Maple Ridge is a city of about 82,000 people (2016) on the north shore of the Fraser River in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. Haney, an eastern district of Maple Ridge, has a century-long history as a commercial centre.
Maple Ridge is made up of several different historical areas:
- Haney (downtown)
- Iron Mountain
- Kanaka Creek
- Port Hammond
- Silver Valley
- Webster's Corners
Some of these areas are identified with a cultural group. For instance, Albion and Webster's Corner are represented by the many Finnish families that settled in the area. While Port Hammond is known for its small cottage-like mill houses built by the local mill to house its workers. Ruskin is the location of a community hall of the Sons of Norway, although the area was founded by English followers of John Ruskin. Kanaka Creek began was a community for Kanaka employees of Fort Langley.
Port Haney, on the Fraser River to the southwest of downtown Haney, is the site of the West Coast Express commuter rail station. It is a heritage district created to protect some of the remaining buildings from earlier times. In addition to buildings already on-site when this was the steamboat landing and the Canadian Pacific Railway station, other heritage buildings from around the City of Maple Ridge were relocated to Port Haney to preserve them and enhance the heritage flavour of the location.
Early settlers in Maple Ridge engaged in forestry and agriculture. Forestry companies continue to be the largest private-sector employers in the district. They include companies that manufacture building materials, yachts and poles. The soil and climate are not well-suited to the production of traditional food crops, but berry crops, nurseries and horse breeding are profitable sectors.
The City of Maple Ridge has become a popular location for feature films and television series. On almost any day there is a film or TV crew working in the city. The Ridge Film Studios is in an old retail space in the downtown and serves as a set location for episodic television programs. Maple Ridge's film roots go back to the 1970s when scenes for the feature film Rambo were shot here. Over time the city has become a background for a number of films and TV series including The X-Files, Bordertown, Smallville, Bird on a Wire, We're No Angels, Percy Jackson & the Lightening Thief, and Stargate SG-1.
Maple Ridge lies along Highway 7 and can be accessed from the west via Pitt Meadows or from the east via Mission. From Highway 1, you can take the 176th St. and 192nd St. (eastbound only) exits in Surrey, or the 200th St. exit in Langley and cross the Golden Ears Bridge into Maple Ridge.
TransLink provides public transit services to Maple Ridge, including buses and the West Coast Express. Haney Place Exchange is the main bus exchange, with every bus line in Maple Ridge stopping here at some point along its route. The standard bus fare is $3.
The Pitt Meadows Regional Airport is the only Fraser Valley airport (other than water airports) on the Fraser River's north side. It is 2.5 km (1.6 mi) east of the confluence of the Pitt and Fraser rivers, and serves the area north of the Fraser River from Mission up to and including Vancouver.
Abbotsford International Airport, which is 40 km (25 mi) away in Abbotsford, offers flights daily throughout Canada and to the Caribbean and the United States.
TransLink's bus services in Maple Ridge are slim but sufficient. The 701 and 791 buses run along Dewdney Trunk Road and will take you to the main spots in town. From there community shuttles can take you the rest of the way, but they run infrequently.
There are also a few cab companies based in Maple Ridge.
There isn't much to see in Maple Ridge. Probably the biggest attraction is a large clock with a steel horse monument on top, outside City Hall on Dewdney Trunk Road. In the past, its limbs would move every 15 minutes to make the horse stand up on its hind legs, but apparently it doesn't even do that anymore.
- The Arts Centre and Theatre (ACT), 11944 Haney Place, ☏ . The principal venue for performing arts in Maple Ridge. The ACT has received a gold certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program.
- The Maple Ridge Art Gallery, 11944 Haney Place. Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM. Focusing on local artists and art students.
Maple Ridge is the home of the Maple Ridge Concert Band, a community concert band that has been in existence for over 50 years.
Maple Ridge is pretty good for walking and hiking:
- 1 Golden Ears Provincial Park (take 232 street north and follow the signs). Plenty of easy to moderate hiking trails, as well as a day-use area for swimming and boating.
- There are several kilometres worth of dykes to the north, along the Alouette River and other smaller streams and sloughs.
Other activities include:
- 2 Planet Ice, 23588 105th Avenue, ☏ . A large, state-of-the-art skating arena. It is used mostly for amateur hockey teams, but offers public skating several times per week. $2.52-4.37 plus the cost of skate rentals, if you do not own.
- Go horseback riding at one of the many equestrian centres in Maple Ridge. The town prides itself as "horse country" and it is not uncommon to see people riding horses on the dykes, the trails at Golden Ears Park, or even on the roads.
- Festivals and annual parades: the Santa Claus Parade & Christmas in the Park, Earth Day celebrations in Memorial Peace Park, Canada Day in Memorial Peace Park, GETI Fest in Memorial Peace Park, AdStock Music Festival in Memorial Peace Park, Aboriginal Day celebrations in Memorial Peace Park, the Celebrate the Night Halloween & Fireworks event at Memorial Peace Park, the Caribbean Festival at the Albion Fairgrounds and the one of the longest running agricultural fairs in BC, Country Fest at the fairgrounds.
- One of the largest Remembrance Day celebrations in the Lower Mainland each November 11 at Memorial Peace Park. The event is hosted by the Royal Canadian legion Branch #88 and boasts annual attendance of over 2000 local residents for the parade of veterans and first responders and moving Cenotaph ceremony.
Maple Ridge has embraced its reputation as being a cheaper place to live, suitable for seniors and lower income families. As such, there are plenty of locally owned shops offering decent quality products for good prices, as well as plenty of discount and dollar stores. If you're looking for high retail, Maple Ridge is definitely not the place to be.
- 1 Haney Place Mall, 11900 Haney Place, ☏ . The biggest shopping centre in Maple Ridge, but that isn't saying much. Not by any means an impressive mall with only a couple dozen stores or so.
- Check out some of the locally owned shops in the downtown core, within walking distance of Haney Place Mall.
- The Haney Farmers Market runs every Saturday from 9AM until 2PM starting in May through to October at Memorial Peace Park.
- Billy Miner Alehouse and Cafe, 22355 River Road, Port Haney (Nearly opposite the Western Express train station), ☏ , (cafe). Alehouse: M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Su 11AM-11PM; Cafe daily 9AM-10PM. Pub food in a charming, historic building overlooking the Fraser River. A range of local beers on tap. Menu is long on burgers and pizza, with vegetarian and vegan options. Minors are welcome in the cafe next door, and the same food (and drink) is served in both places. Pizzas $15-20, burgers $13-17.
- Bruce’s Country Market, 23963 Lougheed Hwy, ☏ . Summer: M-F 7AM-9PM, Sa Su 8AM-9PM; winter M-W 7AM-8PM, Th F 7AM-9PM, Sa Su 8AM-8PM. Specializing in fresh, wild salmon from their gillnetters and smoked salmon prepared according to our own traditional family smoking methods. They also offer a wide variety of other seafood, gourmet groceries, conventional and organic produce, and a deli.
- 1 Big Feast, 11920 227 St, Maple Ridge, ☏ .
There are plenty of good bars and pubs in Maple Ridge. Generally you will not have trouble finding a seat - unless it is Friday or Saturday and the Vancouver Canucks are playing.
- The Black Sheep Pub, 12968 232nd Street, ☏ . Daily 11AM-midnight, F Sa until 1AM. A popular neighbourhood pub. Mains $23-27, burgers and sandwiches $10-13, pastas $12-28.
- 1 [dead link] Best Western Maple Ridge Hotel, 21650 Lougheed Highway, ☏ , toll-free: . Free Wifi, parking, and breakfast. Pool. Non-smoking hotel. Suites. Fitness centre. From $123.
The area around Highway 224 and Lougheed is friendly although a bit backward in a lot of ways. There is a problem with an abundance of drug users, drunks, beggars, etc. Look where you are going and common sense applies.
|Routes through Maple Ridge|
|Vancouver ← Pitt Meadows ←||W E||→ Mission → Hope|
|Vancouver ← Pitt Meadows ←||W E||→ Mission → END|