Richmond, British Columbia

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Richmond, British Columbia

Richmond is an incorporated city on the Pacific coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is located at Template:Coor dm. Richmond forms part of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Its neighbouring municipalities include Vancouver and Burnaby to the north, New Westminster to the east, and Delta to the south, with Georgia Strait on the west.



The municipality comprises most of the islands in the Fraser River delta, the largest and most populated island being Lulu Island (the eastern tip of which forms the Queensborough neighbourhood, which is actually part of the neighbouring city of New Westminster). The next largest island, Sea Island, is home to the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). In addition to Lulu and Sea Islands, 13 smaller islands make up the municipality's 129.66 km² land area.

Since all of Richmond's lands occupy islands in a river delta, the municipality has plenty of rich, alluvial soil for agriculture, and was one of the first areas in British Columbia to be farmed by Europeans in the 19th century. The drawback, however, was that since all the land averages just one metre above sea level, it was prone to flooding. As a result, all the major islands are now surrounded by a system of dykes (much like the famous dykes of the Netherlands), which were created in the early days of European settlement. Recreational trails run along the tops of many of the dykes, and Richmond also supports about 1400 acres (5.67 km²) of park land.[1] (


Richmond enjoys a temperate climate, and actually experiences 30% less rain than neighbouring Vancouver because it is not as close to the mountains. It rarely snows in Winter and the summer temperatures are mild to warm. Richmond is also very prone to fog in the cooler months.


The place was named after a local Richmond Farm established by Hugh McRoberts. A daughter of his chose this name after one of the Richmonds in Australia (it is unknown exactly which one it is). The wife of the first reeve of Richmond, England later claimed that the city was named in honour of her birthplace. However, modern historians proved this claim to be false, since the Boyds immigrated to Richmond in 1863, but there had already been a pamphlet called "A Visit to Richmond" made in BC in September 1862.

An early centre of European (and Japanese) settlement in Richmond was the old fishing village of Steveston on the southwestern tip of Lulu Island. Steveston is now home to several museums and heritage sites, as well as a working harbour for fishing boats.


Richmond's estimated population in 2002 was 166,219 people. It is the third-largest suburb of Vancouver, after Surrey (347,825) and Burnaby (193,954). One third of its population is of Asian descent, most of whom immigrated in the early 1990s, many of them from Hong Kong as well as Taiwan and most recently mainland China. Other Asian Canadians in Richmond include Japanese Canadians, who have a long history in Steveston, though their community was devastated in 1942 when Japanese Canadians were interned in concentration camps and their property was auctioned off. According to Statistics Canada, residents of Richmond have the greatest life expectancy in Canada at 83.4 years, and the lowest obesity and smoking rates as well. Richmond has the highest visible minority population in Canada with 59% being neither caucasian nor aboriginal.

Government and Politics

The current mayor is Malcolm Brodie, who began a three-year term on December 2, 2002. The City Council is made up of eight Councillors, elected for three-year terms. There are also seven elected School Board Trustees. The last elections were in November 2002.

Unlike in many cities in British Columbia, Richmond has independent local political parties that are active (although in many cases their organization is weak and they may form or collapse frequently between elections). In the 2002 elections, the main local parties were: the centre-right Richmond First (RF), the centrist Richmond Independent Team of Electors (RITE) and the leftist Richmond Civic New Democrats (RCND).

In the 2002 elections for City Council, the RF won 4 seats, the RNCD 2, RITE 1 and there was 1 Independent. Mayor Malcolm Brodie is also an Independent. For the School Board, the RITE won 4 seats and the RF won 3.

In Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Richmond has three constituencies, all of which were comfortably won by the BC Liberal Party in the 2005 provincial elections.

In the Canadian House of Commons, Richmond has two constituencies. In the 2004 federal election, the Liberal Party of Canada candidate Raymond Chan won in Richmond, while in the neighbouring district of Delta-Richmond East, the winner was the Conservative Party of Canada candidate Jim Cummins.

Historically, Richmond has voted along centrist and conservative lines.


Richmond is connected by a system of bridges and tunnels to Vancouver and Delta, and through the New Westminster suburb of Queensborough (on eastern Lulu Island) to the "mainland" portion of New Westminster.

Three bridges (one of them twinned) connect Lulu Island to Sea Island and the Vancouver International Airport; one bridge connects Sea Island and the Vancouver International Airport to Vancouver; two bridges connect Lulu Island to Vancouver; one bridge connects Queensborough (on eastern Lulu Island) to New Westminster; one bridge connects Queensborough to Annacis Island in Delta; one twinned bridge connects Richmond to Annacis Island; and one of the few tunnels in British Columbia connects Richmond to Delta.

Richmond is served by two freeways: Highway 99, which connects Vancouver to the United States, and Highway 91, which connects Delta, New Westminster, and Richmond.

Railway bridges connect Lulu Island to Vancouver, New Westminster, and Annacis Island, and serve the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways, as well as the Southern Railway of British Columbia (although the latter railway's Lulu Island trackage is entirely within Queensborough).

The public transit system in Greater Vancouver, Translink, currently has bus connections from Richmond to Downtown Vancouver, Surrey, New Westminster and Delta. A rapid transit line called RAV (Richmond-Airport-Vancouver) RAV_Line is scheduled for completion in late 2009 and will connect Richmond Centre and the airport to downtown Vancouver and points between.


Richmond supports about 100,000 jobs in various areas including services, retailing, tourism, light manufacturing, airport services and aviation, agriculture, fishing and government. Richmond also is a leading centre in the region for high-technology companies.



Richmond is home to a campus of Kwantlen University College. In addition, the British Columbia Institute of Technology runs its aircraft maintenance courses at facilities at Vancouver International Airport. University of British Columbia (UBC)


Richmond is home the Richmond Sockeyes Junior B hockey team.

External links

North: Vancouver, Burnaby
West: Strait of Georgia Richmond East: Surrey, New Westminster
South: Delta

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