Surrey owes its name to English geography. New Westminster municipal clerk H.J. Brewer looked across the Fraser River in 1879 and saw a land that reminded him of his hometown in Surrey, England. Since Surrey, England is located just across the River Thames from Westminster, England, H.J. Brewer decided that the city located opposite New Westminster, BC on the Fraser River would be called Surrey, BC.
- Surrey is seven years older than Vancouver and was incorporated in 1879.
- Surrey is currently the second largest city in BC based on population with over 460,000 people and the largest city in BC based on land area of 317 square km
- 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 comprises six town centres: Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, North Surrey (Previously City Centre and Whalley), and South Surrey.
- Surrey is the only community in BC with two International Border Crossings – Peace Arch Crossing & Pacific Truck Crossing. The Canada/U.S. border puts City Centre businesses within easy access of local, national and world markets.
- Surrey boasts over 6,000 acres of passive and active parkland and green space and over 210 km (130 mi) of signed cycling routes. 35% of the land is designated agricultural and is still being farmed today
- The Peace Arch at Peace Arch Provincial Park was the first world’s first Peace Arch and was completed in 1921. It was built to celebrate 100 years of peace between Canada and the U.S.A. The arch was built by workmen from both sides, who laboured to complete a monument that would last forever. The arch, facing north and south, half in each country, is built along classic Greek-Doric design and rises to a height of 67 feet.
- Surrey currently has 73 listings on the Canada’s Historic Places Registry where new historical places are added regularly.
Surrey has produced some notable athletes. Daniel Igali, a 2000 Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, lives in Surrey. National Hockey League players who were either born or played in Surrey include Bob Rouse, Gary Nylund, Mark Janssens, Colton Gillies, Colin Fraser, Curtis Fraser, and Scott Gomez.
- Surrey is home to the BCJHL team the Surrey Eagles & Canada’s first Kabaddi specific stadium.
Music & Movies
- Sultry pop singer Elise Estrada, who has toured with Rihanna and Enrique Iglesias, is a name to watch from Surrey.
- Lady Gaga made her Metro Vancouver performance debut at Guildford’s Mirage nightclub in 2008.
- Celebrity watchers were excited when the movies New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn (starring Robert Pattinson), based on the Twilight book series, was filmed in South Surrey.
- The acclaimed TV series, Smallville was frequently filmed in Cloverdale.
Surrey’s Famous People
- Nuvraj Bassi, professional football player
- Lisa Brokop, singer
- Chuck Cadman, politician
- Gina Choi, South Korean singer
- Sukh Dhaliwal, politician
- Colin Fraser, professional hockey player; forward for the Los Angeles Kings
- Curtis Fraser, professional hockey player; forward for the Lake Erie Monsters
- Matthew Stowe, winner of Top Chef Canada
- David Jorge, winner of Master Chef Canada
- Kamal Heer, Punjabi Singer
- Jacob Hoggard, lead singer for the rock band, Hedley
- Daniel Igali, 2000 Olympic gold medalist freestyle wrestler
- Britt Irvin, actress, singer; 2008 Leo Award Nominee
- Jazzy B, singer
- Adam Loewen, professional baseball player; infielder/outfielder for the New York Mets
- Brad Lukowich, professional hockey player; forward for the Texas Stars
- Harbhajan Mann, Punjabi singer
- Gary Nylund, former professional hockey player (Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, and New York Islanders)
- Prab Rai, hockey player; prospect for the Vancouver Canucks
- Gordon Rice, artist
- Sangtar, Punjabi songwriter
- Kalib Starnes, professional mixed martial artist
- John Tenta, professional wrestler, known as Earthquake
- Aaron Voros, professional hockey player; forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs
- Manmohan Waris, Punjabi singer
- Daniel Wesley, singer/songwriter
Surrey’s Staple Events
- Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair – 3rd largest in North America, 2nd largest in Canada
- Children’s Festival
- Canada Day Celebrations
- Fusion Festival
- Surrey Festival of Dance
- Cloverdale Blueberry Festival
- International Writers’ Conference
- Doors Open