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April Sutton
Sutton West Coast Realty
15595 24 Ave., Surrey, BC
P: 778-773-5885
F: 604-538-0237
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White Rock, British Columbia

White Rock is a city in British Columbia, Canada, that lies within the Metro Vancouver regional district. It borders Semiahmoo Bay and is surrounded on four sides by the City of Surrey, British Columbia. To the south lies the Semiahmoo First Nation, which is within the city limits of Surrey. Semiahmoo Bay and the Southern Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia are also to the south.

The boundaries between White Rock and Surrey are Bergstrom Road (136 Street) to the west, North Bluff Road (16 Avenue) to the north, Stayte Road (160 Street) to the east, and 8 Avenue to the south. The area south of 8 Avenue from Stayte Road westward to where 8 Avenue meets the water is the Semiahmoo Indian Reserve and lies within the bounds of the City of Surrey (though it is governed separately). The Surrey neighbourhoods of Ocean Park and Crescent Beach lie immediately to the northwest.

White Rock has a moderate climate, with average temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius in summer and 6 degrees Celsius in winter. Pilots accustomed to flying around the area often refer to it as 'the hole in the sky', referring to the fact that White Rock is often bright and sunny while the rest of the Lower Mainland is covered by cloud.

White Rock is named for a distinctive large white boulder on its beach near the promenade, a glacial erratic that migrated south during the last glaciation. The 486-ton granite boulder was kept white by shellfish-eating seabirds whose guano covered the rock, so much so that 19th-century sailors used it as a beacon. However, it is now kept white through frequent applications of white paint by the city parks department, and has been a popular graffiti target for over thirty years.

The large, white rock figures prominently in narratives of the local Coast Salish native peoples. One legend holds that the white rock marks the landing spot of a stone that was hurled across the Strait of Georgia by a young Indian chief. It was said that he and his bride would move from Vancouver Island to wherever the rock landed to make a home together. It was their descendants who became the Semiahmoo first nation. ('Semiahmoo' is the Coast Salish word for 'half-moon', describing the shape of the bay.)

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April Sutton
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