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British Columbia's Second City

Major downtown development projects are helping to make Surrey into its own urban center.
relates to British Columbia's Second City
Wikimedia Commons

Once rightfully thought of as a bedroom community of Vancouver, Surrey, in British Columbia, has steadily climbed its way into the world of cityness. It’s now the 12th largest city in Canada, and the second largest in B.C., but both of those rankings are likely to be short-lived. The city is expected to keep growing and is likely to overtake Vancouver as the province’s most populous city within the next 10 or 15 years, becoming one of the top ten in Canada. Considering the pace it's growing now, it could happen even sooner.

Surrey’s population grew by about 47,000 people between 2001 and 2006, and by more than 75,000 people between 2006 and 2011, according to the latest census figures. Now home to about 468,000 people, it’s still got a ways to go before it meets Vancouver’s current mark of 603,000. But at a regional scale, Surrey is growing at a much faster rate. Surrey’s population increase accounted for about 37 percent of the growth in the metro Vancouver region between 2006 and 2011. Vancouver city, by comparison, only contributed about 12 percent.