Getting to Know Langley, British Columbia

Langley is a municipality of the Metro Vancouver Regional District that is roughly 308 sq. kilometres in size, and just east of Surrey and next to Cloverdale. Prior to 1955, it was part of Langley Township, which itself had grown out of Fort Langley – known as the ‘birthplace of British Columbia.’ It’s current population is in the vicinity of 130,000 people, and it’s the easternmost satellite city still considered to be part of Greater Vancouver.

It is largely a suburban community, and for many residents that is a big part of Langley’s appeal. The downtown core, however, is very urbanized and provides a nice contrast for people who want to do some shopping, eat out, or enjoy any number of other activities. The periphery areas of Langley in the South and Southeast areas retain their agricultural identity, and there are many family-owned farms in the area.

At the southernmost part of Langley is the USA border, and the Aldergrove border crossing. This crossing is typically much less busy than the ones at the Peace Arch or Pacific Truck Crossing in Surrey.

Langley weather is not unlike that of the rest of Greater Vancouver; more temperate overall in comparison with the rest of the Province, but with higher precipitation / rainfall levels. However, there’s no debating the fact that summer weather in the Southwest Corner of B.C. is pretty much the best in the entire country.

Transportation

Langley is an approximately 40-minute drive to downtown Vancouver, or residents have the option of an affordable park & ride with BC Transit at Carvolth Exchange. The #555 express bus is particularly popular, going directly across the Port Mann Bridge to Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby and connecting riders with Skytrain for rapid transit access to downtown Vancouver.

While Vancouver’s Skytrain system does not extend as far East as Langley at this time, the expansion may occur in the future given the extensive population growth east of Surrey.

Amenities

Langley has everything anyone could ask for, and that applies to everyone from families to young, single people and all in between. Willowbrook Mall is at the heart of Langley City Centre at 200th and Highway 10, and all along that area of 200th you have a number of popular big box and other stores with nearly everything you’d need for the home or personal interests. There is a Costco and Walmart in Langley, as well as a Real Canadian Superstore.

There’s no shortage of amenities for youth and adult sports in Langley, including soccer, baseball, basketball, and ball hockey. Ice hockey is played at the Langley IcePlex in Walnut Grove next to Colossus Movie Theatre and at the Langley Events Centre on 200th Street, which is the home of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. Giants tickets are the best value for sports entertainment anywhere in the Lower Mainland.

Dog owners will like that there’s an 18-acre and fully fenced off-leash dog park in Langley, and in City Park you’ll find the Langley Arts Centre, Community Music School, and the AJ Anderson Memorial Outdoor Pool. As you might expect, the pool is an especially popular spot on hot summer days.

It’s also worth noting that there is an extensive and robust local equine community and industry here. In fact, the Township of Langley is known as the ‘horse capital of B.C.’ and there are many horse-friendly walking trails in Langley.

Attractions

The Greater Vancouver Zoo is located in Langley, with 120 acres and home to over 140 species of animals. Langley is also known for its wineries, and most offer tasting tours during the summer. Langley has many parks and natural areas, and Campbell Valley Park in South Langley is one that’s particularly large and scenic.

Derby Reach Park in North Langley is right along the Fraser River, with plenty of open space for family picnics and all sorts of summer activities.

Langley is home to the 30,000 square foot Cascades Casino and Western Canada’s harness racing capital at Fraser Downs, both a short distance from downtown Langley.

Trinity Western University, a Christian-faith post-secondary institution is located just past Langley eastbound on Highway 1.

Real Estate

Langley is regarded by many industry insiders as being the ‘last’ area of Metro Vancouver where detached homes (550-800K on average) and townhomes (300-550K on average) are still reasonably affordable. They also agree, however, that Langley real estate is a limited opportunity for buyers as property values in Langley are climbing steadily and project to soon be decidedly ‘pricey’ like other satellite cities in the GVA like Burnaby, Coquitlam, and New Westminster.

Langley should also be first on the to-view list for anyone who wants to purchase acreage while still being within a reasonable distance of Vancouver. The communities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack also have acreage available, but they are quite a bit further east along Highway 1.

Anyone interested in homes for sale in Langley is encouraged to speak with their real estate agent without delay, as Langley’s relative affordability compared to other areas of the GVA is diminishing all the time. That said, it’s a great community that’s ideal for young families who need more space than a condo closer to Vancouver would afford them.

Getting There

Langley is about 1 hour’s drive from YVR Vancouver International Airport, and for anyone travelling on transit you can get a connector bus to Langley from Skytrain’s Surrey Central City stop. Visitors coming in from Vancouver Island or elsewhere in the Province can fly into Langley Regional Airport, which is located in Langley Township. Most visitors from the Island will take BC Ferries to Tsawwassen and then on to Langley, and Greyhound Bus offers service to Langley from other major hubs like Kelowna, Kamloops, Prince George, and even Calgary, Alberta.