Interested in moving to the Lower Mainland to go to school? Known as the City of Parks, Surrey is the second largest city in BC and one of the most diverse municipalities in Canada. There have been many recent developments in Surrey, and more are coming in the following years, including:
According to Statistics Canada, the population in Surrey grew 18.6% from 2006 to 2011, compared with an average growth of 5.9% across Canada. Over the same period, the number of residents who occupied private dwellings increased by 16.5%, compared with an increase of 7.1% in Canada, likely thanks to affordable housing in Surrey.
Surrey expects to become the next major urban centre in the province, and has planned numerous large-scale projects for 2012 to 2018 accordingly. Surrey City Centre Library opened in late 2011 as part of the Build Surrey program, which includes construction projects such as a new City Hall and civic plaza. The new, $50-million City Hall will span 180,000 square feet (16,700 square metres). Other projects include upgrades to Surrey Memorial Hospital and SFU Surrey Campus, new RCMP headquarters, more parks, a performing arts centre, and expansions to the downtown area.
2013 marks the 30th anniversary of Surrey’s nine public libraries. The $36-million City Centre Library spans 77,000 square feet (7,150 square metres) and was designed by Canadian architect Bing Thom. Thom’s past work includes Central City Plaza in Surrey, Aberdeen Centre in Richmond, Sunset Community Centre in Vancouver, Pacific Canada Pavilion at Vancouver Aquarium, and the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC.
Surrey received the Cultural Capital of Canada award in 2008, along with $2-million in government funding for arts and community projects. One project is the Welcoming & Inclusive Communities (and Workplaces) Project, created to support immigrants and promote diversity. As of 2011, 43% of the population in Surrey has a first language other than English. With these in mind, it is no surprise Surrey hosts the annual Fusion Festival, which features music, dance, and food from cultures worldwide. In 2013, the festival will take place on July 20 and 21.
In addition to Build Surrey, the City of Surrey has lined up a number of Beautification projects to improve public spaces. For instance, even plots of land waiting to be built upon are transformed into new green space for the community. The Tree Protection Bylaw and Releaf tree-planting program are also keeping Surrey green. Each year, Surrey celebrates Earth Day and raises awareness for environmental protection by hosting Party for the Planet. Festivities include performances by local artists held on a bicycle-powered stage! The party will be held from April 27 to 28, 2013, at Central City Plaza.
Visit the City of Surrey’s website to find out more about the projects and events. Or, register for programs at Sprott Shaw’s Surrey Campus today to get even more out of Surrey.