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ABBOTSFORD

IN ACTION One of the fastest growing cities in B.C., Abbotsford is setting a dynamic pace, driven by powerful economic engines. From agriculture to aviation, The News takes an in-depth look at the city’s economic and social infrastructure.

ABBOTSFORD: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE Join the Abbotsford News in our first edition of “Abbotsford In Action,” an economic overview giving residents and newcomers insight into local development and growth.

Presented by


Abbotsford News

2 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

proudly supporting Abbotsford since 1999 Thank you Abbotsford. With the support of team members and customers, this year we’ve raised... *********

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$3800 $5200 $4800

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ERS CLUB N I R H S D R O ABBOTSF FOOD BANK D R O F S T O B B A

SPONSE HUNGER RE NAL INTERNATIO ERS SFORD WHAL T O B B A $2000 SWIM CLUB E TSFORD FIR FUND O B B A URN $1100 FIGHTERS B R SFORD MINO T O B B A UB $1000 HOCKEY CL CHILDREN’S DATION C B 0 0 0 OUN $24, HOSPITAL F *********

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$41,900

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On September 22, 2010, Abbotsford Save-On-Foods Store Manager, Mark Berry (right), proudly presented Dave Murray from the Abbotsford Community Services Food Bank with a $5200 donation. The money will benefit much-needed local services like the Food Bank’s Healthy Choices and Garden Box programs.

For more information on our commitment to the community visit www.saveonfoods.com/community-support


Abbotsford News

November 2010 | ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION

People power drives economy What’s Inside History

5/6

Residential

8/9

Commercial

10/11

Agriculture

14/17

Industrial

23/24

Airport

25/26

Health care

27

From rural to urban

University

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Sports

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Arts/culture

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elcome to Abbotsford, also known as the “City every corner of the city. in the Country.” And while it may be surAccording to information released by the Fraser Valley Real rounded by agricultural land, Abbotsford has Estate Board, Abbotsford is one of the least expensive cities in truly grown into its city moniker. which to purchase a home in the Fraser Valley, and 60 per cent From its humble beginnings in 1889 as the Village of Abbots- of people who live in Abbotsford also work here. ford, then a 160-acre tract of bush land, Abbotsford has now “This is a desirable city where people move to from both grown into the fifth largest city in B.C. That growth, which sides of the country. There is a vibrancy to this place and the was slow and steady for years, boomed in the last two decades diversity adds a strength to our city. We are the complete packas the Lower Mainland’s population continued to increase and age,” said Mayor George Peary. moved further out from the boundaries of Vancouver, across To meet the needs of those citizens, Abbotsford has provided the river and into the Fraser Valley. retail and recreational options. With an increase in population came the need for housing, Once the centre of commercial activity, Downtown Abbotsretail and commercial business, industrial opportuniford has become a local and visitors’ attraction filled ties and family services including more schools, recrewith shops and restaurants, with many renovations ation and cultural experiences. reflecting historic roots. Abbotsford’s retail sector Once a small farming community, Abbotsford is now changed forever in 1975 when the Sevenoaks Shopping a thriving city with an estimated gross domestic prodCentre was built. It has grown to 562,328 square feet uct of $6 billion in 2009. and more than 100 shops. The construction of West Agriculture is the biggest economic force in the city. Oaks Mall and its 30 stores furthered the retail trend. The Fraser Valley produces over 70 per cent of B.C.’s The construction of the 44-acre Fraser Valley Auto dairy products, berries, vegetables, poultry, eggs, pork, Mall in 1992 pushed expansion even farther west. Now, greenhouse vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture and a $200-million shopping centre, adjacent to the auto PEARY nursery products. mall, is being created by Shape Properties, creating Berries, dairy and poultry are the big three resources and yet another retail destination. Expansion also went south as the high yield creates huge industrial opportunities. many big box stores opened along Sumas Way. Agriculture-based industrial plants paved the way for other Abbotsford’s future is projected to be a bright one. With the industries, which now saw Abbotsford as a viable option. development of the University of the Fraser Valley, the new The development of Abbotsford’s International Airport has Abbotsford Regional Hospital, and a host of civic amenities, opened the door for a new wave of aviation-based industry. the infrastructure is in place to attract more families, profesAs more companies move to the valley, the people follow. sionals and businesses. In the past 20 years, the number of households in AbbotsThe population is estimated at more than 140,000 people ford has more than doubled. Residential areas have grown so from 58 different ethnic and cultural groups. quickly that high-density planning is now a major mandate of It’s more than agriculture, more than retail stores, more council. Areas such as Sumas Mountain have been developed than factories or industry. It’s the sum of all the parts – it’s a as homes spread away from the downtown core to envelop city, in the country.

l ‘Ref

Public employers 30

Demographics

Looking forward 38 Abbotsford in Action Contributors: Kevin Mills Neil Corbett Vikki Hopes Dan Kinvig Editor: Andrew Holota Publisher: Andrew Franklin Published by The Abbotsford News, November 2010 © Copyright

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Abbotsford News

4 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

Adventure in the Valley If you’re looking for adventure in the outdoors, we have it all right here in the Fraser Valley. We have first-class hiking, biking and paddling, right in our own back yard. Trails abound whether you are headed up Chilliwack Valley or to the trails on Sumas Mountain. Sumas Mountain biking trails are known throughout western Canada as some of the best single track that exists. And local paddling takes a back seat to no one with the Chilliwack/

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Abbotsford News

November 2010 | ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION

5

Abbotsford began on 160 acres of bush land Golden days The B.C. Interior gold rush of the mid-1800s provided the momentum to create many Fraser Valley towns, Abbotsford among them.

The name Abbotsford commemorates a friend of the pioneering Maclure family, Harry Braithwaite Abbott. It is also a reference to Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford Castle in Scotland.

Immigrant influence

Photo courtesy MSA Museum

The land upon which Abbotsford grew was obtained in 1889 by John Cunningham Maclure, who surveyed the area for Britain during the gold rush.

Humble beginnings A

bbotsford’s growth from humble village to B.C.’s helped to survey the territory for Britain during the gold rush. fifth-largest city is a fascinating journey. The origin of the name “Abbotsford,” according to a 1924 The land upon which Abbotsford sits was origiletter from J.C. Maclure Jr. to the Abbotsford Board of Trade, nally inhabited by the Sto:lo people. Their territory is a combination of two ideas. The name commemorates a covered most of the lower Fraser River, from Richmond to Yale, friend of the Maclure family, Harry Braithwaite Abbott. It is and at the time of first contact with Europeans, it is estimated also a reference to Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford Castle there were 30,000 aboriginal people living within the region. in Scotland. The first significant wave of European settlers in the Fraser The key industrial presence in the city’s early history was Valley arrived in the midthe Abbotsford Lumber 1800s, drawn by the discovery Company, owned by the of gold just south of Yale. By Trethewey family. The comDecember of 1858, an estimatpany fuelled the growth ed 30,000 people – including and ethnic diversity of many miners travelling north Abbotsford, attracting workfrom San Francisco – had ers from China, Japan, made their way up the river. Europe and India. Steam-powered riverboats The first immigrants from were the main mode of transIndia’s Punjab province arportation. rived in the early 1900s. In The gold fever paved the Abbotsford, the first gurdway for the establishment of wara (temple) was constructmany Fraser Valley towns, ed in 1911 on South Fraser including Abbotsford. The Way. The Trethewey fami160-acre tract of bush land ly, the city’s largest employer that would become the Village of Sikhs at that time, donatof Abbotsford was origied free lumber to build the Photo courtesy MSA Museum nally obtained in 1889 by John temple. Today, Abbotsford is Essendene Avenue remains the main route through downtown Abbotsford, the third most ethnically diCunningham Maclure, a former Royal Engineer who had as it was here in the early 1900s. Continued on P6

The Ärst immigrants from India’s Punjab province arrived in the early 1900s. Today, Abbotsford is the third most ethnically diverse city in Canada, with the highest proportion of people of South Asian origin per capita of any Canadian city.

Mennonite roots Abbotsford also has a strong Mennonite presence that dates back to the 1920s. The first Mennonite church was built in the 1930s using lumber from the dismantled mill at Mill Lake.

Today, the city of Abbotsford encompasses the founding communities of Bradner, Clayburn, Clearbrook, Huntingdon, Matsqui, Mt. Lehman, Straiton and Sumas.

Serving our

growing Community

Michael de Jong, MLA

John van Dongen, MLA

Randy Hawes, MLA

Abbotsford West 604-870-5486 www.mikedejongmla.bc.ca mike.dejong.mla@leg.bc.ca

Abbotsford South 604-870.5945 www.johnvandongenmla.bc.ca john.vandongen.mla@leg.bc.ca

Abbotsford • Mission 604-820.6203 www.randyhawesmla.bc.ca randy.hawes.mla@leg.bc.ca


Abbotsford News

6 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

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That disaster prompted the construcverse city in Canada, after Toronto and tion of a new dike system to limit the Vancouver, and has the highest propor- flood threat, but in 1948, the region was inundated with water once again. The tion of people of South Asian origin numbers associated with the flood of per capita of any Canadian city. ’48 are staggering. More than 200 square Abbotsford also has a strong kilometres of territory was under water Mennonite presence that dates back to at the height of the flood; 16,000 people the 1920s. Many members of Christian were evacuated; and damages were estiAnabaptist denominations migrated mated at $20 million. to Abbotsford from Russia and the Today, the Prairie communities provinces, spawned by the and the first Fraser are proMennonite tected from the church was river’s wrath by built in the over 300 kilo1930s using metres of dikes lumber from between Agassiz the dismanand Delta. tled mill at The political Mill Lake. career of one Agriculture of Abbotsford’s has long most influential been a drivThe Reach p1708 citizens began ing force in The 1948 flood covered more than 200 square kilometres of Abbotsford’s Abbotsford land, causing at least $20 million in damage. in 1969, when George Ferguson economy. The was elected as region’s agricultural potential was an alderman for the District of Sumas. expanded significantly in 1924, when Ferguson went on to become one of drainage of Sumas Lake was completCanada’s longest-serving civic leaders. ed to reclaim more than 30,000 acres His tenure as mayor of Abbotsford (1972of fertile land on the Canadian side of 2002, 2005-08) spanned four decades. the border. Ferguson was mayor through two While being an important transporamalgamations. In 1972, the Village tation corridor, and major salmonof Abbotsford and the District of bearing waterway, the Fraser River Sumas joined to form the District of has been an intermittent threat to Abbotsford. Abbotsford. The first major flood after In 1995, the neighbouring districts of European settlement occurred in 1894, Abbotsford and Matsqui amalgamated to as rising water spilled into communiform the City of Abbotsford. ties from Chilliwack downstream.

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Abbotsford News

November 2010 | ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION A D V E RTO R I A L

24 years of greening the world, one plant at a time Dan Trayler, owner and operator, is considered by many the community’s local gardening authority. Homestead Nurseryland & Garden Centre has been a prominent business in Abbotsford since 1984. Dan Trayler, owner and operator, has been in horticulture for 35 years and is considered by many the community’s local gardening authority. He has hosted the local garden show for 7 years and has been featured on many cable television programs. Dan has also written for the local newspaper and gardening magazines. Homestead Nurseryland is a one stop, full service garden center and floral shop. Operating 12 months a year, primarily serving Abbotsford, Aldergrove and Mission. Being merchants of nature’s beauty, Homestead Nurseryland carries an excellent selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, bedding plants, fruit trees, flowers, herbs, vegetables and water plants. The floral specialists can help you find the perfect arrangement for every event, whether you are

organizing a wedding, a funeral, or are looking for the perfect every day bouquet. Our complete floral department also offers local and worldwide flower delivery. The large gift department has a wonderful selection of unique items, where you can find something for any occasion. Homestead Nurseryland is also known as Abbotsford’s Christmas store with live and cut Christmas trees, poinsettias, festive flowers, evergreen boughs, holly and cedar rope. Come in to explore the largest Christmas decor and ornament section you’ve ever seen! We carry the valley’s largest selection of Department 56 collectable miniature villages. The team at Homestead Nurseryland & Garden Centre believe in commitment, dedication and customer satisfaction. We are proud to be part of the business community that Abbotsford is known for.

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8 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

Abbotsford News

Residential development meets demand Building permits 2010 Jan. to July T Residential 482 permits worth $45,122,033 T Multi-family 46 permits for 89 units $11,380,149

The City of Abbotsford issued 618 residential building permits worth $49,227,521

Area growth In 1981, multi-family housing made up only 30 per cent of housing stock. By 2006, it was 41 per cent.

A city growing up I

City hall planners envision higher density in the city’s core.

Population Within the next 25 to 30 years, it is anticipated another 60,000 to 70,000 people will be living in Abbotsford, giving the city a total population of more than 200,000

For some “first-time

homebuyers, Abbotsford is their only hope to fulfill the dream of home ownership.

Deanna Horn

n the past 20 years, the number of households in And it’s still going on. Vicarro Ranch, located between Abbotsford has more than doubled, with a major facthe McKee Peak and Eagle Mountain areas of Abbotsford, tor in that statistic being cost. is a new residential development projected to eventually The median price for an Abbotsford home in have 1,700 units of townhouses and apartments. It will July 2010 was $420,000, while next door in Langley it was include six residential clusters, separated from each other $509,000. The difference is even more dramatic compared to by open space and park land, and will feature a combinaGreater Vancouver where the benchmark price of a home tion of single family, duplex, townhomes and condominium is nearly $800,000. units. The project will encompass 395 acres. By the end of 2009, Abbotsford had a total of 47,279 This will be one of Abbotsford’s largest master planned households. Residential development in 2009 was worth projects, rivaling the Auguston development ,which was $138 million. created in 1999. Auguston is located in East Abbotsford in Jay Teichroeb, Abbotsford’s general manager of ecothe southwest bowl of Sumas Mountain. The planned comnomic development and planning, estimates within the munity features a variety of single-family homes and its next 25 to 30 years there could be another 60,000 to 70,000 own traditional school. people living here, putting the city’s total population over City planners say there are areas on McKee Peak and 200,000. past the Ledgeview Golf Club that have massive potential. “If you’re a residential developer, you want to be in a In the first eight months of August, 551 residential buildplace where you have a high degree of confidence that ing permits on 241 units with a value of more than $50 milthere’s going to be a high need for housing. We’ve seen lion were issued in Abbotsford, while $11 million worth some of the biggest residential developers in of multi-family permits were issued. That’s an the province come into our community improvement on 2009, when the first eight in the last couple of years,” Teichroeb months of permits totaled less than says. $40 million between residential Over the years, residential and multi-family. growth has gradually crept west With spectacular scenery, and east of the downtown and surrounded by major core. agricultural acreage, In the west, Blueridge Abbotsford is big. Its popuDrive is an area that has lation isn’t, especially blossomed with developcompared to Vancouver ment surrounding ameniwhich has less than a ties like Rick Hansen third of the land and Secondary and the Cenmore than four times tre Ice complex. There’s the residents. even more on the way But as expansive with powerhouse develas it is, Abbotsford is opers Polygon piecing running out of room together a project called to put people. Although Westerleigh, a community there’s still some space of townhouses and aparton Sumas Mountain and ments covering 47 acres. To on the western border, the the far west, on the border easy residential developwith Aldergrove, residential ments have already been growth has been taking hold. done. Now it’s time to concenThe latest is the Pepin Brook trate on the core. Vineyard Estates. Three-quarters of Abbotsford’s It’s the east side of the city, however, 39,000 hectares are in the Agriculture where residential growth has been the Land Reserve (ALR). After years of most significant with developments climbing spreading out, Abbotsford is going to have to up the sides of Glenn and Sumas MounThe Mahogany at Mill Lake tower projContinued on A9 tains. ect reflects a future development trend.


Abbotsford News

9

November 2010 | ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION

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Multi-family housing made up 41 per cent of Abbotsford’s residential stock in 2006. “It’s no surprise that a condominium tower would be attractive in Abbotsford,” said Deanna Horn, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. She said it’s not just a lack of available land that is causing developers and home buyers to seek higher density projects. “It’s the cost of land,” she said. Abbotsford offers access, affordability and lifestyle, and Horn believes for some first-time home buyers, Abbotsford is their “only hope to fulfill the dream” of home ownership. “Next to Mission, Abbotsford is the most affordable city in the Fraser Valley.”

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Downtown Abbotsford

Business is growing in Downtown Abbotsford! And with the most stable economy in the Lower Mainland, we invite you to join us in this burgeoning upscale market in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada.

We have the information you need to bring your business home to the Historic Downtown District Starting with realtors specializing in commercial endeavours in downtown, heritage and historic guidelines, properties available to develop on your own, restored historical buildings or turnkey space to build to your specifications. We also have our wish list for two new anchor stores that are as special and unique as we are. We’re also ready to become the professional theatre hotspot outside of Vancouver. With C7 zoning and generous Revitalization Tax Exemption Programs locating in Downtown Abbotsford is a lucrative prospect.

Demographics: Primary trade area of over 134,000 in the Abbotsford area (214,000 in the regional shopping area) with projected growth of over 300,000 local and regional shoppers by 2012 for the middle and upper Fraser Valley. • Average Abbotsford Family income is $66,000/year with 2% of the population earning over $100,000/year. • 72% of homes are owner occupied with the average age of the population being 36 years of age with young families. • 86% of the Abbotsford population is under the age of 65 years showing an established financially secure consumer group looking for urban shopping and lifestyle choices closer to home. Tourism shopping from Canada & the US in Abbotsford and the downtown:

• The two Abbotsford Visitor Centres had a total of 23,000 visitors in 2009. • There were 1,493 specific requests for information on shopping. • 5,000 packages with downtown merchant information included were put together for sporting events participants not counting the extra people that came with them.

Film and Television Production “Downtown Abbotsford is a newly discovered gem for the film and television industry.” y.” With its ability to be any town in North America, the Historic Downtown district is a gold mine for TV productions such as Smallville, commercials, made for television movies and major film productions. For location ideas and ADBA production support please contact: Executive Director at the ADBA Office - 604.850.6547 For complete information on filming downtown Abbotsford please contact: Communications Manager of Economic Development, City of Abbotsford - 604.853.2281

For more information on doing business in Downtown Abbotsford please call, fax or email: Abbotsford Downtown Business Association 2-2635 West Railway Street, Abbotsford, BC, Canada, V2S 2E6 telephone: 604.850.6547 fax:604.859.6507 email: executive@downtownabbotsford.com Visit us online at www.downtownabbotsford.com


Abbotsford News

10 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

Moving the commercial footprint forward Commercial permits Jan. to July 2010 T Commercial building permits 71 permits $15,062,403 T Agricultural 72 permits $8,000,247 T Industrial 35 permits $4,325,650

Retail growth continues to set records in the city.

Development applications In 2009, Abbotsford processed 212 development applications for rezoning, subdivision and development permit/development variance permits. It also issued 1,483 building permits with a construction value of $156 million.

Submited artist conception

One of the largest projects of its kind in the country, High Street is a $200-million, 675,000-square-foot retail development underway at the Mt. Lehman interchange on Highway 1.

Building business Planners and politicians are focused on a well-balanced, well-diversified city

High Street Work has begun for one of the largest shopping mall projects in B.C. to be undertaken in the past 30 years, at Mt. Lehman Road and Highway 1.

next “10Theyears will be every bit as exciting as the last 10...

Jay Teichroeb

O

ne of the largest shopping mall projects in B.C. in the last 30 years is being undertaken at the west end of Abbotsford. It’s indicative of the surge of commercial development in this city that spans more than a decade of dynamic growth. Ten years ago, Cascade Aerospace had yet to set up shop at the Abbotsford International Airport. Today, it’s the city’s largest private employer with 700 people on its payroll. The state-of-the-art Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre was little more than a concept a decade ago, but its presence is now a significant economic generator in the city. The University of the Fraser Valley was a community college with a student base almost half of what it is presently. “The last 10 years have been remarkable in the maturing of our city,” said Jay Teichroeb, Abbotsford’s general manager of economic development. “The next 10 years will be every bit as exciting as the last 10...” The Lower Mainland is expected to add a million people by 2020. It’s anticipated 65 per cent will live south of the Fraser River,

and Abbotsford will receive a fair share of that population growth. Abbotsford’s location is ideal in many ways. B.C.’s most important ground transportation artery, Highway 1, runs through the middle of the burgeoning Fraser Valley. That’s why the airport and surrounding industrial park have taken off, and shopping centres and big box stores are landing here. Those factors – along with its fertile land – help to make Abbotsford an agriculture

industry epicentre. It has the highest per hectare revenue in Canada. Business and government agricultural agencies are putting their regional headquarters here. Virtually every bank, said Teichroeb, has a significant agricultural lending office in Abbotsford. On the retail side, Abbotsford is anticipating High Street, a 675,000-square-foot project that will cost upward of $200 million and will feature Walmart and London Drugs. Work is already underway by developer

Cross Developments will create 91,000 square feet of retail space on this land in east Abbotsford on Whatcom Road near Highway 1.

Shape Properties, on a site next to the Mt. Lehman interchange on Highway 1 on the west side of the city. On the east side, Shape is also putting the finishing touches on Parallel Marketplace, a $10-million project anchored by Thrifty Foods, not far from the Whatcom Road exit. Another $40-million mall featuring a grocery store from the Overwaitea group will be built in the same neighbourhood – Sumas Mountain Village. Vancouver-based Cross Developments will create 91,000 square feet of retail space, which will also include an 18,000-square-foot Shoppers Drug Mart, as well as banks and dental and medical clinics. In the last few decades, much of Abbotsford’s retail began making its way west from the original downtown, along South Fraser Way. When the big box phenomenon took hold, many such stores were built, and this sector continues to grow, along Sumas Way. During the past decade, Abbotsford has annually added between 800,000 and two million square feet in commercial, industrial and institutional space. At last count, total commercial floor space in 2006 Continued on P11


Abbotsford News

November 2010 | ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION

11

Well-diversi¿ed community From A10

putting up what it calls a 74,000-square-foot agricultural processing campus, a $20-milwas 7.4 million square feet. Teichroeb believes the new malls will have lion egg production project that is expected a positive effect in several ways. Fewer retail to add 120 jobs to the city’s economy. With most of the industrial land situated dollars will be leaking out of the community, over the Abbotsford-Sumas aquifer, the while more regional dollars will be coming city’s goal is to attract “clean” industry, in. such as high-tech companies, to create jobs He also feels the projects will raise the bar and build the tax base. in the rest of Abbotsford. Teichroeb said although Abbotsford was “I would be anticipating that we may not immune to the global economic slowsee some sprucing up of some of the retail down, it weathered the storm better than space in the city, and that will be a very many other communities. good thing. It helps to generate In the first eight months of 2010, renewal of those properties the city issued 237 non-residential because they’ll need to be competibuilding permits worth more than $36 tive,” he said. million. As Abbotsford’s urban core In 2009, 360 permits for commercial, grows, Teichcroeb sees commercial agricultural, industrial and instituand retail developing and redeveltional projects worth $88 million were oping along the South Fraser Way issued. corridor. In 2009, Abbotsford processed 212 “We want a well-diversified, TEICHROEB development applications for rezonwell-balanced community where ing, subdivision and development residents don’t have to leave the permit/development variance permits. It community to go to their place of employalso issued 1,483 building permits with a ment, a place where they get a range of shopping needs met locally, and services met construction value of $156 million, after having issued $352 million worth in 2008. locally,” he said. “Then we have places for Planning reports to council in the first them to enjoy their leisure time as well.” half of 2010 were up about 30 per cent over Industry in Abbotsford has grown significantly on the west side with the Mt. Lehman, the same period in 2009. “We’ve really benefited from the diversity Peardonville and Clearbrook industrial of our economy, and from the stability from parks. the underpinning of our economy, that The city is currently in the process of being agriculture,” said Teichroeb. instituting a Revitalization Tax Exemption “We’re there trying to be stewards of the program that would provide benefits to busipublic interest. nesses and industry developing or redevel“But at the end of the day, it’s that partoping projects of at least $1 million. nership between public interest and private Golden Valley Foods, for example, is capital that make a community.”

JOHN VAN PUTTEN

Abbotsford News

An aerial view of the Mt. Lehman interchange and industrial area, and residential development to the north of Highway 1.

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Parallel opening brings contemporary Main Street retail to east Abbotsford

The 105,000 square foot community marketplace in the growing east Abbotsford area, provides unique, local retail offerings to shoppers, in a relaxing and fresh environment.

Save time with the home meal options, and delight in the extensive deli and cheese island featuring more than 200 local and imported varieties, plus check out the fresh seafood counter.

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The October 2010 Parallel Marketplace opening completed Phase 1 of the project representing 70,000 square feet of leasing space. Future plans include an additional 35,000 square feet of retail as well as approximately 180 residential units on the 11.5 acre site.

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services from personal to pet care. Whether you’re seeking a little pampering at the salon, taking a class in Thrifty Food’s cooking & lifestyle centre or bringing your pet in for a checkup, Parallel Marketplace’s tenants are committed to providing quality experiences for those that live, work and shop in the Valley.

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Parallel was designed by SHAPE Properties, a visionary real estate investment company that has become the most active fully integrated developer in western Canada, and is excited to be part of the Abbotsford community. The development’s meticulous design is distinguished by individual storefronts, diverse building materials and an abundantly landscaped pedestrian streetscape, providing shoppers with a rich ambiance and relaxing shopping experience. On October 6, 2010, hundreds lined up for the opening of Thrifty Foods Parallel’s first official store. Abbotsford Mayor George Peary was on hand and joined by SHAPE President John Horton. Following the ribbon cutting, more than 400 eager shoppers rushed into the store, shopping carts in hand, ready to check out the new store features including a home meal replacement section, extensive deli and cheese island featuring more than 200 varieties of imported and local cheese, and a fresh seafood counter with live lobster and crab tank. Parallel also gives residents access to a range of

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Abbotsford News

14 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

The Fraser Valley is the bread basket of B.C. Economic powerhouse Agriculture in the Abbotsford area generates about $1.8 billion in economic activity, according to a recent survey conducted by the City of Abbotsford and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.

Abbotsford, and Bradner in particular, has been the home of large bulb growing enterprises, including the Van Noort Bulb Company and Flora Farms. One estimate pegs Abbotsford’s daffodils alone as being worth an estimated $3.5 million per year, and the overall bulb industry at $6.5 million.

Agri jobs Agriculture generates more than 11,300 jobs in Abbotsford, which is about 25 per cent of local private-sector jobs.

Agricultural dynamo A

The annual Agrifair showcases Abbotsford’s agricultural roots.

Major producer The Fraser Valley produces over 70 per cent of B.C.’s dairy products, berries, vegetables, poultry, eggs, pork, greenhouse vegetables, mushrooms, Åoriculture and nursery products.

was a “lotIt larger

than we thought. That’s a massive number in our town.

David Hull

bbotsford is B.C.’s bread basket – bar none. feasible for more producers to join the existing dairy farms, The Fraser Valley produces over 70 per cent of creating more milk production here. B.C.’s dairy products, berries, vegetables, poulThe province produces 657 million litres of milk, from some try, eggs, pork, greenhouse vegetables, mush70,000 cows, and the dairy industry is worth $500 million in rooms, floriculture and nursery products. In addition, it is farm gate sales. A significant amount of that happens here. the centre of the province’s food and beverage industry. Seventy-three per cent of the dairy production for B.C. comes Farming is big business in Abbotsford, which is home to from the Fraser Valley, and Abbotsford is a big player. some of the most productive farms in Canada, and where The Fraser Valley has 362 farmers producing 478 million more dollars are earned per acre than anywhere else in the litres of milk. country. Abbotsford alone has 105 producers who generate 144 milFrom milking cows and raising chickens to picking bluelion litres of milk, and local dairy farms contribute 22 per berries, agriculture generates $20,400 in total revenues per cent of the milk produced in the province. (Statistics provided hectare – the highest in Canada – and three times more by the BC Milk Marketing Board, for the period August 2009 than that of the next most productive region, the Niagara to July 2010). Peninsula in Ontario. These are generally family farms. They average between More than 1,200 farms in 130 and 140 cows, and those with the Abbotsford area generate larger herds of 200-plus animals about $1.8 billion in economic can support multiple families or activity, according to a recent generations of a family. survey conducted by the City of Abbotsford and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture. That represents about 35 per cent Blueberries are the biggest of the city’s gross domestic crop, with an average of 20 milproduct. lion pounds harvested annually, Agriculture generates more at a price of 80 to 90 cents per than 11,300 jobs in Abbotsford, pound this year. which is about 25 per cent of Promoted for its health benefits, local private-sector jobs. The the humble blueberry exploded, average hourly wage for a priced at $1.65 per pound at its farm employee is $16.75, while peak in 2006. Vast areas of other Abbotsford farms are responsible for producing about half of the crops were replanted, and bluethe average annual salary in Valley’s poultry products, and employ more than 2,000 people. the agri-business is nearly berry acreage has doubled twice $50,000. in the past 10 years. There are The spinoffs of farming include related industries, indusnow 4,000 acres of blueberries in Abbotsford. try organizations and government offices connected to agriCompanies such as Lucerne and Berry Hill have their culture that are based in Abbotsford. berry processing facilities here, and the raspberry, blueberry David Hull, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce executive and strawberry producers associations all run their organizadirector, said of the survey statistics, “It was a lot larger tions out of Abbotsford, creating more employment. than we thought. That’s a massive number in our town.” “We’ve seen a dramatic correction in price,” acknowledged The city is the de facto hub of agriculture in the province, Mark Sweeney, berry industry specialist with the B.C. Minhe said. istry of Agriculture. “But it’s still a good crop. We are a significant player worldwide.” About 60 per cent of the local crop is sold fresh in supermarkets, with much of it exported to the U.S. Sumas Prairie in the southeast of Abbotsford, and Matsqui The remaining 40 per cent is frozen and sold for manufacPrairie in the northwest are both dotted with dairy opera- turing, used in yogurt, jam and other food products. tions. Raspberries require the right combination of soils to be There were many dairies here historically, and Dutch their most productive, and ideal conditions are found in immigrants were key players in the industry. Their families Abbotsford, particularly south of Hwy. 1, where there is sandy continue that tradition. The access to support industries Continued on P17 and services, and ease of transportation to markets made it

Sweet business

Milk money


Abbotsford News

November 2010 | ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION

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Abbotsford News


Abbotsford News

November 2010 | ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION

17

Big 3: Berry, dairy and poultry From A14

soil on top of gravel. Of the 3,500 acres of raspberries in the Fraser Valley, 3,000 are here. Local raspberry farms account of 80 per cent of the supply for North America, generating 20 million pounds in a good year. The price has ranged from 45 cents to $1.85 per pound. Raspberries were the traditional crop of Abbotsford, along with strawberries and some cranberries.

Poultry power The poultry business means as much to the B.C. economy, in terms of jobs, as forestry, mining, and fossil fuel extraction, and Abbotsford is one of the pillars of the industry. Government statistics are based on regional production, and the Fraser Valley region produces: T 87%of the province’s broilers (chicken meat) T 98% of the turkey T 100% of the broiler breeders (hatching eggs) T 79% of the eggs

While a breakdown by municipality is not readily available, estimates peg Abbotsford’s share of the Valley poultry industry at 50 per cent, and this is supported by the ministry’s land use inventory, which shows 317 parcels of land for poultry use in Abbotsford, and 620 in the Valley overall. “Abbotsford is a huge player,” said Stuart Paulson, a Ministry of Agriculture poultry industry development specialist based in Abbotsford. Mennonite immigrants established poultry farms in Abbotsford in the 1940s, creating a foundation for a strong local industry. Feed companies, suppliers and other secondary business soon followed. Having a high concentration of poultry farms in Abbotsford has led to tremendous growth in processing and secondary industry here. There are three large processing operations including the Lilydale Foods turkey plant, seven of the province’s 10 hatcheries, including Fraser Valley Chick Sales, as well

Agriculture economic activity The Economic Impact of Agriculture in Abbotsford, conducted by Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture – 2008

There are more than 1,200 farms in Abbotsford, many of them major producers of blueberries and raspberries. as companies that handle services such as hauling, cleaning and disinfecting. There are 440 jobs in processing poultry, and 290 in hatcheries and supplies. Poultry processing is an industry that generates nearly $200 million in Abbotsford. The food conversion rates in Abbotsford – the

amount a bird is fed compared to how much meat it produces – are among the best in North America. In Abbotsford, the industry employs an estimated 2,000 full-time equivalents. T hey are of variable skill, ranging from chicken catchers earning $13-plus per hour, to veterinarians and animal nutrition PhDs.

Category

Total revenue ($1,000s)

Jobs FTE

Feedmills/Fertilizer Farm equipment Machinery repair Farm gate services Agriculture supplies Veterinary services Industry associations/gov’t Processing – Berry Processing – Dairy Processing – Poultry Processing – Vegetables Processing – Others Poultry hatcheries/supplies Farm construction - building Farm construction – materials Livestock hauling Other farm services

92,293 30,067 3,000 21,762 18,980 4,400 30,481 62,300 20,000 193,390 55,355 18,000 53,750 8,100 49,500 500 53,466

205 360 12 91 73 28 168 130 107 440 112 90 288 24 149 6 184

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Abbotsford News

ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

ABBOTSFORD

CITYIN THE COUNTRY

Proudly supporting our vibrant business & development community City of Abbotsford Economic Development Ken Baerg, Director, Economic Development 604-864-5508 kbaerg@abbotsford.ca www.abbotsford.ca/economicdevelopment

19


Abbotsford News

20 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

CITY VISION Abbotsford is the most sustainable, livable, and prosperous city in British Columbia

Working at the City of Abbotsford each day, I am regularly reminded of the vast number of services and programs that the City delivers for our residents. Everything from drinking water to traffic lights, permits and licences to inspections and reports, airport services and entertainment, recreation and parks, bylaws and bridges. What often gets missed however is that behind each of these services and programs is our greatest asset, our staff. It’s been said that to do your job well, you must love what you do. If this is the case, we are truly blessed. The staff of the City of Abbotsford represent a large and diverse group of dedicated individuals, all focused on one goal — to make Abbotsford the most sustainable, livable, and prosperous city in British Columbia. Their commitment and hard work is reflected in the customer services and programming that gets delivered throughout our City each day. The following staff profiles are a mere drop-in-the-bucket as they relate to the daily happenings across our great City. This should not detract from the fact however that each of them are here each day, delivering on our commitments to you. On behalf of Council, I invite you to get to know some of our staff through their own words. I hope that through their stories, you will have a glimpse into the faces behind our collective mandate — to provide you with excellent services that improve the sustainability and quality of life in Abbotsford.

Sincerely, George W. Peary Mayor

ONE CITY


Abbotsford News

ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

The one thing I wish all customers knew about the work I do: That the public’s interests are always a top priority for us when making decisions, particularly when it comes to ensuring that projects are delivered on budget— also that safety of the public is always top priority. My City is Abbotsford because…It is where I was born, raised and still live with my young family. My family’s roots in Abbotsford run deep. Abbotsford has the great outdoors at its fingertips which makes it the best place to live. Tyler Bowie, Project Engineer Engineering The one thing I wish all customers knew about the work I do: Employees are all very concerned about doing high quality work at the least possible cost for the City and the taxpayers, and it sometimes can be quite challenging. My City is Abbotsford because: It is so awesome living in a city where you can catch a flight, go to a hockey game, do some shopping, go out to some great restaurants, drive through the country, and have a state-of-the-art hospital only minutes away. Val Karandiuk, Planning Clerk Economic Development & Planning Services

CITY MISSION To deliver excellent services that improve the sustainability and quality of life in Abbotsford The one thing I wish all customers knew about the work I do: How hard we work to provide safe and clean drinking water from source to your tap. My City is Abbotsford because… Abbotsford is a multicultural and diverse community and has a blend of urban and rural life. I found it the only complete city in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley; it has an airport, its own police, and water and waste water treatment plant. For me, the City of Abbotsford is everything because as a new immigrant, it gave me the best opportunity for my life and to make my dreams come true. Muhammad Abro, Engineering Technologist Water Distribution Engineering

The one thing I wish all customers knew about the work I do: I wish they understood the intricacies behind the Soil Removal/Deposit Permit issuance process. We keep the permit process moving for an average of 20 active file applications on a daily basis. No matter how many soil applications we are working on we work hard every day to provide the best customer service for residents. My City is Abbotsford because… I was born and raised in Abbotsford. Our City in the Country has a vast agriculture industry that gave my family the opportunity to grow with Abbotsford. Abbotsford is a great hub — it gives me the opportunity to travel to places like Seattle and Vancouver for a day and still easily come back home. Sunita Sharma, Engineering Clerk Engineering

The one thing I wish all customers knew about the work I do: Please recycle! Also note Styrofoam is not recyclable! My City is Abbotsford because…it is a well maintained clean City with a lot of opportunities for my family. Bryan Raymond, Roads and Sanitation Engineering

The one thing I wish all customers knew about the work I do: I am passionate about my job and the work I do for the City and I always strive to provide the best customer service possible. My City is Abbotsford because…it is my home. Manjoo Clark, Administrative Assistant City Manager’s Office

The one thing I wish all customers knew about the work I do: Our staff are very committed to maintaining Abbotsford’s more than 200 parks as well as providing the best support possible for the many events that happen in our neighbourhoods and community parks. My City is Abbotsford because…I was born and raised here. This has been a great community to be raised in, to raise a family and be a part of. Paul Priebe, Supervisor of Parks and General Maintenance Parks, Recreation & Culture The one thing I wish all customers knew about the work I do: That I work for the people who intend to occupy the residence or building not the contractors/ builders/developers. My City is Abbotsford because… The growth potential is unbelievable. Rudy Steensland, Plumbing Inspector Economic Development & Planning Services

The one thing I wish all customers knew about the work I do: It can sometimes take time for us to get things done properly and that our goal is to ensure quality in our work. My City is Abbotsford because…of its diversity. Pardeep Agnihotri, Manager of Drainage and Electrical, Engineering

The one thing I wish all customers knew about the work I do: That arts and culture is vitally important to the health of our community. My City is Abbotsford because…Mayor Peary, Council, and the leadership team at City Hall are infusing creativity into the fabric of the work we do — here at City Hall and out in the community. Tamaka Fisher, Arts and Heritage Coordinator Parks, Recreation & Culture

21


Abbotsford News

22 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

Lower Mainland Communities Ranked by Growth Rate Community 1. Port Moody 2. Surrey 3, Chilliwack

2006

2001

Growth %

27,512

23,816

15.5%

394,976

347,820

13.6%

69,217

62,567

10.6%

4. Mission

34,505

31,272

10.3%

5. Maple Ridge

68,949

63,169

9.2%

6. Langley, Township

93,726

86,946

7.9%

7. Abbotsford

123,864

115,494

7.2%

8. New Westminster

58,549

54,656

7.1%

9. Pitt Meadows

15,623

14,670

6.5%

10 Richmond

174,461

164,345

6.2%

11. Vancouver

578,041

545,671

5.9%

12. Burnaby

202,799

193,954

4.6%

13. Port Coquitlam

52,687

51,257

2.8%

14. White Rock

18,755

18,250

2.8%

15. North Vancouver City

45,165

44,092

2.4%

16. West Vancouver 17. Coquitlam

42,131

41,421

1.7%

114,565

112,890

1.5%

18. North Vancouver

82,562

82,310

0.3%

19. Delta

96,723

96,950

-0.2%

10. Langley City

23,606

23,643

-0.2%

City at a Glance

Ten Fastest Growing CMA’s in Canada 2001 Rank

Name

2006

2001

Change

%

1

Barrie (Ont)

177,061

148,480

28.581

19.2

2

Calgary (Alta)

1,079,310

3

Oshawa (Ont)

330,594

296,298

34,296

11.6

4

Edmonton (Alta)

1,034,945

937,845

97,100

10.4

5

Kelowna (BC)

162,276

147,739

14,537

9.8

6

Toronto (Ont)

5,113,149

4,682,897 430,252

9.2

7

Kitchener (Ont)

451,235

414,284

36,951

8.9

8

Guelph (On.)

127,344

117,344

9,665

8.2

159,020

147,370

11,650

7.9

126,424

118,678

7,746

6.5

9 10

Abbotsford

(BC)

Moncton (NB)

951,395 127,816 13.4

Where We Work Langley (DM) 9.97%

Burnaby 1.53%

Surrey 7.06%

Maple Ridge 1.27%

Mission 3.68%

Richmond 1.16%

Chilliwack 3.15%

Other (20 locations) 4.61%

Langley (CY) 2.76% Vancouver 1.87%

India United Kingdom Western Europe Eastern Europe USA South America Other Southeast Asia

Source: Statistics Canada: 2006 Census

Area: 39,043.15 hectares (96,474 acres) Building Permit Value 2009: $156,283,636 million Business Licences issued 2009: 6,176 Labour Force (15 years+): 65,645 (2006 census)

Gross Median Income of Population (2005): $2,138,989,600 Average Household Income (2006): $66,247 Average Individual Income (2006): $31,051

Source: Statistics Canada: 2006 Census

represents 27% of Abbotsford’s total population

Location: Southwestern BC, Central Fraser Valley

Labour Base: Manufacturing, Retail, Agriculture, Health Services, Construction, Aerospace

Source: BC Stats

Immigrant Population - Region of Birth

Population: 137,000

Parkland: 240 hectares Residents living and working in Abbotsford: 65% Population Growth (2001-2005): 7.2%

Eastern Asia Other (11 locations)

Abbotsford’s Strategic Projects Team The City of Abbotsford’s Strategic Projects Team was established in 2009 to better align the city’s business development resources. The Strategic Projects Team includes an Engineer, a Development Technologist and a Planner who work closely with the Manager of Building Permits and Licences, a Plans Examiner as well as the Airport Business Development Manager and the Real Estate Services Group. The Strategic Projects Team’s key focus is on a small number of high impact projects including the development of the 110 acres of the City in the Country industrial lands, the Marshall Road Extension, the Gladys Road Extension, the Abby Lane Shopping Centre at the Mt. Lehman Interchange, the development of the University District and development p at the Abbotsford International Airport. The team focuses on key projects that will enhance the economic wellbeing of the City and ensure that projects will expand the economic base, enhance job creation and maximize tax revenue.

For more information: www.abbotsford.ca/economicdevelopment


Abbotsford News

ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

23

Millions generated by local companies Millions in permits From 2008 to present, the City of Abbotsford issued 175 industrial permits, worth close to $35 million.

Newly designated lands in Abbotsford could accommodate more than a million square feet of new industrial floor space.

Transportation key

Photo by Chester Goosen

Cascade Aerospace, located at Abbotsford International Airport, performs millions of dollars worth of work servicing aircraft, including a $27-million contract for the Canadian Force’s new fleet of CC-130 Super Hercules.

Industrial growth is supported by key transportation infrastructure, including the Abbotsford Airport, proximity to the U.S. border, and easy highway access.

Industrial engines

W

hen one thinks of Abbotsford’s economic drivers, agriculture generally tops the list. However. the city’s industrial sector continues to generate millions of dollars each year, going virtually unnoticed by the average citizen. The city is in a prime location for continued industrial growth, thanks to close proximity to key transportation infrastructure including the Abbotsford International Airport, the U.S. border crossings and new improvements to two major Highway 1 interchanges. 2008 was a big year for new industrial growth as 79 industrial building permits were issued, worth close to $24 million. The uncertain economic situation affected those numbers in 2009, as 50 permits were issued, valued at $4.5 million. However, activity is ongoing in 2010. So far this year, the city has granted 46 permits valued at $6.9 million. “The 2009 numbers are a reflection of the recession and a lack of available industrial land,” explained Jay Teichroeb, Abbotsford’s general manager, economic development and planning services. While the Abbotsford Airport is an obvious hotbed for industry and technology, with companies like Cascade Aerospace bringing in millions in service contracts (including a $27-million contract announced in March 2010 to service Canada’s new fleet of 17 CC130J Super Hercules Tactical Lift aircraft), other big industrial endeavours are flying under the radar. “They are quietly out there, doing their business in a typically

Canadian way. There’s not a lot of fanfare,” said Teichroeb. One example is New World Technologies. The local company, employing more than 50 people, manufactures pneumatic, battery-powered, and electronic wrenches, used worldwide in the oil and gas, petrochemical, mining and aerospace industry. New World will reach in excess of $15 million in sales this year. It’s joined by numerous successful manufacturing and distributing enterprises in Abbotsford. Teichroeb lists Dynamic Doors, B E Pressure Inc., the food processing business and the gravel industry, with Abbotsford’s geology making it a prime area for gravel extraction. “Certainly it has some of the best sand and gravel deposits in the Lower Mainland,” said Brad Kohl, vice-president of Lafarge’s Vancouver Aggregate. According to Kohl, Abbotsford’s gravel industry (in its entirety, which includes other companies such as Fraser Valley Aggregate, Mainland Gravel, and Pan Pacific Aggregates) is worth about $45 million per year. He also noted there is an estimated one to six ratio of spin-off jobs from gravel including mechanics, fuel sales, etc. “You have to remember that gravel is the foundation for almost everything we build, whether it’s concrete or asphalt, everything.” Transportation is also big business in Abbotsford. Vedder Transport is a trucking firm which has grown from one cannery truck in 1956 to an operation that covers Western Continued on P24

The trucking industry is an important component of the local transportation structure, generating millions annually.

Gravel is money Abbotsford’s gravel industry is worth about $45 million per year.

Certainly “(Abbotsford)

has some of the best sand and gravel deposits in the Lower Mainland. Brad Kohl

JOHN VAN PUTTEN

Abbotsford News

Sumas Mountain is the location of several major rock quarries, including the Mainland Sand & Gravel pit on the north side of the mountain.


Abbotsford News

24 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

Expanding into the future

Highway 1 provides an important transportation corridor both for commuters and industry. From A23

Canada, with 300 tractors, 800 trailers and a quartermillion square feet of warehouse space. According to city manager Frank Pizzuto, creating a successful, stable community is all about diversification. “You need to create a balance of commercial, indus-

trial and agricultural,” he said. By improving the industrial sector, the city is attempting to reach that balance. “There’s a lot of focus on the airport, it’s a significant economic driver,” said Pizzuto, as is creating more industrial space for future growth. Abbotsford’s industrial

factories and manufacturing plants are concentrated in several areas. The Riverside industrial area is located between Sumas Way and Riverside Road, and runs northward from the Canada/U.S. border to Highway 1. Two railway lines are located within this industrial area, making it well suited for industries

Cutting-edge technology companies have established here. requiring rail access and shipment of goods to and from trucks and railcars. In total, these lands comprise approximately 190 hectares (470 acres). The McCallum industrial area is also suitable for industries requiring rail access. This area offers access to the AbbotsfordMission Highway and the

Southern Railway of B.C. The Clearbrook industrial area consists of two separate areas located south of Highway 1. The smaller site is adjacent to the Clearbrook Road interchange on Highway 1. A limited number of parcels remain undeveloped. Industrial sites at the Abbotsford International

Airport can be leased for aviation-related uses. “We want to make sure there is adequate land for industrial use. We also need to have a transportation infrastructure to move goods, simply and effectively,” said Teichroeb. To meet the need for more space, the city is currently creating a new industrial park. The area, west of Clearbrook Road and north of King, is currently privately-owned agricultural land. Once water, sewer, drainage and road service is established (a project which is ongoing) the area can be rezoned for industrial use. The area consists of 43 hectares and about 100 acres is available for development. The area could carry up to a million square feet of new industrial floor space, create between 2,000 and 2,500 new jobs, and provide a boost to city coffers, creating about $6 million in industrial taxation each year, helping to lessen the burden on residential taxpayers.

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Abbotsford News

ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

Aviation industry has taken wing here

25

Busy runways YXX was the 19th busiest airport in Canada in 2008 in terms of passenger traffic (498,359). In 2009, it was the 17th busiest in terms of aircraft movement (123,102).

WestJet Airlines took its inaugural flight on June 18, 1997.

Airport upgrading

JOHN VAN PUTTEN

Abbotsford News

In May 2010, work began on a $30-million expansion of the Abbotsford Airport, including a parallel runway and terminal upgrades.

Conair, widely known for its aerial fire control services, is among major aviation companies based at Abbotsford International Airport.

An airborne corridor W

hen the first waves of European settlers arrived in the Fraser Valley in the mid-1800s, the Fraser River was the region’s most integral transportation corridor. These days, Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) wears that mantle. “The airport is extremely important, not only to the future of Abbotsford, but for Surrey, Mission, Chilliwack, Hope, Maple Ridge,” said Dave Holmberg, interim chair of the Abbotsford Airport Authority. “It has a big impact on what goes on in this region. “So many of our major industries – whether it’s Corrections Canada, manufacturing windows, the university, or the agricultural business – all of these depend on moving things across this country.” Abbotsford’s airport was constructed in 1943 as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, a joint World War II flight training program with the principal partners being the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The No. 24 Elementary Flying Training School in Abbotsford was one of the largest of 100 schools built across Canada at that time. Following World War II, the Royal Canadian Air Force closed its station in Abbotsford, but maintained the facility on a caretaker basis. The airport was closed from 1952 to 1958, until the Department of Transport took over the site. In 1997, ownership of the airport was transferred to the City

of Abbotsford for the sum of $10, and YXX became a jet passenger airport when WestJet Airlines took its inaugural flight on June 18 of that year. Today, Abbotsford’s airport is a bustling facility. According to Statistics Canada, YXX was the 19th busiest airport in Canada in 2008 in terms of passenger traffic (498,359). In 2009, it was the 17th busiest in terms of aircraft movement (123,102). Cascade Aerospace, a company that specializes in aviation maintenance, overhaul, repair and product engineering, operates a 250,000-square-foot facility on the airport property, while Conair Aviation occupies more than 100,000-sq.ft. of hangar space to house its fleet of firefighting water bombers. The airport hosts several flight schools, including Coastal Pacific Aviation and Chinook Helicopters. The University of the Fraser Valley is also in the aviation training business, partnering with Coastal Pacific on a variety of diploma and degree programs. The airport is renowned for hosting its annual Abbotsford International Airshow, the largest event of its kind in Canada. Preliminary estimates for the August 2010 edition of the event put airshow attendance at 108,000. The airport’s development is ongoing. In May 2010, construction began on a new taxiway parallel to the airport’s main

The annual Abbotsford International Airshow is the largest event of its kind in Canada.

What the river “meant to this

community in 1858 is what this airport is going to mean to this community in 2011 and beyond.

Dave Holmberg

Continued on A26

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Abbotsford News

26 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

WESTERN CANADA’S

LARGEST

FENCING The Fraser Valley Trade and Exhibition Centre, Tradex, located at the Abbotsford Airport, is one of Canada’s premier small-scale exposition venues. In 2009 it hosted 57 exhibitions. These included the Vancouver Motorcycle Show, Earlybird RV Show and Sale, and the B.C. Boat and Sportsmen’s Show. Tourism Abbotsford took over Tradex operations in 2004. Since 2005 it has enjoyed an average rate of revenue growth of 12 per cent per year, and the city is now considering a $15-million expansion.

2011 and beyond From A25

runway. The $30-million project – paid for by the federal, provincial and municipal governments – reduces aircraft taxi times and delays, and improves the airport’s capacity to handle larger aircraft. The airport terminal is also undergoing a facelift. That project, worth $1.4 million, will yield improved passenger processing capability, new washrooms, new security

and public information booths. The airport, Holmberg said, makes Abbotsford a more attractive city to live in, which in turn spurs development. “What the river meant to this community in 1858 is what this airport is going to mean to this community in 2011 and beyond.” T During the brief period during World War II where the Abbotsford airport functioned as a military flight school, an average of 3,000 trained

personnel graduated each month. T Less than five per cent of Abbotsford’s 123,102 aircraft movements in 2009 were passenger jets. The majority of local flights were associated with private aircraft and flight schools. T Abbotsford is Canada’s de facto helicopter licensing capital. Chinook Helicopters, a local company, issued approximately one-third of the helicopter licences issued in Canada in 2009.

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27 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

Thousands employed to provide regional care Employment In total, about 1,800 people are employed at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and 170 at the cancer centre. With the completion of the new hospital came 400 additional nursing jobs and 400 extra support positions

When the Abbotsford Regional Hospital was built, 11,000 new pieces of equipment were added to the facility, from magnetic resonance imaging, to CT scanners and updated computers.

First of its kind JOHN VAN PUTTEN

Abbotsford News

With an annual budget of $171 million, Abbotsford Regional Hospital serves a population of 330,000 and employs more than 2,000 people.

Leader in health care A

growing, vibrant community requires state-ofthe-art health-care facilities that can keep up with the demand. The Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre (ARHCC) is just the place, serving 150,000 residents in the immediate area, and a regional population of 330,000. The 300bed facility opened on Aug. 24, 2008 on Marshall Road, replacing the 55-yearold MSA Hospital and becoming the first hospital in western Canada to offer acute care and a community cancer centre under one roof. At about 200,000 square feet, it includes MRI services, general surgery, nuclear medicine, renal dialysis, specialized obstetrics and a nursery area, pediatric services and other specialized services. The project is the first acute-care hospital to be built using a publicprivate partnership model, at a cost of $355 million for construction and equipment and with an annual budget of $171 million. The hospital is operated by Fraser Health and the B.C. Cancer Agency in partnership with Access Health Abbotsford Ltd. Tracy Irwin, director of site operations for ARHCC, said the collaboration has been a success for the region.

The relationship encompasses everything from the actual structure to the clinical-care aspects of the hospital. Irwin said this model has made Abbotsford stand out when it comes to health care in the province. “We’re getting noticed and being asked to share our experiences,” she said. “It puts us on the map as a leader in health care.” She said Abbotsford residents and hospital staff are fortunate to have access to the latest in health-care technology. When the hospital was built, 11,000 new pieces of equipment were added, including magnetic resonance imaging, two CT scanners that were better and faster than the old ones, and updated computer technology to enable more efficient access to patient records. The new hospital has also benefited the community from an employment standpoint, including 400 additional nursing jobs and 400 extra support positions. In total, about 1,800 people are employed at ARHCC and 170 at the cancer centre, in addition to about 300 employees with private partners which include Sodexo, Johnson Controls, Intercon and Impark. The hospital is not the only health care facility making an Continued on A28

The ARHCC is the Ärst acute-care hospital to be built using a publicprivate partnership model, at a cost of $355 million for construction and equipment.

More health care A new Campus of Care will be built adjacent to Abbotsford Regional Hospital, consisting of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, the Abbotsford Hospice Society and Matthew’s House.

We’re “getting

noticed and being asked to share our experiences. Tracy Irwin


Abbotsford News

28 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

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Campus of care From A27

economic impact in the community. Abbotsford’s new Campus of Care – to be located on Marshall Road adjacent to the hospital – begins construction this year. The project consists of three buildings – each offering separate, but related, services – on city-owned land, which is being leased for 99 years at a annual cost of $10. Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, already operating in Vancouver, will be the first of the three projects. The 20,000-square-foot, $10 million facility will operate 10 beds for children under

the age of 19 who have life-threatening illnesses. The Abbotsford Hospice Society will build a 20,000-square-foot resource centre and adult hospice, and is currently in the midst of a three-year, $7-million fundraising campaign. At 4,000 square feet, Matthew’s House will require an initial $2 million in funds. The agency will provide respite care for children with severe disabilities. Although it is too early to measure the economic impact of these projects, they are bound to be substantial, resulting in employment opportunities and the purchase of goods and services in the construction phase and beyond.

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Abbotsford News

ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

UFV is a strong contributor to economy

29

UFV enrolment More than 15,000 students attend UFV annually, with over 1,800 graduates each year, in an extensive range of careers and vocations.

Thousands of students live and work in the community, adding to the university’s economic impact.

Workforce A workforce of more than 1,000 university employees means a major boost to the real estate and retail sectors.

UFV has campuses in Abbotsford (pictured above on King Road), Chilliwack, and Mission, with regional centres in Hope and Agassiz.

A university city A

bbotsford is now a university city. While the University of the Fraser Valley has had a presence in the community for more than 35 years since its community college days, and offered degree programs since 1992, it’s only in the past two years that it has officially been a university. With that label comes an enhanced image for the city. Professionals thinking about where to settle and businesses looking to relocate are drawn to places that can offer the benefits a university can provide. These include a locally educated workforce, ongoing educational opportunities for employees and their families, and the enhanced cultural opportunities that a university brings to a community. UFV annually brings guest speakers, athletic events, forums and workshops, and other special events to the city, and UFV administrators, faculty, students, and alumni work closely with a variety of corporate and public service partners to build and maintain a close relationship with the community. There are also direct economic benefits to having a university in Abbotsford. A workforce of more than 1,000 employees, many of whom live and shop locally, means a boost to the real estate and retail sectors. UFV’s annual operating budget for 2010/11 totals $94.3 million. That’s a lot of funding coming into the local economy in the form of wages, supply procurement, and other contracts. All of this income creates a compounding spinoff effect as the money spent by the university or its employees spurs other spending by those who receive it. Add to that more than 15,000 students, many of whom are staying home instead of leaving town for university, and others who are drawn to the community for their education. That represents a significant amount of rent money, or money that

would have been spent on rent elsewhere staying in parents’ pockets, and a young clientele for the leisure and entertainment sectors. Hundreds of students come from other countries, providing an additional boost to the local economy and a connection to the global one. Local businesses and government can tap into the expertise of UFV through initiatives such as the cooperative education program, which places students in paid positions relevant to their studies, and university–industry partnerships, such as the Regional Innovation Chair in Canada–India Business and Economic Development. The latter position, held by D.J. Sandhu, has a mandate of facilitating trade between British Columbia and India. And once UFV’s graduates — more than 1,800 of them every year — hit the employment market, they have an additional impact on the local economy. Ask a local banker, accountant, nurse, mechanic, fitness instructor, teacher, journalist, business owner, retail manager, farmer, carpenter, government worker, dental assistant, or police officer where they got their post-secondary education and there’s a good chance they’ll answer UFV. UFV is now working with the City of Abbotsford to create a university district surrounding the Abbotsford campus. This would encourage the development of university-friendly activities, such as student residences, technology-based businesses, recreation facilities, services and retail outlets such as bookstores and cafés in the surrounding area. The placement of the Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment complex and adjacent entertainment and restaurant facilities is the beginning of the transformation of this former industrial area.

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UFV’s annual operating budget for 2010/11 totals $94.3 million.

Early days The University of the Fraser Valley has had a presence in the community for more than 35 years since its community college days.

We are now larger than half the universities in Canada.

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Abbotsford News

30 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

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Abbotsford’s top employers O

ne of the community's two largest employers has more than 2,000 people on its payroll. As such, the Abbotsford school district has a significant impact on the community, says Cindy Schafer, chairperson of the Abbotsford board of education. "We know a substantial part of our $154 million annual operating budget flows through into the local economy," she said. These funds are used throughout the year to purchase supplies and services for local schools and equip various operations and new initiatives. The school district is involved in one of the largest construction projects in the city over the next several years: the $45 million renovation of Abbotsford Collegiate (formerly Abbotsford Senior Secondary), located at 2329 Crescent Way. The project also includes a seismic upgrade, a three-storey addition, a community library, and the replacement of several classrooms and shops. Construction is expected to be complete in 2012. Some minor renovation projects are currently underway at three elementary schools – King, Mountain and South Poplar – in order to accommodate full-day kindergarten, which becomes mandatory throughout the province in September 2011. Of the 2,001 people employed by the Abbotsford school district, 1,179 are teachers, 115 are administrators, and

707 are support staff. Another 424 are on-call teachers. Student enrolment was 18,744 for the 201011 school year. Staff are employed at 53 sites, including 47 schools – 31 elementary, seven middle, one middle-secondary, seven secondary, and one virtual school based at Philip Sheffield elementary.

City of Abbotsford Top Employers Employers Fraser Health Auth.

Employees 2,550+

School District 34

2,500+

Correction Services Can.

1,200+

University of Fraser Valley

1,400+

City of Abbotsford

900+

Cascade Aerospace

500+

EV Logistics

500+

Prospera Credit Union

500+

Vedder Transport

450+

Walmart

450+

Conair Group

350+

Dynamic Windows and Doors

300+

Save-On-Foods

273+

Sears

240+

Source: City of Abbotsford, November 2008

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ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

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Abbotsford News

32 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

An active city: From pro hockey to recreation

Abbotsford has won numerous titles in AAA football and AAA boys basketball.

AHL hockey Abbotsford is among just 10 cities in the nation that can boast a pro hockey team. The American Hockey League Heat play out of the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

Sports town Canada The Heat located in Abbotsford and began their first AHL season in 2009.

Abbotsford has a sports scene that is second to none among Canadian cities its size.

I

n 2006, Tourism Abbotsford re-branded the city as and field championships, the B.C. Summer Games, and the “Sport Town Canada” – a calculated claim designed to Abbotsford Rugby Sevens festival. boost Abbotsford’s profile in the sport hosting industry. Other key city-operated facilities include MSA Arena, a Over the past five years, Abbotsford has grown 900-seat ice rink that hosts the Abbotsford Pilots junior B into that lofty title, with a sports scene that is second to none hockey team; Abbotsford Recreation Centre, which features an among Canadian cities its size. Olympic-sized ice sheet, an indoor pool, and two gymnasiums; Abbotsford is one of just 10 cities in the nation that can and Matsqui Recreation Centre, home to a wave pool and ice boast a professional hockey team. In the fall of 2009/10, the rink. Abbotsford Heat began play in the American Hockey League, Abbotsford boasts a vibrant university sports scene. The North America’s top minor pro University of the Fraser Valley’s hockey circuit which serves as the basketball and soccer programs have primary developmental league for the been competing in Canadian InteruniNHL. versity Sport (CIS), the nation’s top The Heat play out of the Abbotsford post-secondary sports league, since Entertainment and Sports Centre, a 2006. new rink on King Road that seats 7,046 There are also several local profans for hockey. The AESC, which grams on the B.C. Colleges Athletic opened in the spring of 2009, has Association (BCCAA) circuit. UFV’s hosted a variety of sporting events volleyball and golf teams compete in including the Harlem Globetrotters, the BCCAA, while Columbia Bible motocross, monster trucks, and preCollege provides a crosstown rivalry Olympic hockey games. in volleyball. The CBC Bearcats also The AESC is the newest and have a BCCAA basketball program. largest among a plethora of local On the high school scene, B.C.’s two sports facilities. Exhibition Park is a marquee spectator sports are AAA 23,000-square-foot recreational area football and AAA boys basketball, and which features the 4,000-seat Rotary Abbotsford schools have combined to Stadium, along with facilities for win five titles in those leagues over baseball, football, soccer, rugby, rodeo, the past decade. On the gridiron, cricket and BMX. Rotary Stadium the W.J. Mouat Hawks (2002, 2005) has hosted an abundance of major JOHN VAN PUTTEN Abbotsford News and Rick Hansen Hurricanes (2004) sporting events, including B.C. Lions Abbotsford athletes have reached top competitive have won the Subway Bowl. On the training camp, several national track levels in a host of sports, such as gymnast Ken Ikeda. Continued on A33

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Abbotsford News

ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

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Abbotsford News

Abbotsford has produced a number of championship high school football teams.

Powerhouse teams From A32

hardwood, the Yale Lions claimed two AAA boys hoops titles in three years, winning it all in ’08 and ’10. On the volleyball court, the Mennonite Educational Institute senior boys have fashioned a dynasty, winning seven AA provincial titles in eight years. The city also boasts powerhouse high school programs in wrestling and rugby. Ledgeview Golf and Country Club has proven

to be fertile soil for golf luminaries, sending forth the likes of former PGA Tour pro Ray Stewart; 2005 NCAA champ James Lepp; Nick Taylor, the world’s No. 1-ranked amateur in 2009; and Canadian Tour sensation Adam Hadwin. In terms of youth sports, Abbotsford is home to myriad elite clubs. Over the past four years, the Valley Royals track and field club, Abbotsford Soccer Association, Matsqui Blades speed skating club and Twisters Gymnastics have all sent athletes to the

Olympic Games. Other high-calibre sports associations train athletes in hockey, rugby, baseball, fastpitch, swimming, football, water ski, rope skipping, figure skating, judo, cheer leading and lacrosse – to name a few. Abbotsford also offers plenty of choices in terms of recreational leagues for adults, with options ranging from curling to basketball to slo-pitch to touch football. Abbotsford wears the “Sports Town Canada” mantle well.

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Abbotsford News

34 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

Abbotsford has the talent, and the facilities

The annual Berry Beat Festival attracts a variety of performers and participants.

Funds and facilities The city budget for the arts went from $100,000 to $1 million within the past decade, while major facilities such as the The Reach Gallery Museum and the Abbotford Entertainment and Sports Centre were built.

A

There was “nothing for the arts for years and years, but in the last 10 years, wow! Lee Murray

Arts and culture bbotsford’s Arts and Heritage Master Plan states that a museum and art gallery should be considered for the city by 2014. It appears the community is six years ahead

tic expression. The Ware Street gallery is operated by the Abbotsford Arts Council and hosts as many as a dozen shows a year. The arts council officially formed in 1972 but has been operof its time. ating informally since the early 1960s. The council consists The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford opened its doors of 57 member groups representing between 4,000 and 5,000 on Sept. 22, 2008. Located on Veterans Way, the Reach is a members. 20,000-square-foot building containing a 6,100-square-foot As important as The Reach is for visual artists, the Abbotsexhibition hall, archives, two multi-purpose studios, two com- ford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC) is equally vital munity exhibition spaces, art collection storage and museum for the performing arts. artifact collection storage. Abbotsford has long hosted concerts and travelling shows at It’s a category A facility, allowing travelling exhibitions the Abbey Arts Centre, but it has never had the ability to draw from other regional, provincial, national and international big-name acts to the community. cultural institutions to be exhibited there. The new AESC, located on King Road, has changed that. “It’s mind-boggling how the arts here have come alive,” Capable of seating up to 8,500 for concerts, almost any show said Lee Murray, an Abbotsford business name could be attracted. native, owner of House of Fine The new venue has hosted such Art and longtime arts activist. stars as Reba McEntire, Alan Jack“There was nothing for the son, the Tragically Hip, Burton Cumarts for years and years, but in mings and Randy Bachman as well the last 10 years, wow!” as family-oriented shows such as the According to Murray, the city Harlem Globetrotters and Sesame budget for the arts went from Street Live. $100,000 to $1 million. Gallery It is also home to the American space went from non-existent to Hockey League’s Abbotsford Heat. abundant. With the AESC available for bigSince its opening, the $10.5 name acts, the door has opened for million arts and cultural centre local groups to have even more access has become a focal point for arts to community venues like the Abbey JOHN MORROW Abbotsford News Arts Centre and the Matsqui Centenin the city. Major entertainment acts, such as Randy Bachman and Burton nial Auditorium. But it isn’t alone. For years, Kariton Gallery Cummings have performed in the Abbotsford Entertainment Both venues have showcased travelwas the main outlet for artis- and Sports Centre. Continued on P35

Tues, Wed, Fri 10am-5pm Thurs 10am-9pm Sat & Sun 12pm-5pm Closed Mondays and Stat. Holidays Admission to the exhibitions is free

Where great artists, great stories and all cultures come together.

The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford • 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford • 604 864 8087 • www.thereach.ca


Abbotsford News

Multicultural mix From A34

ling acts as well as community theatre and concerts. Fraser Valley Stage, a non-profit theatre group with a membership of about 65 performers, has been presenting musical theatre for almost 40 years. Over the decades it has presented plays, Broadway musicals, pub nights, Gilbert and Sullivan shows and more. Another local theatrical group, Gallery 7 Theatre, presents its shows at the MEI Theatre, located at the MEI Secondary school. The Valley Concert Society brings classical music to life with a series of shows at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. Each production offers a special, visiting performer. Violinist Calvin Dyck’s popular Songs Strings and Steps concert series combines music and the visual arts in an annual showcase of local talent. The city’s many churches also host concerts from local and visiting groups. Abbotsford is also home to numerous dance studios producing world-class talents. T he MSA Museum Society/Trethewey House keeps Abbotsford’s rich

35

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history and culture alive. Its mandate is to be the memory of the community. The society has a huge collections of items and hosts different educational programs throughout the year. Abbotsford’s diverse cultural makeup also offers festivals and events open to all. One of the biggest is the annual Abbyfest – Abbotsford Multicultural Festival. Created three years ago by Musleh Hakki, the festival celebrates all cultures that make up the community and features entertainers, ethnic foods and information booths. The fourth

annual Abbyfest is scheduled for Sept. 17, 2011. The annual Sikh parade takes to Abbotsford’s streets during the first week of September as thousands of people take part in the day-long celebration. Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is a five-day festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, occurring between mid-October and mid-November. The Fraser Valley Ukrainian Cultural Society hosts an annual New Year’s Eve dinner and dance to celebrate the Ukrainian New Year – Malanka in midJanuary.

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Abbotsford does not have a residence for those over 19 who are dying.

Hospice is the Solution.

Through fundraising and donations, the Abbotsford Hospice Society is building a 28,500 sq. ft. family-oriented facility where a care team will meet all the needs of patients and families around the clock.

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ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

EDUCATION GOALS FOR ABBOTSFORD: Choice & Personalization The Abbotsford Board of Education’s first and highest priority is to maintain, improve, and enhance the range of choices available to students in the Abbotsford School District. Our Mission: Preparing and inspiring our students for a lifetime of success through Respect, Opportunity, and Innovation. Our Vision: A world-class, innovative, and individualized educational experience for every student. Our Values: Respect, Trust, Integrity, Communication, Teamwork. Our Achievement Goals: To improve student achievement for all learners. To improve the school completion rates of all students. SEE THE COMPLETE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE ABBOTSFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT AT www.sd34.bc.ca/stratplan/


Abbotsford News

36 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

Nearly 86 per cent of population is under 65 Population doubles From 1981 to 2006, Abbotsford’s population has more than doubled, to nearly 140,000 at present.

Forty-two per cent of Abbotsford’s immigrant population is of South Asian descent.

Median age 36 With a median age of 36.6 years, Abbotsford is one of the youngest and most family-oriented communities in the Lower Mainland.

Abbotsford is home to 58 different ethnic and cultural groups, with one of the largest South Asian populations in the province.

Foreign-born A recent study found the number of foreign-born residents in the Abbotsford/Mission CMA will rise from 24 per cent in 2006 to 29 per cent in 2031.

All you “have to do

is take a walk in our city and you can see the diversity . . . It’s a strength.

George Peary

Young, diverse city populations in the province. bbotsford’s population has more than doubled Forty-two per cent of Abbotsford’s immigrant population in the past three decades. From 1981 to 2006, it is of South Asian descent. increased by 126 per cent. The ethnic diversification of Abbotsford’s population According to statistics gathered in the last will continue to rise in the future, according to a more census (2006), close to 86 per cent of Abbotsford’s population recent report released by Stats Canada in March 2010. is below the age of 65. The study, called Projections of the Diversity of the And with a median age of 36.6 years, Abbotsford is one of Canadian Population, compares 2006 statistics with projecthe youngest and most family-oriented tions for 2031. communities in the Lower Mainland. The study found the number of “We are still attractive to young foreign-born residents in the Abbotsfamilies,’ said Abbotsford Mayor George ford/Mission CMA will rise from 24 Peary. “And believe it or not, our housper cent in 2006 to 29 per cent in 2031. ing, when compared to the rest of the Both stats are higher than the Lower Mainland, is still affordable.” Canadian average of 20 and 26 per Census data also shows slight shifts cent respectively. in the distribution of age groups within That will give Abbotsford/Mission the city. The percentage of population the fifth largest percentage of foreignbetween the ages of 45 and 65 rose, born residents in Canada, by 2031, reflecting the peak of the baby boom behind Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal generation entering their late 40s. and Calgary. Although the population’s median The study also examined the perage is increasing, Abbotsford remains centage of visible minorities (defined comparatively youthful. for this study as people, other than In comparison to other CMAs in aboriginal people, who are non-CauCanada, the Abbotsford CMA (consisting casian in race or non-white in colour) of the City of Abbotsford and District of and the Abbotsford/Mission CMA Mission) has the third highest proporwill see another big rise, from 23 per tion of children under the age of 15 in cent in 2006 to 39 per cent in 2031. Canada. That puts Abbotsford in third spot, “For the most part, our school district behind Toronto and Vancouver. population has held up fairly well, In 2031, the Canadian average will despite some minor declines,” said be 16 and 31 per cent respectively. Peary. “It doesn’t surprise me. All you Long-term forecasts by BC Stats have to do is take a walk in our city predict that Abbotsford’s population will and you can see the diversity,” said remain stable over the next 20 years. Peary. Projections indicate that the 15-to-64 He believes the city’s cultural age group, the potential labour force, mosaic is something to be proud of, will remain consistently above 64 per and can only help Abbotsford in the cent as far out as 2021. future. Other data collected by the census “It’s a strength. People from all over JOHN VAN PUTTEN Abbotsford News established that Abbotsford is home to The ethnic diversity of Abbotsford is expected the world feel comfortable here. 58 different ethnic and cultural groups, to rise in the future. “The city is in tune with its diverwith one of the largest South Asian sity,” he said.

A


Abbotsford News

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Abbotsford News

38 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

Development focusing skyward Growing numbers Abbotsford’s population has doubled in size since 1986, with an expected influx of another 60,000 to 70,000 in the next two to three decades. The city will then be nearing a quarter of a million people.

Provision of public amenities and infrastructure will continue to be major budgetary considerations in years to come.

Ethnic diversity A recent study indicates that Abbotsford/Mission will have the fifth largest percentage (nearly 30%) of foreign-born residents in 2031 in Canada, behind Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary.

JOHN VAN PUTTEN

Looking forward F

Agriculture will continue to be an economic powerhouse in this area in the future, generating more than a third of the city’s gross domestic product.

Labour force Projections indicate that the 15-to-64 age group in Abbotsford, the potential labour force, will remain consistently above 64 per cent as far out as 2021.

There’s “different

alternatives out there, and we need to look at all of them... Patricia Sapielak

Abbotsford News

As Abbotsford fills available flat land and mountainsides with housing, residential development in the next decade will be focused on higher density projects, say civic authorities and economic experts.

lying into the Abbotsford International Airport 20 years from now, the view will be different from what it is today. The City in the Country will maintain its urban centre with surrounding farmland, but the centre will be a bustling, dense core of high rises and mixed residential and commercial real estate. What was once a city spread out along the Trans-Canada Highway, Abbotsford will still be expanding – but it will be primarily growing up, not out. The plan is to develop a taller skyline with people living closer to where they shop and work, while leaving the green spaces largely undeveloped. Main local industries include agriculture, manufacturing and retail, with agriculture bringing in about 35 per cent of the city’s gross domestic product. Economist Michael Maschek, faculty member at the University of the Fraser Valley, says it will become more important as the years go by to find a balance between preserving agricultural land and building urban areas. With greater demand for commercial, industrial and residential space, the need to create urban density will increase. Despite the current decision to make few changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve, there is always the possibility of pulling land out of the ALR

in the future. “Economies constantly go through structural change,” he said. “You can only use the land for farming as much as people want to be farming.” Patricia Sapielak, business manager at Scotiabank and president and chair of the Chamber of Commerce, hopes the future of land use

be? But you can’t stop all other business in Abbotsford. So we have to look at alternatives when we do need to take (land) out. “There’s different alternatives out there, and we need to look at all of them, pretty much each step of the way going forward.” Abbotsford is fast becom-

JOHN VAN PUTTEN

Abbotsford News

Important decisions about development and land use face civic officials in the next decade and beyond. in Abbotsford is a good bal- ing a place where people are ance of agricultural and other flocking to take advantage of types of industry. housing developments. More importantly, however, Spurring the residential she, like Maschek, believes growth is the commercial simply using land and industrial boom in Abbotsford most already underway. efficiently, whether D e ve l o p e r s are for farming or develattracted to Abbotsford opment, is essential because of the efficient to driving the local communication with economy forward. and help provided by “Am I in favour of local government, said taking a whole pile of city manager Frank land out of the ALR? Pizzuto. PIZZUTO Well, no, how can you “There’s nothing

more important to us than being customer-oriented and developer-friendly. And I think we’re making some real strides in those areas.” Incentives to build and invest in Abbotsford, such as the Revitalization Tax Exemption, will continue to be offered in the coming years to keep momentum going on the upward trend of business and industry development. The population has doubled in size since 1986, and there’s an expected influx of another 60,000 to 70,000 in the next two or three decades. The snowball effect of TransCanada Highway improvements, a newly-expanded hospital and university, and business and government agricultural headquarters moving here means big box stores are attracted to the wide customer base. The $25-million overpasses and $30-million airport improvements have helped to spur industry growth and are part of an ongoing plan to improve infrastructure. With the need for a new $200-million water source project, and $250 million in sewage treatment plant upgrade, the city will be tackling some major financial challenges. Much of that revenue will come from development cost charges, so continued growth is key for the City of Abbotsford. The city is poised to keep momentum going on industry and development as it moves into the future, says Pizzuto.


Abbotsford News

ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

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Abbotsford News

40 ABBOTSFORD IN ACTION | November 2010

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Abbotsford In Action  

Abbotsford: Past, Present and Future. An economic overview giving residents and newcomers insight into local development and growth.

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