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city, southwestern British Columbia, Canada, on the Fraser River estuary, in the southeastern part of Vancouver metropolitan area. Founded in 1859 on a site chosen by Colonel Richard C. Moody, it was called Queensborough until renamed at the suggestion of Queen Victoria. New Westminster was the capital of colonial British Columbia (1859-66) and the province's first (1860) incorporated city. It was the scene of a disastrous fire in 1898