Charming New Westminsterisms

One of the charming things about New Westminster that continually tickles my fancy is this habit of naming alleys. I walk a lot, and I like to explore neighbourhoods with my son as an afternoon outing. We frequently will duck down what appears to be an alley, only to discover amazing little pockets of houses, with perhaps one or maybe two actual front doors on some oddly little named “street” that in any other municipality, would simply be considered a lane way. It’s likely a testatment to the evolution of New Westminster as a city – what with renaming streets, subdivision, and the like – that these weird little side streets are still here, and are generally filled with teeny old houses. (There is a great resource here about the history of New West street names if you are looking for more historical information about streets.)

Take,  for example, one of the little streets in my ‘hood – Shaw Street. Not only does it serve as the back alley entrance to the parkade built facing the parallel Mowat Street, but there they are, a handful (5, to be exact, according to the city’s handy online GIS) of random happy little homes facing into the alley-esque street. 

Anoter example is Uptown, on Bent Court, where not only is it a weird little T- shaped “street”, but inexplicably, it has a single home whose civic address is 4XX Bent Court while all the others are in the 6XX block. And there are only 5 addresses on the whole “street”.



How about Prescott Street? Only one civic address exists on Prescott. Back in the day when I was attending Douglas College (Grad 97, baby! Woo!) I lived in the attic of an old house on Walmsley Street, with a whopping two addresses!  The possibilities are endless. This is one of those things that I try and explain to friends and family who don’t live here and they just scrunch up their faces, raise their eyebrows, and carefully say “Oh, yeah. That’s interesting”, when clearly, they don’t find it as interesting as I do.

What about it, New Westies and ex-pats? Anyone have any great examples of weird named alley-streets?

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