With a population of 18,250, the City of White Rock is located in the southwest corner of BC’s Lower Mainland; forty-five kilometres (30 miles) south from Vancouver and only five minutes to the Canada/Us “Peace Arch” border crossing. We are an exciting seaside community clustered around an 8 kilometre (5 miles) of sandy beach and the warm shallow waters of Semiahmoo Bay. Neighbour communities are Crescent Beach, Ocean Park and Surrey.
Because of our moderate climate, White Rock is a preferred retirement spot. Average summer temperature is 23 degrees Celsius (73 F) while the average winter temperature is 6 degrees Celsius (42 F). The White Rock area receives less annual rain fall than anywhere else in British Columbia. Pilots accustomed to flying around this area refer to our often clear atmosphere as 'the hole in the sky'; no doubt due to the fact that White Rock is frequently bright and sunny while the rest of the Lower Mainland is covered by cloud.
White Rock is named for a distinctive 486-ton granite white boulder located right on its beach near the promenade. Geologists say: “that it was deposited here as the result of a glacial erratic that migrated south during the last glaciation”.
Local Native Legend has it: “that a Sea God’s son fell in love with a Cowichan Indian Maiden. The lovers, after being rejected by both fathers, vowed to make a new home. The Sea God’s son, on seeing the big white rock, picked in up and threw it across Georgia Strait. Then the son and the Cowichan princess followed the rock to begin a new life and a new tribe.”
The Ocean Promenade Hotel, just across from the beach, got it's name from the White Rock Promenade, a 2.5 kilometer (1.5 mile) walkway that starts just steps from our Hotel Lobby. The Promenade, fully accessible to the disabled and parents with strollers, continues along the beach to the heritage pier, colourful sidewalk cafes, two dozen restaurants, specialty shops, the White Rock Museum and Archives, and, of course, the large beached “white rock”.