Fort Langley: Charming community has a unique village feel

Nestled on the banks of the Fraser River to the north and surrounded by agricultural land, the town has managed to keep its old-world charm. Instead of big-box stores and chains, residents and visitors shop and dine at independent shops and restaurants. In the town centre, a three-storey building is considered a skyscraper. And you’re more than likely to run into the mayor at the local (non-chain) grocery store.

“Sometimes we build these more modern communities and we’re reliant on our cars,” says Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “Fort Langley still has that charm where you can walk into the centre of town to get what you need. It has that nice unique village feel.”

Most Lower Mainlanders know Fort Langley as a historic site. Built in 1827, the town grew around the site of a Hudson’s Bay Company fur-trading post. The post purchased or traded furs from the local Aboriginal population (including the Kwantlen people) and serviced the British Empire via the Fraser. In 1858, the gold rush brought tens of thousands of starry-eyed prospectors to the area. To stave off any claims the Americans might make on the territory, in November of that year, there on the banks of the Fraser River, newly-sworn-in Governor James Douglas proclaimed the Colony of British Columbia.

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Article originally published in the Vancouver Sun