LANGLEY (British Columbia)
THE PROVINCE'S BIRTHPLACE
The city of Langley is located east of downtown Vancouver, about 40 minutes. Aside from the usual century-old buildings and culture, Langley offers the homey feel only a farmland can offer. The Fort Langley is a historic trademark, which gave Langley its nickname, “Birthplace of British Columbia”. Langley may seem like a rural or semi-suburban region but they have lots of modernity to offer interested visitors and locals. It is dubbed as the best-kept secret of the Lower Mainland. It has several nature parks, farms and outdoor activities. They also have awesome wineries!
HOW IT BEGAN
The first settlers, according to records, were William and Adam Innes. These brothers came from near London, Ontario in the hope of trading or shipping Cariboo goldfields. They settled between the Hudson Bay farm and the highlands. Langley was first known as “Innes Corners”, after the brothers. The name was then changed to Langley Prairie in 1911. The community was previously largely rural. In 1910, an Inter-Urban Railroad (now known as the BC Electric Railway), which became the gateway to the city’s economic growth. The station was located at the Yale Road. This led to more commercial activities and construction of business centers as well as trades among neighboring cities and all over Langley.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT...
╣Derby Reach Regional Park. If you are ready to experience lots of adventures, this is definitely the place for you. Located along the Fraser River, you can get to the park by heading north to 208th Street from Highway 1. You can hike, camp, fish and of course, have a great relaxing moment with nature. Trails where you can cycle and hike includes the Houston Trail and the Fort-to-Fort Trail. You can also do some fishing while in the park, however, it is best that you get a permit first from BC’s Ministry of Environment. If you are to travel between March and October, the Regional Park can accommodate your (two) tents for a camping trip. The area only allows two vehicles and a maximum of seven nights stay so you have to plan everything well should you want to stay inside the park. The site is also available on a first-come first-served basis so plan things properly.
╣Greater Vancouver Zoo. Zoos are the most accessible place and easiest way to get close to animals, right? You should visit this place. It is located along the Aldergrove Community to see over 800 animals including giraffes, bears, zebras, wolves and many more. In the 1960s, a businessman named Pat Hines bought a large piece of land so he could turn it into a game farm but it eventually grew into a zoo. The first animal that was nurtured by the zoo was a llama from Mount Vernon. Now, you can see more than just games or llamas. You can see lions, monkeys, eagles and other animals you often do not see. The zoo is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (Winter, October 1 to April 30) and from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (Summer, May 1 to September 30). Admission is as follows: Child and Seniors - $15.00; Students - $18.00; Adults - $20:00. A family package for two adults and two kids costs $65.00 and children below 3 can enter the zoo for free.
╣any of the wineries and restaurants throughout Langley. Blackwood Lane Vineyards & Winery accommodates visitors by appointment. Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery and Bacchus Bistro combine their exemplary wines with authentic French cuisine. Fort Wine Co. is more than just a wine shop. They also sell balsamic vinegars, wine jellies and pure fruit juices. They also have a bistro where you can order light meals beforehand. Your family can have a wonderful picnic in this winery. In Neck of the Woods Winery, the quality of the wine is dictated by the quality of grapes used. And this is certainly a Langley pride because the grapes they use are locally grown. They also have wines made with combinations of grapes from the Okanagan Valley, the Fraser Valley and their very own vineyard. The winery is open daily from 11:00am to 6:00pm. Call 604.539.9563 if you want to have a wine-tasting session.
╣the BC Farm Museum. It is located at 9131 King Street Fort Langley. The agricultural history of British Columbia is displayed in this museum, particularly during the 19th century, when the Fraser Valley became the farming regions after Fort Langley was built. One of the first agricultural items donated to the museum was a high-cut plough from Bruce Coleman. Since then, the collection grew, exhibiting a wide range of tractors and other agricultural machinery. There are other donations such as steam engines, sewing machines, spinning wheel, crop dusting airplane, Victoria carriages and lots of photographs. This museum will surely take you back in time. BC Farm Museum is the place to go to learn more of Langley’s past. The museum also has a gift shop so you can buy some souvenirs like woodcrafts.
╣Langley Centennial Museum. This is near the BC Farm Museum. The museum was opened in 1958 and it showcases artifacts about British Columbia and the indispensable contributions of Langley to what the region is today. The museum and the gift shop are open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:45 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 4:45 pm. Admission fee is not fixed but donations are greatly appreciated. It is also suggested that you call their office to schedule a tour because the museum is visited by students from local schools as well.
╣the Canadian Museum of Flight at the Langley Airport. Staying true to their motto, “To Bring BC’s Aviation Past into the Future,” the museum will tell you stories related to the aviation history of the region and the country. They have a massive collection of aircraft and related artifacts such as the Beechcraft Expeditor, Canadian Quickie, Douglas DC-3, Fleet Finch, Mignet Pou-du-Ciel, P-51 Mustang Replica, Sikorsky S-55 (UH-19), Struchen Helicopter and many others. The museum has been in Langley since 1996.
╣the Fort Langley National Historic Site. Your visit to Langley and British Columbia will not be complete if you miss this place. The site is the exact location where the European and local traders meet and transact. This place has become an economic hub. The site displays some of the furs that have been traded by the indigenous tribes during the early periods of the city, watch a demonstration on barrel making, visit the blacksmith shop and even pan for gold along the Fraser River. The Historic Site also has a nearby café where you can relax after an exciting trip to the ancient times. Full Barrel Café is open every day from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and they serve meals only from the freshest produce.
TOURISTS SHOULD KNOW
Touring around Langley is a piece of cake! This city is always welcoming to visitors because they have put up “Heritage Road Markers”. Some of the streets are named after relevant people but they have been changed to a more structured form. The Gueho Road is the recent 203rd Street, which was named after Marcel Gueho, a French settler. The road is west of the Langley Mall and runs south of Michaud Crescent. Simonds Road, now the 48th Avenue. It was previously called the Trigg Road. The name Simonds was from Hazelette Simonds of the Princess Pat Light Infantry. The Simonds Elementary School on 48th Avenue in 1959 and is named after his family.
Langley is a city filled with lots of stories. Its history greatly affected the economy and community of the now British Columbia. Your days will never be boring when you are in Langley. Every day will be a different day and a different adventure.