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Surrey City Centre
|Town centre of Surrey|
Central City Shopping Centre in Whalley
|Regional District||Metro Vancouver|
|City||Surrey, British Columbia|
|• Mayor||Linda Hepner|
|• MP (Fed.)||Randeep Sarai (Liberal Party of Canada) |
|• MLA (Prov.)||Bruce Ralston (NDP)|
25,602 in city centreJune 2009
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
Whalley/City Centre is the city centre of Surrey, British Columbia and is the most densely populated and urban of Surrey's six town centres. It is the only town centre in Surrey currently serviced by rapid transit (SkyTrain Expo Line via Scott Road, Gateway, Surrey Central and King George stations) and is home to the SFU Surrey campus within the Central City Shopping Centre, the main shopping centre in Whalley.
As early as the 1880s, people began settling what is now present-day Whalley.
The municipal council in 1908 requested a grant to construct a roadway from Fraser Bridge to present-day 108 Avenue. This provided a much safer path to the river compared to the steep, winding Old Yale Road, and the new road later became part of the King George Highway.
In 1925, Arthur Whalley moved his family from Cloverdale to a three-acre triangle of land at the future intersection of Ferguson Road (108 Avenue), Grosvenor Road and the King George Highway. After clearing the land and spending their first winter in tents, they built a service station, which included a general store, soft drink stand, and tourist cabins.
The community officially adopted the name of Whalley in 1948, after the board of trade held a contest to rename what had become known as “Whalley’s Corner”. “Binnieville” had also been recommended, in honour of Tom Binnie, a local real estate and insurance broker who had fostered Whalley’s growth as a commercial centre.
In the mid-20th century, Whalley saw numerous debates regarding its secession from Surrey to become a separate city or municipality. In 1976, Metro Vancouver (then known as the GVRD) identified Whalley as one of four regional town centres, sparking off revitalization of the town centre. The City of Surrey adopted the “Whalley-Guildford Plan” in 1985, proposing high-density commercial development along 104 Avenue between the Whalley and Guildford areas.
Whalley/City Centre is represented in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia by the Surrey-Whalley riding and in the Canadian House of Commons by the Surrey North riding. Randeep Sarai is Whalley's Member of Parliament, and Bruce Ralston is the MLA.
Whalley/City Centre was once regarded as the one of the most dangerous part of the Lower Mainland and was notorious for its crime. After redevelopment of Whalley/City Centre in the recent years, violent crimes have shifted south to Newton and has taken over the Whalley's reputation of being the most dangerous part of Surrey.
Whalley/City Centre is home to several public facilities such as Surrey City Hall, Surrey City Centre Library and North Surrey Recreation Centre with indoor swimming pool and two ice rinks.
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.
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.
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,
Whalley is also home to the city’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Festival. Previously held at Holland Park, it was moved to Central City Mall plaza. Whalley also welcomes the annual parade of lights in 2011, which used to be held only in Cloverdale.
- "Surrey Population Estimates and Projections". City of Surrey. Archived from the original on 18 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "Whalley". Community Profiles. City of Surey. Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "Surrey Central Transit Village Planning Process" (PDF). City of Surrey. 2005-01-06. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "Steel-fisted Surrey enforcer who terrorized the streets of Whalley meets his bloody end". The Province. Retrieved 2014-10-23.
- "Teen beaten, stabbed near Whalley ball park in Surrey". The Now. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
- "Newton taking over Whalley's crime reputation". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
- Natrasony, S.M. & Alexander, D. (2005). "The rise of modernism and the decline of place: The case of Surrey City Centre, Canada". Planning Perspectives, 20(4), 413-433. doi: 10.1080/02665430500239489. Retrieved: http://hdl.handle.net/10613/2895