About Delta

About the Corporation of Delta

Delta is home to a population of approximately 100,000 people. We pride ourselves on our past and our sustainable future. Delta has a hospital, an airport, a museum and archives, libraries, sports and recreational facilities, and many bike and walking trails in a varied network of parks including waterfront parks on the Fraser River, Boundary Bay and Strait of Georgia.

Delta encompasses 180 square kilometres bordered by the Fraser River on the north, the United States border and Boundary Bay on the south, the City of Surrey on the east and the Strait of Georgia on the west.

Residents enjoy safe, clean and quiet neighbourhoods, and the stable prosperity of the community makes it attractive for businesses to choose as their preferred location. Delta's estimated household average income is 30 per cent higher than the Canadian average. The municipality also has one of the fastest growing industrial areas in Greater Vancouver.

With the support of a strong farming and agricultural foundation, Delta has grown into three thriving communities: Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta. We are a vibrant municipality that is rich in soil and water, rich in history and industry, and especially rich in people.

Delta was incorporated as The Corporation of Delta in 1879. Although often referred to as City of Delta, the municipality has always held its original incorporated name to represent our distinct history and diverse communities. Learn more about why we are The Corporation of Delta rather than the City of Delta.


Brief History

Archaeological evidence shows that Aboriginal people had seasonal settlements near the present-day Alex Fraser Bridge at the Glenrose and St. Mungo cannery sites over 8,000 years ago. Other aboriginal settlement sites, on the west side of the Beach Grove golf course and along the shores of the Strait of Georgia, date back 4,000 years.

The land that would become Delta was first sighted by Europeans in 1791. Spanish explorer Lieutenant Francisco Eliza mistook the area for an island and named it Isla Capeda.

The Gold Rush of 1858 and the creation of the Colony of British Columbia attracted settlers to the land. In the north of Delta, James Kennedy had pre-empted acreage on the south bank of the Fraser near New Westminster in 1859. The Ladner brothers, William Henry and Thomas Ellis of Cornwall, England, on their way to the gold fields, saw the potential for agriculture in the rich soils of the Fraser River delta and resolved to return. In 1868, they did and claimed land at the head of Chilukthan Slough in present-day Ladner.

Farming and fishing were the economic foundations of Delta. Salmon was first canned commercially on the Pacific coast near Annieville. In 1873, James Deas established a cannery at present-day Deas Island. In 1879, Thomas Ellis Ladner opened a cannery at the north end of Chilukthan Slough and later managed the Wellington Cannery near Westham Island.

As the population grew, incorporation was granted to The Corporation of Delta in 1879, and the community of Ladner was designated its administrative centre.