Abbotsford BC: A Growing City with a Country Heart

Quick: Can you name the five largest cities in British Columbia?

If your list included Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby and Abbotsford, go to the head of the class.

Yes, Abbotsford, population 115,126, is still at the top of the charts.

The city has come a long way since 1892, when the communities of Sumas and Matsqui were first incorporated.

In 1927 the Village of Abbotsford was formed. In 1972 it joined forces with Sumas.

Finally, in 1995, the then districts of Abbotsford and Matsqui united to create the bustling city we know today.

Located in the centre of the Fraser Valley about 70 kilometers from Vancouver, Abbotsford has continued to urbanize without sacrificing its roots.

In the rural areas surrounding Abbotsford, the founding communities have retained their own unique identities: Mt. Lehman, Brander, Matsqui Village, Clayburn Village, Barrrowtown, Huntingdon.

But the bulk of the city's population lives in its urban core.

New developments continue to boost the population of neighborhood such as Townline Hill, which has more than 9,800 residents.

Major development work in the Straiton Bowl area, which will eventually house a further 10,000 to 15,000 residents, is also under way.

Now known as Auguston, this neighborhood is springing up on the slopes of Sumas Mountain.

Such neighborhoods are continuing to propel the city in its tradition of high growth.

Through the past couple of decades, Abbotsford has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.

Between 1981 and 1991, the population grew by 59 percent. From 1991 to 1996 Abbotsford and its surrounding communities were the fourth fastest-growing area in Canada, with a growth rate of more then 20 per cent behind only Barrie Ontario, Kelowna and Chilliwack. Though the city's growth rate has slowed in recent years, it's expected to continue to boom in the new millennium.

By 2021, in fact, the city is expected to have topped 192,000 residents, according to growth projections from the Fraser Valley Regional District.

*The above information was reproduced with permission from the "Abbotsford Economic Development Magazine 2001 - 2002". The Abbotsford Economic Development Magazine is produced for the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce by the Abbotsford Times.

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