Lulu Island

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For other uses, see Lulu Island (disambiguation).
Richmond, British Columbia Location.png
Richmond, British Columbia is on Lulu Island, the larger of the two red islands
Lulu Island is located in British Columbia
Lulu Island
Lulu Island (British Columbia, Canada)
Location Fraser River
Coordinates 49°10′05″N 123°04′50″W / 49.16806°N 123.08056°W / 49.16806; -123.08056
Province British Columbia
City City of Richmond
City New Westminster (Queensborough neighbourhood)
Population 168,162
Additional information
size 122.4 square km

Lulu Island is the name of the largest island in the estuary of the Fraser River. The island makes up most of the City of Richmond, a major suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. However, the eastern tip of Lulu Island, known as Queensborough, is part of the City of New Westminster.

Lulu Island is situated between the two principal arms of the Fraser River estuary across and downstream from the City of New Westminster. The Middle Arm of the Fraser River separates it on the northwest from Sea Island, the site of Vancouver International Airport, which, despite its name, is also part of the City of Richmond. At the western edge of the island lies Sturgeon Bank, a large sandbank which falls off into the Strait of Georgia on its western edge.


Lulu Island was named in 1862 by Richard Moody, after Lulu Sweet, a popular showgirl,[1] possibly of Kanaka (Hawaiian) origin,[2] when the island was named (she had bought property there).[citation needed]

The island enjoyed good connections to the new port city of Vancouver thanks to the Lulu Island & Steveston Railway line of the British Columbia Electric Railway, which began at what is today the north end of the Granville Street Bridge. The route of the Lulu Island Railway is today the so-called Arbutus Corridor, which runs west through Kitsilano before turning south to Kerrisdale and Marpole before crossing the North Arm of the Fraser to reach Lulu Island and the City of Richmond.

The southwestern corner of Lulu Island is home to Steveston, a fishing port and former cannery town, now a busy tourist centre that has a history interconnected with that of the Japanese-Canadians prior to their internment to the Interior during World War II.


Because the island is composed partly of glacial silt brought down by the Fraser River, there is a fear of liquefaction of its sands if a strong-enough tremor were to shake it. In such an eventuality, it is anticipated that localized areas, specifically in the vicinity of the present-day mouth of the Fraser River, could experience seismic liquefaction failure and collapse westward into the Strait of Georgia, potentially impacting the adjacent river entrainment works and possibly some navigational aids. Additionally, statically-triggered liquefaction failures have been documented in this area, highlighting the extremely loose localized soil conditions, as well as the high potential for associated slope instability and mass wasting.[3]

The island is also fully diked to protect it from potential flooding during the annual spring freshet on the Fraser. Some of the island is below sea level, and river level, and there is an extensive drainage and pumping system to prevent flooding during heavy rain.


  1. ^ Middleton, Lynn (1969). Place Names of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Victoria: Elldee Publishing. p. 125. OCLC 16729415. 
  2. ^ BCGNIS listing "Lulu Island"
  3. ^ Christian, H.A.; D.J. Woeller; P.K. Robertson; R.C. Courtney (1997). "Site investigations to evaluate flow liquefaction slides at Sand Heads, Fraser River delta" (PDF). Can. Geotech. J. 34 (3): 384–397. doi:10.1139/cgj-34-3-384. Retrieved 2006-07-27. 
New Westminster and Pattullo Bridge over the Fraser River. The river flows toward us; in the foreground, left to right, are the mainland (City of New Westminster), North Arm Fraser River, Lulu Island (the Queensborough, New Westminster portion), Annacis Channel, Annacis Island, and Annieville Channel

Coordinates: 49°10′05″N 123°04′50″W / 49.16806°N 123.08056°W / 49.16806; -123.08056