New Surrey history book explores a community rich in stories

THE City of Surrey released a new community history book on Monday night in a special presentation to Surrey City Council; Surrey: A City of Stories comprises historic photos, maps, artifacts and stories of Surrey residents from the distant past to modern day. The book is a Canada 150 legacy project that was spearheaded by the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission.

“Surrey is in a period of incredible growth and transformation, however it is also a city rich with history,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “Surrey: A City of Stories invites us to reflect on our past and celebrate our accomplishments. This comprehensive and well researched book is a wonderful legacy commemorating Canada’s 150th birthday.”

“We didn’t want a dusty history book,” explains Councillor Dave Woods, Chair of the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission. “We wanted a vibrant, accessible book that anyone could pick up, flip to a page and take in a quick story, tidbit or photo. Something that could live on your coffee table and be visited again and again.”

Written by award-winning author K. Jane Watt, Surrey: A City of Stories is a coffee table style book created with the intent to inspire conversation and create a sense of community. Residents scanning the book will discover long-gone landmarks like the Crescent Hotel and recognize historic locations they may pass every day, such as the 1912 Municipal Hall on Highway 10. Readers will also see the faces and read the stories of people for whom schools and communities have been named.

The book showcases over 500 visuals, including 332 images, 40 maps, 73 artifacts, 61 documents, and features the voices of 80 Surrey residents, past and present. Watt hopes the book will appeal to newcomers, seniors, families and anyone interested in learning about their community’s history.

Surrey: A City of Stories can be purchased for $25 at the Surrey Archives, Historic Stewart Farm, Surrey Arts Centre and Surrey City Hall. The Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission has purchased a copy for every Surrey school and branch of Surrey Libraries. For more information, visit or call 604-502-6459. Follow City of Surrey Heritage Services on Facebook @HeritageSurreyBC.