Named after the thriving population of Alder trees in the area, Aldergrove is located on the south eastern tip of the Township of Langley and Metro Vancouver, and is a unique slice of Lower Mainland – representing the only unincorporated “town” in the area, although it’s often referred to as one. Home to one of five land border crossings with the US, Aldergrove is quickly becoming a community worth a second look if the Lower Mainland has been calling you.
Home to just over 12,000 people, this small community is still considered an urban centre, occupying 15.5 km2 of land, and boasting a population density of 829.74 km2 in 2011, it’s a key player in the political sphere within the Township of Langley.
History & Geography
Located on the southeastern end of the Township of Langley, and the traditional territory of the Kwantlen First Nation, Aldergrove was originally a remote outpost for gold miners, loggers, entrepreneurs and farmers in the early 1870’s when it was first settled by Europeans. They arrived via the Yale and/or Jackman Roads, and in 1885, received its first post office. In 1887, the Shortreed family opened a store and log cabin near the intersection of Yale Road and County Line.
The Vanetta family set up the first custom’s office – that still stands today as a historic monument to the community – because of the proximity to the United States, and in 1887, the two villages of Aldergrove and Shortreed worked together to open the area’s first public school. Shortreed would eventually succeed to become a larger, more politically influential Aldergrove.
The Great Northern Railway joined Aldergrove in 1907, opening the logging industry before the first world war ushered in a recession that caused the town to once again, shrink down to a meagre size. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that Aldergrove was serviced by BC Electric.
Aldergrove is well known for its fertile soil and ability to produce crops and food for Metro Vancouver and beyond – like strawberries, carrots, corn, pumpkins, mushrooms, raspberries, and other produce. While Aldergrove itself is urban in scope, the rest of the towns surrounding rural areas are well known for farming and agri-business. The town of Aldergrove is geographically located on a hill, stretching 15km north to the Fraser River, and 5 km south to the US border, shared with Lynden, Washington.
Arts & Culture
Aldergrove is home to the Greater Vancouver Zoo, home to over 800 animals from all over the globe. The 120 acre zoo facility houses many notable attractions, like feeding times, and bus tours of the North American enclosure.
Parks & Recreation
The close proximity of Aldergrove to the wild natural locations of the Lower Mainland give residents and visitors ample access to the great outdoors and all the active pursuits you could ask for. The area is well known for its excellent fishing, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, off roading, and horse trails – through fields, forests, foothills, and beautiful open green spaces.
The Aldergrove Regional Park is a well known example of naturalization in its prime. The expansive park features stunning old growth forest, an off-leash dog park, and 9.5 km of walking/hiking trails, as well as 7 km of horseback riding trail, and 7.5km of biking trails – all surrounding a former gravel pit known as Aldergrove Bowl, that’s been revitalized into a popular green picnicking space. The view of Mount Baker isn’t so shabby, either.
Aldergrove Athletic Park features numerous amenities geared at physical activity and fun, including: ball hockey rinks, baseball diamonds, a basketball court, football field, hockey field, rugby field, skateboard park, soccer field, tennis court, and an oval track.
The Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre will boast a water park and an arena when it’s scheduled to be completed in 2018. Ground was officially broken in February of last year, thanks in part to an exciting financial contribution from the federal government’s provincial-territorial infrastructure component for national and regional projects.
The $9.881 million grant, along with a budget approved by Langley Township council, will help pay for some additional features, like a sauna and steam room, solar panels, rainwater harvesting system, and an expanded playground. The facility will feature a canopy-covered four-season outdoor pool, fitness centre, indoor walking track, and multipurpose gymnasiums, as well as an outdoor water park, tidal pool, current channel, and a children’s splash pad.
Healthcare & Education
Aldergrove is home to one high school, four elementary schools and a middle school, all under the control of School District 35 Langley, who provide services to the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Matsqui First Nations, the City of Langley, and the Township of Langley. The District serves about 18,000 students in total, and offers French immersion programs, baccalaureate, fundamental and alternative programs.
In 2007, Aldergrove Elementary School was running under capacity with only 189 students, and has since been torn down, despite multiple protests since 2005. A new school is now being built in its place. Some Aldergrove teens also attend DW Poppy Secondary School, a high school located outside of Aldergrove, but still within the boundaries of Langley Township.
There are no post secondary school facilities within Aldergrove.
Fraser Health is responsible for healthcare in the Lower Mainland, and ALdergrove falls within the boundaries of Langley Memorial Hospital, a 192 bed facility built in 1948, specializing in surgery, orthopedics, critical care, obstetrics, pediatrics, and adult inpatient psychiatric care.
Aldergrove is serviced by the Translink #503 Aldergrove/Surrey Central Station bus route. Being located 59 km southeast of downtown Vancouver, the community operates half-hour trips between Langley City, and Abbotsford.
In addition to the provincial transportation provider, Aldergrove is also serviced by the Aldergrove Trolley Company, which operates trolley replicas in the area, with plans to expand to include nearby Gloucester Industrial Estates north of the town.
The Aldergrove community is home to a thriving film/television industry, with many television programs and Hollywood movies using the rural/urban backdrop as a setting. Most notably, the A&E program, Bates Motel is filmed in Aldergrove, as was the prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in 2012. The Kent farm, location in the smash-hit Smallville is a working farm in Aldergrove, owned by the Alderlinis family – which was painted yellow for the show. The fourth season of ‘Amazing Race Canada’ also starred two women from ALdergrove who came in a respectable fourth place.
The Royal Canadian Navy also house the primary communication station for the nation’s Maritime Forces Pacific fleet in Aldergrove, located at Naval Radio Site Aldergrove.
Farming and agricultural businesses maintain a strong grip on Aldergrove’s economy, helping contribute to an average median household income of approximately $77,720.
For more guides of the lower mainland, be sure not to miss:
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- The Ultimate Guide to Port Coquitlam
- The The Ultimate to Tsawwassen Bc
- The Ultimate Guide to Surrey
- The Ultimate Guide to Langley Bc
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- The Ultimate Guide to North Vancouver
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