Abbotsford, British Columbia facts for kids

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Abbotsford
City
City of Abbotsford
Downtown Abbotsford and Central Business District
Downtown Abbotsford and Central Business District
Flag of Abbotsford
Flag
Coat of arms of Abbotsford
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): "Abby", City in the Country, Raspberry Capital of Canada
Motto: "Unus Cum Viribus Duorum"  (Latin)
"One with the strength of two"
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Region Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland
Regional district Fraser Valley
Established 1892
Incorporated 1945
Area
 • City 375.55 km2 (145.00 sq mi)
Elevation 38 m (124 ft)
Population (2016)
 • City 141,397
 • Density 376.5/km2 (975/sq mi)
 • Metro 180,518
Demonym(s) Abbotsfordian
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Postal code V2S–V2T, V3G, V4X
Area code(s) 604, 778
Highways
BC 1
BC 1A
BC 11
Website www.abbotsford.ca

Abbotsford is a city located in the Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, adjacent to Greater Vancouver. With an estimated population of 141,397 people as of the 2016 census, it is the largest municipality of the Fraser Valley Regional District, the fifth-largest municipality of British Columbia, and the largest outside Greater Vancouver. The Abbotsford–Mission metropolitan area of around 170,191 inhabitants as of the 2011 census is the 23rd largest census metropolitan area in Canada. Abbotsford has the third highest proportion of visible minorities among census metropolitan areas in Canada, after the Greater Toronto Area and the Greater Vancouver CMA. It has also been named by Statistics Canada as Canada’s most generous city in terms of charitable donations for nine straight years.

The community of 375.55 square kilometres (145.00 sq mi) is the largest city by area in British Columbia. It is home to the University of the Fraser Valley, Tradex and Abbotsford International Airport, which hosts the Abbotsford International Airshow.

The municipality's southern boundary is the Canada–United States border, across which is Sumas, Washington. In Canada, it is bordered by the Township of Langley to the west, the Fraser River and the District of Mission to the north, and the City of Chilliwack to the east. Much of Abbotsford enjoys views of Mount Baker (to the southeast, in Washington) and the Coast Mountains (to the north).

History

Abbotsford's colonial development began when the Royal Engineers surveyed the area in response to the gold rush along the Fraser River in 1858. This led to the building of Yale Road (today Old Yale Road), the first transportation route to link the Fraser Valley. The settlement grew and the production of butter, milk and tobacco began by the late 1860s. In 1889, former Royal Engineer John Cunningham Maclure applied for a Crown grant to obtain the 160 acres (0.65 km2) that would become Abbotsford.

There is some controversy over the origin of the Abbotsford name. The most commonly cited origin is that Maclure named the land "Abbotsford" after family friend Henry Braithwaite Abbott, the western superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Until 1922 the name was spelled Abottsford. Maclure's sons later stated that the property had actually been named for Sir Walter Scott's home, Abbotsford, and pronounced it with the accent on ford, while in his later years Maclure himself claimed that the naming had been "a combination of two ideas".

The title passed hands to Robert Ward, who filed a townsite subdivision on July 9, 1891. Also in 1891, the CPR built a railway line through the area that connected Mission with the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway at Sumas, Washington. This route was the only rail connection between Vancouver and Seattle until 1904. The Village of Abbotsford was incorporated in 1892. At that time Robert Ward sold many of the lots to private investors, but also sold off a significant portion to the Great Northern Railway’s subsidiary company the Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern Railway. The British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER) arrived in 1910. The Interurban, as the BCER tram linking Abbotsford with Vancouver and Chilliwack was called, was discontinued in 1950, but BCER's successor BC Hydro retains the right to re-introduce passenger rail service. Service to Vancouver runs from neighbouring Mission by way of the West Coast Express.

The most notable natural disaster to hit Abbotsford was a major flood of the Fraser River in 1948.

In September 1984 Pope John Paul II held an open-air mass for over 200,000 people at the Abbotsford International Airport.

The amalgamation of the Village of Abbotsford and the District of Sumas into the District of Abbotsford occurred in 1972. The District of Abbotsford amalgamated with the District of Matsqui in 1995 to become the City of Abbotsford, raising the population significantly.

In June 2013, the City of Abbotsford spread chicken manure on a homeless camp located in the city. Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman publicly apologized for the incident. A lawsuit was launched on behalf of some of the homeless, stating that a bylaw which prevents overnight camping in Abbotsford parks is against their right to shelter. The city has formed a homelessness action plan, and has approved a proposal for a supportive housing facility.

Demographics

Languages

According to the 2011 Census, 65.74% of Abbotsford's population have English as mother tongue; Punjabi is the mother tongue of 18.71% of the population, followed by German (4.32%), Dutch (1.12%), Korean (1.00%), French (0.83%), Spanish (0.74%), Vietnamese (0.47%), Chinese, n.o.s. (0.45%), and Tagalog (0.44%).

Mother tongue Population Percentage
English 86,660 65.74%
Punjabi 24,660 18.71%
German 5,695 4.32%
Dutch 1,480 1.12%
Korean 1,315 1.00%
French 1,095 0.83%
Spanish 980 0.74%
Vietnamese 620 0.47%
Chinese, n.o.s. 595 0.45%
Tagalog (Filipino) 585 0.44%
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1931 510 —    
1941 562 +10.2%
1951 785 +39.7%
1956 830 +5.7%
1961 888 +7.0%
1966 792 −10.8%
1971 706 −10.9%
1976 9,507 +1246.6%
1981 12,745 +34.1%
1986 14,496 +13.7%
1991 18,864 +30.1%
1996 105,403 +458.8%
2001 115,463 +9.5%
2006 123,864 +7.3%
2011 133,497 +7.8%
Sources: Statistics Canada

Ethnicities and visible minorities

Abbotsford has the third highest proportion of visible minorities among Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada, after the Greater Toronto Area and Greater Vancouver.

The largest ethnic group is European Caucasians, comprising approximately 73.6% of the population. This group includes German, Dutch, British, Irish, Scandinavian and Slavic ethnic origins. The next largest ethnic group in Abbotsford is South Asian (countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka) comprising 19.1% of the population. This is followed by Aboriginals at 2.9% of the population (which includes indigenous peoples from other parts of Canada and the United States) and Chinese at 1.69%.

More than a quarter (26.1%) of the city's population was born outside Canada. Of that percentage, a majority is from South Asia, followed by groups from China, South Korea, Southeast Asia and Latin America. English is the primary language spoken, with 78.7% of the population having it as their first language.

Although British Columbia is the least religious province in Canada, the majority of Abbotsford's population is Christian, with 61.4% of the population. The Lutheran and Anabaptist (Mennonite Brethren and Mennonite Church) denominations make up the largest congregations. The next largest religious group is Sikh, comprising 13.4% of the population. The city contains the first Sikh Gurdwara built in Canada (in 1911), and the oldest in North America. A National Historic Site, located in the Clearbrook neighbourhood, it is now over 100 years old.

Ethnically Indian citizens

See also: Indo-Canadians in British Columbia

The Abbotsford metropolitan area has Canada's highest proportion of ethnically Indian citizens. In 2006 Abbotsford City had 23,355 South Asian visible minorities, and 23,615 persons indicated they had South Asian ethnic ancestry. Indo-Canadians in Abbotsford have worked in berry farms and in area businesses. Members of the ethnic group first arrived in the 1920s.

Climate

Abbotsford has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate type Cfb), with just enough summer precipitation not to be classified as warm-summer mediterranean.

Climate data for Abbotsford International Airport (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Humidex 18.8 20.0 24.8 31.2 39.5 38.6 46.2 43.4 40.1 31.2 21.0 18.9 46.2
Record high °C (°F) 18.1
(64.6)
20.6
(69.1)
24.9
(76.8)
29.8
(85.6)
36.0
(96.8)
34.7
(94.5)
38.0
(100.4)
36.3
(97.3)
37.5
(99.5)
29.3
(84.7)
22.4
(72.3)
18.2
(64.8)
38.0
(100.4)
Average high °C (°F) 6.7
(44.1)
9.0
(48.2)
11.6
(52.9)
14.7
(58.5)
18.1
(64.6)
20.8
(69.4)
24.0
(75.2)
24.4
(75.9)
21.3
(70.3)
15.0
(59)
9.3
(48.7)
5.9
(42.6)
15.1
(59.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.6
(38.5)
5.0
(41)
7.2
(45)
9.8
(49.6)
13.0
(55.4)
15.7
(60.3)
18.1
(64.6)
18.2
(64.8)
15.3
(59.5)
10.5
(50.9)
6.0
(42.8)
2.9
(37.2)
10.4
(50.7)
Average low °C (°F) 0.4
(32.7)
1.1
(34)
2.7
(36.9)
4.8
(40.6)
7.8
(46)
10.5
(50.9)
12.2
(54)
12.0
(53.6)
9.3
(48.7)
5.9
(42.6)
2.7
(36.9)
-0.1
(31.8)
5.8
(42.4)
Record low °C (°F) -21.1
(-6)
-18.9
(-2)
-12.8
(9)
-4.4
(24.1)
-2.2
(28)
1.1
(34)
2.2
(36)
3.3
(37.9)
-1.7
(28.9)
-7.5
(18.5)
-16.7
(1.9)
-20.0
(-4)
-21.1
(-6)
Wind chill -26.6 -29.6 -19.7 -7.3 -4 0.0 0.0 0.0 -5.4 -13.9 -27.6 -33.3 -33.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 211.7
(8.335)
132.3
(5.209)
149.3
(5.878)
117.8
(4.638)
99.8
(3.929)
74.8
(2.945)
43.2
(1.701)
45.9
(1.807)
75.5
(2.972)
152.7
(6.012)
248.2
(9.772)
186.6
(7.346)
1,537.8
(60.543)
Rainfall mm (inches) 193.6
(7.622)
123.4
(4.858)
144.9
(5.705)
117.1
(4.61)
99.8
(3.929)
74.8
(2.945)
43.2
(1.701)
45.9
(1.807)
75.5
(2.972)
152.7
(6.012)
241.5
(9.508)
170.9
(6.728)
1,483.3
(58.398)
Snowfall cm (inches) 18.5
(7.28)
8.6
(3.39)
4.4
(1.73)
0.5
(0.2)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
6.7
(2.64)
16.5
(6.5)
55.2
(21.73)
Humidity 73.3 62.9 59.9 56.0 56.5 57.1 54.5 53.2 56.4 66.1 74.3 74.5 62.1
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 20.1 16.2 19.1 16.3 14.4 13.0 7.3 7.1 9.6 15.8 20.8 19.8 179.5
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 18.2 15.4 18.6 16.3 14.4 13.0 7.3 7.1 9.6 15.8 20.2 18.2 174.1
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 3.7 1.9 1.4 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 3.6 12.2
Sunshine hours 68.3 99.0 131.5 171.5 208.7 213.7 276.7 263.2 201.9 122.6 64.7 64.9 1,886.7
Source: Environment Canada

Arts, culture and heritage

The Abbotsford Arts Council hosts a number of free local events including music in Mill Lake Park, the Arty Awards and more recently, the Christmas Artisan Gift Fair. It has been involved in projects such as the Abbotsford "Unity Statue", Abbotsford Christmas Craft Fair, Art in the Park, Abbotsford's Art and Heritage Unity Festival, and the Historical Downtown Art Bench Project. As well as maintaining the Kariton Art Gallery which features and hosts exhibitions from local artists of all mediums residing in the Lower Mainland.

The Reach Gallery Museum features exhibitions from across Canada and around the world, as well as the work of local artists. It houses a heritage archive, runs special events, programs and courses and seeks to promote local arts and culture.

Gallery 7 Theatre and Performing Arts has been one of Abbotsford only performing arts organizations since 1991 and operates out of Mennonite Educational Institute. They produce four mainstage productions every year.

Transportation

Public bus transportation is provided by the Central Fraser Valley Transit System. Passenger rail service to Vancouver currently runs from nearby Mission by way of the West Coast Express.

Air links are provided by the Abbotsford International Airport. WestJet provides regular scheduled service from the airport, due to its proximity to Vancouver's eastern suburbs. The airport is also the home of the annual Abbotsford International Airshow.

Major transportation routes leading into Abbotsford are the Trans-Canada Highway (No. 1), the Abbotsford-Mission Highway (No.11) and the Fraser Highway (No. 1A). Access to the United States is via the Abbotsford-Huntingdon/Sumas border crossing.

Cityscape

East Abbotsford looking towards Mission
Private residences near Upper Ten Oaks in eastern Abbotsford looking north-by-northwest towards Mission, BC

These places represent parts of the city that have more than one neighbourhood in them.

  • Abbotsford East
  • Abbotsford West
  • Aberdeen
  • Bradner
  • Central Abbotsford
  • Matsqui
  • Poplar
  • Sumas Mountain
  • Sumas Prairie

Neighbourhoods

  • Aberdeen
  • Arnold
  • Auguston
  • Blueridge
  • Bradner
  • Clayburn
  • Clearbrook
  • Downtown
  • Eagle Mountain
  • Gifford
  • Glen Mountain
  • Huntingdon
  • Kilgard
  • Matsqui
  • McKinley Heights
  • Mount Lehman
  • North Poplar
  • Peardonville
  • Pepin Brook
  • Sandy Hill
  • South Poplar
  • Straiton
  • Townline

Surrounding municipalities

Sister cities

  • Fukagawa, Hokkaidō, Japan

Images for kids


Abbotsford, British Columbia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.