Surrey’s Name: Chances are if you’ve Googled Surrey, a charming little town in England pops up. In 1879, municipal clerk H.J. Brewer looked across the Fraser River and saw land that reminded him of his hometown in Surrey, England, and that’s how Surrey BC got it’s name!
Population: Surrey is the biggest city based on land mass at 317 square kilometer, and currently the second most populous city in BC based on population at over 539,000 residents… and the city keeps growing! An estimated 1,000 people move to Surrey each month.
Heritage: Surrey currently has 92 listings on the Canada’s Historic Places Registry where new historical places are added regularly.
Iconic Monuments: The Peace Arch at Peace Arch Provincial Park was the first world’s first Peace Arch and was completed in 1921. It was built to celebrate 100 years of peace between Canada and the U.S.A. The arch was built by workmen from both sides, who laboured to complete a monument that would last forever. The arch, facing north and south, half in each country, is built along classic Greek-Doric design and stands 67 feet tall.
Agriculture: Surrey boasts over 6,000 acres of passive and active parkland and green space and over 210 km (130 mi) of signed cycling routes. 35% of the land is designated agricultural and is still being farmed today. When you add Surrey’s numerous golf courses and parks, about 50% of Surrey’s land is green space.
Filming: Surrey has become a hotspot for film and television production. New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn (starring Robert Pattinson), based on the Twilight book series, was filmed in South Surrey. The acclaimed TV series, Smallville was frequently filmed in Cloverdale.
Reforestation in BC: Green Timbers Urban Forest is the birthplace of reforestation in British Columbia.
Innovation Boulevard: Surrey was named among the world’s Top 7 Intelligent Communities for two consecutive years. Fellow nominees include cities such as Whanganui, New Zealand, Hsinchu County, Taiwan, and Mulheim an der Ruhr, Germany. These cities exemplify how technology and innovation are considered in the creation of future plans, programs and infrastructure. Innovation Boulevard is an initiative that combines health, business, higher education and government to create new health technologies to improve people’s lives, and showcases how technology can improve people’s lives.
Architecture: The late conic architect Bing Thom was the mastermind behind many of Surrey’s stunning buildings. Central City and SFU Surrey, Surrey City Centre Library, and the Guildford Aquatic Centre were all designed by Bing Thom. Other notable buildings are Surrey City Hall designed by Kasian Architects, and the new Coast Capital Building.
Public Art: There are over 60 works of public art scattered throughout Surrey’s six neighbourhoods, including works of Indigenous Art.
Green City: Surrey is known as a Green City. With commitments to conservation, investment, and engagement, Surrey partakes in a number of green initiatives. Surrey’s City Hall is a green building, and the city makes ongoing efforts to become a sustainable community.
Notable Names: Actor Missy Peregrym calls Surrey home. Many singers such as Lisa Brokop, Jacob Hoggard of the band Hedley, Jazzy B, and Daniel Wesley are from Surrey. Two notable chefs, Season 3 Master Chef Canada winner David Jorge and Top Chef Canada winner Matthew Stowe are both from Cloverdale.
Surrey Staple Events: Surrey is a city that likes to celebrate. Surrey hosts annual staple events each and every year, including (but not limited to): The Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair, the Children’s Festival, Party for the Planet, Vaisakhi Parade, Canada Day Celebrations, Fusion Festival, Surrey Festival of Dance, International Writers’ Conference, Doors Open, and the Tree Lighting Festival.