Surrey stretches from the Fraser River along Vancouver 's southeast, south to Boundary Bay and the U.S. border. It is sandwiched between Langley to the east and Delta to the west. The City of Surrey, "The City of Parks," boasts a relaxed lifestyle, with more than 400 parks encompassing more than 3,000 acres, many of which are in their natural state. With 371 square km, Surrey is also the largest city in BC's Lower Mainland and the second largest in population at 350,000 people. The city takes its name from Surrey, England.
Surrey used to be mostly rural, with some environmentally important areas, like Mud Bay. Its rural lifestyle is still reflected in the Cloverdale Rodeo ("rated No. 1 in North America") and great antique shopping in the Cloverdale area. Surrey incorporates five townships, each with its pockets of people: Whalley in the northwest, Guildford (which is the center of business), South Surrey (also known as Sunnyside, with its beaches), Newton and Cloverdale.
Surrey is in close proximity to five major highways, four railways, deep-sea docking facilities and an international airport. The Skytrain rapid transit line means Vancouver is less than 35 minutes away via public transit
Surrey was mostly occupied by trappers, squatters and drifters, until its first settler, James Kennedy, arrived in 1861, buying a pile of land for $1 an acre. It was incorporated in 1869 with under 1,000 residents of 200 square km. The Cloverdale area was first settled around 1870 by the Shannon brothers, Joseph, William, and Thomas, and was named the "Clover Valley" after the wild clover growing everywhere.
Surrey's first city hall, built in 1881, is now part of the Centennial Museum. When the New Westminster-Southern Railway linked Bellingham and New Westminster in 1891, a station was built near the present town center and given the name "Cloverdale". Cloverdale became a major transportation centre, with three railways running through it in its heyday (two are still in operation today).
In 1883, the ferry "K de K" began to cross the Fraser River from Brownsville to New Westminster. Logging became the main industry and the cleared lands opened excellent farmland, and in 1888, Surrey had its first agricultural fair. The New Westminster-southern Railway was built in 1891, the first two telephone agents (where people could use the telephones for a fee) opened in 1885, and the first newspaper "The Surrey Times" which appeared in 1895.
In 1904, the Fraser River Bridge was built, and road links between communities grew stronger. The Cloverdale area experienced a major land boom in 1910-1911, and many of the buildings in the downtown core date from this period. In 1923, the Pacific Highway (176 Street) from Bellingham to New Westminster was paved, and it became the main highway connecting the lower mainland with Washington State. In 1925 Harry Whalley opened a gas station where the King George Highway now meets 108th Avenue, now known as Whalley's Corner. In 1945, the first Cloverdale Rodeo was held with the slogan "The West Goes Wilder". Today it has grown to be the second largest rodeo in Canada, second only to the Vancouver Stampede.
In the 1940s, as Vancouver 's housing price climbed quickly, Surrey also grew. This continued into the fifties and sixties saw continued growth and change, including the incorporation of White Rock as a city. Surrey became a city in 1993.
|Surrey Festival of Dance||end Mar-end Apr||The Surrey Festival of Dance is one of the largest amateur dance competitions held in North America with over 10,000 dancers crossing our stage. Dance disciplines include Ballet, Contemporary/Modern, Jazz, Street, Lyrical, Tap & Stage, Song & Dance. Surrey Arts Centre, Surrey 604-585-3320|
|Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair||May||The annual Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition is held Victoria Day weekend at the fairgrounds. BC's largest travelling midway, live entertainment, education, exhibitions, arts & crafts competitions. Bring your hat and boots... Cloverdale Rodeo Grounds, Cloverdale 604-576-9461|
|Surrey Childrens Festival||end May||Featuring an array of talented performers including artists, storytellers, jugglers, dancers & more for the whole family. The event focuses on stimulating & enriching the minds of children through arts & culture. Purchase tickets in advance recommended. Surrey Arts Centre & Bear Creek Park, Surrey 604-501-5598|
|World Oceans Day||early June||Family fun exploring the ocean, see, touch and learn about sea horses and other creatures, crafts, face painting, food prizes and more! Rain or shine! Blackie Spit, Surrey 604-501-5121|
|Arnold Mikelson Annual Festival of Arts||early July||One of the largest art exhibitions in the area. Over 100 new & established artists display their art, showcasing wood sculpture, painting, pottery, glass blowing, soapstone, metal art, fabrics, jewelry & much more. 604-536-6460|
|Canada Cup Softball Tournament||early July||This year's lineup of teams hail from all parts of the globe. Over 100,000 spectators are expected at Softball City over the course of the event this year. Canada Cup has become a fan favourite and is widely regarded as one of the best competitive softball tournaments in the world. various venues 604-536-9287|
|Surrey Canada Day Celebrations||July 1||Join the residents of Surrey in celebrating with a non–stop day of exciting activities. From food vendors & free giveaways to live entertainment, interactive games & spectacular fireworks finale. Free admission. Cloverdale Millenium Amphitheatre, Surrey 604-591-4203|
|Surrey Fusion Festival||late July||A 3 day multicultural celebration with 40 international pavilions celebrating music, food & culture. 5 stages of entertainment with headline performers on the World Music Stage & the Celebrations dance stage, all this in a brand new beautiful urban park. Holland Park, Surrey 604-591-4011|
|Cloverdale Blueberry Festival & Motorsport Jampboree Show & Sghine||mid Aug||The Best Ways to Beat the Summer Blues is by eating them! Learn more about the wonderful Blueberry, why it's so versatile, tasty and good for you. Blueberry Exhibits, taste testing, recipes, contests and much more. Cloverdale Town CentreBC Blueberry Council 604-576-3155|
|Cloveredale Annual Bed Races||early May||es & Decorated Bike Parade 176A Street & 58th Avenue 604-576-3155|
|Halloween Costume Parade||end Oct||Parade starts at 2 pm, and is followed by a costume & pumpkin easting contests. Free museum admission for those in costume. Since 2001 Surrey Museum Plaza (Hwy #10 & 176A St.)|
|Surrey's Santa Parade of Lights||early Dec||Parade starts at 6 pm at Colverdale Town Centre Cloverdale Town CentreCloverdale BIA & Cloverdale Chamber 576-3155 or 604-574-9802|