• Minh Ta

Pros and Cons of Living in White Rock

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

I can't brag enough about White Rock and how blessed I feel living here right by the ocean. It's really a paradise, a heavenly adobe that seems to know how to nourish the soul, every single time when I come down to White Rock Beach.

I take my early morning walks starting from Semiahmoo Town Center, where I live, down the sloping hills and straight towards the Pier. The panoramic view of the glistening blue water always catches my breath away, and pulls me closer. Sometimes, I imagine myself swimming across the ocean to the other side of the water touching the shores of Birch Bay, Washington, and wishing I was a strong swimmer. I've lived in this small city for five years, and I'm still discovering something new!

There are just so many things I love about this place to be all listed here, but I'll give it a try. And, I'll list the not so loveable parts of the city, too.

Okay, here goes!

Things I Love About White Rock

Laura's Coffee Shop. Home baked and fresh muffins, every morning, and their addicting coffees. Before the changes, I would find myself with my favorite book cozying on the comfy leather armchair in the farthest nook of the shop and won't leave until the book was fully read. And, I'm a slow reader.

Three Dogs Brewing. It's the local brewery and offers their many dozens of beer tasting with inside seating. Dogs and kids friendly, which is super convenient.

Jan's on the Beach. I think this is the best restaurant on the beach with the best sweeping views of the ocean. Great food, too, especially loving the seafood linguine. It's one of my favorite places to dine.

Whitby's Books. I'm a reader and I feel I have a personal relationship with books...lol. So, of course, a bookstore right on the beach ticks all of my boxes.

Thrift Stores. White Rock has many great thrift stores. It's like a treasure hunt but I always seem to find something spectacular for super cheap.

Great Schools. We have many highly ranked schools in our district. White Rock Elementary, Semiahmoo Secondary School, Elgin Secondary School. White Rock Christian Academy.

Peace Arch Hospital. We have our own hospital that is just minutes away for all the residents living in White Rock.

White Rock Farmers Market that runs every year in Spring and ends in the Fall. Located this year by the new Bose building on Russel Ave and Johnson Road, Farmer's Market supports the local farmers and artisans. I firmly believe that our small businesses are the backbone of our community.

Quaint shops on Five Corners. I love the old-fashioned breakfast eateries, pizza shops and clothing stores. It's a great place to be on a sunny afternoon.

The people. Friendly. Supportive. Down-to-Earth. I find it quite easy to make friends in this city. The people seem very responsive and I can find groups of like minded people. I'm interested in spirituality, health, business, self-development, art, music and nature, and White Rock is a great hub for a lot of seekers like me.

Health Food Stores. There are many springing up everywhere in White Rock. Nature's Fare and Health Express are my favorite choices.

Parks and Trails. White Rock has over 80 acres of park land. My favorite walk is at The Centennial Park on North Bluff Road. Here's a map of all the trails and parks.

White Rock Beach is now dog-friendly. The locals bring their dogs for a walk on the promenade and a swim on the beach.

Crab fishing in White Rock Beach in the Fall.

Canoeing and paddle boarding all year round.

The walkability of the city. I can get around town easily and effortlessly just on feet.

Transit is better as population grows. A ride to Surrey Central Skytrain and Brighouse Station is about 30 minutes away, and the buses leave regularly every 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the bus.

Beautiful Homes and breathtaking ocean front properties. You can find old style cottages or fancy, elaborate mansions facing the same view of Semiahmoo Bay.

White Rock Sea Tours & Whale Watching. Located at the White Rock Pier, they have regular whale watching tours and boat cruises for those passionate and curious about the marine life of the great ocean.

The Cons of living in White Rock

Every city has their own downsides, and White Rock is no different.

Property Taxes are higher in White Rock compared to South Surrey and Surrey.

The city water comes from wells (about 4-5) and may have a high level of arsenic in it, depending on location.

House prices are relatively more expensive than South Surrey, and other parts of Surrey.

The city is cropping up new high rises. Whereas some see this as positive and constituting a growing community, the locals are nostalgic of the good ol' days of more greenery and smaller homes, viewing the concrete buildings as disturbing the simplicity of a small town.

Paid parking along the beach and hospital areas. However, because of the city supporting the businesses along the beach, parking is currently free for four hours per day. The residents can pay for an Annual Parking Pass that is very reasonable in cost.

Rent has gone up. Well, rent everywhere is going up because of the rental demand.

White Rock has more Age-Restricted Buildings. This contributes to a lower supply of available rent and housing supply for the majority of people.

White Rock still keeps their historic street names. To me personally, I find the names quite entertaining and sweet. *Dolphin Street. Buena Vista Ave. Maple Street.* However, for driving sake I'll need my GPS.

I hope you enjoyed reading this list of pros and cos. I would very much appreciate your feedback and what you would add or take away from my list.

Happy Friday, Everyone!


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