Human occupation of the area we now call Langley can be traced back to the retreat of the last glaciers some 10,000 years ago. First Nations people, known as the Sto:lo, or “river people” are thought to have been the principal occupants of most of the Fraser Valley throughout the last several millennia. They depended on the river and land for their survival and livelihood. The First Nations people who established their home in the Langley region are served by Kwantlen, a hun’qumi’num word meaning “tireless runner”. The Kwantlen (Qw’?ntl’en) First Nation were recorded in 1827 as the largest group on the lower Fraser, with a traditional territory extending from Mud Bay in Tsawwassen, through the Serpentine and Salmon Rivers and along the Fraser River, east past Mission. The First Nations continue to be an important part of the Langley communities.
As with many B.C. communities, the completion of the CPR Railway in 1886 led to new settlement and the construction of the BC Electric and Great northern railways in the early 1900’s further encouraged growth and a prosperous forestry and agriculture base. In order to serve the growing population, service centres such as Langley Prairie (now the City of Langley), Aldergrove, Milner, Murrayville and Fort Langley emerged.
Another significant link to the development of today’s communities was the completion of the Trans-Canada Highway in 1961 which greatly influenced the industrial, commercial and residential development throughout Langley. But the steady urban growth also impacted the available farmland and in 1973 the Agricultural Land Reserve was created, to help direct urban development and balance the agricultural use. Today, approximately 77% of Langley’s land mass remains green and protected by inclusion in the Land Reserve (ALR) and much of the population is accommodated in the developments of Walnut Grove, Fort Langley, Murrayville, Willoughby, Aldergrove, and Brookswood. Langley is known as a “Community of Communities”.
Langley is located 40 kms from the downtown core of the City of Vancouver. It is in close proximity to the US and Canadian border and is easily accessed from both BC Ferry terminals as well as the Vancouver and Abbotsford International Airports.