Community Profile: Abbotsford: A City in the Country
Tucked away in the heart of the Fraser Valley approximately 70km east of Vancouver, the City in the Country known as Abbotsford has quietly become the fifth largest city in BC with a population of 134,000 residents. Located in one of the most productive agricultural areas in Canada, Abbotsfords close proximity to Greater Vancouver has resulted in strong population growth over the past 20 years and with it the distinction of being one of the fastest growing communities in the entire country.
With favourable housing prices, a diverse local economy and an appealingly rural lifestyle, Abbotsford offers a unique combination of small town charm and big-city sophistication. Acres of farmland, miles of pathways and trails, and a pedestrian-friendly downtown core help to preserve the regions historic roots, while increased residential and commercial development in recent years have contributed to Abbotsford becoming the primary retail hub of the Fraser Valley. Home to such high profile retailers as Costco, Best Buy, Canadian Tire, London Drugs and Save on Foods, extensive efforts have also been made to revitalize the downtown area and since 2003 over 50 businesses have relocated downtown and more than two dozen investors have purchased property with a commitment to continued revitalization of the area.
Welcome to Sport Town Canada
Abbotsfords easy access to US border crossings and the Trans Canada Hwy make it a prime location for growing businesses, which is further enhanced by the rapidly expanding Abbotsford International Airport, making travel in and out of this rural community more convenient than other municipalities. The City is far from being all business however. An assortment of sports venues, recreational facilities, parks and playgrounds dot the landscape as Abbotsford maintains a total of 68 playgrounds, 34 ball diamonds, 32 sports fields, 21 tennis courts, 8 basketball courts, 3 lacrosse boxes, 2 skate parks and beach volleyball courts, as well as a BMX track, lawn bowling green, spray park and synthetic turf field. Other facilities include the Albert Dyck Water Ski Park, the Rotary Stadium and track, Matsqui Recreation Centre, the Abbotsford Recreation Centre, a 23,000 square foot recreational facility at Exhibition Park and the 7000 seat Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, home to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.
Also for the outdoor enthusiast, the 30km Discovery Trail will eventually provide residents with an all-season paved corridor connecting the east and west ends of the community. Surrounded by trees, ponds, meadows and picnic areas, the Trail will allow for a range of activities including walking, running, rollerblading and biking, and is part of a community-driven initiative to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for local residents.
From an education standpoint, Abbotsfords facilities include both private and public schools with School District 34 consisting of 31 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, 7 secondary schools and 1 virtual school. The University of the Fraser Valley offers full degree programs and the Career Technical Centre (a joint project of SD34 and the University) provides a combination of public secondary schooling, college level programs and skilled trade development to prepare students directly for employment in their chosen field upon completion of their programs.
Housing styles to fit everyones budget
For those considering a move to Abbotsford, the citys location, low housing costs and active lifestyle are all primary drawing cards for living here. Modern style blends with friendly country living and new development in the city core provides a range of housing styles to fit everyones taste and budget. With a median age of just under 37 years, Abbotsford is also one of the youngest and most family-oriented communities in the Lower Mainland and the third most culturally diverse community in BC, with the majority of Abbotsford residents (63%) living and working in the community.
Abbotsford housing prices remain substantially lower than other municipalities closer to Vancouver, however thats not to say you cant find some incredible estate properties in the area such as the sprawling $2.9M, 8600 sq ft masterpiece on nearly 40 acres in Bradner listed by Jim Reimer of Remax Little Oak Realty. In terms of new construction, here are five new home developments currently on display;
Top quality features, unique finishing details and trendy decorating packages define Abacus Uptown. Located in a convenient and quiet east side Abbotsford neighbourhood, these affordably priced one bedroom to two bedroom + home office condos start from just $129,900. For more information call 604 746-2254.
These new luxury condos in the centre of Abbotsford are close to shopping, restaurants and other nearby amenities, and are situated in a secure, gated community. Starting from $169,900, Brooklyn will be ready for occupancy this Fall and offer functional and unique layouts and spacious indoor and outdoor living areas. For more information call 604 746-3496.
Located right next door to the $170 million, 600,000 square foot Abbey Lane retail complex, Luna is a community of 51 townhomes and single family homes in the heart of Abbotsford. Offering 4 bedroom + den townhomes ranging in size from 2200 to 3600 sq ft and starting at $369,900, these homes are ready to move in. For more information call 778 895-5862.
Mahogany at Mill Lake Coming Soon!
Brand new luxury condos in a prime location across from Mill Lake and Centennial Park. Features include geothermal heating, top quality finishings and resort-style amenities just steps from shopping, transit and other community services. Priced from the low $200s, for more information call 604 746-2254.
Sunspring Estates offers brilliant architecture, carefully-designed floor plans and stunning interiors in a beautiful setting near Old Clayburn Village in Abbotsford. For more information about these 3 bedroom + flex single family and duplex strata homes call 604 855-8873.
Photo courtesy of Tourism Abbotsford