.  Tsawwassen is currenly serviced by TransLink buses. Buses go along the main loop at South Delta Center and most terminate at the Bridgeport Station, Richmond. The town is also served by Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal with routes to Swartz Bay, Duke Point and the Southern Gulf Islands.


The public institutions in Tsawwassen are currently under School District 37 Delta. Tsawwassen has one public secondary school, the South Delta Secondary School or SDSS. There are currently five elementary schools in town namely South Park, Beach Grove, English Buff, Pebble Hill and Cliff Drive. The town also features a French programme school, Ecole Du Bois-Joli for students who speak French at home.

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