Why New West


New Westminster, British Columbia, is geographically, economically, and technologically well situated in the centre of Metro Vancouver, which has access to a workforce one million strong. Located along the mighty Fraser River, we’re the accessible, affordable solution to businesses that require advanced logistical and intellectual assets, manufacturing capability and access to world markets.

To view more videos related to economic development, visit our Invest New West You Tube page.


  • 2017

    The City of New Westminster has been working on the Intelligent City initiative for several years as a key economic driver for our city. On October 19, 2016, the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)  recognized the City of New Westminster as one of the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2017. The Intelligent Community Forum studies and promotes the best practices of the world's Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the new demands and seize opportunities presented by information and communications technology.


    With strong scores in affordability – both in cost of living and cost of doing business – and access to a thriving market (our central location), New Westminster secured a top 3 spot in this year’s ranking of Vancity’s June 2015 “Open for Business: The Top Places to Start Up a Small Business in Metro Vancouver” report.

    Also in 2015, New Westminster secured a top 10 spot on BCBusiness’ “Best Cities for Work in BC” for the second year in a row, scoring well in critical metrics such as income growth, population growth and percentage of households with university degrees.


    In 2014, BCBusiness launched their Best Cities for Work in BC ranking which analyzed job markets across British Columbia.  New Westminster ranked in the top 10 (out of 36) scoring well in population growth, people taking transit, and people with degrees.


    The City of New Westminster was recognized with a 2013 NAIOP Award for Municipal Excellence in the Most Business Friendly Category from the Vancouver Chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP).

    New Westminster’s phased-in reduction of light industry property taxes of 20% in 2013, 5% in 2014, and 9% in 2015 was singled out by NAIOP as a solid step towards creating an environment positive to business creation.


  • Located at the geographical centre of the British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, New Westminster is ideally situated 30 minutes from just about anywhere you need to go – downtown Vancouver, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and the US border.

    Five SkyTrain rapid transit stations along two of Greater Vancouver’s three main transit lines provide convenient access to work and amenities.

    Port facilities along the Fraser River, rail access, and fast connections to all major highways make New Westminster a transportation hub for the businesses that require a central distribution point by road, rail or water.


  • If your businesses is seeking to capitalize on our strengths – access, affordability, character and community, see current SpaceList commercial listings or or contact your commercial agent.

    New Westminster has some of the most affordable and transit-accessible office and retail space in Metro Vancouver. Businesses that are located here enjoy competitive lease rates in a redeveloping urban city. Average net office rental rates were approximately $21 per square foot in New Westminster in Q1 of 2017, with average gross office rental rates of approximately $35 per square foot (Colliers, Vancouver Office Market Statistics Q1 2017).

    Average retail rental rates/sq ft

    Retail Area

    Low End

    High End

    New Westminster



    Main Street (Vancouver)






    No. 3 Road (Richmond)



    Kingsway/Metrotown (Burnaby)



    Granville -Downtown (Vancouver)



    Robson – Alberni (Vancouver)



    Source: Cushman & Wakefield, Retail Snapshot for Vancouver, BC. Q4 2016


  • Douglas College is a recognized leader in career programs in health care, human services, business and creative arts, offering Bachelor’s degrees in arts and science.

    Justice Institute of British Columbia is Canada’s leading public safety educator, recognized internationally for outstanding education in the areas of justice and public safety.

    Boucher Institute is Western Canada’s first and only accredited naturopathic medical school, offering four year and six year Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine programs. It also operates a public naturopathic clinic and teaching facility that treats over 700 patient visits per month.

    CG Masters School of 3D Animation and Visual Effects offers a skills-based, one-year diploma program that provides practical, professional-level skills for the local industries for the next generation of digital artists.

    Sprott Shaw College focuses on providing effective training in high growth employment areas in a friendly, professional environment.

    West Coast College of Massage offers the most advanced massage therapy courses and the most highly credentialed instructors available in massage therapy schools in Canada.

    CHCA Canadian Health Care Academy has a specialized curriculum developed to address what employers want in effective health care employees.

    Central College is a professional career institution providing outstanding career programs to serve culturally diverse communities.

    Hanson International Academy is a recent addition to the New Westminster post-secondary landscape, and currently offers two College Diploma programs at this campus, General Business and Tourism & Travel.

    Vancouver International College is committed to offering quality ESL (English as a Second Language), EAP (English for Academic Purposes), UP (University Preparation) and PGP (Post-Graduate Preparation) courses to students from around the world.

    Other Post-Secondary Institutions in Greater Vancouver

  • The combination of access and affordability means that New Westminster is attracting more young adults to live and work in the community.

    As of the 2011 Census, there were 39,860 adult residents in their prime working years of 25-54. In this compact city of 66,000, New Westminster is home to 36,235 jobs within its 15.4 sq km area.

    Health care and social services make up the largest employment sector due mainly to the City’s largest employer, Royal Columbian Hospital. A key sector in New Westminster, health care jobs are more than twice as concentrated in New Westminster as they are in the Metro Vancouver region.

    Between 2006 and 2011 there has been significant growth in arts, entertainments and recreation (46.4%); information and cultural industries (42.2%); wholesale trade (41.7%); and professional, scientific and technical services (39.8%).



    Number of Employees*

    Royal Columbian Hospital


    Douglas College




    New Westminster School Board


    Corporation of the City of New Westminster**




    TD Bank


    Wal-Mart Canada Corporation


    Justice Institute of BC


    Source: City of New Westminster Development Services and interviews with company representatives
    *Includes full-time and part-time staff unless otherwise indicated
    **Full-time only

  • The educational attainment of New Westminster residents is increasing at a rate higher than that of Metro Vancouver. While “high school diploma or equivalent” has experienced a similar growth to that of Metro Vancouver, post-secondary and training achievements have increased at a rate of 2-5 times that of Metro Vancouver. Highest Educational Attainment, Age 15+.


    New Westminster

    Metro Vancouver

    Highest Educational Attainment



    Percent Change



    Percent Change

    No certificate, diploma or degree







    High school diploma or equivalent







    Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma







    College, CEGEP or other non-university certificate or diploma







    University certificate or diploma below bachelor level







    University certificate, diploma or degree at bachelor level or above







    Source: Statistics Canada 2006 and 2011 Censuses

  • Economic Development Office
    T 604-527-4536