Whether it comes via “best of” honors bestowed by Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Monocle, the World Economic Forum or any number of other expert outlets, the city of Vancouver is consistently lauded for its standing as one of the top cities in Canada. But as the city in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland region has continued to grow, urban sprawl has also opened up new opportunities for Canadians to enjoy Vancouver from just a short distance away in one of its popular suburbs.
While there’s no wrong choice for places to live in and around the city, there are five that seem to stand out above the rest. Here’s a quick recap on the emerging Vancouver suburbs Canadians are flocking to.
Just a quick jaunt from the city, Langley leads off our list of top Vancouver suburbs for a couple of different reasons. First, it’s very family-friendly, with an abundance of local parks, festivals and outdoor gatherings. It’s also a great spot for history buffs as Fort Langley lays claim to the title of “The Birthplace of British Columbia.” The Canadian Museum of Flight is also located in Langley.
Sports nuts will be thrilled to hear that Langley plays host to a variety of teams, including the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants—and like most Canadian cities, there’s no shortage of ice rinks in town for kids and adults alike. City leaders also tout Langley’s low housing costs and property taxes as contributors to its affordable cost of living.
Just west of Langley, you’ll find Cloverdale, the town centre in the city of Surrey. Located less than an hour outside of Vancouver, Cloverdale retains the type of small-town charm that so many Canadians are looking for. It’s chock full of community parks, including Cloverdale Athletic Park, which has soccer fields, softball diamonds, tennis courts, a basketball court and walking trails. Because Cloverdale is so community-minded, it’s not uncommon to encounter a fun outdoor event fit for the whole family.
Sections of Cloverdale have been used as the set for the hit television show, Smallville. In addition, the town has a historical flair and is home to the Surrey Museum.
North Surrey has been described as the “urban heartbeat” of the sprawling city of Surrey. There, you’ll find stunning architecture and a rapidly developing community. North Surrey’s new City Hall is part of a 200,000 square foot building that includes a plaza and a performing arts venue. Locals can also drink locally brewed beers at the popular Central City Brewery & Distillery, located adjacent to City Hall.
Another favorite is the North Surrey Rec Centre, which holds the Surrey Urban Farmers Market every Saturday from June to October. If you’re looking to stretch your legs a bit more, meander out into the Green Timbers Urban Forest and its 6,000 acres of parks and green spaces to experience the quintessential urban park. Holland Park is another break from the hustle and bustle and a great place to relax.
Just an hour east of Vancouver, Abbotsford has a variety of neighbourhoods with homes priced less than what you would pay in the big city. In terms of activities, one of the best of the year is the Abbotsford International Air Show, which draws some 125,000 people to watch The Canadian Forces Snowbirds and The Skyhawks perform stunts at dizzying heights.
The Abbotsford Centre has year-round entertainment from concerts to comedy shows and hockey games. Meanwhile, the Reach Gallery Museum features various works and exhibitions from all over Canada. For some outdoor fun, locals love to explore the trails along the Sumas River and throughout Sumas Mountain. Of note, Abbotsford residents looking to commute into Vancouver can do so via convenient light rail service.
Found in the southeastern edge of Langley and the Greater Vancouver metropolitan area, Aldergrove is primarily an agricultural area. Still, there are many things to do in Aldergrove that may entice someone looking for their next home. The Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre has fitness equipment, an ice rink, pools and a waterpark. Other fun outdoor activities in Aldergrove include the Greater Vancouver Zoo and the Twilight Drive-In Theatre.
This quaint community is just a short drive from not only Vancouver but several other suburbs on our list, including Langley and Abbotsford. Aldergrove is also located near the U.S. border, which makes for easy access to and from the States.
With so many spectacular suburbs in the Vancouver area, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. If you’re interested in moving, our suggestion is to start with these five emerging Vancouver suburbs and research each until you find your perfect next home.