Columbia Street, 1949. New Westminster Museum and Archives IHP0902-27.

Community, Research, Urban Studies

Archival material, teacher resources, and more now available on new “(Re)Claiming the New Westminster Waterfront” project website

May 13, 2016

An SFU team led by Peter Hall (Urban Studies) recently concluded work with the New Westminster Museum and Archives and pensioners from Local 502 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) on (Re)claiming the New Westminster Waterfront, a SSHRC-funded partnership project . Between 2012 and 2015, project participants contributed to public discussion about urban waterfront transformation and work in a variety of ways: collecting oral history recordings and archival footage of waterfront workers and documenting how their places of work changed over the years, hosting public lectures and panels that included labour educators, archivists, workers, academic researchers and historians, and curating and exhibition of material that illuminated waterfront work in New Westminster, 1945-2015 for the New Westminster Museum.

Although the city of New Westminster has changed remarkably over the years and development pressures have been ever-present, Principal Investigator  Dr. Peter Hall (Urban Studies) noted in 2013 that “the city has a council that is committed to preserving industrial land and industrial jobs” alongside a “strong civic association base.” Since urban development affects port growth and changes waterfront spaces, Hall also said then that the (Re)claiming New Westminster Waterfront Project was a critical effort to “situate that story in this place. And not lose sight of the fact that, even though people might not realize it, [the New Westminster waterfront] is still a place of work.”

The revamped website honours that vision, housing an extensive archive of the project’s outputs which includes:

·       links to the collection of about 100 oral history recordings

·       text and images from the "Our Working Waterfront: 1945-2015" museum exhibit

·       resources for teachers

·       memory walks and a bike tour

·       a timeline of waterfront history

·       a dynamic map of waterfront land use change

·       an image gallery

As a place to view and interact with the primary data collected and interpreted by the project team, the project’s website is publicly accessible and invites visitors to peruse, enjoy, and pursue their own interests in the history of New Westminster and its working waterfront at: