Delta, British Columbia

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City of Delta[1]
Flag of Delta
Coat of arms of Delta
Coat of arms
Official logo of Delta
Ours to preserve by hand and heart.
Location of Delta within the Greater Vancouver Area in British Columbia, Canada
Location of Delta within the Greater Vancouver Area in British Columbia, Canada
Coordinates: 49°5′5″N 123°3′31″W / 49.08472°N 123.05861°W / 49.08472; -123.05861Coordinates: 49°5′5″N 123°3′31″W / 49.08472°N 123.05861°W / 49.08472; -123.05861[2]
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional DistrictGreater Vancouver
 • MayorGeorge Harvie
 • Governing bodyDelta City Council
 • MPCarla Qualtrough
 • MLAsRavi Kahlon (BC NDP), Ian Paton (BC Liberal)
 • Land183.70 km2 (70.93 sq mi)
10 m (30 ft)
 • Total102,238 (Ranked 51st)
 • Density567.4/km2 (1,470/sq mi)
 • Demonym
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s)+1-604/778
Flag of Canada.svg

Delta is a city in British Columbia, and forms part of Greater Vancouver. Located south of Richmond, it is bordered by the Fraser River to the north, the United States (Point Roberts, Washington) to the south and the city of Surrey to the east. Delta is composed of three distinct communities: Ladner, Tsawwassen, and North Delta.


Prior to European settlement, Delta's flatlands and coastal shores were inhabited by the Tsawwassen indigenous peoples, of the Coast Salish First Nations. The land was first sighted by Europeans in 1791, when Spanish explorer Lieutenant Francisco de Eliza mistook the area for an island and named it "Isla de Cepeda". The first European settler in Delta was James Kennedy who pre-empted 135 acres in what later became Annieville in February 1860. Thomas and William Ladner, began farming the area named after them in 1868. Farming and fishing helped the community grow quickly over the next few decades. In 1879, the area was incorporated as a municipality, named "the Corporation of Delta", and the village of Ladner was made as its administrative centre.

Due to its geography, Delta was a relatively isolated community. The completion of the George Massey Tunnel in 1959 linking Ladner to Richmond and Vancouver along with the opening, in 1960, of the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and the Highway 99 being rerouted from the King George Highway in Surrey in 1962 to a new route through Delta, ended Delta's isolation and resulted in a massive 400% population growth over the next 20 years. The 1986 completion of the Alex Fraser Bridge connecting North Delta to New Westminster and Vancouver also helped Delta's growth.

On September 22, 2017, at the request of Delta's council, the Government of British Columbia changed the name and classification of the Corporation of Delta to the City of Delta.[1]


Delta comprises three distinct, geographically separate communities:

  • North Delta (pop: 51,623) is home to over half of Delta's population. It is a largely suburban area in north-east Delta bordered by the Burns Bog and Surrey.
  • Ladner (pop: 21,112) is a 19th-century fishing village in north-west Delta that has expanded into a suburb. Fishing and farming are important industries. Ladner Trunk Road is its main street.
  • Tsawwassen (pop: 20,933) is a suburban community in south-west Delta that calls itself the sunniest place in Metro Vancouver. Luxury waterfront homes line Tsawwassen's coast. Tsawwassen is also home to the busy Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal which links the mainland to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Tsawwassen, together with Ladner are also known as South Delta.


Historical populations

According to the 2011 Canadian Census,[4] the population of Delta is 99,863, a 3.3% increase from 2006. The population density is 554.4 people per square km. The median age is 42.8 years old, which is slightly higher than the national median age at 40.6 years old. There are 35,781 private dwellings with an occupancy rate of 97.1%. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the median value of a dwelling in Delta is $562,181 which is significantly higher than the national average at $280,552. The median household income (after-taxes) in Delta is $71,590, quite higher than the national average at $54,089.


As of 2016, Delta's population is 102,238. About 36% of Delta's population are visible minorities, of which there are approximately 20,500 South Asians and 7,700 Chinese Canadians. There are also about 2,200 Aboriginal peoples, some from Tsawwassen First Nation, who still hold a fraction of their former traditional territories on the Tsawwassen First Nation at the mouth of the Fraser River, which are shared with the Hwlitsum First Nation from the Gulf Islands. Forming over 20% of the population, Delta hosts the fourth largest South Asian population in British Columbia after neighbouring Vancouver, Surrey and Abbotsford.

Racial Demographics of Delta[5][6]
Population group Population (2016) % of total population (2016) Population (2006) % of total population (2006)
Visible minority group South Asian 20,485 20.3% 14,220 14.8%
Chinese 7,685 7.6% 5,835 6.1%
Black 795 0.8% 495 0.5%
Filipino 2,655 2.6% 1,865 1.9%
Latin American 815 0.8% 710 0.7%
Arab 255 0.3% 95 0.1%
Southeast Asian 585 0.6% 415 0.4%
West Asian 260 0.3% 185 0.2%
Korean 520 0.5% 500 0.5%
Japanese 1,115 1.1% 945 1%
Other visible minority 310 0.3% 70 0.1%
Mixed visible minority 810 0.8% 645 0.7%
Total visible minority population 36,300 36% 25,980 27%
Aboriginal group First Nations 2,230 2.2% 955 1%
Métis 1,305 1.3% 690 0.7%
Inuit 10 0% 25 0%
Total Aboriginal population 3,385 3.4% 1,655 1.7%
European 60,880 60.4% 68,400 71.2%
Total population 102,238 100% 96,075 100%


Religion in Delta (2011)[7]

  Christianity (44.9%)
  Sikhism (10.6%)
  Hinduism (3.1%)
  Islam (2.1%)
  Buddhism (1.3%)
  Judaism (0.4%)
  Other or not religious (37.7%)


A trail on Deas Island in late September

Delta is located 27 kilometres (17 mi) south of Vancouver and 22 kilometres (14 mi) north of the Canada–US border at Peace Arch, Surrey. It is bordered by water on three sides: The Fraser River to the north, the Georgia Strait to the west and Boundary Bay to the south. At 364 square kilometres (141 sq mi), Delta is the largest municipality in the GVRD; the second largest is its neighbour to the east, Surrey, at 317.4 square kilometres (122.5 sq mi).

Trachycarpus Fortunei Palm Trees line some streets in Tsawwassen

Delta's flat, fertile land has made it one of the most important agricultural areas in Greater Vancouver. The Agricultural Land Reserve regulations preserve most of this land for agricultural use, preventing its conversion to suburban housing. North Delta is also home to the Burns Bog, 40 square kilometres (10,000 acres) of natural wetlands that are important for wildlife.

Delta includes Annacis Island, an industrial island reached via the Alex Fraser Bridge, which connects Delta with Richmond and New Westminster. Delta also includes a peninsula on the east side of the Fraser River at Delta's northern city limits, which is only accessible via Surrey.


Delta has a warm-summer mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csb), with the city featuring some of the mildest winters and lowest diurnal temperature variations in Canada.

Climate data for Delta (Tsawwassen Beach) 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.5
Average high °C (°F) 7.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.1
Average low °C (°F) 2.9
Record low °C (°F) −9.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 134.6
Source: Environment Canada[8]

Government and politics[edit]

Delta is governed by the Delta City Council, led by a Mayor and six Councillors, elected for four-year terms, and there is also an elected school board. The current mayor is George Harvie. Unlike most communities in Canada, but like Vancouver and Richmond, Delta has a system of locally based election slates such as TriDelta, IDEA, One Delta, Delta Residents Association, Delta Connect, DIVA, Independents Working For You, and Achieving For Delta.

In the House of Commons of Canada, Delta is part of the Delta electoral district. As of the 2015 Federal general election, Delta's seat is held by Carla Qualtrough of the Liberal Party. In the 2017 Provincial general election, the North Delta seat went to Ravi Kahlon of the British Columbia New Democratic Party while the South Delta seat went to Ian Paton of the British Columbia Liberal Party.

Delta, unlike most Lower Mainland municipalities, has its own police department.

Former Delta mayor Lois Jackson served from 1999 to 2018 and since 1973 has had a seat on Delta Council. Jackson was elected to council again in 2018.


In Delta is the Arnott Substation (ARN), the mainland terminal of the HVDC Vancouver Island circuit.


The Alex Fraser Bridge links Delta to New Westminster and Richmond.
  • Public transportation in Delta is provided by the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority bus system. There is no rapid transit system in Delta, though the SkyTrain system in Surrey comes within three kilometres of the city's borders.
  • Delta is a major transportation hub for the Lower Mainland. Most vehicles leaving Vancouver for the United States pass through Delta's borders. Many vehicles destined for Vancouver Island use the Tsawwassen ferry terminal in Delta.
  • Highway 99 links Richmond to Delta via the George Massey Tunnel, built in 1959. North Delta is linked to New Westminster and Richmond by Highway 91 and the massive Alex Fraser Bridge (opened in 1986). Delta is linked to Surrey, Langley, and all points eastward by Highway 10. Traffic congestion during rush hour is quite common, although improvements area being made to Highway 91 interchanges at 72 Ave to remove a traffic light as well the ramps from Nordel Way.
  • Highway 17 in Delta provides a connection to the Tsawwassen B.C. Ferry terminal, which provides car ferry connections to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. In December 2013, north of the current junction with Deltaport Way, Highway 17 will be rerouted upon completion of the "South Fraser Perimeter Road", and will primarily run parallel to River Road through Tilbury and North Delta to all points east. The remaining stretch of Highway 17 north of that point will be renamed Highway 17A.
  • River Road is also another connector through the municipality. River Road starts in Surrey and heads westbound through North Delta, under the Alex Fraser Bridge, north of Burns Bog, and then terminates at 62B Street, which then turns into Highway 17A.
  • Like River Road, the western communities of "South Delta" (Ladner and Tsawwassen) are linked to North Delta and communities to the east by Ladner Trunk Road; east of its crossover of Highway 91, the road becomes Highway 10.
  • 56th Street is another major artery in the community, bisecting the Tsawwassen region; it is the only road leading into the community of Point Roberts, south of the Canada–US border.
  • Delta is also home to Boundary Bay Airport, Canada's seventh busiest airport by aircraft movements. Boundary Bay Airport is primarily used for private aircraft, commercial charters, and flying lessons.

Major highways[edit]


Delta is the westernmost community served by Fraser Health Authority which operates Delta Hospital in Ladner and also funds home and community care. The Delta Hospice Society operates a facility near to the hospital.


Delta Public Schools operates Anglophone public schools in the city.

The Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique operates one Francophone primary school in that city: école du Bois-joli.[9]

Delta sports[edit]

Delta has many minor sports teams in ice hockey, soccer, football, field hockey, baseball, softball, field lacrosse and box lacrosse. Over 160 young people play ringette in Delta. The Delta Ringette Association has 13 teams in 2005. Notable professional sports players from Delta are Jeff Francis (MLB), James Paxton(MLB), Justin Morneau (MLB), Brent Seabrook (NHL), Troy Brouwer (NHL) and Mitch Berger (NFL).

Tour de Delta wall cover on electrical box outside of Delta, British Columbia municipal hall

Delta's unique and varying terrain provides a challenging test for many of the world's best cyclists in the Tour de Delta (one day races, for men since 2001, and for women since 2011). Since its first event in 2001, the Tour de Delta has grown to be Canada's largest cycling event, held annually in July as part of BC Superweek.

The Delta Triathlon is also a very popular event, selling out each year in April. The event takes place in Ladner from the Ladner Leisure Centre. Over 500 participants take part, including many from the local South Delta Triathlon Club.

Club Sport League Venue
Delta Ice Hawks Ice hockey PIJHL Ladner Leisure Centre
Delta Islanders Box Lacrosse BCJALL Ladner Leisure Centre
Ladner Pioneers Box Lacrosse WCSLA Ladner Leisure Centre

Notable residents[edit]

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

Sister city[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council". Province of British Columbia. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Delta". Government of Canada. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Census of Canada Historical Census Populations Municipalities from 1921 to 2011".
  4. ^ 2011 NHS/Census Profile of Delta:
  5. ^ [1], Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
  6. ^ Census Profile, 2016 Census Delta, District municipality [Census subdivision]. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  7. ^ "NHS Profile, Delta, DM, British Columbia, 2011".
  8. ^ Environment CanadaCanadian Climate Normals 1981–2010, accessed 2 September 2017
  9. ^ "Carte des écoles." Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique. Retrieved on 22 January 2015.
  10. ^ Johns, Fred (21 November 2010). "Kyle O'Reilly's long journey ends with ROH deal". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  11. ^ "Corporations of Delta, Mangalore sign pact". The Hindu. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Delta looks to India for twin city". DeltaOptimist. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Twinning". British Columbia Trade and Investment Representative Office. Retrieved 17 May 2010.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ a b "Mangalore, Delta in sisterly embrace". DNA. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010.

External links[edit]