Ladner was created as a fishing village on the banks of the Fraser River. It is a part of the Municipality of Delta, British Columbia, Canada, and a suburb of Vancouver.
Named for Thomas and William Ladner, who came to the area in 1868 and began large farming and fishing operations, it developed as a centre for these operations. The ferry at Captain's Cove allowed for access across the river to Richmond, British Columbia. The George Massey Tunnel provided a permanent connection in 1959.
Ladner and its suburban neighbour to the south, Tsawwassen, make up the unofficial region known as "South Delta".
Like many areas around the Fraser River on what is now Greater Vancouver the area on the south side of the south arm of the Fraser was named for the original Europeans to settle there. First called Ladner's Landing, the area was settled by Thomas Ellis Ladner (1837-1922) and William Henry Ladner (1826-1907). They had travelled from their home in Cornwall, UK to pursue the gold rush in California and later on the Fraser River. Settling on the area of the Fraser River Delta either side of the Chilukthan Slough in 1868, both turned to farming and fishing.
Ladner is bound to the west by the Strait of Georgia, the south by Tsawwassen, to the east by North Delta, and north by the Fraser River. Ladner is bisected by Highway 17A, which runs north-south from Highway 99 to the BC Ferries terminal. The term East Ladner is often applied to the portion of the community east of the highway. The major east-west artery is called Ladner Trunk Road - which, if traveled far enough east, turns into Highway 10. West of Arthur Drive, a north-south road that connects it with Tsawwassen, it is simply called 47A Avenue.
River Road runs east from the north end of Highway 17 along the Fraser River into North Delta and Surrey. The area between Highway 17 and North Delta is referred to as Tilbury and is one of the major industrial centres of the Lower Mainland, with many large warehouses, industrial parks and factories.
Lying to the south of the delta of the Fraser River, there are numerous islands just off the mainland that are part of Ladner. Most are small and only reachable by boat, with exceptions like Westham Island, which hosts a large bird sanctuary and is dedicated to protecting and preserving the numerous bird species found in the area, especially bald eagles and various owl species. Westham Island is a fairly large island and a popular destination for its numerous organic farms, especially its berry farms.
A major feature of Ladner is the portion called Ladner Village, which is in the section of the town north of Ladner Trunk Road and west of Arthur Drive. This is a heritage community with wide, boulevarded sidewalks, open-air cafes and local shops. There are some heritage residences in this area, mostly built in the 1930s, but apartment complexes replaced many of them some decades back. The Delta Museum and Archives are in the centre of Ladner Village, along with a town clock that is amongst the oldest in the Lower Mainland.
On Ladner Trunk Road, east of Arthur Drive, two malls with supermarkets, major restaurants and other modern shops and services is found. The town is experiencing a boom of condominium development in this area, and the population is growing accordingly. Numerous parks are found throughout the community, especially along the canals which used to be used for transport through the area. No longer passable for boats, today they are still clean and fresh enough to allow fishing along their banks.
Ladner is home to two public swimming pools, one of which is an older outdoor facility located near the public library and community centre. A much larger pool is located on Harvest Drive next to the Municipal Hall in the Ladner Leisure Centre. This indoor pool features a large 25m main pool, a smaller leisure pool, a swirl pool, sauna and rock climbing wall. Also located in this facility is a skating rink and a gymnasium partially funded by Vancouver's Junior Hockey Team, the Vancouver Giants.
Ladner is the location of the Delta Municipal Hall, police station, and the Delta Hospital. Public education is administered by School District 37 Delta. Schools include Delta Secondary School and K-7 elementary schools including Hawthorne, Delta Manor, Holly, Ladner, Port Guichon and Neilson Grove Elementary School. Independent K-7 schools Sacred Heart and Delta Christian also serve local students.
On March 1, 2006, Ladner made national headlines when an out-of-control house party resulted in hospitalization of the 13-year-old host for alcohol poisoning and nearly CA$70,000 in damage. A 13-year-old boy was also hospitalized with injuries to his head, with temporary memory loss. It was the third such party in South Delta in the last year.
Each spring Ladner hosts the Ladner Pioneer May Days (commonly referred to by residents simply as May Days), the longest-running festival in Delta, which was first celebrated in 1896. It is held on the weekend following the holiday commemorating Queen Victoria's birthday. It includes a parade, a carnival, and many other local events.
Every other Sunday during the summer months the major streets in the village are reserved for Ladner Village Market, a farmer's market featuring live music, food, entertainment, fresh local produce and homemade arts and crafts. Vendors from as far away as Kelowna and Vancouver Island, along with many local farmers and artisans, set up stalls selling hand-crafted and locally grown products. This market has become a major draw to the community, attracting thousands of out-of-town visitors each market day.
In September 2008 Ladner and Delta hosted Delta Rivermania, a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Simon Fraser's journey down the Fraser River. It was a weekend long event that lasted from September 26–28, 2008. It included theatrical performances, a pancake breakfast, clam chowder cookoff, midnight market and street entertainment. It was the final weekend of BC Rivermania celebrations, part of the BC 150.
Delta is serviced by Newfoundland-based Delta Cable for TV, internet, and phone services, one of only a very few areas in Canada not serviced by Rogers Cable or Shaw Cable.
Telephone services are run primarily by Telus. The CO Code servicing Ladner for years was 946, but as the population expanded, new numbers - 940 in the early 1990s and 952 recently - were added.