Surrey

Surrey is within the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), and geographically it is at the centre of the larger region known as the Lower Mainland of BC. It is the province's second-largest city by population, surpassed only by Vancouver. Six town centres make up Surrey: Fleetwood, Whalley/City Centre, Guildford, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey.

Surrey was incorporated in 1879. When Englishman H.J. Brewer looked across the Fraser River from New Westminster and saw a land reminiscent of his native County of Surrey in England, the modern city of Surrey was born. The area then comprised forests of Douglas-fir, fir, redcedar, hemlock, blackberry bushes, and cranberry bogs. A portion of present-day Whalley (named after Harry Whalley, who owned and operated a gas bar at the bend in King George Highway at 108th, "Whalley's Corner") was used as a burial ground by the Kwantlen (or Qw’ontl’en) Nation.

Settlers arrived first in Cloverdale and parts of South Surrey, mostly to farm, fish, harvest oysters, or set up small stores. Once the Pattullo Bridge was erected in 1937, the way was open for Surrey to expand. In the post-war fifties,North Surrey's neighbourhoods filled with single family homes and Surrey (not yet a city) became a true bedroom community, absorbing commuters who worked in Burnaby or Vancouver.

On April 15, 1957, the City of White Rock seceded from the District of Surrey. White Rock is a 24 by 8 city-block area facing Semiahmoo Bay, at the extreme south of Surrey, right at the United States border. White Rock was created by special warrant of the Province of British Columbia because of local complaints that the southern portion of Surrey was being ignored.

Delta

Delta is a district municipality in British Columbia, Canada. Located south of Vancouver, it is bordered by the Fraser River to the north, the United States (Point Roberts, Washington) to the south and the city of Surrey to the east. Delta is composed of three distinct communities: Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta.

History

Prior to European settlement, Delta's flatlands and coastal shores were inhabited by the Tsawwassen indigenous peoples, of the Coast Salish First Nations . The land was first sighted by Europeans in 1791, when Spanish explorer Lieutenant Francisco de Eliza mistook the area for an island and named it "Isla Capeda". The first Europeans to settle in the area were Thomas and William Ladner, who began farming the area in 1868. Farming and fishing helped the community grow quickly over the next few decades. In 1879, the area was incorporated to become "Delta", and the village of Ladner was made as its administrative centre.

Delta's flat, fertile land has made it one of the most important agricultural areas in Greater Vancouver. North Delta is also home to the Burns Bog, 10,000 acres (40 km²) of natural wetlands that are important for wildlife.

Communities

Delta is comprised of three distinct, geographically separate communities:

North Delta (pop: 52,000) is home to over half of Delta's population. It is a largely suburban area in north-east Delta bordered by the Burns Bog and Surrey.

Ladner (pop: 25,000) is a 19th century fishing village in north-west Delta that has expanded into a suburb. Fishing and farming are important industries. Ladner Trunk Road is its main street. Ladner is also known as East Delta.

Langley

The Langley area was the first part of the lower mainland of British Columbia where European settlement was established. Fort Langley was built in 1827 under the direction of James McMillan, Chief Trader of the Hudson's Bay Company. It was situated about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the mouth of the Fraser River. The prime objectives of the Fort were to establish a fur trading post and to initiate some agricultural activities, which would secure a steady supply of food for the occupants of the various fur trading posts west of the Rockies.

Fort Langley, an international trading post

Fort Langley achieved global attention in 1858, following the discovery of gold by James Houston along the Thompson and Fraser Rivers. Fort Langley became a large supply centre, outfitting thousands of gold miners passing through the area. The gold rush also caused a significant increase in farming operations as the demand for food rose.

The Birthplace of BC

The gold rush and the declaration of 49th parallel as the United States border resulted in the creation of the Crown Colony of British Columbia. On November 19, 1858, the actual proclamation of Crown Colony status took place in the Big House at Fort Langley. Thus Fort Langley was proclaimed the birthplace of B.C.

British Columbia joined confederation on July 20, 1871, upon the promise of a railway link with the new Dominion of Canada. On April 26, 1873, the Municipality of Langley was incorporated, one of the first areas in British Columbia to do so, and James W. Mackie was elected its first warden.

White Rock & South Surrey

The Semiahmoo Peninsula is comprised of the adjoining communities of White Rock and South Surrey. The peninsula offers a lifestyle that is influenced by the unique environment of its physical setting. Curved around the beaches and warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, White Rock's waterfront boasts many fine restaurants, coffee bars, ice cream parlors, curio shops and clothing boutiques. Beautiful, ocean view homes rise up from the beach to dot the steep hillside, overlooking the Gulf Islands, Semiahmoo Resort, and the lights of Blaine, Washington. Add to this beauty one of the most moderate climates in Canada with average temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius in the summer and six degrees in the winter. When it's raining and cloudy in Vancouver, it is often sunny and clear in White Rock The Peninsula basks in approximately 1900 hours of smog-free sunshine per year.

Vancouver

Vancouver is the largest metropolitan centre in western Canada and the third largest in the country. Vancouver is one of the cities of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) and of the larger geographic region commonly known as the Lower Mainland of B.C. The Port of Vancouver is significant on a world scale, and Vancouver is the third largest film production centre for US-based productions in North America after Hollywood and New York.

The city's population is 545,671 and that of the metropolitan area 2,186,965 (2001 census). Some predict that by 2020, the population of the metropolitan area will be 2.6 million. A resident of Vancouver is called a "Vancouverite."

Vancouver will be the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the 2006 United Nations World Urban Forum , the 2007 Memorial Cup and the 2009 World Police and Fire Games. Vancouver will host some games for the 2007 World Cup.

Vancouver's climate is unusually temperate by Canadian standards; after Victoria, it is the second warmest major city in Canada during the winter, with temperatures rarely dropping below 0°C. Precipitation varies from about 1,100 mm (43 inches) at Point Grey to 3,500 mm or more (137 inches) near the north shore mountains. Summer months are generally sunny and dry, with moderate temperatures. The daily maximum averages 22°C in July and August, however temperatures often rise above 30°C during the summer months. Thunderstorms are rare, with about four to six per year. Rainfall is frequent in winter.

A diverse range of plants and trees, by Canadian standards, can be found growing throughout Vancouver and South-Western British Columbia, lending to the city's year round greenery. Various species of palms have proven to be hardy to this climate, and are a common sight.