Langley is 45 kilometres (28 miles) east of the City of Vancouver in the beautiful agriculture-rich Fraser Valley. The Trans-Canada Highway runs through it, dissecting the northern part of the municipality from the south.
The northern municipal boundary is the Fraser River; the southern boundary is the United States border. Our western neighbours are the City of Surrey and the City of Langley; our eastern neighbour is the City of Abbotsford. The western boundary is 196 Street (except where bordered by the City of Langley); the eastern boundary is 276 Street.
The municipality was incorporated in Fort Langley in 1873, and is known as the “Birthplace of BC.” A community unlike any other, the Township of Langley is a place where the rich heritage of the past is combined with a vibrant vision for the future. Rural beauty is complemented by an energetic urban atmosphere. The municipality has a land mass of 316 square kilometres (122 square miles), and a population of over 126,000.
Within an area of 10km2, Langley City includes both dynamic urban communities and quiet suburban neighbourhoods, a large natural wetland along its Nicomekl River featuring parks and recreation trails, over 300 acres of parkland, a vibrant walkable downtown, a regional shopping centre, and one of the most active industrial and service commercial land bases in the Lower Mainland.
Langley City is located near the southeastern corner of the Metro Vancouver regional district, in the southwest corner of British Columbia, Canada. It borders the City of Surrey on its west and the Township of Langley on its north, east, and south.
At this location, Langley City benefits from several major transportation routes. Highway 10, Fraser Highway, and 200 Street are all major arterial roads that meet in the city and provide fast access to key nearby destinations. The City is also home to a major transit exchange, which provides frequent express bus connections to the SkyTrain network and other major regional destinations.
Langley City has railway access via the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor, which connects the City to the Port of Vancouver’s Roberts Bank Terminal and the broader North American rail network.
Langley City has a population of approximately 28,000 people within an area of 10km2, making us one of the densest municipalities in Metro Vancouver. Despite our small size, Langley City’s key location and robust employment base has made us a formally-identified Regional City Centre within Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy. This gives us an outsized role as a regional commercial centre serving a broader trading population of over 275,000 people in nearby areas including the Township of Langley, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Cloverdale, and South Surrey. This collective area represents a $3.84 billion trade market with an average household income of about $95,000 – higher than the BC average.
Langley City is located near the boundary of the Metro Vancouver Regional District, which has a population of about 2.5 million, and the Fraser Valley Regional District, which has a population of about 300,000, for a combined 2.8 million people. With both these regions’ populations growing at a steady 1.3% per year, business opportunities in Langley City will benefit from both local conditions as well as regional factors.
Langley Regional Airport is located in Langley Township, British Columbia, Canada. The airport serves mostly general aviation, and also provided scheduled passenger service to the Victoria Airport Water Aerodrome via Harbour Air Seaplanes before service was ended on May 20, 2011. Helicopter operations are a major part of Langley Airport’s traffic; the airport has 3 helipads. The airport offers fuel services and extensive hangar space, and hosts the Canadian Museum of Flight.
The airport has two Asphalt runways, one 2,100 ft (640 m) long and the other 2,743 ft (836 m). These relatively short runways make it a good airport for flight training purposes because a pilot who trains on short runways is likely to be a more capable pilot. There is also a public road near each end of the paved runway (01/19) resulting in relatively short “Takeoff Distance Available” (TODA). Due to the proximity of residential areas, runway 19 has a departure noise-abatement procedure that requires a 30-degree turn and runway 25 has a departure noise-abatement procedure that requires a 50-degree turn. Langley radio frequencies are 119.00 for the control tower, 124.50 for Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS), and 121.90 for ground service. The airport is home to 54 businesses, including many helicopter operators and fixed-wing and rotary-wing flight training units, consequently the airport has a high volume of training traffic.
After WW1, the Canadian government wanted to strengthen Canadian defensive efforts and across Canada aviation service lands were commissioned. Emergency landing fields were purchased including an emergency strip in the Langley region. Langley’s emergency strip saw limited use during the war years but in 1968 the Honourable Arthur Lang, Minister of Indian Affairs & Northern Development, officially opened the emergency landing strip to what we know today as the Langley Regional Airport.
To celebrate aviation and Langley’s history, the City of Langley has partnered with the Canadian Museum of Flight and the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) to host a new exhibit on aviation and the history of the Langley Regional Airport. The exhibit is on display until September 9th in the Finance Department foyer of Langley City Hall, 20399 Douglas Crescent, and is open for viewing from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday except on statutory holidays.
“We encourage the public to come by and explore the new exhibit that showcases our proud history in the region. We look forward to community members taking advantage of this free display,” said Kim Hilton, Director of Recreation, Culture and Community Services.
The public can drop by to see several models on display including the SE5A cutaway, the Fokker D1 Triplane cutaway and, suspended from the ceiling, a model Curtis Robin and a Taylorcraft Model 19 Sportsman. The museum has also provided a small photographic history on the evolution of the Langley Regional Airport and the growth of skyways in the region.
“The Canadian Museum of Flight was created in 1977 as a non-profit, volunteer driven museum dedicated to restoring, preserving and showcasing Canada’s rich aviation heritage. As a family friendly facility, we have interactive exhibits, displays and a ‘hands on’ mandate that entertains as well as educates” said Mike Sattler, General Manager of the Canadian Museum of Flight.
Further exhibits including the Handley Page Hampden; one of only two in the world, and the only one on display and able to be touched, can be seen at the Canadian Museum of Flight located at Hangar #3 – 5333 216th Street. The museum is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm seven days a week.
Fort Langley is a village community in Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada. It has a population of 3,400. It is the home of Fort Langley National Historic Site, a former fur trade post of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Lying on the Fraser River, Fort Langley is at the northern edge of the Township of Langley.
Fort Langley was named for Thomas Langley, an HBC director.
Fort Langley dates from a time when the boundary between British and American possession of the trans-mountain west, known as the Columbia District to the British and Oregon Country to Americans, had not yet been decided. Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, realized that Fort Vancouver opposite of present-day Portland, Oregon might be lost to the Americans if the border did not follow the Columbia River. Fearing the 49th parallel north could become the demarcation line, Simpson ordered the Hudson’s Bay Company to construct the original Fort Langley in 1827 at a location 4 km downstream from its present site. Fort Langley was intentionally constructed on the south bank of the Fraser River in the event that Fort Vancouver was lost to the Americans, then Fort Langley would secure British claims to both sides of the Fraser. By 1830, Fort Langley had become a major export port for salted salmon in barrels, as well as cedar lumber and shingles to the Hawaiian Islands. The Cowlitz Portage overland route connected Fort Langley to Fort Vancouver with a mid-way stop at Fort Nisqually on Puget Sound.
As Simpson feared, when the Oregon Boundary Dispute was finally settled in 1846, the border was established as 49 N. In the days before the Colony of Vancouver Island and the Colony of British Columbia united, Governor Sir James Douglas chose Fort Langley to be the provisional colonial capital.
By 1858, a town by the name of Derby, adjacent to the original location of the Fort, had been surveyed and subdivided into town lots and sold. Construction had begun on a barracks for the Royal Engineers, however, when Colonel Richard Moody, commanding officer of the Royal Engineers, visited Derby that year, he disapproved of Douglas’ choice in location. He noted American territory lay just a few miles away across easily traversed land and that Fort Langley would be impossible to defend against attack. On the 14th of February 1859, Moody selected a new site at the mouth of the Pitt River on the north side of the Fraser and suggested the town be named Queensborough. In July of that year, Governor Douglas announced Her Majesty had decided the new capital should be named New Westminster.
Prior to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, Fort Langley had been an important export port for cedar lumber, cedar shakes, and salted salmon packed in Douglas Fir and White Pine barrels for ships heading to the Hawaiian Islands. Once the military functions of Fort Langley had been largely outsourced to the new capital of New Westminster, the town of Derby went into decline and in order to accommodate the increased number of ships visiting the Fort, a new location was selected along the Bedford Channel, protected from the river current by McMillan Island and Brae Island. The new location is where the town of Fort Langley is now located, where Glover Road meets the Fraser River.
Between the 1850s and the 1920s, the town of Fort Langley witnessed the threat of Russian invasion in the early 1850s, the threat of American invasion in 1857 at the discovery of gold in the Fraser River, the unification of the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia in 1858, the boom and bust of the Gold Rush from 1858 to 1865, Canadian Confederation in 1867, and the arrival of the first train early in the 20th century. In 1921, a major saw mill opened on an 88-acre riverfront property. The mill brought jobs and prosperity to the struggling town since the railway had removed most of the shipping roles of Fort Langley. The town largely grew up around the mill becoming a blue collar working class community through the 1960s and 70s. By the end of the 1980s, redundancy and aging machinery meant the end was nearing for the mill. Interfor downsized its staff and, for a time, tried to reinvent the mill into a value-added venture but by the mid-1990s, the mill shut down for good.
In 1921, Dr. Benjamin Marr planted Horse Chestnut trees along the Glover Road frontage of their property in Fort Langley. Today these trees can be seen when entering the Downtown.
With the increase in education levels and a transition from blue collar to white collar commuters and professionals, demand for new housing in this quaint village has skyrocketed. The former site of the local lumber mill was controversially rezoned for medium density residential in 2005 and in 2006 construction began on a massive master planned community that has been named Bedford Landing. This new development will eventually add approximately 1,500 new people to a community that has prized itself on having a stable population of around 2,500 to 3,000 for multiple generations.