With a population of half a million, Surrey is Metro Vancouver’s second largest municipality and one of the fastest growing cities in Canada.
Surrey, British Columbia
Surrey has one of the most ethnically diverse populations anywhere, with over 40% of residents speaking a first language other than English. With its very large East Indian population, Surrey is home to numerous East Indian restaurants and hosts the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade & Celebration held annually in April.
Surrey is a fast-growing and increasingly dynamic place to do business, but not a major tourist destination.
Some of the most interesting places to visit in the city though include Bear Creek Park (which is great for kids with its miniature train), the Surrey Museum, the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair (taking place every May long weekend), Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino, and Elgin Heritage Park (which is home to historic Stewart Farm).
Another nice park that’s great for leisurely walks and bike rides is Tynehead Regional Park which has over 250 hectares of forested trails and meadows.
One of the prettiest and most popular areas in the city is South Surrey and Crescent Beach, located not far from the seaside community of White Rock. In the completely opposite direction, a good flat place for cycling is rural Barnston Island, located between Surrey and Pitt Meadows in the north.
Surrey Festivals and Events
Surrey hosts a number of great festivals and events, including some of the Lower Mainland’s largest and most impressive events. Below is a list of some of the best.
- Party for the Planet – a free event around Earth Day in April every year that includes concerts, family-friendly entertainment and environmentally-themed activities and things to see at the Surrey City Hall Plaza.
- Surrey Vaisakhi Parade – a major East Indian festival held annually in mid-April that features free food, colourful traditional costumes and hundreds of thousands of participants.
- Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair – a major event with cowboys and cowgirls, bucking broncos, farm animals, rides and carnival entertainment on the May long weekend.
- Surrey International Children’s Festival – a festival for kids and their families at the Surrey Arts Centre and Bear Creek Park in late May.
- Surrey Greek Food Festival – a community event featuring Greek food and entertainment at a Greek Orthodox Church in early June.
- FVDED in the Park – a fairly new and large music festival taking place at Holland Park in early July.
- Surrey Fusion Festival – a celebration of music, food and culture at Holland Park in late July.
- Sounds of Summer Music Series – FREE outdoor concerts at different Surrey parks on Wednesday evenings in July and August.
- Surrey Tree Lighting Festival – festivities at the Plaza at City Hall at 13450-104th Avenue in late November, with the official lighting of the 55-foot Christmas tree in the evening.
Surrey in the Summer
Surrey has a number of attractive parks, including Bear Creek, Darts Hill, Holland Park near Central City mall, and Glades Garden. Throughout July and August, different parks in Surrey feature free outdoor music concerts on Wednesday evenings. See Sounds of Summer Music Series for details.
As far as regular weekly events, the Surrey Urban Farmers Market takes place from the middle of June until early October at the North Surrey Rec Centre at 10275 City Parkway. It’s a medium-sized market with live music from 12 to 5 pm on Wednesday afternoons. Also, the Surrey Night Market occurs at the Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds at 17726-62 Avenue every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from about 6 to 10 pm from early June until mid-August. Both events are worth checking out if you happen to be in Surrey.
Golf Courses in Surrey
Surrey is also home to two of Metro Vancouver’s top public golf courses: Morgan Creek Golf Course (at 3500 Morgan Creek Way) and Northview Golf and Country Club (at 6857 – 168th Street). Art Knapp Plantland is also a good place for mini-golf.
Click Surrey’s Best Restaurants to find recommended places to eat.