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2017 Report to Citizens

2017 Report to Citizens

Message from the Mayor

Linda Hepner, Mayor

Surrey’s rise in prominence as a major metropolitan centre and powerhouse continues unabated. As Surrey continues to attract new residents and businesses, it is the challenge of Council to ensure city services and amenities keep pace with the phenomenal growth. It is easy to see why Surrey is the fastest growing city in BC when you look  at our strategic location, our low tax rates and competitive property prices. In terms of livability, we have some of the best parks, recreational facilities and community amenities  in the region.

While there are many factors for our city’s success, I believe it can be attributed to one integral common ingredient: the people of Surrey. In my more than three decades at the City of Surrey, I have seen many changes but the one constant is the immense hometown pride that lives in the people who call Surrey home.

The commitment that you show for our city is reflected in our efforts at the City of Surrey. Council and I, along with our city staff, work hard to ensure that Surrey continues to thrive and grow. On behalf of Surrey City Council, it is my pleasure to present to you the 2016-2017 Report to Citizens which outlines our achievements and milestones over the past 12 months.

Our collective efforts have made Surrey a leading municipality not  only in the region, but on a provincial and national level as well. It is my pledge to you that Council and I will continue to work hard on your behalf to ensure Surrey remains prosperous, vibrant and successful for generations to come.


Linda Hepner's signature

Linda Hepner, Mayor

Surrey City Council

Councillor Tom Gill, Councillor Bruce Hayne, Councillor Vera LeFranc, Councillor Mary Martin


Councillor Mike Starchuk, Councillor Barbara Steele, Councillor Judy Villeneuve, Councillor Dave Woods

Infrastructure graphic

$277.5 Million Commited in 2017 to infrastructure investment (roads, parks and facilities)

Evacuees graphic

3,039 evacuees & 4,300 pets were helped at Cloverdale Arena Wildfire Evacuee Reception Centre

Film cannister graphic

632% increase on location movies or film productions in Surrey since the last six years


City Highlights

  • Another record breaking year of building permit value $1.52 billion for the City represents an estimated $1.29 billion in economic impact.Surrey: A City of Stories book
  • The City reopened the Newton Rec Centre after completing an $8 million addition doubling the fitness space and offering numerous upgrades and enhancements for patrons.
  • The first of 10 new parks slated for City Centre opened with Forsyth Park. The 7.5 acre park includes the TD Nature Play Area, an off-leash dog park and picnic area.
  • Two new arenas bringing five ice sheets under construction in Cloverdale and Bridgeview.
  • The City participated in a year-long Canada150 program that included monthly and special celebrations such as Canada Day featuring Hedley and Fusion Festival featuring Nelly Furtado.
  • Surrey: A City of Stories was released as a Canada150 legacy project.
    The book explores the rich history and accomplishments of Surrey

Quick Facts    

The average water consumption per person has been reduced from 510 litres per day in 2006 to 360 litres per day in 2016.

Surrey planted  9,335 trees on city streets and parks in 2017 and acquired $20 million worth of parkland.


Did you know

13,626 bylaw investigations and over 1,300 hours of proactive safety patrols.

Fire crews inspected 7,085 smoke alarms in 2017.

Community Safety

YoBro YoGirl Initiative

  • Over the past ten years, Surrey Fire Service has seen an 88% decrease in the rate of residential fire deaths and injuries.
  • 820 engaged citizen groups participate in Surrey Block Watch programs across the City.
  • The City stepped up measures to address homelessness in the 135A Street area through 24/7 onsite safety outreach and additional proactive partnership efforts have secured a commitment to 150 new supportive housing units.
  • In addition to the 100 RCMP officers another 16 RCMP officers were added in 2016, and 12 RCMP officers and 4 Bylaw Enforcement Officers were added in 2017.
  • The City approved a new Animal Responsibility Bylaw to mitigate risks associated with aggressive dogs and promote responsible dog ownership. The bylaw comes with new fees, increased penalties and stepped up enforcement.
  • The Surrey Fire Service has stepped up training efforts and is building a new training centre to elevate emergency response.
  • The City conducted an extensive community engagement process in 2017 reaching 3,000 stakeholders on the Clayton Connects project. The community engagement process will help shape development of a new community hub planned for Clayton that will integrate arts, library, recreation, and outdoor spaces in a single facility.
  • In 2017 the City of Surrey  expanded its support to the YoBro YoGirl Initiative to support 400 young people across Surrey in 2017. The program provides exercise programs, life skills training and employment opportunities. With the increased support, YoBro YoGirl has been able to expand its reach.

"I didn’t care if I lived or died, and after 18 years of living that lifestyle, I ended up in jail. I had time to reevaluate my choices.  The bond everyone here at YoBro YoGirl has is amazing - kids look  out for one another and genuinely care. That’s a big part of what family is - looking out for one another and protecting one another.”

Brandon, YoBro YoGirl participant

Where your 2017 tax dollars go: Collected for Other Authorities - TransLink 6.60%, Schools 32.67%. Collected by your local Surrey government - Police Services 20.75%, Roads and Drainage 10.78%, Fire Services 8.32%, Parks Recreation and Culture 8.32%, Solid Wast 4.81%, Library Services 2.47%

Collected by your local Surrey government:

Police Services 20.75%, Roads and Drainage 10.78%, Fire Services 8.32%, Parks Recreation and Culture 8.32%, Solid Wast 4.81%, Library Services 2.47%

Collected for Other Authorities:

TransLink 6.60%, Schools 32.67%

Comparison of 2017 Average Residential Taxes & Utilities

Comparison of 2017 Average Residential Taxes & Utilities. Surrey's average is the fourth lowest at $3,259.90. West Vancouver has the highest at $6,399.90. Pitt Meadows has the lowest at $3,007.77.

Surrey's 2017 average residential taxes and utilities is the fourth lowest in Metro Vancouver at $3,259.90. West Vancouver has the highest at $6,399.90. Pitt Meadows has the lowest at $3,007.77.

Environment & Sustainability

  • To help prepare Surrey for a changing climate and help our coastal communities become more resilient, the City of Surrey is developing a Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy (CFAS) for Surrey’s floodplain area. The three-year project involves an extensive community-driven planning approach that directly engages residents, stakeholders, and other partners, including First Nations, community and environmental organizations, business associations, senior governments, farmers and agricultural community, and neighbouring jurisdictions. More than 500 people participated in this engagement effort in 2017.

    Godwin Farm Biodiversity Preserve Park
  • Opened the Godwin Farm Biodiversity Preserve Park   in 2017. This 26 acre park was gifted to the City of Surrey by the Godwin family as part of Canada’s Ecological  Gift Program, the preserve is home to a significant fish  bearing stream, pond, orchard and hundreds of mature   trees. Visitors can view a variety of bird life and walk  along the looping trail network.
  • A new City Centre Plan will transform the city’s centre into a walkable, transit-oriented downtown core for business, cultural, and entertainment activity. The plan earmarks 10 new parks and outlines a clear plan for a vibrant downtown with distinct neighbourhoods, each with its own unique character connected by Skytrain  and Light Rail Transit, anchored by effective  transportation networks, and greenspace.

Did you know Did you know?

  • Surrey has 852 parks totalling 7,819 acres. 58 acres of parkland added in 2017.
  • There were over 3 million visits to parks, rec and culture facilities.
  • The city hosted over 172 sport tournaments across the City in 2017, including 12 international, 4 national events, and 11 provincial events.

Quick Facts    

  • 15,540 low-income children and families were supported through the City's Leisure Access Program for recreation activities.
  • In 2016, the seniors population accounted for 14.1% of Surrey's total population.
  • 1,100 volunteers contributed over 16,500 hours in support of City programs, events and key projects.

Culture & Community

  • Construction is well underway for Surrey’s Museum $15.7 million  expansion. This new world-class  Museum scheduled to open in Sept 2018 will house a Kids Explore Zone, Indigenous Hall and Feature Gallery and much more.
  • The Surrey Art Gallery received a national award from the Canadian Museums Association for outstanding achievement in new media for the UrbanScreen programming.
  • As a legacy of the Canada 150 program, the City has a new annual Dominion Days festival. The 2017 inaugural festival served up two jam-packed days in July of old- fashioned family fun at the Historic Stewart Farm.
  • Surrey City Hall hosted its first Canadian Citizenship ceremony in April. 59 people took the oath of citizenship.
  • A new community art space has  been opened in the City Centre (10660 City Parkway) through a 3 way partnership to expand opportunities  for artists for workshops, rehearsals  and presentations.

Quick Facts    

  • There are 150 different languages spoken in Surrey other than English.
  • 1 in 4 Syrian refugees   who came to BC settled in Surrey (998 individuals; 579 are children/youth).

Did you know

  • Over 10,000 elementary school children participated in city hall tours and workshops.
  • Over 3,600 youth attended city-wide youth events
  • Over 2.4 million people visited Surrey Libraries and 3.65 million books and materials were borrowed.
Dominion Days Festival 2017 at Historic Stewart Farm

Dominion Days Festival 2017
Historic Stewart Farm


Transportation & Engineering

  • The City continues to move forward on its top transportation project, the 27km LRT network. The City and Translink are also working on LRT design work and planning/designing $58 million of early works infrastructure improvements through 2017.
  • City crews provided snow and ice clearing over 54 days in 2017 and handled a record breaking 5,000 service requests and used over 20,000 tonnes of road salt.
  • Over 17,000 grade 4 and grade 5 students in Surrey reached in 2017  on a hands-on City-led cycling education program.
  • 20 solar powered flashing crosswalks were installed to date in 2017 with an additional 10 planned prior to year end.

The planned LRT for Surrey will put 250,000 more people within walking distance of rapid transit

30 percent decrease in illegal dumping occurrences

30% decrease in illegal dumping occurrences

Parks & Recreation

  • The City has five new ice sheets coming soon. Opening in 2019 are the Cloverdale Sport and Ice Complex – two new ice sheets and the North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex – 3 new ice sheets.
  • Parks, Recreation & Culture Strategic Plan Engagement included over 5,000 Surrey residents to help shape the future of parks, recreation and cultural amenities.
  • Newton Recreation Centre re-opened this summer following an extensive expansion. Renovations included a new children’s play area, wave pool improvements, an expanded 8,000 square foot fitness centre and lobby. A new public art installation, Fern Façade, by artist Sean Alward, incorporates a fern inspired window design.
  • The City processed 195 permit applications for community events  that included events like the annual Vaisakhi Parade that is attended by 450,000 plus people.

Newton Rec Centre's New Expansion

Community Wellness and Engagement

  • In 2017, we held 8 City-wide youth events. Over 3,600 youth attended city-wide youth events and over 200 youth assisted in the planning of city-wide youth events.
  • In 2016, the Mayor's Charity Gala raised a record $406,000.00 in support of the Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society. The funds go to support over 40 life changing programs all based in Surrey.
  •  In the past year there were  417,308 visits by those age 60+ to rec facilities in Surrey in 2017.
  • 451 Children and 277 youth participate in various adapted programs and one on one  support to develop children and youth with disabilities.
  • A new 40 bed temporary shelter was opened in Guildford jointly  with the province to provide health services and transitional support  for the homeless.
  • 3,000 kids took part in the City’s Safe and Active Schools Program  in 2017.
Safe and Active Schools Program

Over 350,000 people attended Surrey's signature events including:

  • Party for the Planet
  • Children's Festival
  • Canada Day
  • Fusion Festival
  • Pie in the Plaza
  • Tree Lighting Festival.

Business and Innovation

  • The City of Surrey was ranked as one of the 'top 10 mid-sized cities for Business Friendliness and for Connectivity’ by Financial Times’  FDI American Cities of the Future index.
  • The City completed a new Economic Diversification Strategy for 2017-2027 - Building The Next Metropolitan Centre - by identifying key business infrastructure, investment opportunities and proposed actions.
  • The City issued a record number of film permits (179) for more than  271 days of filming, including titles such as Deadpool 2, Riverdale, The Good Doctor, and Dragged Across Concrete featuring Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn.
  • The new Broadband Strategy will help the city keep pace and stay competitive with increasing high-speed internet demands. A key component is building strategic partnerships with public and private entities such as the one established with TELUS that resulted in their $250 million investment to make  fibre network access available to  most Surrey homes and businesses  by the end of 2018.
  • As part of advancing the City’s Smart City Strategy, the city began construction of West Village Park, a new mini-neighbourhood park co-located with Surrey’s first permanent district energy centre that will supply heat and hot water to local purpose-built buildings. In addition to providing contemporary urban space,  a plaza and community art, it will include a children’s playground  and interpretive/educational components showcasing sustainability and district energy.
  • The City continues to expand free public Wi-Fi across the City at new facilities and other popular civic locations. Currently, there are 55 civic locations throughout Surrey.
  • The City’s Open Data program has received awards for Canadian Open Data Excellence and Open Data for Democracy; as well as being named among the top Canadian municipalities for open data  program readiness, implementation and impact.
  • Surrey City Council endorsed  an updated City Centre Plan in 2017 to provide a new long term  vision for the transforming Surrey City Centre into the region’s next metropolitan centre.
  • The City of Surrey has 331 datasets that are made available under the Open Government Licence for open use without restrictions.

Download the PDF 2017 Report to Citizens

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