The City in the Country

By Purpy Pupple (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Imagine living in a place where you are surrounded by breathtaking scenery: Mountains, rivers, lakes, hiking trails and farms… Imagine spotting bald eagles soaring in the skies, or seeing Canada geese and trumpeter swans flying overhead on their migratory routes. The possibility of seeing wildlife in their own habitat (or in rare occasions as they wander into town…). At the same time you’re actually in the middle of a thriving city offering all kinds of amenities, entertainment, and shopping. Such a community exists…

Welcome to the Fraser Valley in Beautiful British Columbia! Those who already live here can count themselves very fortunate; those who aspire to relocate here will certainly find the information provided in this blog very useful. So set a little bit of time aside to get to know the Fraser Valley community, and in particular its most prominent city, Abbotsford, which is very aptly titled The City in the Country. Let’s dive right into it!

Abbotsford, once dubbed the murder capital of Canada, has successfully shed that title in 2012 by becoming one of the safest cities of Canada. Located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, Abbotsford has come a long way. From being a sleepy farming town to turning into a vibrant city of about 138,000 people according to the 2011 census, it has become the largest municipality of the Fraser Valley Regional District. It is also the largest municipality outside of Greater Vancouver and has one of the highest proportions of visible minorities in all of Canada, after Toronto and Vancouver (23% of the population is of South Asian descent). According to Statistics Canada it is also Canada’s most generous city in terms of donations… for nine straight years! Should it still lack in certain areas, then Vancouver is just an hour’s drive away.

The city boasts its own international airport, and while it’s the 18th busiest airport in the country it’s the 2nd largest one in the Lower Mainland after Vancouver International Airport. The airport services daily domestic and international flights by WestJet, Air Canada, Orca Airways and Island Express (the last two only fly within British Columbia). If you’re lucky and you’re flying in or out on a clear day (and hopefully sitting by a window), you will be amazed at the beautiful scenery unfolding below you! Landing here feels like landing into a fairytale land, especially at dusk, when the city lights are twinkling welcomingly at you from the valley between the mountains… It’s a sight to behold!  

The Abbotsford International Airport also hosts the popular Abbotsford International Airshow, which is held annually on the second weekend in August, attracting an average of over 125,000 people to the valley, making it one of the largest air shows on the West Coast of North America! Some of our other landmarks include Mill Lake Park (a huge park with a man-made lake, where people can walk, jog, bike, and even fish, smack in the middle of Downtown), Discovery Trail (an all-season 35.5 kilometre paved corridor that connects many neighbourhoods throughout the city to scenic parks and natural zones), Historic Downtown (Montrose Ave often attracts film crews to film for TV or movies, as does the rest of the Fraser Valley), the University of the Fraser Valley, the Fraser Valley Trade and Exhibition Centre (TRADEX), and the state-of-the-art Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre. For more statistics and information about Abbotsford, please go to: http://issuu.com/cityofabbotsford/docs/2014_abbotsford_summary_demographic 

Abbotsford borders the United States to the South, and residents go across often to shop in the City of Bellingham in Washington. To the west it is bordered by the Township of Langley, to the north by the Fraser River and the District of Mission, and to the east by the City of Chilliwack. Gracing the horizon from the southeast to the northwest is a number of majestic mountains and mountain ranges. On a clear day, one can see the eternally snowcapped Mount Baker (situated in Washington) proudly towering over Abbotsford to the southeast. From certain areas we are even allowed a peek at Mount Shuksan in the distance, behind Mount Baker. As the dramatic skyline continues to the east, it showcases breathtaking views of the Cheam Range located in Chilliwack. Scanning the horizon further towards Mission up north reveals the impressive peaks of Mt. Robie Reid and Judge Howay. As we look to the northwest we see Golden Ears and Edge Peak, located in the Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge. The city is truly blessed with surrounding mountain views and a mild climate.

Offering a wide range of real estate development, including retail, commercial, industrial and residential, the city has seen a lot of development in the past decade. As the main retail hub of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford offers stores and services ranging from big-box name brand stores to smaller specialty shops owned locally. East Abbotsford has seen a lot of new residential developments, especially on the slopes of Sumas Mountain and Eagle Mountain. On the other hand, West Abbotsford has gained a gorgeous new mall since 2013, called Highstreet Mall, located right off of the Trans-Canada Highway, that also includes a VIP Cineplex theatre. Another brand-new shopping mall is being built right in City Centre that will see the outdoors store Cabelas coming to town. The City Centre will also see a high-rise condo building rise to the sky overlooking Mill Lake Park and offering breathtaking views of the city and its mountainous scenery! 

If you would love to live in a place like this, or are already living here and are considering to buy your first house, new house, or simply want to downsize; as you’re looking for the right home, let one of our very knowledgeable realtors help you in this very important journey. Give us a call, or drop in by our Abbotsford location on Garden Street. In the hands of our realtors you’ll find the journey a much smoother and more enjoyable one! Happy house-hunting!