Situated 35 minutes southeast of Vancouver and directly north of the US border, Surrey (population: 470,000) attracts visitors with its seamless mix of abundant greenery and urban amenities. Surrey is home to more than 600 parks and greenbelts.
Surrey, encompassing 317sq km/190sq mi, was first inhabited by Coast Salish peoples such as the Kwantlen Nation. Spanish and English explorers arrived in the 1790s, but only in the 1850s did European settlers arrive and start farming in substantial numbers. Surrey was incorporated as a municipality in 1879. The late 19th century also brought the railway, logging industry, schools and expanded housing.
In the 20th century, Surrey’s six main town centres were solidified: Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, South Surrey, and Whalley. Surrey’s agrarian economy would gradually expand into industrial parks and manufacturing.
From beautiful parks to big-box shopping, from art galleries and museums to golf courses and spectator sports like hockey and rodeos, British Columbia’s second-largest city is a multicultural 21st century destination. Close to 50 percent of Surrey’s population consists of visible minorities. It’s full of young families with active lifestyles and diverse ethnic backgrounds.