Matsqui Real Estate & Homes For Sale
Matsqui is a rural agricultural community located at the northern end of Abbotsford, where it follows the bank of the Fraser River. The area is known for its large parcels of farm land, spacious lots and sprawling country estates, hobby farms and horse properties. Matsqui Prairie is considered to be flood plain, because it is believed to have been formed by the annual spring freshet of the Fraser River. The plain was dyked and converted to fertile farmland in the early 1900's. The name Matsqui is derived from the Fraser River Salish language Halkomelem, and means "stretch of higher ground." Central to the area is Matsqui Village, a historic neighbourhood.
Living in farm country has its advantages, in addition to the slower, more relaxed pace. Wong Farms has a very popular family owned farm and storefront that sells a selection of fresh local produce, including corn, green and red cabbage, pumpkins, squash, and other vegetables. Another family-run year-round market is Lepp Farm Market. They specialize in locally grown, farm to table products. They carefully select and feature farm-fresh vegetables and fruits from their Okanagan orchard and local growers. They also offer their own premium Black Angus beef, raised on a large ranch in Cache Creek, as well as pork and poultry raised on the family farm in Abbotsford.
The District of Mission is situated across the river to the North. To the West lies the Bradner community, and to the East is Sumas Mountain. To Matsqui's south are the City of Abbotsford core communities of Abbotsford West, Abbotsford Central and Abbotsford East. Homes in Matsqui are typically more affordable than the rest of the Lower Mainland, and you are likely to find Abbotsford land for sale starting at $500,000.
In 1995, the District Municipality of Matsqui and District Municipality of Abbotsford amalgamated to form the City of Abbotsford. The area formerly called Matsqui became known as Clearbrook and Abbotsford West. And the historic Matsqui Prairie village, and the surrounding farming community bordering the Fraser River, from Mt Lehman/Bradner to Sumas Mountain, became known as the new Matsqui. The rich soil in the area makes it outstanding for raising crops, fruit and vegetables and grazing livestock.
Because roughly 95% of the land is zoned agricultural, there are only a few subdivisions of conventional residential housing. This can be very appealing to families looking for a safe community in which to raise their children, with a warm small-town community feel. The scenery is incredible, with acres of lush green farmland, and picturesque mountains in the background.
Over one-third of the homes in Matsqui were built before 1960, and most are single-detached. There are just over 2,000 residents in Matsqui. It's a family community, and the dominant age group is children who live at home, between the ages of 10 and 19. Affordable prices make Matsqui a great place to buy a first home.
Matsqui's is comfortable year-round, with warm summers and relatively mild winters. Abbotsford has an oceanic climate. The hottest summer days are typically in low thirties Celsius. Matsqui typically will have 53 days a year where the temperature is 0 °C or below. Annual precipitation averages 1557 mm, so even in a dry month, farmers should see enough rainfall.
Matsqui Homes For Sale
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Job opportunities in Matsqui Village are limited, but many of the farms in Matsqui hire managers and laborers. The Abbotsford-Mission Hwy runs through Matsqui, providing quick access to job opportunities in both Mission and downtown Abbotsford. And a daily commute into Metro Vancouver is also an option; taking Gladwin Rd, and then Maclure Rd, to the Mt Lehman Hwy 1 onramp.
Abbotsford' economy is diverse and stable. Primary industries are agriculture, retail, transportation, manufacturing, and the health industry. The largest employer is the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre with 2,500 employees. Abbotsford also has 3 federal prisons, employing 200 to 500 officers and support staff. There's also a growing job force in the aerospace industry.
Abbotsford's unemployment rate is 6.4% (2014 Stats Canada). 65% of its residents work within the city. The highest sector of employment is the trades, followed by construction, health care, manufacturing and transportation. The commute from Abbotsford to Vancouver is roughly an hour.
There are two elementary schools in Matsqui. Matsqui Elementary School is part of Abbotsford School District #34, and has a lot of history. It's a small rural school that services approximately 138 students and their families. The current school facilities are quite new, but the original Matsqui Elementary was built more than a century ago. Some of the students are attending the same school their grandparents went to. Dasmesh Punjabi School (DPS), now a Group 1 Independent School, also has a fairly long history. It began in February 1983, with 142 registered students, as a week-end school teaching the Punjabi language. Dasmesh is an English medium K - 12 private school, with a focus on Sikh Religion & Punjabi Language.
Students grades 6 through 8 attend Chief Dan George Middle School in Abbotsford West or Clayburn Middle School in Abbotsford East, depending on the catchment area and bus route for their location. Named after famous Canadian First Nations spokesperson and actor, Chief Dan George Elementary School is a Fine Arts School, with a current enrolment of over 540 students. Recognized by Today's Parent Magazine, as one of the 40 Best Schools in Canada, Clayburn Middle School enrols over 700 students, and encourages high expectations.
Students grades 9 through 12 attend W.J. Mouat Secondary School or Robert Bateman Secondary School. W.J. Mouat is known for its advanced academic programs, French Immersion stream, and athletics program. It was recognized by Maclean’s Magazine as one of the “Ten Most Innovative Schools in Canada.” Located in the Old Clayburn area, Robert Bateman Secondary has won awards based on its Computer and Arts Programs. It offers honours courses and AP (Advanced Placement). Artist Robert Bateman has visited the school annually in the past.
There are no universities in Matsqui, but there are two University of the Fraser Valley campuses within driving distance; one just across the bridge in Mission, and the other, just south of Hwy 1. There's one local college: Summit Pacific College, and 8 more colleges to the south, sprinkled throughout the city core of Abbotsford.
There's a convenience store located at the Shell Station, at Harris Rd and Riverside St, and Matsqui Cafe serves up a menu of hearty breakfasts, soups and salads, sandwiches, burgers, deep fried fare, and sides. For anything else, Matsqui residents have and impressive array of shopping and dining options a few minutes drive downtown.
There are three shopping centres in the core Abbotsford communities immediately to the south. Residents of the west end of Matsqui tend to shop at Abbotsford's new Highstreet Shopping Centre, where Mt Lehman and Hwy 1 meet. Residents more centrally located in Matsqui usually take Gladwin Rd south to South Fraser Way. There they have a choice of two side-by-side shopping malls: West Oaks Mall and Sevenoaks Shopping Centre.
Highstreet Shopping Centre is the Fraser Valley's new shopping, dining and VIP theatre destination. Stores include H&M, Sephora, Forever 21 Red, Marshalls, Walmart, and Cineplex. West Oaks Mall offers more than 32 brand name stores, including Save On Foods, Bed, Bath & Beyond and London Drugs. Sevenoaks Shopping Centre has over 100 retail stores, services and food establishments. Anchor stores include Hudson's Bay, Sears, SportChek and Best Buy.
Matsqui is just 'across the bridge' from Mission, and there are some great dining options minutes away, like Eleni's Restaurant, Embers BBQ House, Mission Station Grill, The Loco Blue Cafe, Prawn Garden Restaurant and U & I Thai Restaurant.
A short drive south, in Central and East Abbotsford, there's a lot more selection. For breakfast and brunch, there's Oneill's Home Cooking Take Out. If you're craving Greek food, Greek Islands Restaurant has two locations. If your tastes are leaning towards Asian dishes, you might try New Saigon, Sui Sha Ya Japanese Restaurant, Spice Kitchen (Indian), Sushiwa Japanese Restaurant, or the U & I Thai Restaurant. Bavaria Restaurant is a local, family-operated kitchen since 1975, and they serve up hearty German & Canadian fare. If you're looking for something a little more upscale, there's a Milestones and Moxie's Grill & Bar. And for a special, memorable night, you might like Restaurant 62; a modern, low-lit restaurant offering locally sourced, Pacific Northwest farm-to-table fare, and an impressive wine list.
Most Matsqui residents travel to and from work by car. The Abbotsford-Mission Hwy 11 bisects Matsqui Prairie. To the north, it crosses over the Fraser River into Mission, with access to Lougheed Hwy 7. To the south, it passes through Central Abbotsford on its way to the Huntingdon Canada – US border crossing.
For Vancouver commuters, it's a short trip south along Gladwin Rd, and then southwest on Maclure Rd, to connect with Hwy 1, at Mt Lehman Exit 83. The Matsqui commute time into the city is roughly an hour, ten minutes.
On some of its routes between Abbotsford and Mission, Central Fraser Valley Transit Route 31 stops in Matsqui Village, at Riverside at Harris. Bus connections from Abbotsford include scheduled trips to Metro Vancouver and Chilliwack, as well as the West Coast Express and VIA Rail Abbotsford Station passenger rail services.
Arts and Entertainment
Located on Riverside Street, Matsqui, Anything on Canvas offers professional fine art printing. If you're an artist or photographer, just upload your file, and they'll print it.
As a rural agricultural community, you won't find galleries, museums, libraries or theatres in Matsqui Village; but Abbotsford's downtown is deeply rooted in the arts and entertainment scene. The Abbotsford Arts Council regularly puts on free music shows in Mill Lake Park. They arrange the Christmas Artisian Gift and Craft Fair, the Art and Heritage Unity Festival and manage the Historical Downtown Art Bench Project. And you might even earn a coveted Arty Award.
The Reach, in Clearbrook, is a gallery that exhibits artwork from across Canada, and around the world. They are also the regional archival repository and house a significant collection of material culture from the Abbotsford region, in their environmentally controlled storage vaults. The Kariton Art Gallery, which features local artists
To the north, across the bridge there's The Mission Museum. Mission's rich history is showcased, beginning with its first inhabitants, the Sto:lo people. Exhibits include The Arrival of the Oblates, The Great Land Sale, Billy Miner and Canada's first train robbery, and more.
To the south, in Abbotsford's downtown, you'll find museums dedicated to some of Abbotsford's early settlers: the Mennonite Heritage Museum, Gur Sikh Temple and Sikh Heritage Museum and the Trethewey House Heritage Site. The Mennonite Heritage Museum's permanent exhibit illustrates the story of the Mennonites spanning 500 years, beginning with the Anabaptists of the 16th century, to their settlement in Canada, and in particular, the Fraser Valley. The Gur Sikh Gurdwara (Gur Sikh Temple and Sikh Heritage Museum) was designated a National Historic Site in 2002. The religious building was constructed by struggling settlers in 1908, and is a proud testament to their vision for a new life in Canada, and their steadfastness. The Tretheway House was built in 1919, for lumber baron J.O. Trethewey. Trethewey led the company through the boom years in the 1920s. Today the museum tells not only the Tretheway story, but also that of Abbotsford, over the past century.
Just west of Matsqui, residents can use the Mount Lehman Library. North, across the bridge, is the Mission Library. And to the south, in downtown Abbotsford three libraries are available: Clearbrook Library, Fraser Valley Regional Library and Abbotsford Community Library.
North across the bridge, in Mission, the SilverCity Mission Cinemas multiplex screens the latest Hollywood films, plus new independent releases. Southwest, at Highstreet, there's the new Cineplex Odeon Abbotsford & VIP Cinemas. Matsqui Centennial Auditorium and Gallery 7 Theatre & Performing Arts Society host live concerts and events. Abbotsford Arts Centre is a contemporary arts and banquet facility, hosting a range of public performing arts & private events.
Sports and Recreation
One of Matsqui's unique family attractions is the Cinemazoo Petting Zoo. A few minutes south, in the downtown Abbotsford area, J. A. Spud Murphy Park is a small waterpark that's become a favourite with families. Just north of Hwy 1, Castle Fun Park is a free-admission family amusement park, with a little something for everyone. Attractions include go karts, outdoor golf, jungle golf, coral sea golf, batting cages, bumper cars, Typhoon 2G virtual roller coaster, bowling, arcade games, a shooting gallery and much more. International Friendship Garden is a beautiful little garden tucked away beside the Clearbrook Library. There are patio areas for a quiet lunch break, and a brick pathway around the entire garden, a waterfall and even a golden tree. The garden celebrates all the diversity in the City of Abbotsford.
Matsqui Village Park is a favourite local family area, with a picnic shelter, BBQ stands, playground, washrooms, ball field and tennis court. Matsqui Trail Regional Park offers an easy 18 km trail that follows the Fraser River. The Matsqui Trail segment is part of the Trans Canada Trail (The Great Trail), connecting with Bradner's Douglas Taylor Park to the west, and then heading southward, around Sumas Mountain, to continue eastward towards Kilgard. It's a wonderful place for a family hike, or place to take the dog for a long walk. The trail offers may places to stop and enjoy a picnic, near the banks of the Fraser River, with benches and tables set up throughout the park.
There are three more parks on the southern edge of Matsqui. Willband Creek Park is a wetland walking area and bird sanctuary. There are three small lakes, and two loop trails. Ducks and geese are plentiful, and you can usually spot a heron, and perhaps a loon or pair of swans. Bateman Park is a soccer stadium, with three soccer fields. The park is the home venue for the University of the Fraser Valley soccer teams and the Abbotsford Mariners. The Hidden Waterfalls is a wooded area with small falls, located off Straiton Road.
Valley Golf Centre is a full service golf facility complete with golf course and driving range. The 9-hole golf course features four par 4s and five par 3s of varying length. Ledgeview Golf & Country Club, although technically located just southeast of Matsqui, is a challenging 18-hole course, with a picturesque layout and the highest quality greens and fairways.
Investing in Matsqui
Matsqui is an outstanding place to start and raise a family. It's only a little over an hour away from Vancouver, and minutes from the Canadian/US border. The schools are great, and there are plenty of places to spend time with the kids, or take the dog. Matsqui's a dream for anyone wanting a large lot or a bit of acreage.
Abbotsford's economy is well established and stable, with growth in the new aerospace sector. Matsqui provides a quiet, safe environment, in a friendly community with a small-town feel. Yet, only a few minutes drive away, all the amenities, shopping and restaurants are available. House prices in Matsqui are among the lowest in the entire Fraser Valley, and the cost of living in the City of Abbotsford is very manageable.
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