Guildford: Ron Villanueva

Ron Villanueva's Lens on Guildford

(Hint – Click the images to see them full screen)

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.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you lived in Surrey?

I have lived in Surrey since 1992, so this makes it 30 years. My family moved to Surrey when I was in high school and I met a lot of good friends here. There’s always a special place in my heart for Guildford, as this is where I grew up. I now reside in Cloverdale and work in South Surrey. I am a Surrey Lifer.

Recommendations from the Discover Surrey Team:

Offering an extraordinary blend of urban, suburban, and rural landscapes, here are a few of the Discover Surrey team’s recommended spots:

What does Guildford look like through your lens?

Guildford has always felt vibrant to me. It’s especially colourful during the fall season. Guildford is very photogenic. Guildford Town Centre has always been the centre of Guildford, and the the waterfall feature of the mall is a great representation. It’s a place for people to hang out and have fun. 

Guildford has always felt like the unofficial downtown of Surrey. It’s the perfect suburb town for families to settle down in.

Recommendations from the Discover Surrey Team:

Boasting tranquil forests, as well as the second largest shopping centre in BC, these are a few of our top spots to visit in Guildford:

What is one image that showcases how living in Guildford feels?

Surrey is the City of Parks and Forsyth Park is one of the many parks around Guildford. It’s a place where you can see your family grow. A place where you can have picnics and family gatherings. A place where kids can be kids. Playgrounds, water parks, basketball courts, and walking trails. Guildford is a great representation of Beautiful British Columbia. 

Recommendations from the Discover Surrey Team:

As Ron mentioned, Surrey is known as the City of Parks, and Guildford is no exception! Grab a charcuterie board and head to one of the many parks in this neighbourhood:

Art’s Nursery, Garden and Home is a treasure waiting to be discovered. I am disappointed that I have never once visited this place in my 30 years in Surrey.

It was immediately apparent when I met the staff, that they all loved what they did. I felt so welcome being there and I allowed myself to get smothered by the beautiful scenery.

Their Pumpkin Patch is something to write home about. They had a Scarecrow Stroll that was so well done. Characters from childhood, past and present were scattered all over. I wish I could photograph all of them but there were simply too many. All this and I haven’t even mentioned the plants. They have the best variety of plants I have ever seen. Every nook and cranny is Instagramable. I will definitely bring my family back!

Food has always been a part of Surrey’s culture. The diverse ethnicities makes eating out an adventure at times because there’s so many choices.

YL’s Curry Bowl located at the T&T Food Court in Guildford has been a staple in the community over the last 14 years. They have great food and service. With this, they have a loyal following of regulars who speak very highly of them. They underwent a rebranding recently to make them more competitive in the marketplace. Along with the rebranding came a remodel that brightened up the place and made it even more inviting. Owner, Yvonne, is super friendly and consistently engages her customers. I foresee YL’s Curry Bowl will continue to satisfy their regulars and will continue to attract new customers through their great reputation and ongoing efforts in social media.

Lastly, what inspires you to share Your Surrey through your photography?

I wanted to share my passion for photography, my love for the City of Surrey, and why I have spent most of my adult life in this city.

Surrey is one of the best places to live in British Columbia. The City of Parks never disappoints. This photo I have shared of my Dad staring at the sunset, is an emotional one. This symbolizes a lot for me. Innocence, Hope, Patience, Faith, Perseverance, and Family. Surrey is the place to be. 

I loved every second of this project. Thank you for the opportunity to show you Guildford with My Lens. 

See More of Ron's Work Here

Check out the Other Lenses on Surrey

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, 2023. Click the link below to learn more about the project and find the galleries for the other neighbourhoods.