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“Surrey Through My Lens” proudly shares authentic photo essays that showcase what it is really like to live in and visit our community from a range of perspectives.
I grew up in the Lower Mainland and, along with my partner and kids, moved to the Cloverdale area in 2006. My family has a long history in Surrey, dating back to my great-great-grandfather’s initial settlement here in the late 1870s. My great-great-grandfather had 160 acres where he farmed. In 1909 he built an office on Clover Valley Road (now Hwy 15), establishing one of the first real estate & insurance businesses, known as Carncross and Company. Ironically I am also in insurance, having been in the industry for 28 years! I suppose it’s in my blood.
I have 3 kids, two of them having graduated from Clayton Heights and, the youngest will start there next year.
Downtown Cloverdale is a go-to to meet up with friends for a bite to eat and a beer at Hawthorne Beer Market or to get a delicious coffee from Republica Coffee Roasters. The Heart, La Belle Vie, and Masons Furniture are just a few of the stores I frequent for gifts & personal shopping. Of course, I can’t help but pop into Thrive Greenery to check out their latest selection of plants. With the help of their knowledge and assistance, I progressed from having one dying cactus to now having 12 thriving plants (I guess their name says it all).
There is no lack of shopping options in Cloverdale thanks to the surge of new businesses like the local record store, Elevated Music. I was so happy to discover this store. When browsing the record bins, a distinct sense of nostalgia arises. CCR, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles come to mind as records that I would hear playing at home growing up.
There is an undeniable sense of community in Cloverdale. From small local businesses to large events, there is the opportunity to experience Cloverdale in a variety of ways. For those Country lovin’ folk there’s the Cloverdale Rodeo along with something I look forward to annually, the Gone Country event – a cancer charity fundraiser that has raised over $2m for cancer charities since it started.
Cloverdale hosts a variety of holiday events in the fall & winter, including both large and small markets – and you can’t forget a treasure hunter’s favourite place, the Cloverdale Flea Market. You don’t have to go far to find a new experience in the neighbourhood. I just found out that there are regular comedy shows at Yuk Yuk’s right here at Elements Casino – that is next on my list of things to do for a fun night out.
I also love being in nature and believe that going outside and taking a walk in the woods is incredibly therapeutic. With farmland, parks, and nature paths like those in Bose Forest Park close to the city, being in nature is easily accessible. A walk in the forest and a beer on the patio with friends make for the ideal day.
With a long family history in Surrey, Cloverdale feels like home and community to me. Memories of growing up and going to the rodeo, taking my kids to local parks, parades & bowling (before the alley closed), and sharing many laughs & celebrations over meals at The Vault with family and friends. All of these little things contribute to a place that feels like a home. These feelings can have the effect of bringing you back after being away, like a form of gravity.
The Cloverdale Community Kitchen reflects a strong sense of community. With over 45,000 meals served through their dinner program, they are there for so many people who need a hot meal, emergency weather shelter, or clothing. Volunteering there allows you to give back to the community; some colleagues and I will be there near the end of October to help out.
The short main strip of 176th Street between 58th Avenue and Highway 10 comes to mind when I think about Cloverdale. Where, among other things, you can eat, shop, attend a summer market, and watch the annual Santa Claus Parade.
Even though running the Honeybee Centre might be sticky at times, it’s also pretty sweet and has been a well-known landmark in the region for more than 20 years.
This hive of passionate “bee-nerds” provides a lot to the community, their bees have even become the largest pollinators of blueberries in Western Canada. Bees, as pollinators, play a crucial role in every element of our environment. If you have acreage you can rent bees from them. There are many acreages giving back to the community, thanks to Honeybee Centre, by allowing bees to pollinate more than 10 different fruit crops.
Honeybee Centre is buzzing with activity and offers everything from sweet treats and soap/face creams to nutritional supplements and face creams, and yes – of course there is honey. This, along with all the education they can provide locally (and online), makes going to the Honeybee Centre an unBEElievable experience.
We’ve attended a few birthday celebrations, markets & learning sessions at the Honeybee Centre over the years. Each time we go, we learn something new. Not to mention their honey is delicious! You can tell how passionate Andrew, Cassie & Lee are about all things bees & honey, sharing their knowledge with adults and children alike. Their website & Instagram page @honeybeecentrekids provide fantastic education opportunities, you can also attend classes or have your birthday party on-site.
Honeybee Centre is here, making a difference in Surrey and beyond by providing space for the bees and education to everyone who steps foot in the centre (or logs in to one of their virtual classes). The bee population is on a steep decline, by providing learning tools through fun activities & teaching beekeepers courses both the Honeybee Centre and you could literally be part of changing the world by keeping the bees in it.
Just Cakes Bakeshop is the result of Raveena’s blood, sweat, and tears, which began in her parent’s kitchen. It’s not always a piece of cake in this field, as Raveena has demonstrated with her candour on social media about the challenges she has encountered. In 2017, Scott Road in Surrey became the first location of Just Cakes. A second location was about to launch in Cloverdale when the pandemic struck. That didn’t stop Raveena from moving forward and discovering fresh and original ways to expand her company. The now well-known “cake jars” were first shared on an Instagram post, and since then, Just Cakes has expanded to produce 10,000 cake jars monthly, which also are sold at a variety of stores. There is even a cake jar vending machine!
I was excited to get paired up with Just Cakes as it is a go-to bakery for me having had everything from a custom-order cake made to buying treats like jars, cupcakes & macrons. Just Cakes keeps everyone updated on Instagram @justcakesbakeshop with their specials and up-to-date menus.
Raveena cares; about her team, her business & the local community, making Just Cakes a staple in the neighbourhood for their delicious, creative cakes & pastries. Raveena is proof that hard work and chasing your dreams result in amazing opportunities. From being the girl that watched the Food Network Canada shows, to being a judge on Wall of Bakers, there is nothing holding her back.
I was introduced to photography by my dad & I quickly developed a passion for it. After getting home from various road trips where we would take rolls upon rolls of photos, the excitement of waiting for the photos to develop and reliving the memories made is a core memory for me. The digital world allows me to share my passion even more.
Using photography as a medium to catch a fleeting moment in time, tell a story, and preserve memories. I want to depict the world in a manner that people might not normally view, in a way that prompts them to reflect more deeply or will arouse specific emotions.
We all view the world from different angles, and I enjoy sharing my view of the ordinary, hopefully making it extraordinary, with others. By sharing photos of Cloverdale and the area I hope to inspire others to take time to come discover all that Cloverdale offers.
Check out the other lenses on Surrey’s six neighbourhoods – we’ll be releasing a new feature every two weeks from November 16th, 2022 to January 25th, 2022. Click the link below to learn more about the project and find the galleries for the other neighbourhoods.