Ocean Park is the community between Crescent Beach and the city of White Rock. A quaint little community with unique family run shops, scenic views, and a whole lot of small-town charm. The emphasis on helping others and working together has always been strong in the community, a passion demonstrated by the commitment to bettering the lives of others in the neighbourhood embedded by it’s first settlers.
Originally known as Kwomais by it’s first inhabitants, Ocean Park is known for it’s incredible views of Galiano Island, Mayne Island and Saturna Island. The Semiahmoo of the Straits Salish occupied the southern peninsula, who gave the region it’s original name. Ben Stevenson was one of the first pioneers to call Ocean Park home. In 1886 he acquired 350 acres of land in Ocean Park that overlooked Semiahmoo Bay. He and his wife raised their family on this land, and eventually Stevenson would donate the land he owned at 24th Avenue and 124th Street so a school could be built, and children could go to school near by. Today, Crescent Park Elementary School Annex calls this land home.
Another prominent figure in the community’s early days was Methodist Minister W. Pascoe Goard, who obtained 136 acres of land in 1905. He divided the land up and it was sold to what would become the Ocean Park Group. The Western end of land would become a park, by suggestion of Mr. Goard’s wife, it was named Ocean Park. Pascoe Goard’s original plan for the park was for it to become a Methodist Chautauqua Centre, instead, in 1910, it would become The Ocean Park Camp where campers slept in tents and did their own cooking. The camp is the second oldest camp accredited with BC Camping, and the oldest camp that still uses it’s original campsite.
Ocean Park has always been a destination off the beaten path. When the Great Northern Railway (GNR) was built in 1909, a station was built in Crescent Beach, and travellers would often make the two-mile hike up the Ocean Park to vacation in the area. Patrons began flag down the train in Ocean Park, and the GNR agreed to stop once daily each way once residents in the area had small shed station at the foot of the hill beside the tracks.
Today, Ocean Park is less of a vacationing destination, and has become a place its residents are proud to call home. With easy access to two of the most beautiful beaches in Metro Vancouver, gorgeous views, towering evergreens, it’s certainly the place to be!
** Photo Credit: Surrey Archives