About the Fraser Valley Region
The Fraser Valley is a beautiful, diverse and productive region with a long, rich history. It's also home to a growing number of British Columbians.
For the Fraser Basin Council, the Fraser Valley region stretches from north of Boston Bar to the eastern boundary of Metro Vancouver, tucked between the Coast Mountains and Cascade Mountains north of the US border. Here is where the Fraser River flattens out and flows through a broad, fertile valley on its way to the sea. From the rugged Fraser Canyon to the expanses of rich farmland that straddle the river, the Fraser Valley is 13,000 square kilometres in size ― or 5% of the Fraser Basin. In a sense, the Valley is the neck of a funnel, where all water from across the Fraser Basin flows, and where most people and goods travel to reach the Coast.
In 2011 there were 277,593 people living here. That is almost 9.4% of the Basin's population, and an increase of almost 9.4% since 2006. The Valley offers many advantages, including a high quality of life, affordable housing and choice of amenities. Like other fast-growing communities, however, it also faces sustainability challenges.
The Fraser Valley encompasses Abbotsford, Boston Bar, Chilliwack, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Kent, Mission and Yale as well as areas north of Harrison Lake and on the north and east side of Pitt Lake. To learn more about the region and individual communities, start with a visit the Fraser Valley Regional District website.
The Valley is home to the traditional territories of the mainland Halq'eméylem-speaking people for the past 10,000 years. First Nations communities in the region are: Aitchelitz , Boston Bar, Chawathil, Cheam, Kwantlen, Kwaw-kwaw-Apilt, Leq’a:mel, Matsqui, Peters, Popum, Scowlitz, Seabird Island, Shxw'ow'hamel, Skawahlook, Skwah, Soowahlie, Spuzzum, Squiala, Sts'ailes (formerly Chehalis), Sxwha:y, Sumas, Tzeachten, Yakweakwioose and Yale. You can learn more though individual BC First Nations websites. Find helpful links on the BC Assembly of First Nations website.
Fraser Valley watersheds include the main stem of the Fraser River, Chilliwack/Vedder, Columbia Valley/Cultus Lake, Coquihalla, Harrison, Lillooet, Nahatlatch, Stave Lake, D’Herbomez Creek, Hatzic, Norrish Creek, Sumas and Ruby Creek.
Regional Economy and Growth Strategy
The economy of the Fraser Valley is founded on agriculture and forestry, and the region is recognized for its prime farmlands and food production. Also of important are construction, manufacturing, tourism, transportation, retail and service industries.
The Fraser Valley connects the interior regions of the Fraser Basin, BC and Canada to the Pacific coast; consequently, it is an important corridor for air, rail, road and river transportation, as well as communications, natural gas and electricity utilities.
Community decision-makers have the challenging task of managing growth, land use, transportation and economic development, and delivering services to residents, businesses and visitors. Visit the Fraser Valley Regional District website for an exploration of some of these issues and a look at the District’s Regional Growth Strategy.
The Fraser Basin Council serves communities of the Fraser Valley on both local and regional sustainability issues. Take a look at our programs, then contact our regional office to find out more.