Point Roberts: American town seems to be located on the territory of Canada (part 2)

Because of its unique geographical location, residents in the region also have a strange life. Every day, a large number of Canadians living just north of Point Roberts have to cross the border to go to the market, refuel because the price in the US is as cheap as 1/3 of their country. Many Canadian diners are not afraid to go abroad to enjoy a medium-sized beef burger. This is something that does not exist in Vancouver because of strict food safety and hygiene laws. Point Roberts is surprisingly safe due to the strict border security that the crime rate in this town is three times lower than the entire state of Washington.

Despite its high quality of life, this completely isolated town from America faces unprecedented difficulties. The Point Roberts county administration was so late in providing the infrastructure that it took two years to install a traffic light. Business is also slow to grow, except in the summer when tourists flock here from Canada.

The residents of Point Roberts don’t even have a shoe store, veterinarian or dentist. The town has a school enough for students in grades 4 through 12. Therefore, the children have to travel abroad to cross the Tsawwassen peninsula, around the Canadian city of White Rock, to finally re-enter Blaine, Washington to go to school. The children’s daily path of school is about 40 minutes in the afternoon, 40 minutes in the afternoon, a total of 4 immigration times. For students living at Point Roberts, Blaine High School buses depart at 6:25 am, before sunrise for most of the school year.

Considering both the pros and cons of geography, Point Roberts is an interesting place. This town exists due to misinformation, but it shows that people can fully adapt to the situation.

However, a new challenge for the people of Point Roberts today is the unprecedented prolonged border closure of both the US and Canada because of Covid-19. Point Roberts originally had close ties to neighboring friends, but now most Canadian tourists, a significant source of revenue for the local economy, are banned from entering the town. Even delivering food to home for customers right on the peninsula is also difficult for restaurants in town, because international shipping costs are expensive.

Point Roberts residents can now only travel abroad to go to work, medical examination in the US and are not allowed to stop within Canada during the journey. The remaining ways for them to enter the US mainland are by private boats, or by flights twice a week to Bellingham, Washington for $ 135.


Point Roberts: American town seems to be located on the territory of Canada (part 1)

At the end of the Tsawwassen peninsula is the town of Point Roberts. The only land route leading to this part of the United States was entirely within Canada.

After the war in 1812, the Treaty of 1818 between Great Britain and the United States posed a difficult problem: demarcating the border between Canada and America. In order to minimize controversy and ambiguity when drawing borders based on a natural dividing line, the two countries agreed to a simpler solution: the 49th parallel.

Although simple, this solution is not easy, because it also raises a lot of problems such as the fact that Vancouver Island is divided in two by an imaginary line. It is debated whether to rely on latitude to split the island in half, or let Canada own all of that territory under the Oregon boundary dispute that lasted throughout the 19th century.

In 1846, the 11th US President James K. Polk proposed that Vancouver should be an island belonging to two countries. Of course, the British are opposed to this idea. In the end, the two sides agreed to let Canada own all of Vancouver Island, and leave the San Juan Islands to the US.

It seems that the border problem has been completely solved, in fact not really. Because of the limited knowledge of geography, neither the Americans nor the British at that time paid attention to the Tsawwassen peninsula. The peninsula was an unexplored place at the time, but when it was known it was too late.

Today, the end of the Tsawwassen peninsula is an American town called Point Roberts. The only land road leading to this is entirely within Canada. This town of more than 1,300 people has a hospital, police station, fire station, library, marina and an elementary school.