Mission Real Estate & Homes For Sale
Mission is a district municipality in British Columbia. Sometimes referred to as the jewel of the valley, it's the 23rd largest municipality in the province, with a population of 38,833 (2016). It is located on the north bank of the Fraser River, and overlooks the City of Abbotsford. Mission was incorporated in 1892. At the time the only connection with Matsqui and Abbotsford was the swing-span Mission Railway Bridge. The rail bridge doubled as a one-way alternating vehicular bridge until 1973.
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The town of Mission began with the Great Land Sale of 1891, in which the core commercial properties and residential streets were auctioned off. Buyers arrived by CPR Rail from Vancouver, and Eastern Canada to bid on the properties. Another interesting historical note is that Mission was the site of Canada's first train robbery, carried out September 10th, 1904, shortly after CPR train No. 1 left Mission Junction. Billy Miner, and his two accomplices took between $6,000 and $7,000 dollars worth of gold dust, $914.37 in cash, and an $80,000 dollar bond. The 'Grey Fox' was apprehended in 1905, sentenced to prison, but escaped in less than a year.
In the early 1900's berry farming was the primary industry in Mission. In 1946, the municipality began hosting an annual Strawberry Festival, on a recommendation from the Board of Trade. During the war, Japanese workers were relocated, and then there was a devastating flood in 1948. Agriculture suffered, and today Abbotsford holds the distinction of being Canada's berry capital. There was a shift towards logging and tree farming, and the strawberry theme was abandoned.
Mission became know as one of the world's largest suppliers of red cedar shakes and shingles. Most of Mission's northern and northwestern mountainous forests make up a tree farm. Covering more than 40% of the district's land, the tree farm has served as a model for silvicultural management on a larger scale, and has provided a source of revenue for the municipality since 1958.
Mission has an oceanic climate with mild winters and warm summers. The average January temperature is 3°C, with a July average of 17°C. Average rainfall is 2,387 mm, with 130cm snowfall.
Mission's unemployment rate is 5.6%, below that of the province, at 6.0% (2016). The median household income is $65,411 (CDN). The median age is 39, making Mission a young population. 23.5% are 14 years and under, 20.8% are 15 - 34, and 5.2% are 75 years and older.
Today, most of the work force is involved in construction, manufacturing, retail, transportation, education and health care. Roughly 60% of the population works in outlying locales. The median commute time is 26 minutes (2011 household survey).
Historically, forestry, hydro electricity and agriculture were Mission's primary resource sectors. These provided the basis for local retail and service businesses. Sawmills and food processing were the main Mission industries for quite a few years. Forest and wood-related industries continue to dominate the manufacturing sector, and leading employers include BC Frozen Foods and T-Lane, a trucking firm. The largest single employer is School District #75, and the second largest is the municipality itself. With improved highway and rail access, manufacturing in the area has increased.
Mission holds the only municipal tree farming license in the province, providing some jobs. In central Mission's Ferndale area, the federal government developed two large penal facilities; one minimum security and the other medium security. These days, agriculture is restricted to the Dewdney-Deroche district east of Mission, and a fairly narrow belt along the Fraser River. Dairy is the primary agricultural enterprise, but there is also some hog, poultry, beef and vegetable farming.
The District of Mission offers 15 schools, 1 college and 1 university. School District 75 has schools in the district, as well as the unincorporated areas to the east. There are 12 elementary schools, kindergarten through grade 6. There are 2 middle schools, grades 7 through 9. Post-secondary students attend Mission Secondary School. There's one Francophone primary school: école des Deux-rives.
There are several private schools in Mission. Valley Christian School offers K - 12, and a Distributed Learning program, with an interdenominational Christian focus. Khalsa School – Mission is part of the oldest, largest and most reputable Sikh institutions of learning in BC. And Sunshine Enrichment Centre is a group licensed child care facility for children, birth to twelve years of age.
Riverside College offers an apprenticeship trades program, designed to lead graduates directly into employment opportunities. There are currently over 150 apprenticeable trades in BC. University of the Fraser Valley Mission Campus, at Heritage Park Centre, offers high quality, career-focused education that takes learning outside the classroom.
Mission's downtown core has an abundance of locally owned restaurants, retail stores and services. In addition to the small shops dotting downtown, there are several shopping centres. The Junction Shopping Centre is located at the corner of Highways 7 and 11, and offers 39 stores, including Staples, London Drugs, Save-On-Foods. There are well-known restaurants like Boston Pizza, Tim Hortons, Mr. Mikes Steakhouse and White Spot, and a Cineplex Silvercity Cinema. The Shops at Mission plaza has 13 stores, including a Walmart Supercentre, Safeway and Shoppers Drug Mart. The Heritage Park Marketplace plaza, at Stave Lake Street & 11th Avenue, is conveniently located across from the the UFV Campus.
Mission offers an excellent selection of fast food establishments, family restaurants, bars and fine dining. For a quick bite, or pub fare, you might like Kingfishers Waterfront Bar & Grill, Black Sheep Pub or Character’s Pub & Grill. For a special occasion, consider Californios, with a menu that changes with the seasons, and focuses on purity of flavour and expression of the ingredients.
Mission's transportation infrastructure includes the Lougheed Highway 7 and the Abbotsford-Mission Highway 11. Highway 7 follows the southern bank of the Fraser River, and is 118 km (93 mi) in length. It connects Mission with Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Vancouver, to the west, and with Highway 1 to the east, near Hope. Highway 11 is a flat 17 km (11 mi) expressway that literally cuts Abbotsford down the middle, connecting traffic with Washington State Route 9, by way of the Huntingdon Canada–US border crossing.
The West Coast Express has five trains per day, running from Mission to Vancouver during the morning peak hours, and returning to Mission in the evening. A one-way trip takes roughly 75 minutes, making it faster than driving into Vancouver's Downtown. The 67.9 km bus trip from Vancouver-Mission is 1 hour and 21 minutes. Bus service is provided by the Central Fraser Valley Transit System, and it connects Mission with the City of Abbotsford, as well as TransLink, with service to the Coquitlam Central Station.
Arts and Entertainment
Considering its size, Mission has a lot to offer. The Rock Family Gallery, located in the Mission Arts Centre, allows local emerging artists to display their work. Artists and artisans not represented by a professional gallery are welcome to submit 2D and 3D media and techniques. The Mission Arts Council has been nurturing and encouraging awareness, and a commitment to the arts and culture in Mission since 1972. They offer a variety of art classes, workshops, programs and special events throughout the year.
The Clarke Theatre is owned and operated by the Mission School District, No. 75 and is a multi-purpose facility that opened in 1996, for civic and touring events. The 702 seat venue has become the cultural hub of the community of Mission, offering hundreds of presentations. Each July the Mission Folk Music Festival Society hosts the annual Folk Music Festival, which showcases emerging local and BC musicians.
The Stage at the Bellevue Hotel can accommodate up to 215 guests, and features performances of The DRAG Show, live music events, burlesque, male exotic dancers, murder mystery events, and more.
Mission Museum is committed to recording the district's history, educating its community and preserving its heritage. The museum offers historic walking tours, and exhibits dedicated to the Sto:Lo first inhabitants, the arrival of the Oblates in 1861, the Great Land Sale of 1891, the Billy Miner train robbery of 1904, and much more.
Sports and Recreation
Mission has 23 local parks and trails, and 8 regional parks. Fraser River Heritage Park is Mission’s largest park. It's a perfect location for gatherings, and a great place to connect with Mission's rich history and natural beauty. Mission's Municipal Forest also offers many opportunities for recreation, like mountain biking, hiking horseback riding, swimming, boating and fishing. There's also snowmobiling in the winter.
Mission's proximity to the Fraser River provides a launch point for many enjoyable water-based activities, great fishing for salmon and green sturgeon, and unspoiled green spaces. Mission has four golf courses, and Mission Raceway Park offers spectators the thrill of motorsport, with drag racing, road racing, motorcycle road racing and motocross events. Hemlock Valley Ski Resort has one of southwest British Columbia's most consistent snowfalls. The mountain offers 1 triple and 2 double chairlifts, with alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, tobogganing, snow-shoeing and snow-tubing.
The Mission Leisure Centre offers length swims, a leisure pool, water slide, swirl pool, steam room, and sauna. Lifeguard training and swimming lessons are available. The centre also has a strong health and wellness program, with youth fitness opportunities, spin, cross training, aquafit, trx, a weight room and personal training. There are soccer fields, and a drop-in gym, with basketball, floor hockey, racquet courts. The ice arena provides public skating, hockey, spring break camps and ringette.
Investing in Mission
Mission is located in the heart of the Fraser Valley, approximately 1 hour east of Vancouver, and 20 km north of the US border. It has all the amenities and convenience of larger surrounding municipalities, but has not lost its small-town feel. The subdivisions have been built upon the hillsides, overlooking the Fraser River, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, farmlands and pristine rainforests.
Mission has seen a steady annual growth rate over the last 35 years, averaging over 3% annually. Housing prices on average have been lower than the rest of the Fraser Valley, making Mission one of the most affordable places to live; an area particularly attractive to first time homeowners.
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