Downsizing in Ladner
For thousands of years First Nations people lived along the Fraser River, turning to the sea and the river for salmon and shellfish, the mainstay of their diet. The first non-Native settlers of this area were drawn to the fertile land of the river delta, made up of silt and sand deposited as the Fraser River slows to meet the sea.In 1868 brothers William and Thomas Ladner preempted land on either side of Chilukthan. Like many other settlers who quickly acquired the rich land, they understood that the river and sloughs afforded convenient transportation routes when roads were non-existent or rudimentary.
In 1873 a wharf was built on property donated by William Ladner. Farmers loaded their agricultural produce and livestock onto steamboats for markets in Victoria, Nanaimo, New Westminster, and eventually Vancouver. The site became known as Ladner's Landing, where a village grew up to serve the farmers. The settlers also took advantage of the area's rich fishing resources. In salmon canneries on the banks of the river many of the workers were men of Chinese heritage, so a Chinatown developed nearby.
In 1879, the residents of Ladner joined with others in petitioning the provincial government to incorporate the new municipality of Delta. Today, Ladner residents respect the area's natural and human heritage as part of building and maintaining a healthy community. Ladner, together with Tsawwassen to the south, is where the majority of Delta's population resides. Ladner and Tsawwassen are the two communities that comprise the Lower Mainland area known as South Delta.
Location: Ladner is located on Highway 17 in the extreme southwest corner of mainland BC, 17 miles (27 km) south of Vancouver and 17 miles (27 km) west of White Rock and the border post at Peace Arch/Douglas. The nearest community is Tsawwassen, location of the ferry terminal for the ferry service to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.