Situated about 45 minutes east of Vancouver on Highway 1, Langley counts distribution companies, food processors and Trinity Western University, a private faith-based college, as major employers. Blueberries are among the predominant crops, with many growers belonging to the South Asian community.
Distance from Vancouver and relatively ample development opportunities have helped keep house prices affordable, though developers also produce high-end residences that play on the area’s bucolic heritage. Old mill sites on the Fraser River have created waterfront properties, often including trail systems that make the most of the natural setting. Fort Langley, home to a large number of artisans and craftspeople, is a quaint scenic element.
downtown. Ambitious developments are boosting the city’s profile, while housing, affordable by Vancouver standards, combines with a commitment to cultivating employment opportunities. Municipal festivals
reflect the city’s rich cultural diversity.
Nestled between the Fraser River and the American border between Delta and Langley, Surrey enjoys a strategic location on key highways across Canada and south to the U.S. This has allowed it to attract distribution and manufacturing. Whalley, Surrey’s new civic centre, is emblematic of efforts to transform
the city into an urbane municipality (the next Yaletown, one developer has claimed), while Cloverdale is building on its rural roots to attract residents seeking simpler lives.
Morgan Crossing is an executive address, as is South Surrey, which vies with White Rock in offering upper-middle-class residences.
Countering traffic congestion, SkyTrain service runs to King George station east of the new civic centre: a 45-minute ride to downtown Vancouver.
The City of White Rock is located 45 kilometres from Vancouve_ and only five minutes to the Canada/U.S. border.
White Rock is a seaside community clustered around a five-kilometre sandy beach and the warm shallow waters of Semiahmoo Bay, sharing the Semiahmoo Peninsula area with the City of Surrey (South Surrey) and the Semiahmoo Indian Band.
Sixteen local golf courses, a resort atmosphere, and moderate climate make this area a preferred retirement spot. The average temperature is 23°C in the summer and 6°C in winter, with a low aver¬age annual rainfall of 104 em.
Waterfront improvements include a 2.5 kilome¬tre promenade, fully accessible to the disabled and parents with strollers. Parallel to the beach, Marine Drive offers great restaurants, galleries and side¬walk cafes. There is a museum in the former train station, and a pier from which locals fish for shell¬fish. The new Semiahmoo Library in South Surrey opened in September 2003.
West of Marine Drive are the communities of Ocean Park and Crescent Beach, where cliff-side mansions give way to single family homes built upon one-to five-acre wooded properties. Developers and city planners have deliberately mixed affordable housing and condominiums with more expensive properties to maintain a cross-sec¬tion of socioeconomic groups within the community.
Prices for a single family home range from $200,000 to well over $1 million; in May 2003, the average sales price for such a dwelling was $440,327. For a townhouse, the average price in May was $279,980.
Commuting to Vancouver is about one hour via Highway 99 through the George Massey Tunnel, or over the Alex Fraser Bridge. Dedicated bus and high¬occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes make public trans-portation and car or vanpooling more convenient.