NEW WESTMINSTER, a city on the north bank of the Fraser river, British Columbia, 15 m. from the mouth. Pop. (1906 estimate) 7900. Founded in 185 9 it was the capital of British Columbia when the British possessions on the Pacific coast formed two colonies - i.e. British Columbia (the mainland portion) and Vancouver Island. The city is accessible to oceangoing ships of 16 ft. draught. It is the chief centre of the farming country of the lower Fraser and has a small export lumber trade. In 1898 the greater portion of the business part of the city was destroyed by fire, and though much of it was rebuilt, the establishment of the city of Vancouver, only 12 m. distant, seriously affected its growth. It is connected with Vancouver by an electric railway. The Great Northern railway, connecting with Seattle and other points in the state of Washington, here crosses the Fraser river by a fine bridge.
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