Steelhead Real Estate & Homes For Sale
Steelhead is a small rural community in the northern District of Mission. To the South lies the community of Ferndale, with Mill Pond serving as its Southern boundary. The Northern boundary is the District of Mission Landfill. The Western boundary is the peak of Red Mountain, with the community of Stave Falls to the West of Hayward Lake. The peak of Campbell Mountain marks the Eastern boundary of Steelhead, with the community of Durieu located in the valley beyond.
The Steelhead community was first settled between 1900 and 1910 by a colony of newsmen who worked in Vancouver for the Herald, World and Province newspapers. To meet the requirements for homesteading their wives and children maintained permanent residences in Steelhead. The newsmen stayed in the city during the week and returned to Steelhead for the weekends. Mission's northern backwoods began to attract other settlers who were interested in logging the timber in the area, and several small mills popped up.
In 1914 the first Steelhead School was built, although it wasn't "wired for electric power" until 1948. The one-room log school house had an enrolment of 20 students in its first year. Steelhead's first community hall was opened on June 2nd, 1929. On July 19th of that year, the hall proudly held its first dance. The very next evening the hall burned to the ground.
By the early 1940s, the hills were logged off, and it became unprofitable to keep the small mills open. Municipal forestry reserves were established to address the situation on the short term. After the war, an application was made for a tree farm license to address unemployment and provide a long-term wood source for the local mills, and in 1958 a Tree Farm License was granted. Until 1993, Mission Municipal Tree Farm was the only municipal tree farm in BC.
Steelhead is situated in a parklike setting, surrounded by lush green forests, lakes and mountains. Wildlife and bird sightings are common. Nearby are Hayward Lake, Stave Lake and Hatzic Lake, Bear Mountain and other mountain peaks. Steelhead also provides excellent views of Mount Robie Reid. Steelhead is home to a small number of hobby farms and remote homes on acreages. Under its current zoning, any rural lots must be at least four acres.
The population of Steelhead is close to 800, and there are around 300 dwellings (2018). Mission has an unemployment rate of 5.6%, which is slightly below the province of British Columbia's 6% (2016 census). The median household income is $65,411. Mission has a young population, with a median age of 39. 23.5% of the residents are children 14 years and under, 20.8% are 15 - 34, and 5.2% are 75 years and older.
Steelhead has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate type Cfb) with mild winters and warm summers. The average January temperature is 3°C, with a July average of 17°C. The average rainfall is 2,387 mm, with 130cm snowfall.
Steelhead Homes For Sale
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Steelhead does offer a few jobs, with small farms and backyard businesses, and there are some forestry jobs nearby, but most residents make the 12-minute drive 'down the hill' into Mission's Downtown or commute to one of the outlying cities for work. Most of Mission's workforce is involved in construction, manufacturing, retail, transportation, education and health care. Roughly 60% of Mission residents work in outlying locales, and the median commute time is 26 minutes (2011 household survey). Steelhead is known for its spacious lots and acreage, so opening a home-based small business is a popular option.
Historically, Mission's primary resource sectors were hydroelectricity and agriculture, and they provided the basis for local retail and service businesses. For decades sawmills and food processing were the Mission's primary industries, and forest and wood-related industries continue to dominate the manufacturing sector today. With improved highway and rail access, manufacturing in the area has increased.
Mission's leading employers include BC Frozen Foods and the trucking firm T-Lane. Mission's single largest single employer is School District #75, and the second largest is the municipality itself. Just South of Steelhead, the federal government developed two large penitentiaries; one minimum security and the other medium security.
Once a major industry in Mission, agriculture is now limited 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.
Albert McMahon Elementary enrols about 410 students, kindergarten through grade 6. The school is named in honour of local businessman and industrialist Albert McMahon. He was considered one of the builders of Mission and dedicated both his time and resources to various positions within the community and programs contributing to education and athletics. Extra-curricular sports involvement is encouraged at McMahon, with cross country running, basketball, volleyball, and track and field teams.
École Heritage Park Middle School enrols about 670 students, grades 7 through 9. The middle school shares the facility with the University of the Fraser Valley and the Clarke Theatre. The school's curriculum includes rigorous academics and a broad selection of electives in fine arts, applied skills, and languages. Heritage Park Middle also offers two language programs of choice: French Immersion and Intensive Core French.
École Mission Senior Secondary School is a dual track school offering regular and French Immersion programs, for students grades 10 through 12. The school was established in 1952 and is the longest-serving secondary Mission Senio's Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (ADST) curriculum is an experiential, hands-on program of learning through design and creation that includes skills and concepts from traditional and First Peoples practice, and from the existing disciplines of Business Education, Home Economics and Culinary Arts, Information and Communications Technology, and Technology Education.
Mission offers some independent school options as well. Located a few blocks to the South, in Ferndale, Valley Christian School enrols students kindergarten through grade 12. They offer a Distributed Learning program, with an interdenominational Christian focus. Khalsa School is part of the oldest, largest and most reputable Sikh institutions of learning in BC. Khalsa believes in balancing academics, with athletics and the Sikh values of service to humanity, of justice, respect, and compassion.
There are two post-secondary options for Mission students. Riverside College offers an excellent 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.
Steelhead doesn't have any shopping centres or restaurants, but just a few minutes to the South, Mission's downtown core has an abundance of locally owned restaurants, retail stores and services.
In addition to the small shops lining the streets of downtown, there are several shopping centres. Junction Shopping Centre is located at the corner of Highways 7 and 11 and offers 39 stores, including Staples, London Drugs, Save-On-Foods. Junction also has well-known restaurants like Boston Pizza, Tim Hortons, Mr Mikes Steakhouse and White Spot, and a Cineplex Silvercity Cinema. Heritage Park Marketplace plaza, at Stave Lake Street & 11th Avenue, is conveniently located across from the UFV Campus. The shopping centre has a pharmacy, coffee shop, Subway, Bosleys, nail salon, dental offices and more. Locate on the Lougheed Hwy, Shops at Mission plaza has 13 stores, including a Walmart Supercentre, Safeway and Shoppers Drug Mart.
Mission offers an excellent selection of fast food franchises, family restaurants, bars and fine dining. If you're looking for pub fare or a quick bite, Brown's Socialhouse, Black Sheep Pub or Character’s Pub & Grill or Kingfishers Waterfront Bar & Grill, should hit the spot. Popular dinner spots include Ocean Pizza, Embers BBQ House, Eleni's Restaurant, U & I Thai Restaurant and Mission Station Grill. For date night or a special occasion, The Blackberry Kitchen strives for culinary excellence, with tempting menus that feature in-season, locally-grown ingredients, sustainable meat, fish, and poultry. They even grow our own herbs right beside the restaurant to provide the freshest flavours.
The rural community of Steelhead is only 12 minutes from Mission's downtown, but far enough that driving is almost essential for accessing most of its amenities. Mission's transportation infrastructure includes the Highway 7 (Lougheed Hwy), Highway 11 (Abbotsford-Mission Hwy) and West Coast Express commuter rail line.
Highway 7 is 118 km (93 mi) in length and follows the southern bank of the Fraser River. To the West, it connects Mission with Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Vancouver. To the East, to Hatzic, Dewdney/Deroche, Agassiz, Chilliwack, and with Highway 1 near Hope. Highway 11 is a flat 17 km (11 mi) expressway that literally cuts Abbotsford down the middle, passing through Abbotsford, and connecting traffic with Washington State Route 9, by way of the Huntingdon Canada–US border crossing.
Vancouver is a 1 h 14 min (67.0 km) commute by car from Steelhead, via Dewdney Trunk Rd and the Trans-Canada Hwy 1. Alternately, the West Coast Express (WCE) has five trains running from Mission to Vancouver per day, during the morning peak hours, and returning to Mission in the evening. Each car is equipped with a washroom and every train has a coffee bar. A one-way trip takes roughly 75 minutes. 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.
Abbotsford is 24 min (23.5 km) via Dewdney Trunk Road and Hwy 11, and Chilliwack is 46 min (54.6 km) via Hwy 11, and then East on Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy). The US border crossing is only 32 min (28.5 km) from Steelhead, taking Hwy 11.
Arts and Entertainment
The Steelhead Community Association is a non-profit society dedicated to improving community living in Steelhead. The association brings residents' ideas and concerns to the forefront and works to influence the direction of planning in the area. Events like Steelhead Pioneer Days help build community spirit, with BBQs, family fun and games, and square dancing. The new Steelhead Community Hall on Cardinal Street is available for rental, for meetings, weddings and family events, sport team parties and club activities.
Located on 2nd Avenue downtown, Mission Museum preserves a record of the District's history, educating the community and preserving its rich heritage. The museum offers 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, as well as historic walking tours.
Located in the Mission Arts Centre on 1st Avenue, MAC Rock Family Gallery 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, with art classes, workshops, programs and special events throughout the year.
Owned and operated by the Mission School District No. 75, The Clarke Theatre is a multi-purpose facility that hosts 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, showcasing emerging local and BC musicians.
Sports and Recreation
Doreen’s Trail at Pike’s Pond is a new trail dedicated to two of Steelhead's longest living residents, Pike and Doreen Cameron. The trail begins about 2.2 km from the yellow gate at the end of Johnson Street. There's a 1/2 km loop trail around the pond. The trail and surrounding wetlands are part of a working tree farm and are open on weekends.
The Steelhead Falls Trail is one of 3 trails in the Hayward Lake Recreation Area. The 1.8 km gravel out and back trail is great for kids, and dogs are permitted on a leash. There are stairs and a bridge that crosses a creek, and of course the waterfall.
Rolley Lake Provincial Park is a flat wilderness area near Stave Falls, with a small warm-water lake. The park features a hiking trail around the lake, majestic second-growth conifers, a sandy beach and swimming, fishing, and canoeing. The lake offers fishing for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, dolly varden, steelhead and kokanee.
Northeast of Steelhead, Cascade Falls Regional Park features a wooded trail with a suspension bridge and viewing platform that overlooks Cascade Falls and a picnic area. The torrent of water drops an impressive 30 metres into a large emerald pool and then continues through a series of smaller falls.
Sasquatch Mountain Resort is located 1 h 6 min (63.2 km) East, via Highway 7. The mountain delivers one of Southwest British Columbia's most consistent snowfalls, and offers 1 triple and 2 double chairlifts, with alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, tobogganing, snow-shoeing and snow-tubing.
Stave Lake was created in 1921 following the completion of the Stave Lake hydroelectric project. The lake has a boat launch and is popular with dirt biking and 4x4 enthusiasts due to its extensive mud flats. Stave Lake Railway Trail is an easy 6 km hard-packed trail that runs along Stave Lake and the Hayward Reservoir. The Hayward Lake Reservoir recreation area has a 10 km trail that connects with the Stave Lake Railway Trail. There's canoeing and non-motorized boating in the Hayward Reservoir, but the water is too cold to swim in. Hayward Lake features old growth and second growth forest, picnic benches and tables.
Bear Mountain Park has a peaceful pond and picnic tables where you enter the park. The park is located across from the Rod & Gun Club range, so you may hear some shots in the distance. The Mission & District Rod & Gun Club (MDRGC) is a private club open only to its members and their guests. Mill Pond and the Red Mountain Trails in the park are popular with hikers and mountain bikers. The trails are well maintained and the signage is excellent.
Located across Hayward Lake, to the West, Eighteen Pastures Golf Course is a challenging 9 or 18 holes, with tree-lined fairways and undulated greens, rated par 72, with a yardage of 6,697. The course offers some excellent views in a tranquil setting, and often wildlife can be seen crossing the fairways, or in the brush.
The Mission Leisure Centre provides 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 Steelhead
The ten-year master plan for Stave West, to capitalize on the area's potential for creating many new tourism and recreation opportunities, is expected to benefit Steelhead as well. New spin-off business opportunities, jobs and improved amenities are anticipated. Zoning applications have been made to develop the area with subdivisions of smaller residential lots.
The District of Mission is located in the heart of the Fraser Valley, about 1 hour East of Vancouver, and 18 minutes North of the Sumas US border crossing. Mission has all the amenities and convenience of larger surrounding municipalities and 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. This makes it particularly attractive to first-time homeowners.
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