History & Heritage
Since the 1860’s, local history and heritage have surrounded us. This includes the traditions and sacred places of the First Nations people, the road and trails cut through the wilderness that once covered the land, houses and farm buildings, and other structures that have been build over the last century. Elements of the natural environment and the ways in which people express their cultures and traditions on the landscape paint a unique image that all can identify with as being distinctly Surrey.
In the early 1800’s, people arrived and settled large tracts of land in Surrey. Agriculture was established, homesteads were built, roads and trails were developed, local government was selected and small settlements with churches, schools and stores thrived. In the subsequent 145 years, Surrey has become the 12th largest city in Canada and the second largest in BC.
In the 1970’s, the Semiahmoo Heritage Trail became the first designated heritage site in the city. In the 1980’s, heritage information signs identifying historic places and the historic names of City streets began to be placed throughout the city. In 1997, a Heritage Register was established, which listed over 20 heritage properties in the city. Under the Federal Heritage Places Initiative, over 50 sites in the city have been placed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places, showcasing Surrey’s rich local heritage to the nation.