When people think of Langley, country farms, beautiful parklands and sprawling properties usually come to mind. The suburb may even conjure up images of wineries and horses (it is the horse capital of BC, after all). While rural beauty is a big part of its character, Langley also boasts a vibrant urban energy and robust economy. In fact, it’s consistently named one of the best places to work in the province—thanks to its central location, favourable lease rates, and large number of qualified professionals in the area.
The last several years have seen a great deal of change in Langley. And it’s poised for an even greater transformation in the coming decades. Langley is one of the most rapidly growing municipalities in BC—with a population that’s expected to double by 2040. As a result, there’s been a huge increase to the number and variety of housing stock. Read on to discover Langley’s unique mix of small-town charm and big city benefits.
Often referred to as one, there are actually two Langleys: the City of Langley and Township of Langley. Each one is governed by its own mayor and council. The City encompasses 10 square kilometres and has a population of over 25,000, while the Township covers 308 square kilometres and is home to over 115,000 residents.
The Township of Langley is located about 45-kilometres east of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley. It borders on Surrey to the west, the Fraser River to the north, Abbotsford to the east, and the U.S. border to the south.
- Population: 117,285 (+12.6% from 2011)
- 0-14 years: 21,580
- 15-64: 77,145
- 65+: 18,560
- Total private dwellings: 43,720
- Land area in square kilometres: 308.03
- Average age of population: 40.2
- Average household size: 2.8
- Average household income: $107,658
Source: 2016 Census
Homebuyers priced out of Metro Vancouver have flocked to the Fraser Valley as an affordable housing alternative (it’s population jumped 12% in just five years). The benchmark price for a single-family detached home in the REGBV currently sits at $1,500,100, while the FVREB benchmark price is $976,200. In Langley specifically, the benchmark price of a detached home is $1,008,600, a townhouse is $496,800 and an apartment is $415,500.
Described as a ‘community of communities,’ Langley is home to six distinct areas. Aldergrove is a small community that’s mostly comprised of agricultural land—and home to the Greater Vancouver Zoo, Aldergrove Regional Park and Twilight Drive-In. Brookswood is a residential community comprised of mostly single-family homes. In addition to its abundance of parkland and natural spaces, it’s also the location of the George Preston Recreation Centre, BMX bike track, and plenty of shops and eateries. Known as the birthplace of BC, Fort Langley is a National Historic Site that’s popular with tourists, shoppers and diners. Murrayville is known as the traditional civic core and home to the Langley Memorial Hospital, Langley RCMP Main Detachment and Langley Regional Airport. Walnut Grove is a more established and developed residential neighbourhood that’s home to Langley’s largest swimming pool, movie theatres, and shops. Willoughby is modern, fast-growing residential communities—with a mixture of burgeoning new neighbourhoods and undeveloped rural land.
While historically mostly a rural community, the influx of residents in the last decade has seen a transformation in the housing stock in Langley. What was once almost entirely single-family housing has evolved to a unique mix—with condos and townhouses constantly springing up.
Among the notable new developments is Lily Terrace, which is billed as Fraser Valley’s first luxury condominium development. The development features 24 residential units and prices starting at a whopping $1 million. Alexander Square in Willoughby is a new master-planned community that will add two residential buildings to Willoughby Town Centre.
An economic powerhouse
From major international corporations to agricultural production, Langley is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the Lower Mainland. Business licenses have steadily climbed over the past decade and today there are some 7,000 businesses operating in the area. For many years now, Langley has been named by BCBusiness as one of the Best Cities for Work.
Some of the biggest industries that operate in Langley include manufacturing, agriculture, construction, retail and wholesale, and transportation. With its diverse locations and landscapes, Langley is also a hotspot for film production.
Did you know? 75% of the township is located within the Agricultural Land Reserve. Home to more farms and farmed area than any other area in Metro Vancouver, Langley produces everything from livestock to fruits and vegetables.
Things to do
South Langley is home to the massive 535-hectare Campbell Valley Park—which offers an extensive network of trails, historic buildings and a popular equestrian centre. And to the North, is the national historic site of Fort Langley—a popular tourist destination along the banks of the Fraser River featuring a variety of museums, stores and more that detail its rich history. There’s also plenty of vineyards scattered between, with a number of companies offering wine tours in the area.
Throughout the year, Langley hosts festivals dedicated to everything from cranberries to wine. They include the Fort Langley May Day Fair and Parade, Brigade Days, Fort Langley Food Truck Festival, Fort Langley Cranberry Festival (draws over 50,000 visitors every October) and the Fraser Valley Wine Festival.
There are 45 schools within Langley’s School District. Langley is also home to two universities, Trinity Western University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Langley boasts a highly strategic location—it’s intersected by four highways and directly linked to the rest of Canada by the Trans-Canada Highway. Four U.S. border crossings are within a 20-minute drive and a small regional airport offers direct flights to Vancouver and Vancouver Island by float plane.
Surrey’s city council also recently voted to drop the light rail transit (LRT) project and will replace it with a new SkyTrain line to Surrey. The plan is to extend the track from King George Station to Langley Centre along the Fraser Highway. But the amount of time this will take is so far unclear.
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