Surrey, British Columbia

Coordinates: 49°11′24″N 122°50′56″W / 49.19000°N 122.84889°W / 49.19000; -122.84889
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of Surrey
From top, left to right: Whalley City Centre, Crescent Beach, Holland Park, Surrey City Hall, Newton Town Centre
Flag of Surrey
Coat of arms of Surrey
Official logo of Surrey
City of Parks
Progressio per diversitatem
"Progress through diversity"[1]
Location of Surrey in Metro Vancouver
Location of Surrey in Metro Vancouver
Coordinates: 49°11′24″N 122°50′56″W / 49.19000°N 122.84889°W / 49.19000; -122.84889
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional districtMetro Vancouver
Incorporated[2]November 10, 1879 (municipality status)
 September 11, 1993 (city status)
Named forSurrey
SeatSurrey City Hall
 • TypeMayor-council government
 • BodySurrey City Council
 • MayorBrenda Locke (Surrey Connect)
 • MLAs
 • MPs
 • Surrey School Board
List of trustees
  • Terry Allen (Surrey First Education)
  • Bob Holmes (Surrey First Education)
  • Laurie Larsen (Surrey First Education)
  • Laurae McNally (independent – represents City of White Rock)
  • Garry Thind (Surrey First Education)
  • Gary Tymoschuk (Surrey First Education)
  • Shawn Wilson (Surrey First Education)
 • Land316.11 km2 (122.05 sq mi)
 • Rank3rd in British Columbia
Highest elevation
134 m (440 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 • Total568,322
 • Estimate 
 • Rank
 • Density1,797.9/km2 (4,657/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−08:00 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−07:00 (PDT)
Forward sortation area
Area codes604, 778, 236, 672

Surrey is a city in British Columbia, Canada. It is located south of the Fraser River on the Canada–United States border. It is a member municipality of the Metro Vancouver regional district and metropolitan area. Mainly a suburban city, Surrey is the province's second-largest by population after Vancouver and the third-largest by area after Abbotsford and Prince George. Seven neighbourhoods in Surrey are designated town centres: Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, South Surrey, and City Centre encompassed by Whalley.[8]


Surrey was incorporated in 1879, and encompasses land formerly occupied by a number of Halqemeylem-speaking indigenous groups, including the Semiahmoo, Katzie, and the Kwantlen peoples.[9] 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.[10] 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.

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, the city witnessed unprecedented growth, as people from different parts of Canada and the world, particularly Asia, began to make the municipality their home. In 2013, it was projected to surpass the city of Vancouver as the most populous city in BC within the following 10 to 12 years.[11]

Government and politics[edit]

Surrey is governed by the elected Surrey City Council comprising a mayor and eight councillors. As of the October 15, 2022, election, the mayor is Brenda Locke and city councillors are Linda Annis, Harry Bains,[a] Mike Bose, Doug Elford, Gordon Hepner, Pardeep Kooner, Mandeep Nagra, and Rob Stutt.[3]

Surrey federal election results[13]
Year Liberal Conservative New Democratic Green
2021 44% 91,045 30% 60,927 21% 42,791 1% 1,729
2019 39% 83,925 32% 69,931 22% 46,759 5% 11,853
Surrey provincial election results[14]
Year New Democratic BC Liberal Green
2020 54% 94,084 37% 63,251 7% 11,781
2017 47% 85,738 41% 75,056 10% 19,064

In the 2020 provincial election, the BC NDP kept at least their previously six elected MLAs (potentially seven), while the number of MLAs for the BC Liberals will have between two and three.

In 1997, Gurmant Grewal became the first visible minority elected in Surrey.[citation needed] In 2004, when his wife, Nina was elected to parliament, they became the first married couple to serve Canadian parliament concurrently.[citation needed] Following the 2015 federal election, the Liberal Party of Canada won three of Surrey's four seats in the House of Commons of Canada. Conservative MP Dianne Watts resigned her South Surrey-White Rock seat in 2017 to compete for the leadership of the BC Liberal Party. In the subsequent 2017 by-election, the Liberal candidate Gordie Hogg defeated former Conservative MP and federal cabinet minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay.


Population history
Source: Statistics Canada[15][16][17][18][5]

In the 2021 Canadian census conducted by Statistics Canada, Surrey had a population of 568,322 living in 185,671 of its 195,098 total private dwellings, a change of 9.7% from its 2016 population of 517,887. With a land area of 316.11 km2 (122.05 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,797.9/km2 (4,656.4/sq mi) in 2021.[5]

Surrey is the 11th largest city in Canada, and is also the fifth-largest city in Western Canada (after Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver). Surrey forms an integral part of Metro Vancouver as it is the second largest city in the region, albeit while also serving as the secondary economic core of the metropolitan area. When combined with the City of Vancouver, both cities account for nearly 50 percent of the region's population. In recent years, a rapidly expanding urban core in Downtown Surrey, located in Whalley has transformed the area into the secondary downtown core in Metro Vancouver.[19][20]


Within the City of Surrey itself feature many neighbourhoods including City Centre, Whalley, Newton, Guildford, Fleetwood, Cloverdale and South Surrey. Each neighbourhood is unique and includes ethnically diverse populations. While Europeans and South Asians can be found in large numbers across the city, areas which house a large proportion of the former include South Surrey (72 percent) and Cloverdale (69 percent), with Newton (58 percent) and Whalley (51 percent) being home to large numbers of the latter.[21][22][23][24]

Immigration to Surrey has drastically increased since the 1980s; this has created a more ethnically and linguistically diverse city. 52 percent do not speak English as their first language, while approximately 38 percent of the city's inhabitants are of South Asian heritage. Beginning in the 1990s, an influx of South Asians began moving to the city from neighbouring Vancouver due to rising housing costs and rapidly increasing rent costs for businesses.[25] The outflow of these residents combined with increased immigration from the Indian Subcontinent therefore established in Surrey one of the largest concentrations of South Asian residents in North America.[26]

Other significant groups which reside in the city include East Asians[b] (10.9 percent) and Southeast Asians[c] (9.7 percent).[27] Forming nearly 2.3 percent of the total population, the Black community of Surrey is small however the city is home to the largest Black population in British Columbia; roughly 21 percent of the entire Black community in the province resides in Surrey.[27] Similar to most cities across Canada, a large majority (64 percent) of Surrey residents of European heritage can trace their roots to the British Isles.[28]

Panethnic groups in Surrey (2001–2021)
Panethnic group 2021[29][27] 2016[30][31] 2011[32][33] 2006[34] 2001[35]
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
South Asian 212,680 37.81% 168,040 32.85% 142,445 30.74% 107,810 27.47% 75,680 21.89%
European[d] 173,155 30.78% 198,835 38.87% 208,625 45.03% 203,815 51.93% 211,870 61.27%
East Asian[b] 61,360 10.91% 52,025 10.17% 39,270 8.48% 29,965 7.64% 23,600 6.83%
Southeast Asian[c] 54,635 9.71% 44,875 8.77% 39,560 8.54% 25,795 6.57% 16,440 4.75%
African 12,870 2.29% 9,455 1.85% 6,150 1.33% 5,015 1.28% 3,810 1.1%
Middle Eastern[e] 12,620 2.24% 9,485 1.85% 5,615 1.21% 3,595 0.92% 2,300 0.67%
Indigenous 12,175 2.16% 13,460 2.63% 10,955 2.36% 7,630 1.94% 6,895 1.99%
Latin American 8,830 1.57% 7,065 1.38% 5,340 1.15% 3,785 0.96% 3,315 0.96%
Other/multiracial[f] 14,240 2.53% 8,315 1.63% 5,385 1.16% 5,050 1.29% 1,880 0.54%
Total responses 562,565 98.99% 511,540 98.77% 463,340 98.95% 392,450 99.36% 345,780 99.41%
Total population 568,322 100% 517,887 100% 468,251 100% 394,976 100% 347,825 100%
Note: Totals greater than 100% due to multiple origin responses


Religion in Surrey (2021)[36]

  Christianity (30.2%)
  Sikhism (27.4%)
  Islam (5.5%)
  Hinduism (5.4%)
  Buddhism (1.9%)
  Judaism (0.2%)
  Indigenous (0.1%)
  Other (0.5%)
  Irreligion (28.8%)

Proportionally, Surrey has the largest Sikh population percentage (27.4 percent) out of all subdivisions in Canada.

As of 2021, the top five most reported religious affiliations in Surrey were Christianity (170,115 or 30.2 percent), Irreligion (161,860 or 28.6 percent), Sikhism (154,415 or 27.4 percent), Islam (31,095 or 5.5 percent), and Hinduism (30,455 or 5.4 percent).[36]


Languages with over 2,500 speakers[5]
Mother tongue Population Percentage
English 243,510 43.2%
Punjabi 128,305 22.7%
Mandarin 28,080 5.0%
Tagalog 18,640 3.3%
Hindi 14,540 2.6%
Korean 8,690 1.5%
Cantonese 8,165 1.4%
Spanish 7,565 1.3%
Vietnamese 6,860 1.2%
Arabic 6,135 1.1%
Urdu 5,820 1.0%
Persian (including Dari) 3,115 0.6%
French 2,910 0.5%
German 2,860 0.5%

Economic indicators[edit]

As of 2010, Surrey had the highest median family income of CA$78,283, while the BC provincial median was $71,660, and the national median was $74,540. The average family income was $85,765.[37] South Surrey area had the highest average household income of all six town centres in Surrey, with an average of $86,824 as of 2010. Median household income was also high at $62,960.[38] South Surrey's neighbourhood of Rosemary Heights is the richest in Surrey and throughout the Metro Vancouver area, with a median income more than twice the regional average.[39]

As of 2010, the median household income of Surrey was $67,702 (versus the national median of $76,437), where 29.4 percent of households in Surrey earned a household total income of $100,000 or more, which is above the national average of 25.9 percent.[37][40]


The city is characterized by low population density urban sprawl, typical of North American cities, which includes areas of residential housing, light industry and commercial centres and is prone to strip development and malls. Approximately 2,465 hectares (6,091 acres) or 27 percent of the land area is designated as part of the Agricultural Land Reserve and can only be used for farming.[41] The city is mostly hills and flatland, with most of the flatland in Tynehead, Hazelmere, the south of Cloverdale, and Colebrook.

Surrey City Centre skyline viewed from atop Hub One


Surrey has an oceanic climate (Cfb) typical of the inter-coastal Pacific Northwest: rainy, wet winters, often with heavy rainfall lasting into early spring. Winters are chilly but not frigid, summers are mild and sunny, and autumns are cool and cloudy.

Climate data for Surrey (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.5
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 6.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.8
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 0.9
Record low °C (°F) −17.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 186.4
Average rainfall mm (inches) 172.0
Average snowfall cm (inches) 14.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 19.3 16.0 17.8 16.2 14.3 12.7 8.4 7.4 8.3 16.3 22.2 19.4 178.0
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 18.4 15.1 17.8 16.2 14.3 12.7 8.4 7.4 8.3 16.2 22.1 18.1 174.7
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 2.2 1.6 0.55 0.10 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.11 0.56 2.4 7.4
Source: Environment Canada[42]
Partial view of Surrey from a plane


Central City, the tallest building in Surrey from 2003 to 2017

Surrey is one of the largest industrial centres within British Columbia, with a burgeoning high technology, clean energy, advanced manufacturing, health, education, agriculture, and arts sector.[43]

Increase in filming activity in Surrey resulted in 189 productions, including 15 at the city hall plaza, in 2017.[44]

In 2018, Surrey opened a $68 million biofuel facility, the first in North America.[45]

There were six employers in Surrey in 2017 each with more than 1,000 staff across BC: Fraser Health with 25,000; School District 36 with 10,560; City of Surrey with 3,400; Coast Capital Savings with 1,738; Starline Windows Group with 1,400; Kwantlen Polytechnic University with 1,332.[46]


Farming has strongly been attached to the economic well-being of Surrey, as the city of Surrey itself fostered and cemented a robust culture of farming. Approximately a third of Surrey's land is preserved and designated as farmland that is utilized for the local production of food to cater the city's growing population as well as increasing employment opportunities via the creation of local jobs. Agriculture continues to invigorate Surrey's economy employing 3300 people or 1.6 percent of Surrey's overall labour force. Manufacturing is also a highly diversified sector where products are produced for developed and emerging industries that range from the cutting of lumber for various BC logging firms to constructing wind turbines as many Surrey-based environmental firms are capitalizing on the city's initiatives for the clean energy sector.[47][48]

Health care[edit]

The health sector makes a significant contribution to Surrey's economy. Surrey is home to almost 900 health-related businesses where major focuses in several life science sub-sectors that include infectious diseases, marine bio-science, neuroscience, oncology and regenerative medicine. Surrey Memorial Hospital is the second largest employer in the City of Surrey with an annual operating budget of $149.2 million while the health care organization, Fraser Health employs more than 4,100 people and an additional 350 active physicians at SMH.[49] Due to population growth in the region, a new hospital in Surrey is planned to be built in Cloverdale; it is projected to be completed in 2026.[50]


Although not as large as Vancouver's technology sector, Surrey also has an emerging tech sector with a highly anticipated incubator that will potentially act as a base to jump-start ideas into various start-up companies from local innovators, inventors, investors and entrepreneurs.[citation needed]


Surrey Central Library

Of the city's population over the age of 25, 23.7 percent hold a bachelor's degree or higher, slightly below the national average of 25.8 percent. 47.2 percent work in professional and managerial jobs, compared with the national average of 52.7 percent.[37][40]


School District 36 Surrey oversees 100 public elementary and 21 public secondary schools in Surrey, making it the largest public school district in British Columbia.[citation needed] The Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique operates one Francophone school in the city: École Gabrielle-Roy, which includes primary and secondary levels.[51]

Higher education[edit]

Surrey's local higher education needs are met by the two major research universities in the neighboring municipalities of the Vancouver Metropolitan Area, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. In addition to several career, community, and junior colleges that offer vocational and polytechnic education throughout the city, trades and technical career education is mainly provided by colleges such as Kwantlen Polytechnic University in the Cloverdale and Newton area and by the British Columbia Institute of Technology in the neighboring municipality of Burnaby.

Surrey is home to the third satellite campus of Simon Fraser University, the SFU Surrey Campus, which opened its doors in 2002, acting as a satellite campus operating as a public research university as well as providing further impetus for shaping the city. 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 NDP provincial government of the 1990s. SFU Surrey offers a number of programs, including TechOne and Explorations; first-year cohort options; and studies in Health Science, Applied Sciences, Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts, Business Administration, and Interactive Arts and Technology.

On November 28, 2022, Premier David Eby announced plans to launch a new medical school at Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus by September 2026.[52] Eby announced a provincial earmark of $4.9 million in start-up financing to support the potential opening.[53][54] The inauguration of the school in 2026 will mark the planned opening of Western Canada's first new medical school in 55 years.[55][56]

Surrey is also the home of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, an undergraduate polytechnic university that opened its doors in the Newton Town Centre of Surrey in 1981 as a response to the growing need for expanded vocational training across the Fraser Valley. In 2008, Kwantlen Polytechnic University was conferred a university designation from the BC provincial government, upgrading itself from a community college to an official academic teaching institution that has become renowned in applied research.[57][58][59][60] Since then, Kwantlen has expanded to various satellite campuses in Richmond, Langley, and as well as a trades and technology centre in the Cloverdale Town Centre. The Kwantlen Surrey campus offers university transfer, career-training and academic-upgrading programs with focuses on science, business, arts, and health, including a publicly accessible wellness center, while the Cloverdale campus offers vocational training through apprenticeships, citations, certificates, and diplomas for skilled trades and technical careers.

In November 2021, the University of British Columbia announced plans to establish a location in Surrey just north of Surrey Memorial Hospital.[61]

Besides Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey is also home to numerous community and junior colleges providing vocational education, including Brighton College, Sprott Shaw College, Pacific Link College, CDI College, Western Community College, Sterling College, Stenberg College, Academy of Learning, Surrey Community College, Discovery Community College and Vancouver Career College.



Surrey Museum in Cloverdale

The Museum of Surrey is affiliated with CMA, CHIN, and Virtual Museum of Canada.[citation needed] It reopened as the Museum of Surrey on September 29, 2018, after a renovation which added 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) to the previous 24,000-square-foot (2,200 m2) building.[62][63]

Surrey Art Gallery is the second largest public art museum in the Metro Vancouver region.[64] It opened on September 13, 1975.[65]

The historic Surrey Municipal Hall complex includes the Cenotaph in Heritage Square, the Surrey Museum, and Cloverdale Library. The Surrey City Centre Public Library located at Whalley / City Centre is the second largest library in terms of size in Metro Vancouver.[66][67]

"REMEMBRANCE" by André Gauthier in Heritage Square, is an oversized bronze statue depicting a World War I kneeling soldier, helmet in hand, in remembrance of his fallen comrades.[68]


Fusion Festival at Holland Park

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,[citation needed] 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.

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. It is the largest Vaiskahi parade outside India, growing from 100,000 attendees in 2008[69] to over 500,000 in 2019.[70]

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 Comfort Inn & Suites Surrey Hotel and Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Guildford Town Centre.

There are presently three live theatre venues in the City of Surrey in British Columbia as of January 2013: the Bell Centre for Performing Arts, the Chandos Pattison Auditorium and the Surrey Arts Centre.[71]

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.

Panorama of the Cloverdale Fairgrounds

News media[edit]

In addition to news media from Vancouver, the community is served by The Surrey Now-Leader newspaper, and the Peace Arch News newspaper (for South Surrey). The city is also home to South Asian Broadcasting's ethnic radio station ReD-FM and the Asian Journal newspaper.

The first Surrey-based English-language radio station, My Surrey FM 107.7 FM, was licensed by the CRTC in 2014[72] and is now Pulse FM 107.7 reporting about South of the Fraser news. Radio India, another Indo-Canadian radio station, has its offices in Surrey.[73]

Sports and recreation[edit]

Every summer, Surrey hosts the Canada Cup International Women's Fastpitch Tournament. It began in 1993 as an international women's fastpitch developmental softball 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 BCHL Surrey Eagles hockey team plays at the South Surrey Arena in Surrey. The Eagles won the BCHL championship, the Fred Page Cup, in 1997, 1998, 2005 and 2013; 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.[74]

Although not considered a sport, the globally acclaimed dance company known as "Brotherhood" won gold trophies at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in 2013 and 2014 for the varsity and adult divisions. The affiliated dance production team known as "PraiseTEAM" had taken home the silver trophy at the world finals in 2013 as well. Both dance companies are from Surrey.[75]

Cricket is also played in Surrey. There are more than 85 teams registered with British Columbia Mainland Cricket League. There are more than 20 cricket pitches across Surrey,[citation needed] though the only turf pitch is in West Newton.[citation needed]

Other notable sporting events held by Surrey include:



The first non-Indigenous settlement of Surrey was founded near Crescent Beach, located in South Surrey; another was founded near Bridgeview/Brownsville, located 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.[76] The Semiahmoo Wagon Road was built in 1873 between Brownsville (opposite New Westminster) and Semiahmoo (Blaine).[77] 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.[78] The ferry landed on the Surrey side at the start of 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. Currently, two of the BCER cars (1225 & 1304) are nearly finished being restored for operation on the mainline between Cloverdale and Sullivan. New car barns and museum currently under construction in Cloverdale (as of 2012).[79]

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 1959, 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 Boulevard became major arteries.

In the early 1990s, Surrey saw the return of rail transit with the SkyTrain Expo Line expansion into Surrey. The four stations added were Scott Road, Gateway, Surrey Central and King George.

Current transportation network[edit]

The R1 King George Blvd provides frequent bus service between Newton, Guildford and Surrey City Centre.
An Expo Line train at King George station; service to Downtown Vancouver begins at this station.

Public transit in Surrey, as with the rest of Metro Vancouver, is operated by TransLink, which provides frequent bus service throughout Surrey, and to other Metro Vancouver municipalities. Metro Vancouver's metropolitan rail system, SkyTrain, provides Surrey with an Expo Line service to Downtown Vancouver via four stations: Scott Road, Gateway, Surrey Central, and King George.

The Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, BNSF Railway, and Southern Railway of British Columbia have trackage running through Surrey.[80]

Vancouver International Airport is located 28 kilometres (17 mi) west of Surrey. Vancouver International Airport offers direct daily service to destinations in Canada, North America, Europe, and Asia.

Bellingham International Airport is located 32 kilometres (20 mi) south of Surrey, and offers connections to Seattle, Las Vegas, and Hawaii.

Abbotsford International Airport is located 24 kilometres (15 mi) east of Surrey, and offers daily flights to Calgary and Edmonton.

Seaport facilities are available at the Fraser River Docks.[81]

Future transportation[edit]

Funding a light rail transit (LRT) line linking both Newton and Guildford with Surrey City Centre was agreed to by both BC's provincial government and the federal government. The project was unpopular, and after electing a new mayor and council in October 2018, who had run on a platform to cancel the LRT line in favour of extending the existing SkyTrain line to Langley, made it their first order of business.[82] TransLink's Mayors' Council, who has the ultimate authority over the project, responded to this decision by indefinitely suspending work on the light rail project.[83] In July 2019, a 7-kilometre (4.3 mi) Expo Line extension from King George station to 166 Street and Fraser Highway in Fleetwood was approved and is estimated to be completed by 2025.[84][85] However, the plan is now to take the SkyTrain the entire way to Langley in one phase by 2028.[86]

Sustainable development[edit]

In 2008, Surrey city council created and adopted the Surrey Sustainability Charter:[87] a comprehensive document spanning 72 pages that takes a comprehensive look at all facets of society and creates an overarching document to guide the urban development of the city for the next 50 years. In 2011, the city council released the second update to the 2008 document indicating the progress made in the three years since the inception of the report.[88]


Being an all-inclusive plan requires an interplay of many complex and sometimes wicked problems. Trying to account for all problems is ambitious, and as the report admits, being at the municipal level reduces the funding, power and resources to implement the vision. The report acknowledges the political hurdle and notes that the city needs to influence players with more power such as the provincial or federal government in order for the vision to be successful.

Some other hurdles that have arisen since the inception of the charter include the following:

Suburban sprawl and the Gateway Program[edit]

Holland Park and Residential towers in Surrey

Surrey currently faces the problem of urban sprawl, the phenomenon that is characterized by the low density residential, with almost no commercial or industrial zoning. This results in a heavy outflow of traffic in the morning, and inflow in the evening.

The announcement of the Gateway Program in 2005 by the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation meant a large expenditure in transportation infrastructure. Despite the oppositions by the Metro Vancouver and several mayoral councils,[89][90] the project went ahead to create the South Fraser Perimeter Road and the Port Mann Bridge, both which pass through major portions of Surrey. It has been criticized to be contradictory to not only Metro Vancouver's Sustainable Region Initiative,[91] but also Surrey's Sustainability Charter. Studies have shown that with an increase in road capacity, generated traffic increases, that is traffic that is diverted (shifted in time and route) and induced travel (increased total motor vehicle travel).[92] With the construction of the 10 lane Port Mann Bridge, the problem of suburban sprawl is exacerbated not only with the additional capacity, but RapidBus service was also cancelled despite expectations of a stop in Surrey.[93]

Transportation and land use[edit]

The Sustainability Charter hinges on a large reduction on automobile dependency requiring a well established transit infrastructure to the multiple districts of Surrey. In 2008, Gordon Campbell announced the extension of the Expo Line beyond the current terminus to as far as Langley.[94] However, financial shortfall came upon Translink shortly after, and many of the announced plans came to a halt. Plans to expand northward via the Evergreen extension came to fruition prior to the vision of extending light rail out to Guildford, Newton and Langley. Mayor Watts attempted impose equal tolling across the region to assist with funding transit to reduce car reliance.[95]

Protecting agricultural land reserves also play an important part in the charter of sustainability. The idea behind the agricultural land reserves is to encourage and increase the role of urban agriculture, thus reducing the reliance of food transport and increasing the quality and availability of food to local people. The Charter takes the idea one step further by encouraging food processing agribusiness to complete the supply chain circle.[96]

In a case study of Toronto completed by Pierre Filion, he claims that while transit and natural area conservation are successful at achieving their respective immediate objectives, they "do not modify metropolitan-wide relations between transportation and land a fashion that is consistent with smart growth". Filion identifies that the largest obstacles are NIMBY reactions from the public and the limited finances from the public sector.[97]

Notable people[edit]

Affiliated cities and municipalities[edit]

Surrey has two sister cities:

Country City Date Ref.
Japan Kōtō April 20, 1989 [99]
China Zhuhai July 8, 1987 [100]

Surrey also has six "friendship cities":[101]

Country City Date
China Ningbo 1999
South Korea Dongjak 2000
China Taicang 2004
India Ludhiana 2005
India Jalandhar 2005
China Jincheng 2006

See also[edit]


  1. ^ No relation to the provincial MLA of the same name from Surrey-Newton[12]
  2. ^ a b Statistic includes total responses of "Chinese", "Korean", and "Japanese" under visible minority section on census.
  3. ^ a b Statistic includes total responses of "Filipino" and "Southeast Asian" under visible minority section on census.
  4. ^ Statistic includes all persons that did not make up part of a visible minority or an indigenous identity.
  5. ^ Statistic includes total responses of "West Asian" and "Arab" under visible minority section on census.
  6. ^ Statistic includes total responses of "Visible minority, n.i.e." and "Multiple visible minorities" under visible minority section on census.


  1. ^ "City of Surrey [Civil Institution]". November 12, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  2. ^ "The Development of Surrey". Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "City Council". December 11, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  4. ^ Collins, Lauren (January 7, 2020). "Hundial and Locke's new slate looks to 'Connect' with Surrey residents". Surrey Now-Leader. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Data table, Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population – Surrey, City (CY) [Census subdivision], British Columbia". Statistics Canada. 2021. Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  6. ^ Services, Ministry of Citizens'. "Population Estimates – Province of British Columbia". Retrieved March 19, 2023.
  7. ^ "Demonyms—From coast to coast to coast". Language Portal of Canada. Government of Canada. Archived from the original on March 19, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  8. ^ "Surrey Communities". Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "History of Surrey, BC". City of Surrey. December 11, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  10. ^ "What's in a name?". Surrey Now-Leader. November 20, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  11. ^ Bennett, Jill (June 18, 2013). "Surrey's population projected to surpass Vancouver's". Global News. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  12. ^ Zytaruk, Tom (September 7, 2022). "Lawyer Harry Bains, who shares name with long-time MLA, running for Surrey council - Maple Ridge News". Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  13. ^ "Official Voting Results Raw Data (poll by poll results in Surrey)". Elections Canada. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  14. ^ "Official Voting Results by polling station (poll by poll results in Surrey)". Elections BC. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  15. ^ "Population Estimates". Province of British Columbia. Archived from the original on August 11, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  16. ^ "Population and Dwelling Counts, for Canada, Provinces and Territories, and Census Divisions, 2001 and 1996 Censuses – 100% Data (British Columbia)". Statistics Canada. Archived from the original on April 10, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  17. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2006 and 2001 censuses – 100% data (British Columbia)". Statistics Canada. December 13, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  18. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses". Statistics Canada. January 13, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  19. ^ "British Columbia's Second City". Bloomberg. February 16, 2012.
  20. ^ "The New Surrey: The city's not-so-secret weapon". Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  21. ^ "South Surrey" (PDF).
  22. ^ "Cloverdale" (PDF).
  23. ^ "Newton" (PDF).
  24. ^ "Whalley" (PDF).
  25. ^ "Change in the air at the Punjabi Market as businesses depart for Surrey". February 3, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  26. ^ "Mapping Ethnicity Part One: South Asia In Surrey". Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  27. ^ a b c Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (October 26, 2022). "Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population Surrey, City (CY) British Columbia [Census subdivision] Visible minority". Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  28. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (February 8, 2017). "Census Profile, 2016 Census – Surrey, City [Census subdivision], British Columbia and British Columbia [Province]". Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  29. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (October 26, 2022). "Indigenous identity by Registered or Treaty Indian status: Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions". Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  30. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (June 17, 2019). "Aboriginal Identity (9), Age (20), Registered or Treaty Indian Status (3) and Sex (3) for the Population in Private Households of Canada, Provinces and Territories, Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions, 2016 Census – 25% Sample Data". Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  31. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (October 27, 2021). "Census Profile, 2016 Census Surrey, City [Census subdivision], British Columbia and Greater Vancouver, Regional district [Census division], British Columbia Visible Minority". Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  32. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (January 23, 2019). "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables Aboriginal Identity (8), Age Groups (20), Registered or Treaty Indian Status (3) and Sex (3) for the Population in Private Households of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census divisions and Census subdivisions, 2011 National Household Survey". Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  33. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (November 27, 2015). "NHS Profile, Surrey, CY, British Columbia, 2011 Visible Minority". Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  34. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (August 20, 2019). "2006 Community Profiles Surrey British Columbia (City)". Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  35. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (July 2, 2019). "2001 Community Profiles Surrey British Columbia (City)". Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  36. ^ a b Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (October 26, 2022). "Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population Surrey, City (CY) British Columbia [Census subdivision] Religion". Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  37. ^ a b c "NHS Profile, Surrey, CY, British Columbia, 2011". Statistics Canada. 2011. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  38. ^ "Community Profile 2010" (PDF). Fraser Health. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  39. ^ Skelton, Chad (March 1, 2012). "Rosemary Heights in Surrey is richest place in Metro Vancouver". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  40. ^ a b "National Survey". StatsCan. May 8, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  41. ^ "B.C. Fraser Valley Farm Start-up Guide" (PDF). City of Surrey. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  42. ^ "Surrey Newton, British Columbia". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  43. ^ "Key Sectors". City of Surrey. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  44. ^ "Another record-breaking year ensures Surrey is part of Hollywood North". CBC News. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  45. ^ Brown, Janet (March 9, 2018). "North America's first bio-fuel facility opens in Surrey". Global News Radio.
  46. ^ Book of Lists. Business In Vancouver. 2018. p. 76.
  47. ^ "Economic Development". City of Surrey. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  48. ^ "Farming" (PDF). City of Surrey. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  49. ^ "City of Surrey Health" (PDF). City of Surrey. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  50. ^ "Its official second hospital coming for people in Surrey". Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  51. ^ "Carte des écoles Archived August 17, 2015, at the Wayback Machine." Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britanique. Retrieved on January 22, 2015.
  52. ^ "New medical school at SFU's Surrey campus to train next generation of doctors: Premier". Vancouver Sun. November 28, 2022.
  53. ^ "New medical school at SFU's Surrey campus to train next generation of doctors: Premier". Vancouver Sun. November 28, 2022.
  54. ^ Simpson, Beau (November 28, 2022). "Promised new SFU Surrey medical school to be ready by 2026, B.C. announces". Terrace Standard.
  55. ^ "New medical school at SFU's Surrey campus to train next generation of doctors: Premier". Vancouver Sun. November 28, 2022.
  56. ^ Simpson, Beau (November 28, 2022). "Promised new SFU Surrey medical school to be ready by 2026, B.C. announces". Terrace Standard.
  57. ^ "City of Surrey education" (PDF). City of Surrey. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  58. ^ "Kwantlen granted full university status". Surrey Now. CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc. April 22, 2008. Archived from the original on January 1, 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  59. ^ Queen's Printer, Victoria. Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia 4th Session, 38th Parliament, May 29, 2008. Retrieved on: September 6, 2008
  60. ^ "An Overview of B.C.'s Public Post-secondary Institutions". Archived from the original on September 25, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  61. ^ "UBC expanding presence in Surrey with $70M land acquisition". UBC News. November 2, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  62. ^ Chan, Kenneth (April 24, 2018). "$16-million expansion of Museum of Surrey to open this fall". Daily Hive. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  63. ^ "Museum of Surrey". Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  64. ^ "'Interactive Art Museum' Proposed For Surrey City Centre". 604 Now. February 19, 2018. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  65. ^ "September 13, 1975: Official Opening of the Surrey Art Gallery – Opening Exhibition". City of Surrey. February 19, 2020. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  66. ^ Reid, Marelle (November 17, 2010). "City Centre Library: not just books" (PDF). The Surrey City Centre Library Blog.
  67. ^ "Bob Prittie Metrotown – Burnaby Public Library". Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  68. ^ "Remembrance". Archived from the original on February 15, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  69. ^ "100,000 in Vaisakhi parade". Surrey Now. Retrieved May 29, 2008.
  70. ^ "Surrey's Vaisakhi parade sees more than 500,000 people, setting new attendance record". Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  71. ^ Kelly Sinoski, The New Surrey: Developing six cities at once: Surrey must build and link town centres while maintaining their unique traits, Vancouver Sun, January 26, 2013, p.A12
  72. ^ Cahute, Larissa (August 25, 2014). "A first for Surrey radio fans: English-language station will try to fill the good-news gap". Vancouver Desi.
  73. ^ "Management" (Archive). Radio India. Retrieved on April 14, 2015. "Address: #201, 12830-80 Ave, Surrey, B.C. V3S3M6, Canada"
  74. ^ "Premier Officially Opens Surrey Kabaddi Stadium" (Press release). Government of British Columbia. September 9, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2008.
  75. ^ "Canada & New Zealand win big at the 2013 World Hip Hop Dance Championship. – HIP HOP INTERNATIONAL". Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  76. ^ Early Trails and Roads in the Lower Fraser Valley, W. N. Draper, British Columbia Historical Quarterly, January 1943, Vol. 7, p. 49-56.
  77. ^ The Semiahmoo Trail: Myths Makers Memories by Ron Dowle, Surrey Historical Society, 1998.
  78. ^ "Surrey History". September 11, 1993. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  79. ^ "Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society". Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  80. ^ "COSMOS". Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  81. ^ "DP World Fraser Surrey | Pacific Rim Stevedoring". Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  82. ^ "Surrey council passes motions to scrap LRT, start municipal police force – CBC News". Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  83. ^ "Metro Vancouver mayors agree to suspend Surrey LRT, start process for SkyTrain to Langley – CBC News". Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  84. ^ Chan, Kenneth (December 9, 2018). "TransLink could open new 16-km SkyTrain in Surrey by 2025". Daily Hive. Archived from the original on December 9, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  85. ^ Chan, Kenneth (July 25, 2019). "Mayors' Council approves first phase of new Surrey-Langley SkyTrain up to Fleetwood". Daily Hive. Archived from the original on July 28, 2019. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  86. ^ "Surrey-to-Langley SkyTrain won't be up and running until 2028". Global News. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  87. ^ "Sustainability Charter: a commitment to sustainability" (PDF). City of Surrey. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  88. ^ "Sustainability Charter update 2011" (PDF). City of Surrey. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  89. ^ "Burnaby Public Consultation on Provincial Gateway Program" (PDF). City of Burnaby. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  90. ^ "Standing Committee Minutes" (PDF). City of Vancouver. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  91. ^ "Proposed twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 expansion" (PDF). David Suzuki Foundation. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  92. ^ Litman, Todd (September 10, 2012). "Generated Traffic and Induced Travel Implications for Transport Planning" (PDF). Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  93. ^ "Dianne Watts angry Surrey dropped from RapidBus plans". News 1130. November 23, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  94. ^ "More Skytrains for Surrey". Surrey Leader. January 16, 2008. ProQuest 373127516.
  95. ^ "A better Surrey hinges on halted transit plans". The Globe and Mail. June 15, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  96. ^ "Sustainability Charter: a commitment to sustainability" (PDF). City of Surrey. p. 20. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  97. ^ Vojnovic, Igor, ed. (2013). Urban sustainability : a global perspective. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press. pp. 509–523. ISBN 9781611860559.
  98. ^ "Sydney Leroux Biography". Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  99. ^ Government of Canada, Foreign Affairs Trade and Development Canada (October 30, 2009). "List of Canada-Japan Sister and Friendship Cities". Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  100. ^ "Canada China Twinning Relationships". Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  101. ^ "Sister & Friendship Cities: The City of Surrey, British Columbia". August 6, 2013. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]