White Rock pier comes up short for title of Canada’s longest

WHITE ROCK — After city staff were asked by council to find out if White Rock pier was the longest in Canada, it seems the century-old structure has come up short.

According to city spokesperson Shannon Levesque, staff found a longer pier elsewhere in Canada, eliminating White Rock’s contention for the title.

The longer structure confirmed by staff is in Port Neuf, Que. and measures nearly a kilometre in length. In comparison, White Rock’s pier measures in at .47 kilometres, or 1,542 feet.

Levesque said once staff found a pier that was deemed longer than White Rock’s they did not look further into the matter as the motion was simply to determine if White Rocks was the longest, not which one was Canada’s longest.

However, unlike White Rock’s pier, the Port Neuf structure appears to be constructed of stone and asphalt, leading some on a local Facebook group to question if the city was comparing apples to oranges.

In the group, many are comparing the Port Neuf structure to the roadway leading out to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminals, as both are made of stone and asphalt and capable of being driven on. Rather, the residents argued that a pier should be considered “a structure built on posts leading out from land over water.”

“THAT does NOT look like a pier to me at all!! I don’t see any pilings and the water doesn’t flow under it…very similar to the Tsawwassen Ferry road like Doug said. If this is the best they got then White Rock Pier takes the cake!!” wrote one user.

“This is obviously not a pier. How did city staff conclude that it is?” wrote another.

According to Levesque, staff’s definition of a pier was “A platform extending from a shore over water and supported by piles or pillars, used to secure, protect, and provide access to ships or boats;” and “A structure (as a breakwater) extending into navigable water for use as a landing place or promenade or to protect or form a harbour."

Coun. Dave Chesney brought forth the idea back in January as a means to determine whether or not the designation could be used as a tourist draw. At the time he discovered that Campbell River had claiming their 600-foot pier as the longest in the country. With White Rock’s pier being nearly three times as long, Chesney said Tourism White Rock was ready to have a banner produced for the pier stating as much.