City of Abbotsford
Abbotsford is the largest city (by area) in British Columbia, consisting of 145 square miles it is the 5th largest municipality of B.C. It is also the 3rd most ethnically diverse city in Canada. The estimated population is 143,000 with an approximate 62% of the residents working here, and holds a 6.4% unemployment rate. The main industries are agriculture, transportation, manufacturing and retail. The top industries of occupation are Industrial, Electrical and Construction; Transport and heavy equipment operations and maintenance; and Service support and other service occupations.
The city has a few nicknames, “City in The Country”, “Raspberry Capital of Canada”, and “Sport Town” because of the many indoor and outdoor fields. It was also named Canada’s Most Generous City, in terms of charitable donations for 9 years straight.
With being close to both the BC Interior and Vancouver, the city hosts a majority of sporting events, consumer events and commercial trade shows. Home to a recognized International Airport, the city hosts the Abbotsford International Airshow each year. In addition, home to the Tradex and The University of The Fraser Valley. Also with us being in close proximity to two US border crossings, one of which is 24 hours, makes day trips and shopping excursions across the line super easy.
With all that said, this city is one of the best places to be, a perfect happy medium between the everyday city life, and the zen tranquil laid back country living.
A Little History…..
This area was first settled by the Stó:lō Nation. A Sumas First Nation reservation lies within Abbotsford city limits at Kilgard, the Upper Sumas 6 Indian reserve.
As a result of the Fraser River gold rush in 1858, the Royal Engineers surveyed the area and began European settlement. The first transportation route linking the Fraser Valley was the Yale Road (today Old Yale Road). It wasn’t until the late 1860s that butter, milk, and tobacco began to be produced. A crown grant was applied for by former Royal Engineer John Cunningham Maclure to acquire 160 acres (0.65 km2) that would become Abbotsford in 1889.
North America’s oldest Sikh temple, the Gur Sikh Temple, is located at 33089 South Fraser Way. It was opened in 1911 and was built in 1908. It outlived both the Golden temple (opened in 1905) and the 2nd Avenue temple (opened in 1908), both of which were destroyed by fire.
In regards to its origin, the city has been the subject of some controversy. The land was named after Henry Braithwaite Abbott, the western superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway, according to most sources. According to Maclure’s sons, the property was named after Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House, and pronounced with a ford accent. In his later years, Maclure himself claimed to have combined two ideas when naming the property. A letter from Maclure in 1844 says that Henry Abbott, the CPR’s general superintendent and brother of the prime minister, was the name of the town when it was laid out in 1844.