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Settling in Canada Abbotsford PROFILE

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Abbotsford calls itself “The City in the Country.” It is a thriving, rapidly growing city surrounded by the lush and fertile Fraser Valley. Abbotsford is close to multicultural Vancouver, sandy ocean beaches, mountains, lakes, parks and farms.


Abbotsford Facts

Abbotsford website

Population: 170,190 (2011)

Location — Western Canada
In the Fraser Valley near the US  border, one hour drive from Vancouver.

Temperate and sunny. Mild summers and rainy winters with little snow.

Abbotsford calls itself “The City in the Country.” It is a thriving, rapidly growing city surrounded by the lush and fertile Fraser Valley. Abbotsford is close to multicultural Vancouver, sandy ocean beaches, mountains, lakes, parks and farms.

Abbotsford Features:

  • One of Canada’s mildest climates
  • A diverse economy, including agriculture, aerospace, industry, manufacturing, business, government service and retail
  • A growing immigrant population
  • The new Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre
  • Shopping centres
  • A variety of trails, parkland and playing fields
  • A new 7,000 seat entertainment and sports centre
  • An international airport with direct flights and connections to destinations world wide, plus excellent highway access to Canada and the US


Abbotsford Population

Most Abbotsford residents came to this region after the Second World War. The Mennonite and Dutch communities arrived in the 1950s; many community leaders have their roots in these immigrant groups. The Indo-Canadian community arrived in the 1920s and has been very successful in business and in the region’s many berry farms. Most recently, a small but growing Korean community has brought its strong ties to the Asia-Pacific region.

As of the 2011 National Household Survey, there were 39,040 immigrants living in Abbotsford – Mission — 23.4 per cent of the total population. Of these, 15.2 per cent — 5,935 people in all — arrived between 2006 and 2011.

Countries of origin
India, United Kingdom, United States, Netherlands, Other places of birth in Americas, Other places of birth in Europe, Germany, Other places of birth in Asia, South Korea, Philippines.

First languages spoken
English, Panjabi (Punjabi), German, French, Dutch.

No religious affiliation, Other Christian, Sikh, Catholic, United Church, Anglican.

Countries of Origin

These are the most common birthplaces of immigrants to Abbotsford.

Country of Origin Total Immigrant Population
Immigrants Arriving
2006 – 2011
India 19,280 3,565
United Kingdom 3,520 155
United States 1,725 235
Netherlands 1,600
Other Places of Birth in Americas 1,360
Other Places of Birth in Europe 1,180
Germany 1,070 0
Other Places of Birth in Asia 805
Korea, South 785
Philippines 770 275
China 590 145
Ukraine 520 50
Russian Federation 500 45
Poland 420 0
Viet Nam 410 20
Fiji 410
South Africa, Republic of 375 30
Other Places of Birth in Africa 325
Romania 295 85
Other Places of Birth 290
El Salvador 230
Mexico 210 50
Pakistan 205 45
Italy 180
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 180 0
Iran 175 0
Japan 160 0
Hungary 155
Taiwan 150 35
France 130 0

‡ Statistics Canada did not publish data for some countries of origin for recent immigrants.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

First Languages

These are the top “first languages” — the mother tongue spoken by people who live in Abbotsford.

Mother Tongue Number (2011) % of Population (2011)
English 119,975 71.5%
Panjabi (Punjabi) 27,985 16.7%
German 6,550 3.9%
French 1,890 1.1%
Dutch 1,740 1.0%
Korean 1,445 0.9%
Spanish 1,280 0.8%
Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino) 780 0.5%
Vietnamese 730 0.4%
Chinese, n.o.s.* 660 0.4%

* Not otherwise specified.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 Census of Canada)


These are the religions with the most adherents in Abbotsford.

Religion # of Adherents (2011)
No Religious Affiliation 52,930
Other Christian 42,090
Sikh 28,235
Catholic 14,240
United Church 6,290
Anglican 5,725
Pentecostal 3,640
Baptist 3,445
Lutheran 2,845
Hindu 2,145
Presbyterian 1,495
Other Religions 885

Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

Housing Information

Most Abbotsford residents own their own homes. However, the area also offers a mix of townhomes, condominiums and apartments — with prices much lower than nearby Vancouver.

Average rents
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in April 2013 was $669 and a two bedroom apartment was $823. The average monthly rent for a three bedroom apartment was $920.

Vacancy rate and availability
In Abbotsford – Mission, the vacancy rate for one bedroom rental apartments was 5.5 per cent and for two bedroom apartments was 4.1 per cent. The vacancy rate of three bedroom rental apartments was 3.2 per cent. This was the proportion of rental apartments that are vacant and ready for move-in in April 2013.

The proportion, in April 2013, of apartments that are vacant or for which the present occupant has given notice to move-out was 5.9 per cent for one bedroom apartments, 4.5 per cent for two bedroom apartments, and 3.2 per cent for three bedroom apartments.

Home purchase prices
In Abbotsford – Mission, the average house price, in 2012, was $483,730.

For more up-to-date information, see CMHC's Housing Market Information website, and the Canadian Housing Observer.

Housing Help

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation — Housing information for Newcomers

These agencies can help you find housing:

Ministry of Social Development

BC Housing
604-433-2218 (1-800-257-7756 toll free)
For government-subsidized housing

Abbotsford Community Services
2420 Montrose Street
Abbotsford, BC V2S 3S9

The Salvation Army — A Centre of Hope
34081 Gladys Avenue
Abbotsford, BC V2S 2E8

Mennonite Central Committee of BC
31414 Marshall Road
Abbotsford, BC V2T 6L9
604-580-6639 (604-857-0011 toll free from Vancouver; 1-888-622-6337 from outside the Lower Mainland)


Abbotsford Employment

Abbotsford has a diverse economy that includes agriculture, aerospace, manufacturing, industry, business, government services and retail. Tradex, a 120,000 square foot exhibition facility, hosts over 100 trade shows and major events each year.

Job Search Help

These web sites post local jobs:

Community Employment Development Office, Abbotsford Community Services
Provides a job link service, in conjunction with Service Canada.

Private employment services may also be available.

Business Start-ups

These organizations offer advice and support to people starting small businesses in Abbotsford:

Service Canada (Federal Government)
Abbotsford office provides employment and skills assistance to immigrants.

Community Futures South Fraser
Business start-up advice and assistance.

Entering the Workforce

This organization helps immigrants evaluate foreign credentials

World Education Services Canada


Abbotsford Education

Abbotsford offers full degree programs at the University of the Fraser Valley, with Simon Fraser University’s Surrey Campus and Kwantlen Polytechnic University within a 30 minute drive. The area also has several Christian-based schools, including Trinity Western University, Columbia Bible College, and Summit Pacific College.

Abbotsford also has 48 public elementary and secondary schools for children and youth. These schools are free of charge. Most offer extra support for students speaking English as a Second Language. There are also special education programs for children with disabilities.

Universities and Colleges in the Abbotsford Area

University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford
A fully accredited public university that enrols more than 15,000 students each year. UFV offers bachelor’s degrees and more than 80 certificates and diploma programs, including Trades.

Simon Fraser University’s Surrey Campus
Undergraduate and graduate degrees. Based in Vancouver with regional satellite campuses.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey and Langley campuses
Undergraduate degrees, 16,000 students and 5 campuses.

Elementary and Secondary Schools (for Children and Youth)


Abbotsford School District #34

Private schools may also be available.

Community Services

Abbotsford Community

Abbotsford is already a diverse community, with residents from 58 countries. The city makes efforts to serve residents in their first language wherever possible. It has also launched many initiatives to ensure newcomers are treated fairly and equitably.

Abbotsford Community Services offers many settlement and community services.

Language Training

These organizations offer English language training

Abbotsford Community Services
Offers morning and evening classes for all adults, plus special programs for Punjabi-speaking mothers and grandmothers.

Abbotsford School Board

University of the Fraser Valley
Offers an advanced ESL program for career and professional integration.

Settlement Help

These organizations provide all kinds of support to immigrants:

Abbotsford Community Services
Language and translation, settlement services, legal advice and advocacy, job search assistance and education services.

Newcomers Guide (published the by British Columbia government)

Citizen and Immigration Canada
Provides information on coming to Canada to immigrate, study, work and live. On this website you will find forms, policies and regulations, research, services, publications and visa offices.






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