Surrey is Vancouver's largest suburb in both population and area, containing a sizable immigrant population from South Asia (30.9%), primarily from India's Punjab province, as well as a sizeable population from other parts of Asia (16.9%). Because of this, Surrey is very culturally diverse. Surrey is mostly a working-class suburb, but it also has a sizeable industrial area -- mostly factories and warehouses.
The city is divided by North and South, mostly by demographics and economics. North Surrey is for the most part middle class, while South Surrey is much more affluent. South Surrey, often referred to as White Rock (actually a different city), borders the United States and the Pacific Ocean through the beaches of Whiterock Beach, Crescent Beach, and Mud Bay.
Surrey has a number of neighbourhoods, officially known as "town centres". They include:
- Surrey City Centre - A gleaming new high-rise neighborhood around the Surrey Central Skytrain station. This is an area within Whalley.
- Whalley - North of the city, on the Fraser River.
- Newton - An old village, absorbed by Surrey, and now home to corporate office parks. It's roughly in the middle of Surrey (by land area).
- Guildford - Home to Guildford Town Shopping Centre and Guildford Surrey Public Library. It is east of the city center.
- Cloverdale - Cloverdale is a historic village known for its small town charm. If you love antiques, then you have come to the right place. The traditional Cloverdale Town Centre is well known for being the “Antique Capital of BC”, famous for its antiques and collectibles. It was the setting of "Smallville", a fictional location used during the filming of the popular American television series Smallville.
- Crescent Beach (see under White Rock) - One of the sunniest beaches in the Greater Vancouver region. Popular activities at Crescent Beach include swimming, kayaking, crabbing, fishing, and boating. There are shops nearby and restaurants with ocean views. It is in South Surrey, but usually referred to as part of White Rock.
The nearest airport to Surrey is Vancouver International Airport (YVR IATA) in nearby Richmond. Surrey is a 30 minute drive from the airport via Highway 91. Taxis and airport limosines available at the airport will also take you to Surrey. Abbotsford International Airport (YXX IATA) is a smaller, easier to navigate option to the east of Surrey easily accessed via 16th Ave. Bellingham International Airport is immediately south of Surrey, just across the US Border. It offers a limited range of direct destinations but with connections can be a good way to get cheaper fares than YVR offers.
Boundary Bay Airport in South Surrey accepts private aviation traffic.
By bus or train
Many long distance bus or train services terminate at Vancouver's Pacific Central Station. From there, public transit can be taken directly to Surrey via Expo Line Skytrain.
By public transit
Surrey is part of the regional Translink transit system, with some bus connections with neighbouring municipalities. Bus #301 provides service to Richmond, while #320, #501, #502 and #555 connect to Langley.
The Expo Line Skytrain connects Surrey to Vancouver, with stops in Burnaby and New Westminster along the way. The end of the line is at the King George station, which is about a 45-min trip from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver.
The standard adult transit fare (effective July 2019) from Vancouver to Surrey is $5.75 on weekdays and $3 on weekends and evenings after 6:30PM.
Both of Greater Vancouver's two major freeways, Highway 1 (the Trans-Canada) and Highway 99, run directly through Surrey, linking it with Fraser Valley to the east and Vancouver and its eastern suburbs to the west. It also has two secondary highways: Highway 91 links Highway 99 with the suburbs of Burnaby and New Westminster, and the Pacific Highway (BC 15) links BC 1 with the USA/Canada border at Blaine.
King George Highway (BC 99A) is the major surface street that runs from South Surrey to North Surrey.
- 1 Darts Hill Garden Park, 1633 170 St, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. This horticultural paradise is without equal in the region for its variety of rare and native plants, shrubs and trees. Gifted to the City of Surrey by Francisca Darts upon the death of her husband, Edwin, the city maintains the garden with the help of the Darts Hill Garden Conservancy Trust. $5 per person.
- 2 Museum of Surrey, 17710 56A Avenue, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 8:30AM to 4:30PM. Local history museum and gallery. Free.
- 3 Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Avenue (in Bear Creek Park), ☏ . On-site facilities include Surrey Art Gallery (free) and live performances in the Surrey Civic Theatres.
- 1 Barnston Island Ferry, Port Kells neighbourhood (North end of 104th Street, south bank of Fraser River), ☏ . M-Th 6:15AM-11:55PM, F-Su 6:15AM-12:55AM. Barnston is a small island, only about 2-3 square miles. You get to it by taking a 5-minute ferry ride across Parson's Channel to the island. The ferry ride is free. The ferry is a barge operated by a small tug which serves Barnston Island. The ferry holds only about 7 vehicles per sailing, and, you have to back on the ferry on the return trip. It is a very unique and a fun experience. Barnston Island is flat, with not much on there but farms. It is under the landing circuit for Pitt Meadows airport just to the north, so you can frequently see small planes 1000 ft overhead. It takes about an hour to bike around the whole island.
- 2 Cineplex Cinemas Strawberry Hill, 12161 72 Ave, ☏ . Features Hollywood movies, though more notable for its extensive Bollywood movie options (likely the most Bollywood movie options and screens showing Bollywood movies in Western Canada). Reserving tickets is strongly recommended.
- 3 Fraser Valley Heritage Railway, 17630 56 Ave (at 176 St, Cloverdale Station), ☏ . May-Sep: Sa Su 9:30AM–4PM. A heritage railway operating a BCER interurban car, speeders and velocipedes.
- 4 River's Bend Winery tasting, 15560 Colebrook Rd (South of Highway 10, just east of 152nd St), ☏ . Tu-Su 10AM-6PM. The only winery in Surrey, and thus the best.
- 5 White Rock Sea Tours, 12555 Crescent Rd, fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Go whale watching.
- March / April
- 6 Surrey Vasaiki Parade (route includes 128 St between 80 Ave and 86 Ave, as well as several other streets). This is the largest Vasaiki parade outside of India with crowds in the hundreds of thousands of people, where free food is handed out throughout the route during the whole the event. Typically this annual parade occurs either a week before or a week after Easter (March or April). Although this event is in celebration for the Sikh religion, all are welcome. Free.
- 8 Surrey Canada Day, 6050A 176 St. Canada Day (July 1) celebration held within Cloverdale Fairgrounds.
- 9 Surrey Fusion Festival, 13428 Old Yale Rd, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Two-day festival celebrating various cultures around the world, including food, music performances, and cultural performances. Held in in Holland Park in late July.
- 10 Bear Creek Park, 13750 88 Ave, ☏ . This city park offers the Bear Creek Gardens, a miniature railway, a running track, and several trails. Surrey Arts Centre is located within the park. Free.
- 11 Blackie Spit Park, 3136 McBride Ave, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Watch birds at the Pacific Ocean coastline.
- 12 Green Timbers Urban Forest, 14600 Block of 100 Ave, ☏ . One of Surrey's largest parks is about a kilometre from Surrey's city centre. Features numerous forest walking trails and a lake stocked with fish for fishing. Note that fishing requires a provincial fishing licence. Free.
- 13 Peace Arch Provincial Park, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Next to the border with the United States. Have a picnic or meet the American neighbours without having to go through border control. This park connects with Peace Arch Historical State Park on the United States side. Visitors from both sides of the border are allowed to access both parks including crossing the border without going through border control, but it is illegal to go beyond the park boundaries into the other country. Free.
- 14 Tynehead Regional Park, 17200 Block of 96 Ave, ☏ . This forested park features over 14 km of trails including along a stream. Also has a popular designated off leash dog area and a group camping area. Free.
- 15 Surrey Bend Regional Park, 17775 104 Avenue. Park with trails for walking and biking next to the Fraser River. Free.
There are many golf courses in Surrey. Several PGA tournaments have in the past been hosted in Surrey and parts of the movie Happy Gilmore were shot here.
- 16 Eagle Quest Coyote Creek, 7778 152 St, ☏ .
- 17 Guildford Golf and County Club, 7929 152 St, ☏ .
- 18 Morgan Creek Golf Course, 3500 Morgan Creek Way, ☏ .
- 19 Nico Wynd Golf Club, 3601 Nico Wynd Dr, toll-free: .
- 20 North View Golf and Country Club, 6857 168 St, ☏ . The two golf courses were designed by professional golfer Arnold Palmer. The PGA had tournaments at this course for 7 years, ending in 2002.
- 21 Peace Portal Golf Club, 16900 4 Ave, ☏ .
- 1 Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Newton campus), 12666 72 Ave, ☏ . Offers trades training and full degree programs in traditional academic areas through two campuses in the city (and two in the surrounding region). This school operates primarily as a traditional community college with many students transferring to nearby Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia; however, with its upgraded status to a university this is changing.
- 2 Simon Fraser University Surrey, 250-13450 102 Ave, ☏ . It is in the Central City mall's tower and operates as a satellite campus to SFU Burnaby. Most classes offered here are part of the Faculty of Business or the Mechatronic Systems Engineering Program.
Surrey has several major shopping areas, including:
- 1 Central City, 10153 King George Blvd, (South of Surrey Central Skytrain station.), ☏ . M Tu 10AM-7PM, W-F 10AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-7PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Mall that features 140 stores and Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus.
- 2 Guildford Town Centre, 10355 152 St, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-7PM, Su 11AM-7PM. The largest mall in Surrey. Includes over 200 stores. To south-east of the mall around 152 St and 101 Ave are Asian stores and restaurants.
- 3 Newton, King George Blvd between 68 Ave and 78 Ave. A major shopping area including Surrey's only Costco.
- 4 Payal Business Centre, 8128 128 St. Features 200 business including banquet halls, South Asian restaurants, South Asian clothing stores, and other stores. One of the largest and most popular retail areas frequented by South Asians in British Columbia. Note that there are a number of other South Asian smaller business centres focused toward the South Asian market within a few blocks north and south on 128 St.
- 5 Surrey-Delta border, Scott Road between 80 Ave and 96 Ave. Much of this section of Scott Road lined with South Asian stores and restaurants, especially the northern half.
Historic Cloverdale (the 5800 block of 176 Street and vicinity) has a high concentration of antiques shops.
- 6 Cloverdale Antiques, 5754 176 St, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. W-Su noon-5PM. A modest storefront leads to a shop crammed with antique furniture, crockery, and glassware, plus the odd late 1950s vintage pulp science magazine.
Surrey has plenty of shops and restaurants, including the largest variety of South Asian ones in British Columbia. Metrotown, British Columbia's most visited mall is in Burnaby, about 20 minutes ride from Surrey on Skytrain.
Surrey has many of the standard national and international fast food chains and mid-range family restaurant franchises. In addition, Surrey has a number of East Indian Restaurants which offer popular Indian dishes such as Butter Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, and Samosas. Meals are authentic Indian cuisine and can be had for $5-10. There are also a number of Chinese restaurants, although the food here is largely "Westernized". Japanese food is equally prevalent and there are a number of reasonably priced sushi restaurants throughout the area. Finally, pizza is popular in and interestingly enough, many owner-operated pizza restaurants are operated by people of East Indian descent, making the taste quite distinct from the national franchises. These owner operated pizza restaurants are often very competitive in price. Surrey doesn't have much fine cuisine; more choice is available in nearby Vancouver.
- 1 Edo Japan, 840-3041 152 St (across from Save-on-Foods at South Point Exchange), ☏ . 10AM-9PM. Offering traditional Teppanyaki grill. Choose from chicken, beef or seafood and fresh vegetables served over steaming hot rice or Yakisoba noodles topped with Teriyaki Sauce. Offers dine in or take out with a kids menu as well. $2-12.
- 2 Mahek Restaurant & Lounge, 9470 120 St (near Scott Road), ☏ . A great place for authentic Punjabi cuisine. Punjabis don't go out for Indian food often, but when they do, they go to Mahek.
- 3 My Shanti, 15869 Croydon Dr, ☏ . One of celebrity chef Vikram Vij's Indian restaurants.
- 4 Sea Shanty, 5737 176 St (in the heart of old Cloverdale), ☏ . W-M 11AM-8:30PM; Tu closed. Don't be fooled by the unassuming 'diner' look. The friendly staff make everything fresh on the premises, which means that simple dishes like fish and chips are a cut above the usual. Breakfast served all day. A variety of fish, including halibut and salmon. Burgers from $6, Dinner to $17.
- 5 Spice 72 Indian Restaurant & Lounge, 12025 72 Ave (near Scott Road), ☏ . Su-Th 11:30AM-10:30PM, F Sa 11:30AM-11PM. A trendy restaurant offering traditional Indian fare from various regions of India. There are several areas where guests can enjoy themselves - the lounge, the private dining room, the bar, or the patio.
- 6 The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, 7948 120 St, ☏ . Steak. Steak and potatoes. Steak and crab. Steak and beer. But mostly steak. A chain restaurant.
- 7 The Old Surrey Restaurant, 13483 72 Ave (just west of King George Highway), ☏ . Tu-Su 5PM—; M closed. This restaurant began as an old train station, but has been The Old Surrey Restaurant for as long as anyone can remember. Providing a five star experience, the establishment specializes in French cuisine with the Chateaubriand Bouquetiere being a perennial favorite special. Reservations recommended Entrees $20-38, prix fixe menu $40-60.
- 8 The Vault Restaurant, 5764 176 St, ☏ . Home of fabulous food, wicked wines and mouth watering martinis.
Surrey has neighbourhood pubs where food can be found reasonably cheap - usually $5-8 for a burger and fries and around $10 for an entree. BC has very high taxes on liquor, so although the food is reasonably priced at pubs, alcoholic beverages can be quite expensive with a jug of beer costing between $12 and $18 and highballs upwards of $5 each.
Those looking for a vibrant nightlife are advised to look to Vancouver, which has a number of popular bars and night clubs on its Granville strip.
- 1 Central City Brewers and Distillers, 11411 Bridgeview Dr, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Brewery and distillery with store and tasting room.
- 2 The Taphouse, 15330 102A Ave, ☏ . Fairly upscale with cheap drinks (by Vancouver standards) and a young crowd.
- 1 Best Western King George Inn & Suites, 8033 King George Blvd, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Part of a chain of hotels price at the mid-upper price range. Has a pool and fitness facilities. Located on a major bus route between two major retail areas on King George Blvd, but has limited amenities within walking distance.
- 2 Civic Hotel, 13475 Central Ave, toll-free: . Boutique hotel adjacent to city hall in the city centre. One block from King George Station and Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus. Hotel is owned by Marriott.
- 3 Comfort Inn & Suites, 8255 166 St (corner of Fraser Hwy and 166th St), ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. A mix of queen- and king-size rooms. Kitchenettes and jacuzzi rooms are also available. Amenities include a shuttle service, indoor pool with slide and fitness classes. All rooms come with flat screen TVs, Ipod alarm clocks, pillow-top beds and free Wi-Fi. $110-200 in summer, $90-190 in low-season.
- 4 Econo Lodge, 6542 King George Blvd, ☏ . Free WiFi, and parking. Indoor hot tub and sauna. Fitness centre. All guest rooms are furnished with coffee makers, desks, hair dryers, irons and ironing boards. Rooms that also have microwaves, refrigerators and whirlpool bathtubs can be requested. A restaurant is on the premises. Pet-friendly hotel. From $102.
- 5 Sheraton Guildford, 15269 104 Ave, ☏ , toll-free: . 279 guestrooms and suites available with city or mountain views. Some rooms have fridge, microwave or jacuzzi. Internet is available in all rooms for a fee. A block away from Guildford Town Centre mall. For decades, has been a conference venue for groups of several hundred people. $175-370 in summer, $120-155 in low-season.
Parts of Surrey suffer from an image problem with a perceived crime and drug problem. However, Surrey's crime rate is often lower than many other cities in British Columbia. The Whalley area in particular has a reputation for crime, especially at night. Surrey is attempting to rebuild the area and has even attempted to rid the area of the "Whalley" name as it carries with it negative connotations. The area is now often called "Gateway" or "Surrey Centre" and there are many new residential and business buildings in various stages of completion in the area. In this regard, the area is in a stage of transition, as although new million-dollar developments are sprouting up, homelessness and drug dealing can be found within the same city blocks in some cases. Compared to tougher parts of similarly sized US cities, no area in Surrey is very bad though.
|Routes through Surrey|
|Vancouver ← Coquitlam ←||W E||→ Langley → Hope|
|END ← Delta ←||W E||→ Langley → END|
|END ←||N S||→ White Rock → becomes → Seattle|
|END ←||N S||→ Delta → Victoria|
|Vancouver ← Delta ←||N S||→ White Rock → becomes → Seattle|
|Vancouver City Centre ← New Westminster ←||W E||→ END|