Car traffic was a feature of earlier incarnations of White Rock’s pier, as seen in this Walter Calder photo from 1918. (White Rock Museum & Archives photo)

Car traffic was a feature of earlier incarnations of White Rock’s pier, as seen in this Walter Calder photo from 1918. (White Rock Museum & Archives photo)

White Rock Pier celebrated in museum exhibit

Show, on until Sept. 5, showcases iconic landmark’s 100-plus-year history

White Rock Museum & Archives’ new exhibit – which opened June 29 – is The Long Pier: White Rock, its pier and community identity.

The exhibit, which will be shown in the museum galleries until Sept 5, 2021, traces the history of the distinctive city landmark, reputed to be the longest in Canada, from 1914, when the structure was first built, until the present day.

As a media release notes, “some landmarks are so intertwined with their communities that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to think of one without the other… the pier is foundational in the development of the current city of White Rock and intrinsic to its sense of place.”

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As much of a fixture as the pier appears to locals and visitors now, the exhibit reveals that at several points during its history, its survival in the form we know today wasn’t guaranteed.

Key decisions, from the initial one to build it, to several ones to not destroy it or to change it in ways that would have made it unrecognizable, have shaped the pier into the form we know today, curator Charlene Garvey said.

“Many people know that White Rock came close to losing its beloved pier in the 1970s, and again when it was badly damaged in 2018,” she said.

“But people may not realize how close we came at various points to having a commercial port or ferry terminal where the pier is currently located. This exhibit explores how closely the pier’s development has both reflected and shaped White Rock’s identity as a seaside recreational city.”

White Rock Museum & Archives is located at 14970 Marine Dr. in the historic 1912 train station on the waterfront.

For more information, visit www.whiterockmuseum.ca or call 604-541-2221.

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