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Abbotsford is a rural city in central Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver. Located in the Lower Mainland, it provides excellent views of Mt. Baker in Washington State – a great way to announce to visitors that the city brims with outdoor activities, including skiing and snowshoeing in the winter and hiking and biking in the summer. Manning Park and Mt Baker are only about an hour and 20 minutes away, and Lake Harrison and Alouette are an hour’s drive each in opposite directions.

In Abbotsford, you’ll never tire of the beautiful scenery of mountains, rivers, farmlands, and parks. The city offers a unique experience with a historical downtown, cultural attractions, vibrant events, epic outdoor recreations and activities, and world-class agritourism.

This guide details everything you need to know about Abbotsford City, from its rich history, population, and climate to Abbotsford real estate, housing market, and everything in between.

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Abbotsford City, or “Abby,” is the second largest municipality in British Columbia, next only to Greater Vancouver. It covers about 370 square kilometers (approximately 70% of which is farmland) making it the largest municipality by area in the Lower Mainland. Located along the Trans-Canada Highway, the city is about an hour’s drive southeast of Vancouver. Mission borders it to the north on the other side of Fraser River, and Washington State borders it to the south.

Relative to other communities, Abby is about halfway between Langley and Chilliwack. It’s one of British Columbia’s fastest-growing regions and is easily accessible, thanks to the Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) and the Sumas-Huntingdon Border Crossing.

Fraser Valley

Community History

The Stó:lō Nation were the first residents of the area that was to become Abbotsville, followed by European settlers who came in 1858 during the gold rush. As a colonial development in the 1860s, one of the first growth milestones of the area was the completion of the first transportation route to the town, the Yale Road (presently known as Old Yale Road). Prime goods traded from the area were butter, milk, and tobacco.

The town continued to grow after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway line in 1885, which connected Mission to the Seattle, Lake Shore, and Eastern Railway at Sumas, Washington. The railway served as the only connection between Vancouver and Seattle for two decades.

In 1889, the Crown approved a grant to former Royal Engineer John Maclure for 160 acres (0.65 square kilometers), which would later become Abbotsford. The Abbotsford Village was incorporated in 1892 and has become an economic center within the region.

Today, Abbotsford, BC is primarily an agricultural hub, as well as a sports-tourism and adventure destination in the region. As the Fraser Valley community is surrounded by the Cascade and Coast Mountains, Abbotsford is often referred to as the “City in the Country.”

Climate & Weather

Abbotsford has a moderate climate, which doesn’t often go over 100°. However, the area can get rather chilly in winter, reaching temperatures near -30°. There can also be considerable precipitation in the form of rain and snowfall during certain times of the year. Abbotsford is a great place to live if you don’t mind experiencing rainfall on certain months of the year and high but bearable temperatures.

Population & Community

There are approximately 195,700 people residing in Abbotsford, according to Statistics Canada’s 2021 data, marking an 8.4% population increase since 2016. Even though it’s one of British Columbia’s largest municipalities, Abby has retained its tight-knit community and hometown feel. The population is highly diverse, with residents coming from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.

Cost of Living

Compared to other major cities across the country like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, Abbotsford’s cost of living is considerably lower. Housing alone is 11% below the national average and 81% less than British Columbia’s average. An Abbotsford property is far more affordable than one you would find in Vancouver.

Aptly titled as “the Farming Capital of Canada,” Abby is considered as one of the BC’s most affordable big cities. Impressively, even in a major city, the cost of living hovers reasonably close to the national average, being only 1-3% more expensive in general.


Economy & The Job Market

In addition to picturesque surroundings, one of the biggest draws of Abbotsford is its robust economy. Abbotsford has an unemployment rate of 5.5%, more or less at par with the national average. The city is recognized as Fraser Valley’s economic hub, with its location along the U.S.-Canada border and about 89 kilometers from the Pacific Coast putting it at a strategic advantage.

Agriculture is the beating heart of Abby’s local economy. The city supplies nearby places like Vancouver with essential agricultural outputs and produce. Beyond agriculture and farming, there are opportunities in major corporations, the public sector, retail, and professional services. Other dominant industries in the city include trade, construction, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing.

Things to Do in Abby

The best way to immerse yourself in all that Abby offers is by visiting its award-winning farms and wineries, checking out the fruit markets and annual Agrifair, and visiting the different outdoor parks and sites and taking in nature.

The city prides itself on its sustainable and innovative farming culture. Check out the Fraser Valley Circle Farm Tour program and learn about the different places you can visit. You can also spend a day or two at any other winery in the area. For example, check out Singletree Winery over at Mount Lehman Road. This award-winning winery features aromatic wines and flavors highlighting B.C.’s high-quality fruits.

Everyone will find something to do regardless of age, from strawberry picking and hayrides at Taves Family Farm to mini golf and arcade games at Castle Fun Park.

Foodies will enjoy the city’s many fairs and events. The Abbotsford Agrifair is held every August and celebrates the Abby’s agricultural roots with local food, education, and entertaining activities. Not to be missed is the Abbotsford Farmers Market held at the Jubilee Park every Saturday morning from May to the end of October. There are vendors and growers from the Abby area showcasing their food products, giving you the best modern food market experience.

In the cultural scene, Abby boasts venues such as the Abbotsford Arts Center, the Reach Gallery Museum, Trethewey House, and the Fraser Valley Stage where you can catch a show, learn about the area, browse the works of local and guest artists, and more. Or you can simply check out the eye-catching murals that deck the city’s public places.

Golfers will relish the two 18-hole golf courses and one 9-hole course in Abbotsford. The three courses cater to players of all skill levels and provide a different course experience throughout the year.

British Columbia Houses


British Columbia is one of the most popular investment options for Canadian real estate because of several factors, including stable growth, attractive returns, high demand, and affordability. British Columbia has had a strong economy across diverse industries, providing regional sustainability and growth.

While recent months have shown fluctuations in the general real estate market, making it challenging for people to buy and own homes, it’s important to note that any short-term fluctuation is normal. Over the years, British Columbia and Fraser Valley real estate have shown exceptional resilience. Despite occasional downturns and dynamic pricing, B.C.’s robust economic fundamentals have provided a strong and reliable foundation.

The local and federal government has also played a critical role in housing affordability. Governments have implemented several policies within the province to balance the market and manage housing costs. Despite some temporary fluctuations, property values in British Columbia have continued to appreciate over time.

As British Columbia’s population steadily rises, there has been a higher demand for housing, rental properties, and commercial and industrial real estate. The province also boasts favorable interest rates and tax conditions, with such benefits as no land transfer tax for first-time buyers and capital gains tax exemptions. All these, along with the promise of greater desirability due to upcoming developments in the Fraser Valley area, makes Abbotsford real estate a great avenue for investment and portfolio diversification.

Abbotsford Property & Housing Overview

Abbotsford, B.C, not to be confused with Abbotsford, WI, in the United States, offers plenty of attractive communities for real estate investors. This economic jewel with its roots in agriculture has blossomed to great economic heights. Abbotsford’s real estate market is one of the leaders in British Columbia. According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), by mid-2023, the Valley continues to see strong sales in the area because of low supply and high housing demand.

As demand remains strong and the population continues to grow, there is an advantage to buying real estate investments sooner rather than later.

Abbotsford Real Estate Options

Fraser Valley is home to a diverse range of property options that cater to the unique needs of individuals, couples, and families. The most popular housing types include townhouses, single-family homes, and condominiums. However, you will also find golf course mansions, luxury homes, gated community houses, farmlands, and lots.

About 40% of the properties in Abbotsford are single-family dwellings, and homeowners typically select their homes based on a combination of factors, such as lifestyle, space, budget, aesthetics, and amenities. Whether you’re looking for a brand-new construction property or an older home with plenty of character, you’ll find something to suit your taste and preferences.

The most common types of properties in Abbotsford include semi-detached homes, townhouses, condos, single-family homes, and farmhouses.

There is a wide variety of architectural styles, with the following as the most popular:

  1. West-cost style: This style gained popularity in the 1940s, particularly in Vancouver, because it offered an alternative modern design. West-coast style houses have flat roofs, large windows, and unpainted exteriors with open layouts.
  2. Craftsman style: While this design emerged in the 1800s, it remained popular until the 1930s. It’s a simpler option than the Victorian-style era because they are typically less grand. It usually has an asymmetrical design and an extended main roof that covers the front porch.
  3. Vancouver Special: Many homes in the Fraser Valley and Abbotsford area are built in the Vancouver Special architectural style. These often feature two stories and a balcony with stucco walls. These gained popularity around the 1960s because they were affordable but durable.

Noteworthy Abby Neighborhoods

If you’re deciding on what area of Abby to focus on, consider starting your search in these noteworthy neighborhoods.


Bradner is a sprawling community located towards the northwest of Abbotsford city center. One of its best features would be the easy access to outdoor areas like the Fraser River and the Glen Valley Regional Park. One of the more affluent communities in the area, this neighborhood is a great option if you’re looking for a spacious single-family home.


This community is a great place to raise kids. Aberdeen is primarily rural and boasts a wealth of premiere residences. Residents are near commercial establishments like hardware stores, shopping centers, and supermarkets, and offers convenient access to Abbotsford International Airport and Hogan Family Nature Park.


McMillan is suited for individuals and families who value tranquility and isolation. It’s easy to access, with its location right on the Trans-Canada highway and near Old Yale Road and Sumas Way. As the site of the Abbotsford Recreation Center, residents can enjoy a wealth of amenities such an ice rink and fitness and sports facilities. The neighborhood is also a stone’s throw from nearby shopping and dining areas.


Shaking Hands

Abbotsford is much more than a big city in British Columbia; it’s a tight-knit community full of history, activities, and a well-balanced lifestyle. If you’re ready to call Abbotsford your home, work with me, Don Munro. I’m a seasoned real estate expert with over three decades of local experience.

Along with my team of dedicated real estate professionals, I am committed to give you a seamless and enjoyable real estate experience in Fraser Valley. We have the network, knowledge, and passion to find your dream home in this beautiful place we call home. Get in touch with us today at 604.817.7338 or send an email here to get started.

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