New Westminster's Antique Alley If you'd rather shop than walk, check out Antique Alley in New Westminster. It's grittily scenic — funky stores in dark, old warehouses —...

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If you’d rather shop than walk, check out Antique Alley in New Westminster. It’s grittily scenic — funky stores in dark, old warehouses — and about as far from chain-store shopping as you can get.

The two-block stretch in the suburban town, about a half-hour drive east of Vancouver, is lined with a dozen shops crammed with antiques and collectibles. Some specialize in 1950s and ’60s hipster stuff, from shiny plastic furniture to kitchen knickknacks and everything Elvis. The fancier shops have antique English furnishings.

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Antique Alley is on Front Street in downtown New Westminster, near the Fraser River in a stretch of brick buildings just below Columbia Street, the downtown’s main shopping street.


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More information:

New Westminster Tourism: www.tourismnewwestminster.org


The Antique Alley stores are overshadowed by one of the world’s ugliest parking lots, a block-long, two-story-tall hunk of concrete that is built over Front Street. But it gives a certain dank moodiness — think New York alley or the elevated train lines of the Chicago Loop. Film crews, who shoot an abundance of Hollywood movies in and around Vancouver, sometimes use the street as an outdoors set and rent roomfuls of stuff from Antique Alley shops to use as period furnishings.

New Westminster, which briefly was British Columbia’s first capital in the mid 1800s, is not usually a tourist destination. But Antique Alley is a good place to stop if you’re heading in or out of Vancouver on the Trans Canada highway (Highway 1) since freeway exits east of New Westminster lead to U.S. border crossings at Blaine and Lynden, Wash.