Condos under construction in Langley City in August, 2022. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Condos under construction in Langley City in August, 2022. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

2022: Top stories of the year

Year In Review: From cold to heat, wet to drought, Langley saw wild weather swings in 2022

The Fraser River froze for the second year in a row

Langley is growing.

That’s been true for a long time. But in 2022, it was thrown into sharp relief by everything from new Canadian Census data to record-shattering school enrolment.

In Langley Township, the population leaped by 13.1 per cent between 2016 and 2021, from 117,285 people to 132,603.

Langley City’s population rose by 11.9 per cent, from 25,888 to 28,963 people.

Langley grew at a considerably faster rate than British Columbia, which saw growth of 7.6 per cent since 2016, with the provincial population rising to 5,000,879 from 4,648,055.

The real population of Langley may be even higher.

Statistics Canada noted that the official data is, to a certain degree, an under-count. Recent population estimates suggested there are more people in B.C. and Langley than are listed in the official Census.

Estimates at the start of 2022 suggested that the population of the Township was more than 137,000 people. By the end of the year, Township mayoral candidates were citing figures of about 145,000 people.

The pandemic drew much of the blame for Langley’s rapid growth.

In 2020, as thousands of people adjusted to working from home, the real estate market in areas such as Langley, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack boomed. One common theory was that families who were stuck at home were looking for more room – for indoor home offices, and outdoor space for kids to play safely.

Rock-bottom interest rates for mortgages didn’t hurt.

Whatever the reason, in 2022, Langley School District saw record-breaking enrolment of new students, proving that the influx of families was very real.

In September, the district welcomed 1,100 new students. That smashed the previous year’s record, which was more than 900 students.

With all those students flooding in, classrooms have been full, portables are lined up in rows, and new school projects can’t come soon enough.

In April, then-Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside was in Langley to announce a $46.6 million project to create a new high school and middle school in Willoughby.

But no new elementary schools opened in 2022, even as enough students to fill several schools piled into the district.

The construction boom also continued, with Langley City notable for the fact that its pace of building had increased, after years of trailing the Township’s.

Both cities are now dotted with construction cranes, as low-rise condos and townhouses are the most common form of new construction.

But in the Township, the first residential highrises began taking shape in 2022, as Vesta Properties broke ground on a pair of towers, 34 and 26 stories tall.

A third, proposed 45-storey tower, however, drew more opposition, and appears to have been shelved.

developmentEducationLangleyYear in Review

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