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Fort Langley National Historic Site

Fort Langley on Canada Day

Fort Langley is a national historic site in the Fraser Valley. It has a blacksmith shop, displays about the fur trade, and various reconstructed buildings.

For the attraction’s official website visit the Parks Canada Fort Langley website.

Events happening at the fort in the summer of 2022 include Brigade Days on the BC Day Long Weekend of July 30th until August 1st, the Grave Tales Summer Edition on August 13th and the Hidden Histories Walking Tour Summer Edition on August 20th.

 


This article contains the following information about Fort Langley:

Where is the Fort? | Admission Rates | Things to See at Fort Langley | Best Times to Visit | Brigade Days Video | oTENTik | The Town of Fort Langley | Similar Places in Lower Mainland | Other Information


 

Fort Langley Historic Site

Fort Langley is an old Hudson Bay Company trading post. It’s one of the Lower Mainland’s top attractions and a best place to take children.

Located in the picturesque Town of Fort Langley, the fort is mostly reconstructed. There are, however, a few original structures plus lots of artifacts. It’s a very interesting place to visit and learn about the region’s history and see what life was like in the early days of BC.

 

Fort Langley Exterior
Outside the Fort Walls

 

Where is the Fort?

The Fort Langley Historic Site’s address is 23433 Mavis Avenue. The Village of Fort Langley, meanwhile, is about 50 km east of downtown Vancouver. It’s also about halfway between Surrey and Abbotsford.

 

Admission Rates

Below are the admission rates to the Fort Langley site as of July, 2022.

  • Adults (18-64): $8.50
  • Seniors (65+): $7.00
  • Youth (under 18): Free

You can also buy an annual pass for $21 for adults and $17.75 for seniors. In 2018 Parks Canada made admission to all of their sites across the country free for those under the age of 18. That policy continues to remain in place.

 

Things to See at Fort Langley

The Fort Langley National Historic Site offers a fair bit to see and do. In the busy summer season and during holiday weekends there are often special events, as well as blacksmithing and other demonstrations. Exhibits at the fort include barrel-making, fur trade and other educational displays. The site’s buildings include a storehouse, residences and a blacksmith shop.

TIP: In the summer, if you are looking for a unique place to stay, consider renting one of the fort’s “Tentiks”. These are tent/cabin-type accommodations that cost about $130 or so and include beds with linens. What’s best about these is the fact you get to stay (and sleep) within the fort at night, plus you don’t have to set up your own tent and bedding.

 

Barrel-Making Demonstration in the Cooperage
Demonstrations in the Cooperage

 

Best Times to Visit Fort Langley

Fort Langley usually operates 362 days of the year. It’s typically open every day except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

The historic site is worth visiting any time of the year, but the best time to visit is in the summer when there are often additional activities going on. The May Long Weekend and August Long Weekend can be especially good times to visit. During those times there are often special events going on in and around the town including historical re-enactments in some years.

 

Special Events at the Fort

Other great days to visit the fort include anytime that there are special activities, including at the following events which take place most years.

 

Events Early in the Year

  • Vive les Voyageurs French Canadian Festival – a two-day event in JANUARY that features French Canadian activities including Métis dancing, a re-enactment of a fur trade wedding, live music and old fort activity demonstrations.
  • Family Day at the Fort – a holiday weekend of old-fashioned activities including 19th century family chores, photo opportunities in period costumes, and blacksmithing and coopering demonstrations during the FEBRUARY Family Day Long Weekend.

 

Events in the Spring

  • Spring Break at the Fort – special activities for children and their families over the full two weeks of spring break holidays in MARCH.
  • Easter Scavenger Hunt and Egg Scrambler – Easter egg hunts and other activities on Easter Sunday in MARCH.
  • Fort Langley Beer + Food Festival – a craft beer festival in MAY.
  • Victoria Day – a farm tour, coopering, historic weapons and blacksmithing demonstrations at the fort on Victoria Day in MAY following the Fort Langley May Day Parade in the morning. See Fort Langley May Day Fair and Parade for details.

 

Fort Langley Blacksmith Shop
Fort Langley Blacksmith Shop

 

Events in the Summer

  • Canada Day – a free event on Canada Day in JULY featuring live music, birthday cake and other family-friendly activities.
  • Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival – a music and arts event in JULY.
  • Brigade Days – three days of celebrations featuring folk in period costume over the BC Day long weekend at the end of JULY and beginning of AUGUST. (For a video about the event, see below).

 

Events in the Fall and Christmas Season

  • Fort Langley Cranberry Festival – a family-oriented event at Fort Langley celebrating the cranberry harvesting season in OCTOBER.
  • Grave Tales – two and three-hour Halloween-themed walking tour programs in the village during the last half of OCTOBER (and often in the first week of November too).
  • Douglas Day – an annual celebration on NOVEMBER 19 of the same day in 1858 when Sir James Douglas formally proclaimed BC a colony. This is a tiny event that takes place in the morning and is attended most years by only a couple of dozen visitors.
  • Heritage Holiday – Christmas-themed decorations and activities the last two weeks in DECEMBER.

See the Fort Langley Historic Site Schedule of Events for more details.

 

Brigade Days Video

Lots of great events take place at Fort Langley National Historic Site, including Brigade Days which is featured in the video below.

Brigade Days takes place on the BC Day Long Weekend in early August (and a few days in late July too sometimes). This video shows scenes of the event on the holiday Monday in 2022. In the video you’ll see activities at the fort as well as the procession to and from the Fraser River where the re-enactment of the arrival of the fur brigade takes place.

 

 

oTENTik

A stylish way to camp is with an oTENTik, which are a cross between tents and a wooden cabin. Each unit can sleep up to six people and includes bunk beds, tables and chairs, electricity and a firepit outside. The Fort Langley Historic Site has five oTENTiks built in various styles. They are open from May 1st to October 6th in 2022.

Renting an oTENTik costs $128 per night. They are unique to Parks Canada and provide a way to enjoy the area in comfort. Click oTENTik Fort Langley for more information.

 

The Town of Fort Langley

The fort is one of Vancouver’s best places to visit, assuming you like outdoor museums and history, but the village of Fort Langley itself is also a cute place and highly worth strolling around.

Click the Village of Fort Langley for information about other great things to see in the immediate area. These include one of the Lower Mainland’s best riverside cycling and walking trails, the Fort Langley Museum, and other quaint and interesting buildings in the historic town.

 

Fort Langley Interior
Inside the Fort

 

Similar Places in Lower Mainland

The Town of Fort Langley is one of several little villages we recommend as some of Vancouver’s best places to visit.

If you like Fort Langley, other similar (but less historic) places you might like include White Rock (a seaside resort), Horseshoe Bay (home to one of BC Ferries’ terminals to Vancouver Island), and Steveston Village (a historic fishing village in Richmond). There is also Deep Cove (a picturesque village on the North Shore). Also, a little further up the Fraser Valley, is the popular resort town of Harrison Hot Springs.

If you really like history, another great place to visit in the summer is the Burnaby Village Museum in Burnaby. It and Fort Langley are probably the region’s two best places to learn about history and experience it outdoors.

 


TIP: The Vancouver Zoo is just 15 minutes down the road in Aldergrove. Both the fort and the zoo are worth visiting (if you like good forts and zoos) and each can take a full morning or afternoon to visit. Both are also a fair trek from downtown Vancouver, and best travelled to by car.

If you want to visit both attractions and you don’t mind a long day, then consider seeing the two places on the same day (and save yourself two trips in the same direction). There is a lot to see and do in Fort Langley though, so spending a full day there can be fun.


 

Other Information

For more information about the fort, check out the Parks Canada Fort Langley website.

To learn more about the area see our articles about Langley, the Village of Fort Langley and the Fraser Valley.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: