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2016 Report to Citizens

Street lamp graphic

Surrey is one of the first cities in Canada to embark on a full conversion of street lighting to LED.

Building graphic

Surrey saw $1.46 billion in Building Permit value
(87% residential construction equating to 9,500 jobs) the best economic performance since 2008.

Film graphic

Skydance Studios locates in Surrey creating 400 new jobs and generating potential investment of $800 million.

City Highlights

Mayor Hepner sits with Prime Minister Trudeau

  • The City’s new Public Safety Strategy was launched in October as a comprehensive, community‑based approach to finding measurable long‑term solutions to public safety.
  • All 100 new RCMP officers are now deployed and are now serving in the community.
  • In 2016, the newly constructed Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre received two international awards, including world's top sports building and three provincial awards of excellence for architecture, design and engineering.
  • Chief Superintendent Dwayne McDonald was appointed as new Officer in Charge for the Surrey RCMP detachment.
  • The 2016 Sustainability Charter 2.0 sets a North America‑wide standard for protecting our quality of life and a sustainable City planning model for future generations.
  • In 2016, we invested in our City’s infrastructure and local economy as the City tendered over 35 construction contracts at a total of $147 million.

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

Quick FactsQuick fact

  • Residents can now enjoy free public Wi-Fi on their smartphone, tablet or laptop at over 55 civic locations throughout  Surrey.
  • 2016 saw 3.3 million visits to City Recreation Centres and 2.5 million visits to City libraries.

Did you knowDid you know?

  • The End Gang Life: A Gang Exiting Pilot Project to support gang members and their families committed to ending their criminal life was launched.
  • The City of Surrey registered 26,600 secondary suites since the inception of the program.
  • 800 engaged groups are participating in the Surrey RCMP Block Watch Program.
  • Over 500 unregistered firearms were secured during the Safe Cities firearm reduction project.

Community Safety

A smiling police officer with a child sitting on his shoulders. An man stands besides them.

  • The Surrey Fire Service was awarded the Canadian Collaborating Centre Injury Prevention Collaborative Excellence Award for its Smoke Alarm Awareness and safety campaign.
  • Surrey Fire Service was the first in BC to be equipped with naloxone dispensing kits to prevent an overdose and reduce harm in emergency situations. The RCMP is now also participating in the pilot program initiated in 2016.
  • Another key deliverable announced as part of the City’s new Public Safety Strategy is the Community Safety Centre that will anchor City prevention and intervention programs. It will be a place where children, youth and the entire community can come to learn more about key public safety issues like bullying, substance abuse, cybercrime and more.
  • 2016 showed great results for the inaugural year of the Surrey Mobilization and Resiliency Table (SMART) program that identifies individuals who are at an acutely elevated risk of harm to themselves or others. The goal of SMART is to reduce the risk by connecting those clients to key social services. Since the launch of SMART in November 2015, 50 individuals and families took part in the transformative program.
  • Project IRIS, a flagship crime prevention project, will be a voluntary database of residential and business CCTV cameras across the City to aid crime investigations.
  • Surrey Bylaws handled 13,376 bylaw complaint calls, conducted 17,996 bylaw investigations, and registered and renewed 19,811 dog licenses in 2016.
  • The Community Safety Patrol Pilot Project, launched in January 2016, implemented new Community Patrol Officers (CPOs) dedicated to the Newton Town Centre. These CPOs work alongside the Surrey RCMP, Surrey Crime Prevention Society, and the Newton Business Improvement Association  (BIA)  Commissionaires to address localized crime and nuisance activity.

Where your tax dollars go 2016.

Collected by Surrey:

Police services 20.24%, Roads & Drainage 10.55%, Fire Services 8.43%, Parks Rec & Culture 8.13%, Solid Waste 4.67%, Library Services 2.47%.

Collected by other authorities:

Translink 6.67%, Schools 33.04%

Comparison of 2016 Average Residential Taxes & Utilities

Comparison of 2016 average residential taxes and utilities. Among 17 municipalities, Surrey places 15th at $2060.68. West Vancouver is the most expensive at $6,039.69. Vancouver is the fourth expensive at $4,094.02.

Transportation & Engineering

Two Pop Up Junk staffers smiling and standing in front of a recycle sign with junk behind them.

  • LED street lights will result in approximately $2,000,000 savings in reduced power consumption and maintenance costs each year.
  • 6,200 street lamp conversions to LED lighting are targeted for Guildford and City Centre.
  • Six restriction‑free, waste drop‑off Pop Up Junk Drop events were hosted across the city. Over 1,600 vehicle visits for the free service resulted in 1,000 tonnes of waste (68% recycled) which contributed to a reduction in illegal dumping and donations of 100 tonnes of reusable materials for local non-profit agencies.
  • Engineering's Realty Division has leased the former City Hall premises to new tenants including Surrey Crown Council, Community Corrections, RCMP Deas Island Traffic and the Surrey RCMP.

Surrey LRT

The City is moving ahead to shovel‑ready status in delivering a 27-km network of light rail transit (LRT) to shape the growth of Surrey and create a world class city. This includes design work, business cases, and policy changes utilizing the first level of Federal and Provincial funding commitments.

Environment & Sustainability

The City planted 19,300 trees in 2016 on city streets, parks, public spaces and natural areas.

  • Construction is almost completed on the City's first biofuel facility that will process organic waste into 100% renewable natural gas (RNG) for use on the City's fleet of natural gas powered vehicles.
  • Core funding and implementation criteria was established in 2016 to ensure effective implementation of the City’s Biodiversity Strategy.
  • A community engagement process kicked off in 2016 toward a Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy for the City to plan, respond and minimize the impact of climate change.
  • A new 26‑acre biodiversity park site in Fleetwood was gifted to the City by the Godwin family.

Did you knowDid you know?

Surrey has:

  • 660 parks totalling 8,553 acres (including regional and provincial parks)
  • 104 soccer fields
  • 95 ball diamonds
  • 77 public tennis courts
  • 14 synthetic turf fields
  • 8 youth skate parks
  • 7 cricket fields
  • 4 football fields
  • 3 rugby fields
  • 1 kabaddi field

The City added 93 acres of parkland to the land base.

Quick factsQuick fact

  • Over 7,000 people visited Surrey’s nine library branches each day borrowing over 4 million books and items through 2016.
  • Surrey RCMP’s Community Engagement Teams attended approximately 50 events and engaged over 14,000 people over the summer.
  • 16,000 children registered for the City's Summer Reading Club, a 5% increase from 2015.

Culture & Community

  • The City awarded about $4.4 million in annual Community Grant contributions for 2016 for community based projects in addition to an 88% increase in Cultural Grants Program supporting 66 arts and heritage organizations.
  • Surrey Libraries was awarded a Merit Award by the British Columbia Library Association for the annual Literacy Day Report, which celebrates International Literacy Day.
  • Surrey hosted the 2016 Creative City Summit, a prestigious conference of cultural leaders, planners and educators from across Canada.
  • 6,000 newcomers participated in libraries programming directed to new residents.
  • The Surrey Art Gallery holds, in trust for the citizens of Surrey,1,585 artworks in its permanent collection including 68 designated as national treasures.
  • The City's public art collection grew to 71 artworks.

Surrey's 5 free festivals welcomed over 300,000 people:

  • Party for the Planet
  • Surrey International Children's Festival
  • Canada Day
  • Surrey Fusion Festival
  • Surrey Tree Lighting Festival

Parks & Recreation

  • In 2016, the City committed $87‑million capital investment for additional ice sheets in Cloverdale and North Surrey. The new ice sheets will increase the total from 8 to 11.
  • The 840-acre Surrey Bend Regional Park opened in Surrey in 2016 to become the largest publicly owned natural area in the City including the Fraser Valley’s third‑largest wetland bog.
  • With the addition of Surrey’s two newest aquatic centres (Grandview Heights and Guildford) record attendance at City pools exceeded 2 million visits in 2016.
  • The City opened the Grandview Heights Aquatics Centre, a 10‑lane, 50 m FINA‑standard Olympic size competition pool combined with world‑class diving facilities, a 500‑square‑metre leisure and lifestyle pool, as well as extensive fitness amenities for all ages and levels.
  • In addition to over 170 outdoor sports tournaments, the City hosted the Women's World Softball Championship and 6 International, 3 National, 9 Western Regional and 21 Provincial events.
  • More than 146 community events were hosted on city streets and in our parks in 2016.
  • Surrey signed an Agreement in Principle with the Greater Vancouver YMCA to develop a City Centre Y. This facility would be the City's second YMCA centre.
  • Surrey’s world‑class Indoor Tennis Centre completed its first full year of operation in the City in 2016. The centre features 6 indoor plexipave courts and 6 outdoor clay courts

Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre. Surrey Bend Regional Park  Women playing softball.

Did you knowDid you know?

  • In 2015 the City’s job base grew by an additional 6,300 jobs and 2,000 new business added.
  • Surrey's new Skydance movie studio boasts one  of the world’s longest and tallest stages and features technology that can make it rain on demand.
  • The new Dinesafe Surrey App provides on‑the‑go health inspection information on restaurants in Surrey.

 Quick FactsQuick fact

  • 15,540 low‑income children and families were supported through the City's Leisure Access Program for recreation activities.
  • The Surrey Festival of Dance celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. One of the largest dance events of its kind in North America, the Festival averages 10,000 participants per year.

Community Wellness

A senior man and young girl smile at each other.

  • In partnership with Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Simon Fraser University, the Surrey Public Library and PEN Canada, the City of Surrey has become Canada’s first International City of Refuge to offer temporary sanctuary to persecuted writers and artists.
  • The newly expanded Surrey RCMP Diversity Unit has delivered 46 presentations to over 2,300 residents this year, many who were refugees or newcomers to Canada.
  • The City made a significant commitment to taking action on the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations by releasing the All My Relations report, aimed at improving the lives of urban aboriginal people in the City.
  • New provincial partner funds were received in 2016 for the Seniors Elder Bank. This program provides an opportunity to engage seniors in volunteer and intergenerational projects.
  • Within Surrey, 98 homeless people found permanent housing. Boulevard Shelter located in Surrey City Centre received extended funding in 2016 to provide 40 low‑barrier beds and temporary shelter services including showers, meals, laundry, and connections to income assistance, disability support, housing support, and health services. The shelter is funded by BC Housing and operated by Lookout 24 hours a day. It complements the 40 bed Gateway Shelter.
  • The City welcomed and settled 1,000 government‑assisted refugees during the period of November 4, 2015, to October 31, 2016, including 872 Syrian refugees—the largest intake in the province.

We Are Surrey Campaign

We Are Surrey public awareness campaign aims to celebrate Surrey diversity and challenge our perceptions about people. Each person is so much more than meets the eye.


The campaign includes 9 posters featuring 18 local residents and online stories about their journey in Surrey. It was developed by the City of Surrey in collaboration with multiple partners. The campaign was funded by the Province of British Columbia. Learn more at Surrey LIP.

Business & Innovation

A large group of people posing in front of Skydance Studios. Mayor Hepner presents the Clean Tech 2016 winner a trophy and a cheque. Dr. Maryam Sadeghi, Digital Health Hub Lead and SFU Graduate. Developed MoleScope app that helps users detect the onset of skin cancer.

  • Innovation Boulevard signed a MOU with France’s SATT Grand Centre, a technology transfer company representing 7 universities, 8,500 researchers and centres of excellence across 4 regions of France.
  • Hosted the 2nd Annual Greater Vancouver Clean Technology Expo & Championship attracting 38 competitors and exhibitors, over 500 visitors, and over 20 prominent tech investors.
  • Starline Windows recently moved to Surrey's Campbell Heights business park and is now tied as the City’s 10th largest employer with 600 staff.
  • Surrey's Financial District in City Centre continues to grow with several headquarters opening in the area, including Westminster Savings, Coast Capital Savings, and the Western Canada head office of banking and finance software giant Temenos.
  • In partnership with the BC Agriculture Centre of Excellence and the John Volken Academy, opened the BioPod, BC's only research and demonstration greenhouse that pairs innovation opportunities for research scientists with certified learning opportunities for students in recovery.
  • Lights, Camera, Action! The Surrey Filming Office continues to welcome large productions to our community, issuing a record number 140 film permits for more than 203 days of filming this year, including titles such as Prison Break, Why We’re Killing Gunther, Supergirl, The Flash and The 100.

 47,938 on-street service requests in 2016, 37% via the mySurrey app and the website.

In 2016 there were 47,938 on-street service requests, 37% via the mySurrey app & the website.

Related Content

2016 State of the City address

Watch former Mayor Linda Hepner deliver the 2016 State of the City address.

2015 Report to Citizens

Read the report to get an update on the progress and achievements realized in Surrey.