Nestled against the Fraser River and home to Kwantlen First Nation, the Village of Fort Langley is unequivocally the Township’s tourism and filming mecca.
The neighbourhood commonly known as the Birthplace of B.C. is also changing shape.
The opening of the Coulter Berry building in downtown Fort Langley in mid-September 2016 was the culmination of four years of work on the three-storey mixed-use brick building, at the corner of at the corner of Glover and Mavis.
Another of the Village’s more recent features is a public plaza at the foot of the Bedford Landing residential community development. That’s where you’ll find the First Nations-owned lelem’ Café, with a menu incorporating traditional flavours of a Coast Salish diet.
Hungry? Dining options, primarily located along the downtown stretch of Glover Road, are plentiful and cover the culinary gamut: pubs, pizzerias, candy stores, fine dining, cafés, bistros and coffee shops. There is a martini bar, fresh craft beer brewery, bakeries, sushi and international cuisine, a 1950s café, gelato and ice cream parlours — even an eatery that specializes in various types of grilled cheese sandwiches.
Fort Langley’s rich history draws visitors from around the world. In the centre of town is the Fort Langley Community Hall. Built in 1931, the distinctive yellow, designated heritage building is home to a variety of community functions and has been a big draw for film crews over the past several years.
Other landmarks are easily spotted throughout the Village.
The CN Station at the corner of Glover Road and Mavis Avenue was used full time until 1972 when it was reduced to a flag stop. Today it houses the Fort Langley Artists Group and a small museum that includes a 1920s caboose with original furnishings from a 1947 rail car.
The Langley Centennial Museum takes visitors on a journey through time with displays of First Nations people, early explorers, and pioneer families. Sitting next to the museum is the BC Farm Machinery & Agricultural Museum displaying tractors, steam engines, pumps, a blacksmith shop, windmills and pumps from years gone by.
A few more steps east along Mavis Avenue takes you to the Fort Langley National Historic Site, an interactive museum that allows visitors to step inside the site’s wooden palisade walls and explore various historical-type buildings including a blacksmith, cooperage and storehouse, said to be the oldest building in B.C. It was inside this site — the original location of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trading post – where governor James Douglas proclaimed British Columbia a Crown Colony on Nov. 19, 1858.
The Chief Sepass Theatre is a hotspot for theatre buffs. The 310-seat, multipurpose theatre attached to Langley Fine Arts School provides an intimate setting for presentations and performances year round.
The village’s shopping options are plentiful, too, especially for treasure hunters. Browse through antique and thrift shops, gardening, clothing and gift stores, florists, jewelry, and art galleries and more, all steps away from each other. Or stray off the beaten path, by nipping down Gasoline Alley or wandering one of the many side streets branching off Glover Road, to find a few more of the village’s tucked-away treasures. For a list of shopping and dining options, visit www.fortlangleyvillage.com.
The Fort is a popular place for exercise and outdoor enthusiasts. The Fort to Fort Trail offers 12 to 15 kilometres of walking paths winding along the Bedford Channel portion of the Fraser River, beginning at Bedford Landing and ending at Derby Reach Regional Park. As well, there is the Houston Trail, a forested gravel loop trail that connects to the Fort to Fort. It is unique in Langley as it is one of the only completed forested routes and is not perfectly flat.
A popular place to cool off on a hot summer’s day is the Fort Langley outdoor community pool at Fort Langley Community Park, located at St. Andrews Avenue and Nash Street.
Golfers have a place to hit the links at the Fort Langley Golf Course and water sport enthusiasts have their own playground in the the Bedford Channel, home waters of the Fort Langley Canoe Club and Fort Langley Community Rowing Club.
You don’t have to travel out of the Langley to enjoy a camping experience. Brae Island Regional Park, at 9451 Glover Rd., offers 156 large campsites and five family tent cabins as well as an on site store and cafe, and laundry facilities. A short drive east is where you’ll find Derby Reach Regional Park.
In the Edgewater Bar section of the park along the shore of the Fraser River, there are 38 unserviced pads that allows up to two vehicles and two tents per campsite.
The sandy shores near the campground is where fishermen throw their lines into the Fraser, sit back, and wait for a bite.