The Not-So-Sober Tour

Columbia Sreet. New West, B.C. [ca. 1900]
Columbia Sreet. New West, B.C. [ca. 1900] New Westminster Museum and Archive
A New West Walking Tour Exploring Our Not-So-Sober History

Did you know that New West was built on the backs of the miners and merchants who came here chasing the gold-rush? As they made their way up the river New West became a transportation and mercantile hub! The busy intersection was the ideal environment for a free-wheelin’ saloon culture to thrive, and so New West’s Not-So-Sober History began. We’ve spent the last year developing a self-guided historical New West walking tour so you too can experience our storied past. 

New West Fraser Hotel bar [ca.1900]
New West Fraser Hotel bar [ca.1900] New Westminster Museum and Archives

Delve into New West’s scandalous past in this Downtown New West walking tour. Using brand new beacon technology you can access the tour through your cell phone as you stroll along the city streets. Follow the mapped out directions or make your own path, and read up as you shop or dine along what used to be New West’s golden mile. Now a thriving food, and shopping district, you’ll wonder at the stories of fires and depression which the historic merchants overcame. Take in our Thirsty Tour Tips as you wander along the waterfront and learn about the original saloons, modern day renovations, and the bustling sometimes illegal hotels. Check out the old stomping grounds of famous merchants * and * as you learn about prohibition and its 100-year long effect on New West.

Make your way through stories of the golden mile, the great fire, and New west’s China Town. Learn about and discover old school menus, billiards, and advertisements as you explore the seedier parts of New West’s past.

This is the Not- So – Sober Walking Tour!

Accessing Our Walking Tours

Step 1: Download the Neartuit App for IOS or Android

Step 2: Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth

Step 3: Open the app and access the Not-So-Sober Historic Tour

Step 4: Select ‘displays’ and read the introduction to the tour

Step 5: Explore the street following the directions on the bottom of the screen, or wander on your own accord – when your phone buzzes read on about New West’s Not-So-Sober History.


*Note: This is our first ever Neartuit walking tour, and we are so excited to pioneer this program with you. With this in mind, we’d love your feedback on the tours – let us know what you think about the tour on our social channels (Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook) @tourismnewwest, or, leave us a comment below. You can also contact us via phone or email. We appreciate your help in developing a stellar experience for the whole city to enjoy.