A guide to living in Surrey – Is it right for you?

a person drinking coffee, reading a real estate newspaper, and thinking about living in Surrey

Are you thinking about moving to the beautiful area of British Columbia? Our guide to living in Surrey will give you a straightforward snapshot of what it’s like to live in this city. It is located just a stone’s throw from Vancouver and close to the U.S. border. With a population of well over 500,000, it combines urban conveniences with accessible natural beauty, making it the end destination for people moving with the help of moving companies Toronto offers. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get to know all the marvels Surrey offers.

Get to know Surrey

Surrey, located in British Columbia, is one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities, reflecting an expanding urban environment. The city’s population has seen a significant upward trend, with current estimates placing it at over 518,000 residents. The population grew by an amazing 9.7% between 2016 and 2021, mostly thanks to reputable movers Surrey offers. This growth can be attributed to both natural factors and migrations.

Surrey’s population density is moderate, at 724 per square km, but increasing as new housing developments and communities continue to emerge. Ethnically, Surrey is a mosaic of cultures, with a substantial South Asian community alongside growing Chinese, Filipino, and European communities. This rich culture is mirrored in the city’s array of festivals, restaurants, and community events, contributing to the city’s overall dynamic and inclusive vibe.

Picture of a locale in Surrey
Living in Surrey means experiencing different cultures and atmosphere.

Housing and cost of living

If you’re looking to move to Surrey, it’s of utmost importance to understand the housing market and the overall cost of living before you do anything. The city offers a range of housing options, from modern high-rise apartments to spacious detached homes catering to different lifestyles and budgets. On average, renting an apartment might cost you around $3,100 a month, while buying a home could set you back by approximately CAD 1.9 million, depending on the neighborhood and property size.

For example, compared to Vancouver, living in Surrey can be more affordable, particularly when it comes to housing costs. This price discrepancy gives you the opportunity to enjoy a larger living space for the same budget. Additionally, with several new developments underway, there are plenty of options to choose from, whether you’re buying your first home or looking to upgrade.

Employment opportunities

Another crucial factor that might determine whether you’ll move to Surrey is work.

Surrey’s economy is well-developed, with key sectors including technology, health care, and education. If your business operates in these industries, moving it to Surrey with the help of commercial movers in Toronto will be the best choice you’ll ever make. The city is home to the Health and Technology District, which is rapidly growing with numerous companies and startups. For instance, if you work in the tech sector, you might find exciting opportunities in one of the local firms that are part of Surrey’s innovation ecosystem.

The job market here is welcoming to a wide range of skills and professions. Average salaries in Surrey are competitive, at CAD 1.2 million before taxes, with many positions offering wages that align closely with or sometimes exceed provincial averages.

a person signing a home contract after reading a guide to living in Surrey
Surrey offers many job opportunities thanks to numerous business sectors in the city.

Education and schools

When moving to a new city or an entirely new Canadian province, with the help of cross province movers, learning all there is about the educational facilities is vital. Surrey’s education system offers a wide array of choices for your children, from public schools to private institutions.

Here’s a closer look:

  • Public Schools: Surrey operates one of the largest school districts in British Columbia, with over 100 schools that cater to a diverse student population.
  • Private and Alternative Schools: For those looking for specialized education or alternative curriculums, Surrey has several private schools, including religious and Montessori options.
  • Post-Secondary Institutions: Post-secondary options in Surrey include campuses for Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, which offer a range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

With programs like French immersion and IB available in certain schools, Surrey provides a top-notch education to students. Additionally, schools in Surrey are known for their inclusive environments and strong community involvement, which can be a significant factor for parents considering this move.

Transportation and commute

Another important aspect of living in Surrey is its infrastructure and transportation system. Whether you commute by car or prefer public transit, here’s what you need to know:

  • SkyTrain: The Expo Line connects Surrey to downtown Vancouver, making it a convenient option for daily commuters.
  • Buses: A well-structured bus network provides extensive coverage throughout Surrey and the surrounding areas.
  • Major Highways: Easy access to major highways such as the Trans-Canada Highway helps reduce travel time to and from surrounding cities.

On the other hand, car ownership rates are also high, seeing as there are 687,000 registered cars in Surrey. This means that only 13% of households don’t own a car, while 46% have two or more cars.

On average, commute times can vary, but with ongoing improvements in public transit and road expansions, getting around is becoming easier for Surrey residents. Still, if you’re worried about traffic and you don’t want to relocate your household items on your own, residential movers Toronto offers will provide quality service instead.

a person driving a car
Most Surrey residents own a car, but it is not necessary to get around thanks to its public transit infrastructure.


Surrey’s healthcare system is well-developed and anchored by the Surrey Memorial Hospital — one of the largest healthcare facilities in British Columbia. This facility is famous for its dedicated emergency department, comprehensive cancer treatment center, and the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, which offers specialized health services.

Healthcare in Surrey is publicly funded, ensuring that residents receive free access to necessary medical services through the Medical Services Plan of BC. This will be a nice change if you are moving with the help of long distance movers in Toronto from the USA, for example, where healthcare is notoriously expensive. Additionally, the city hosts several clinics and family health centers, providing accessible primary care. The focus on expanding and modernizing facilities continues to enhance the quality and availability of healthcare services for all Surrey residents.


Surrey offers a wide range of entertainment options catering to diverse interests. For art enthusiasts, the Surrey Art Gallery features contemporary art exhibitions and hosts various art programs. The Museum of Surrey provides a glimpse into the region’s rich history through interactive exhibits and community events. Food lovers can explore the city’s culinary scene with restaurants like Old Surrey Restaurant, known for its fine dining, and Tasty Indian Bistro, offering authentic South Asian cuisine.

Music and theater fans will enjoy the Bell Performing Arts Centre, which hosts concerts, plays, and other live performances. For outdoor enthusiasts, Surrey has numerous parks and trails, such as Bear Creek Park, which includes gardens and sports fields. The Surrey Nature Centre at Green Timbers is perfect for those who enjoy hiking and wildlife observation.

Surrey’s entertainment landscape also includes festivals like the Surrey Fusion Festival, celebrating multiculturalism with food, music, and dance from around the world. The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair is another popular event, offering rodeo competitions, carnival rides, and live entertainment. With such a variety of options, Surrey ensures there’s always something fun and engaging to do for residents and visitors alike.

a green golf ball on a golf course
Surrey residents have access to various types of entertainment, from mini golf to hiking.

Safety in Surrey

Surrey has a mixed reputation regarding safety, with some neighborhoods being safer than others. The city’s crime rate is higher than the national average, with 9,552 incidents per 100,000 people, compared to Canada’s average of 5,334 per 100,000.

However, people highlight Cloverdale, South Surrey, and Fleetwood as safe neighborhoods. These neighborhoods focus on maintaining a secure environment, contributing to their popularity among families. While Surrey faces challenges, targeted efforts are in place to improve safety across the city.

Best neighborhoods

Surrey is a large and diverse city, with each neighborhood offering its own unique charm and amenities. Understanding the differences between these neighborhoods is an integral part of a guide to living in Surrey, and it can help you decide which area best suits your lifestyle and needs.

  • South Surrey: Known for its upscale vibe, South Surrey is home to affluent neighborhoods like Morgan Creek and Ocean Park. It features top-rated schools, beautiful parks, and close proximity to White Rock Beach. The area has numerous amenities, including the Morgan Crossing shopping district and the Peace Arch Hospital. South Surrey is particularly popular among families and retirees.
  • Newton: Newton is one of Surrey’s most populous and culturally diverse neighborhoods. It is known for its South Asian community, which is reflected in the local businesses, restaurants, and cultural events. Newton is also home to the Newton Wave Pool and the Surrey Hindu Temple, both of which are central to the community. The area has a mix of housing options, from affordable apartments to more expensive homes.
  • Cloverdale: Known for its historic downtown and annual Cloverdale Rodeo, this neighborhood attracts those who enjoy a sense of community and tradition. Cloverdale is also a great place for families, with numerous parks, good schools, and the new Clayton Community Centre, which provides various recreational and cultural activities.
  • Fleetwood: Fleetwood is a suburban neighborhood with a strong sense of community. It is known for its excellent schools, including Fleetwood Park Secondary, and its numerous parks, such as Fleetwood Park and Francis Park. Also, The Fleetwood Community Centre is a popular spot for residents, offering various programs and activities for all ages.
a family that is happy after they read a guide to living in Surrey
There are many welcoming neighborhoods in the city, perfect for raising children.

Environmental initiatives and sustainability

The city is committed to sustainability and has implemented numerous initiatives to promote environmental responsibility and green living. The city’s efforts are aimed at reducing carbon emissions, conserving natural resources, and creating a sustainable urban environment.

  • Surrey’s Climate Action Strategy: The city has a comprehensive Climate Action Strategy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 2010 levels by 2030. This includes initiatives such as expanding public transit, promoting energy-efficient buildings, and encouraging the use of electric vehicles. The City of Surrey’s fleet already includes 60 electric vehicles, and there are plans to increase this number significantly.
  • Green Building Standards: Surrey promotes green building standards through its Sustainable Development Checklist, which encourages developers to incorporate energy-efficient designs, renewable energy sources, and sustainable materials. The West Village Energy Centre and District Energy Utility is a prime example, providing efficient heating and cooling to buildings in the city center.
  • Parks and Green Spaces: With over 200 parks and 5000 acres of green space, the government of the city wants to preserve the natural habitats and provide recreational areas for residents. Notable parks include Green Timbers Urban Forest, which offers extensive hiking trails and a lake, and Bear Creek Park, known for its gardens and sports facilities. The city also runs several community garden programs, promoting local food production and sustainable gardening practices.
  • Waste Management and Recycling: Surrey’s Rethink Waste program focuses on reducing landfill waste through robust recycling and organic waste programs. In 2020, Surrey achieved a 67% diversion rate from landfills. The Biofuel Facility in Surrey processes organic waste into renewable natural gas, which powers the city’s waste collection trucks.

Pet-friendly facilities and services

A guide to living in Surrey should not leave out the people’s best furry friends! Surrey is a pet-friendly city with a variety of facilities and services designed to accommodate pet owners and their furry friends. If you are a pet owner looking for a city where their pet will feel accepted, contact packing services Toronto, and they will help pack up everything, from cat litter and boxes to dog houses.

  • Dog Parks: There are numerous off-leash dog parks throughout Surrey, providing safe and enjoyable spaces for dogs to run and play. Popular dog parks include Tynehead Regional Park, which offers designated off-leash areas and trails, and Dogwood Park, known for its large open spaces and agility equipment.
  • Veterinary Clinics and Hospitals: Surrey is home to several top-notch veterinary clinics and hospitals, ensuring pets receive high-quality medical care. Facilities like the Newton Animal Hospital and Cloverdale Animal Hospital offer a range of services, from routine check-ups to emergency care.
  • Pet-Friendly Housing: Many rental properties and housing developments in Surrey are pet-friendly, accommodating the needs of pet owners. Websites like Kijiji and Craigslist frequently list pet-friendly rentals, making it easier for residents to find suitable housing for themselves and their pets.
a dog smiling with his tongue sticking out
Surrey is one of the most pet-friendly cities in all of Canada.

Conclusion to our guide to living in Surrey

To wrap our guide to living in Surrey — this city presents a compelling option for those seeking a balance between urban and natural living. With its affordable housing, diverse community, and growing job market, Surrey invites a closer look for anyone considering a new home. So, what are you waiting for? Pack up all you can carry, leave the rest in a climate-controlled storage Toronto movers offer, and get going!