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Surrey
—  City  —
City of Surrey
Flag of Surrey
Flag
Coat of arms of Surrey
Coat of arms
Motto: The future lives here.
GVRD Surrey.svg
Location of Surrey
Coordinates: 49°11′N 122°51′W / 49.183, -122.85Coordinates: 49°11′N 122°51′W / 49.183, -122.85
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Regional District Greater Vancouver Regional District
Incorporation 1879 (municipality status)
  1993 (city status)
Government
 • Mayor Dianne Watts
 • City Council
 • MLAs
 • MPs
 • School Trustees
Area
 • Total 317.19 km2 (122.47 sq mi)
Highest elevation 134 m (440 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
 • Total 394,976
 • Rank 12th
 • Density 1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-08)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-07)
Postal code span V3R–V3X, V4A, V4N, V4P
Area code(s) 604, 778
Website surrey.ca

Surrey is a city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is a member municipality of Metro Vancouver, the governing body of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. It is the province's second-largest city by population after the city of Vancouver.

The six "town centres" the City of Surrey comprises are: Fleetwood, Whalley/City Centre, Guildford, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey.[2] Surrey's population, according to the 2006 Census, is 394,976.[3]

HistoryEdit

Surrey became incorporated in 1879, and encompasses land formerly occupied by a number of Halqemeylem-speaking aboriginal groups. When Englishman H.J. Brewer looked across the Fraser River from New Westminster and saw a land reminiscent of his native County of Surrey in England, the settlement of Surrey was placed on the map. The area then comprised forests of douglas-fir, fir, red cedar, hemlock, blackberry bushes, and cranberry bogs. A portion of present-day Whalley (named after Harry Whalley, who owned and operated a gas bar at the bend in King George Blvd, (formerly King George Highway) at 108 Avenue, "Whalley's Corner") was used as a burial ground by the Kwantlen (or Qw’ontl’en) Nation.

Peacearch-canadaside

The Peace Arch on the Canadian side is located in Surrey

Settlers arrived first in Cloverdale and parts of South Surrey, mostly to farm, fish, harvest oysters, or set up small stores. Once the Pattullo Bridge was erected in 1937, the way was open for Surrey to expand. In the post-war 1950s, North Surrey's neighbourhoods filled with single family homes and Surrey (not yet a city) became a bedroom community, absorbing commuters who worked in Burnaby or Vancouver.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Surrey witnessed unprecedented growth, as people from different parts of Canada and the world, particularly Asia, began to make the municipality their home. Surrey is projected to surpass the city of Vancouver as the most populous city in BC by 2020 - 2030.

Government and politicsEdit

Surrey City Hall in BC, Canada (2009)

Surrey City Hall in 2009

Surrey is governed by an eight-member city council. The current mayor of Surrey is Dianne Watts. The last elections were held in November 2008.

In the recent 2009 provincial elections, the British Columbia New Democratic Party won four of Surrey's seats, all of them in the more urbanized north and centre of the city, while the BC Liberal Party won four seats in the more rural east and south.

Following the 2008 federal election, the Conservative Party of Canada holds three of Surrey's four seats (Surrey North, Fleetwood—Port Kells, and South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale) in the Canadian House of Commons, with the remaining seat (Newton—North Delta) held by the Liberal Party of Canada. In the 2011 election the NDP captured Newton—North Delta and Surrey North.

Geography and climateEdit

The city is characterized by low population density urban sprawl, typical of western North America, which includes areas of residential housing, light industry and commercial centres and is prone to strip development and malls. Approximately 35 percent of the land is designated as part of the Agricultural Land Reserve. The city is mostly hills and flatland, with most of the flatland in Tynehead, Hazelmere, south of Cloverdale, and Colebrook.

The climate is typically inter-coastal Pacific-Northwest: rainy, wet winters, often with heavy rainfall lasting into early spring, with mild, sunny summers and cool autumns.

Climate data for Surrey
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.5
(59.9)
19.4
(66.9)
25
(77)
29
(84)
34.5
(94.1)
33.3
(91.9)
35
(95)
34.5
(94.1)
34.5
(94.1)
29
(84)
21
(70)
16.7
(62.1)
35
(95)
Average high °C (°F) 6
(43)
8.4
(47.1)
11.1
(52.0)
14.3
(57.7)
17.6
(63.7)
20
(68)
23
(73)
23.2
(73.8)
20.5
(68.9)
14.5
(58.1)
8.7
(47.7)
6.1
(43.0)
14.5
(58.1)
Average low °C (°F) 0.2
(32.4)
1.3
(34.3)
2.8
(37.0)
4.9
(40.8)
7.6
(45.7)
10.3
(50.5)
12.1
(53.8)
12.2
(54.0)
9.6
(49.3)
6
(43)
2.7
(36.9)
0.5
(32.9)
5.9
(42.6)
Record low °C (°F) −17.2
(1.0)
−13.5
(7.7)
−8.3
(17.1)
−2.8
(27.0)
−1.1
(30.0)
2.2
(36.0)
2.8
(37.0)
−1.1
(30.0)
−2.2
(28.0)
−6.5
(20.3)
−15
(5)
−18.9
(−2.0)
−18.9
(−2.0)
Precipitation mm (inches) 185.7
(7.311)
136.1
(5.358)
128.7
(5.067)
100.5
(3.957)
81.6
(3.213)
68
(2.68)
50
(1.97)
48.7
(1.917)
64.2
(2.528)
131.4
(5.173)
212.3
(8.358)
202.1
(7.957)
1,409.2
(55.48)
Source: Environment Canada[4]

DemographicsEdit

Provincial Court of Surrey, BC-2009

The Provincial Courthouse for the City of Surrey, BC.

Surrey Pretrial Centre, BC-2009

Surrey Pretrial Services Centre

As of 2006, the population of Surrey is 394,976, a 13.6% increase from 2001. The non-minorities population is 211,445, or 53.9% of the city's population. The foreign-born population is 150,235, constituting 30.3% of the city's population. Visible minorities number 181,005, or 46.1% of the population, while Aboriginal people constitute 1.9% of the population.[3]

As of 2011, the racial makeup in Surrey is as follows:[3]

ReligionEdit

The predominant religion in Surrey is Christianity. More than 60% of people in Surrey are Christian. The next largest religious group of people in Surrey are Sikh. There are approximately 19.2% Sikhs in Surrey, with the majority being in the Newton area of Surrey which is home to nearly 50,000 Sikhs.

EducationEdit

Sfusurrey

Central City Tower. Surrey's Simon Fraser University occupies a portion of 'the podium'

SchoolsEdit

School District 36 Surrey oversees 100 public elementary and 21 public secondary schools, making it the largest public school district in British Columbia. Private schools in Surrey include Holy Cross Regional High School, Pacific Academy, Surrey Christian School, and Southridge School. There are no public middle schools in Surrey, so a typical elementary school includes kindergarten through grade 7, and secondary school starts at grade 8 and continues through grade 12. There are around 65,000 students enrolled in public and private schools.

Universities and collegesEdit

Surrey is home to the third campus of Simon Fraser University (SFU), which opened in 2002. SFU took over the space and programming that was initially built for TechBC, a technical university proposed for south of the Fraser River by the then-NDP led provincial government. SFU Surrey offers a number of cutting-edge programs, including TechOne and Explorations; first-year cohort options; and studies in Applied Sciences, Criminology, World Literature, Business Administration, and Interactive Arts and Technology.

Surrey is also the home of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Kwantlen opened its doors in the Newton Town Centre of Surrey in 1981. Since then, it has expanded to provide satellite campuses in Richmond, Langley, a trades and technology centre in the Cloverdale Town Centre of Surrey. The Surrey campus focuses on sciences, business, arts, and health, including a publicly accessible wellness centre, while the new Cloverdale campus trains apprentices for the skilled trades industries.

Surrey also has many private post-secondary institutions to choose from including; Sprott-Shaw Community College, CDI College, and Vancouver Career College, among others.

CultureEdit

AttractionsEdit

City of Surrey Museum 2010a

Surrey Museum in the Cloverdale area of Surrey

Surrey Arts Centre (street sign)

The Surrey Arts Centre street sign at Bear Creek Park.

The Surrey Museum is affiliated with CMA, CHIN, and Virtual Museum of Canada.

EventsEdit

Attracting 15,000 people every February since 2004, WinterFest is a day of live music, sporting activities, food, and fireworks, held at the Central City Plaza.

Since 1888, the town centre of Cloverdale has hosted the annual Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds every May long weekend. The Fair is Canada's second largest rodeo, and it features 150 acres (0.61 km2) of family-oriented entertainment including agricultural/horticultural exhibits, a western tradeshow, parade, community stages, and the Pacific Northwest Firefighter Combat Challenge.

Due in part to having one of British Columbia's youngest populations, with nearly one-third of all citizens under 18, Surrey has become known for its annual Children's Festival, which began 2004. The free, multi-day festival features circus and clay arts, world rhythm music and movement, popular children's performers, storytelling sessions, and a parade.

Every year on April 13, the Sikh community celebrates Vaisakhi, which often includes a nagar kirtan, or parade, and free food is often handed out. Roughly 100,000 people attended in 2008.[5]

Surrey has the largest Canada Day event of its kind in Western Canada. Presented every July 1 at Cloverdale's Millennium Amphitheatre Park, the event includes amusement rides, a tea ceremony, booths, musicians and performers, and a fireworks show at night.

In 2008, the City, thanks to the federal government's designation of Surrey as Canada's Cultural Capital for the year, put on a three-day multicultural festival. The Fusion Festival celebrated over 60 different cultures through food, music, and dance. The event attracted 60,000 attendees, and will return for 2009. It is expected that the Fusion Festival will become an annual event for Surrey.

Following the success of the Surrey Regional Economic Summit, held in September 2008 at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, in Guildford Town Centre, it is anticipated that this too will become an annual event. The first summit featured BC Premier Gordon Campbell and VANOC CEO John Furlong as speakers and a keynote speech by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The event attracted 400 business and community leaders for a day-long conference to discuss issues including public safety, transportation, and sustainability. The second summit is being planned, and will feature former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as keynote speaker.

Every October since 1991, Surrey has hosted the Surrey International Writers' Conference. This event brings established writers, agents, editors and publishers from all over the world to the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Guildford Town Centre.

The Surrey Festival of Dance, an annual event since 1966, is one of the largest dance competitions held in North America, with over 10,000 dancers participating in the multi-week festival.

The Surrey RCMP hold an annual basketball tournament with participation from all the city's secondary schools. The event is the city's largest annual sports tournament.

One of the lesser-known events in Surrey is the annual Nicomekl River Race. Every year, in early June, teams of four meet at Nicomekl Park in Langley, British Columbia to begin the race. Unlike most traditional boat races, the Nicomekl River Race requires that all boats be made by the participants. The racecourse extends from Nicomekl Park to Blackie Spit Park at Crescent Beach. The first team to reach the mouth of the river is awarded a prize of $1,000. Additional prizes are awarded to the most creative boat and costume. All proceeds go towards the BC Cancer society.

News mediaEdit

In addition to news media from Vancouver, the community is served by The Surrey Now newspaper, the Surrey Leader newspaper, and the Peace Arch News newspaper (for South Surrey).

SportsEdit

Every summer, Surrey hosts the Canada Cup International Women's Fastpitch Tournament. It began in 1993 as an international women's fastpitch developmental tournament to help teams prepare for the Olympics by facing top-calibre competition. The event continues to be a fan favourite with gate attendance reaching 93,000 for the nine-day tournament in 2004.

The BCJHL Surrey Eagles hockey team plays at the South Surrey Arena in Surrey. The Eagles won the BCJHL championship, the Fred Page Cup, in 1997, 1998 and 2005; the western championship, the Doyle Cup, in 1997 and 1998; and the national championship, the Royal Bank Cup, in 1998.

Surrey hosted the Canadian national qualifying tournament in 2006, and sends a local team to compete for a spot in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Surrey is also home to Canada's first kabaddi-specific stadium.[6]

TransportationEdit

HistoryEdit

Surrey was first settled near Crescent Beach, in South Surrey, and Bridgeview/Brownsville, in North Surrey. Early trails and roads helped to encourage the settlement of Surrey. The first trail built by a settler was the 1861 the Kennedy Trail. James Kennedy built the trail to provide a route between New Westminster and the natural pasture land on the Mud Bay Flats next to the Serpentine River.[7] The Semiahmoo Wagon Road was built in 1873 between Brownsville opposite New Westminster and Semiahmoo (Blaine).[8] The first regular ferry service across the Fraser River started in 1882 on the steam ferry K de K with the point of departure at Brownsville.[9] The ferry landed on the Surrey side at the start of the Old Yale Road, which connected directly inland to Yale, and was a major gold rush trail.

The New Westminster Rail Bridge was opened in 1904, allowing personal vehicles to cross the Fraser River on the upper deck. The lower deck, for rail, enabled BC Electric Railway to finally construct the Interurban line, an electric suburb commuter rail route connecting Chilliwack to Vancouver. It opened for service in 1910, and ran through Kennedy, Newton, Sullivan, and Cloverdale.

In 1937, the then two-lane Pattullo Bridge linking New Westminster and Surrey was opened.

In the early 1950s, BC Electric Railways ceased operating its interurban line, thus increasing the number of vehicles on Surrey roads. Highway 10 was built in 1953, and Highway 15 in 1957. In 1964, the provincial government completed Highway 401 and the Port Mann Bridge; that section of roadway would later be renamed Highway 1. In 1966, the George Massey Tunnel was opened, along with what is known as Highway 99. With the completion of the new Highways 1 and 99, the Fraser Highway and King George Highway became major arterials.

In the early 1990s, Surrey saw the return of rail transit with the SkyTrain Expo Line expansion into Surrey. Stations include Scott Road, Gateway, Surrey Central (bus depot center) and King George.

Cloverdalefairgrounds-pano
A panorama of the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey, British Columbia.

Current networkEdit

The Canadian National Railway, BNSF Railway, and Southern Railway of British Columbia systems are active and stretch across Surrey to eastern provinces and southward into the United States.

Public transport, operated by TransLink, connects some of Surrey's centres to each other and to other Lower Mainland municipalities. The SkyTrain Expo Line provides 35-minute service to Downtown Vancouver via four stations.

Vancouver International Airport, is 35 kilometres (22 mi) from Surrey by road. Vancouver Airport offers direct daily service to destinations in Canada, North America, Europe, and Asia.

Notable people from SurreyEdit

Affiliated cities and municipalitiesEdit

Surrey has two sister cities:

Country City Province Date
Flag of Japan.svg Japan Kōtō Tokyo 1989
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg People's Republic of China Zhuhai Guangdong 1989

Surrey also has two Friendship Cities:

Country City Province Date
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg People's Republic of China Ningbo Zhejiang
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg People's Republic of China Taicang Jiangsu

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2006 Community Profiles - Census Subdivision". 2.statcan.ca. 2010-12-07. http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/profiles/community/Details/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=5915004&Geo2=PR&Code2=59&Data=Count&SearchText=surrey&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&Custom=. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  2. ^ http://www.surrey.ca/Visiting+Surrey/About+Surrey/Surrey+Is.htm
  3. ^ a b c Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles: Search results for "Surrey"
  4. ^ Environment CanadaCanadian Climate Normals 1971–2000, accessed 12 July 2009
  5. ^ "100,000 in Vaisakhi parade". Surrey Now. http://www.canada.com/surreynow/multimedia/story.html?id=80aba4d4-7694-4d56-bc1a-55c5afd54464. Retrieved 29 May 2008. 
  6. ^ "Premier Officially Opens Surrey Kabaddi Stadium" (Press release). Government of British Columbia. 9 September 2006. http://www.gov.bc.ca/premier/media_gallery/events/2006/sept/premier_officially_opens_surrey_kabaddi_stadium_2006_09_09_35643_o.html. Retrieved 12 January 2008. 
  7. ^ Early Trails and Roads in the Lower Fraser Valley, W. N. Draper, British Columbia Historical Quarterly, January, 1943, Vol. 7, p. 49-56.
  8. ^ The Semiahmoo Trail: Myths Makers Memories by Ron Dowle, Surrey Historical Society, 1998.
  9. ^ "Surrey History". Members.shaw.ca. 1993-09-11. http://members.shaw.ca/jack_brown/surrey.html. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  10. ^ "Statistics Canada: 2001 Community Profiles". 2.statcan.ca. 2002-03-12. http://www12.statcan.ca/english/profil01/Details/details1.cfm?SEARCH=BEGINS&ID=11915&PSGC=59&SGC=5915004&DataType=1&LANG=E&Province=59&PlaceName=Surrey&CMA=&CSDNAME=Surrey&A=&TypeNameE=City%20%2D%20Cit%E9&Prov=. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  11. ^ "Surrey named car theft capital of North America - CTV News". Ctv.ca. 2002-09-07. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1031407441531_58?s_name=&no_ads=. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 

External linksEdit

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