This afternoon while popping by Tanya’s house in Surrey I noticed a flyer (“The New View“) from the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association on her kitchen table which contained the following:
It’s Your Downtown – Tell them what you think
One last time, the City of Surrey is reaching out to you, the community, for feedback on the new City Centre Plan proposal.
Similar to the City’s Ideas Fair of two years ago, SFU will be the site for two Public Open Houses in its Mezzanine to inform, inspire and invite input for the final proposal to City Council. Committed to visuals, interactivity and clean communication, Open Houses will feature displays and feedback stations on a comprehensive field of community issues such as land use, sustainability, greenspace, density, amenities, accessibility, transit, and neighbourhood enhancement. [Source: The New View by the Downtown Surrey BIA]
A few years ago when fancy pants new condo developments started to spring up once again (after the Gateway & teal boom of the ’90s) they were being marketed with slogans like bringing “Yaletown to Surrey.” One part of the plan in The New View that threw me for a loop was the new naming structure for neighbourhoods in the designated “downtown” area of Surrey.
From North to South / West to East: Gateway, Grosvenor, 5 Corners (what I’ve always known at Whalley’s corner), Binnie, Forsyth, West Village, SCTV The Village, East Village, Old Yale, Matthew, King George, Hospital, Fraser.
My first thought was, “Everyday I try to give Surrey a better name but I guess I never thought of simply changing it,” but I suppose that’s part of the reasoning behind it all really. I think all of the proposed names are perfectly fine although being a little old school, I may have trouble with “West Village”, “East Village” and “SCTV The Village”.
West Village – Surrey’s “West End,” this will be a collection of high-density low- and high-rise residential buildings connected by a network of pedestrian routes, mini-parks, plazas and local services, shops and cafes [Surrey City Centre Plan Update]
With a chuckle, “SCTV” makes me picture Eugene Levy, Rick Moranis or John Candy hanging out near the Stardust.
This concept isn’t new, I mean people have been using neighbourhood names (ie. Fleetwood, Panorama Ridge, Fraser Heights, Crescent Beach, Hazelmere, or Strawberry Hill) instead of simply saying “Surrey” for years (and some names even pre-date the City itself).
I’m all for growth in Surrey although as I was discussing with Tanya, some things will never change. Central City will always be Surrey Place Mall, I know Dave will forever call Surrey Central Whalley Exchange and Clayton Heights will always be the area formerly known as the Hillcrest Drive-In (even though Hillcrest has relocated further along Fraser Highway and is now the Twilight Drive-In, but I digress).
The evolution of the plan (initiated in 1991) can be found on CityCentre.Surrey.ca and more info about development in Surrey can be found on Paul’s CivicSurrey website. Actually, some of the proposed transportation and cycling plans remind of Paul’s work.
The naming of neighbourhoods is, in all reality, very low on my list of concerns for this City which I hold so dear. I’d like to see more about the plans for amenities, health care facilities, helping the homeless population and transit/alternate transportation methods.
The first Open House took place September 11th from 4:00pm – 8:00pm and the next is Monday the 15th at the same time. According to the Downtown Surrey BIA, the hope is that the new “City Centre will be: The heart of Surrey, a centre for transit, a regional centre for the Fraser Valley, the highest density of residential, offices and institutions.”
I’m very curious to learn more about the proposal however, I’ll be liveblogging Third Tuesday tomorrow night (yes, on a Monday). If you’re able to attend the Open House drop me a note in the comments if you’d like to share your thoughts.
View my other Surrey or What The Surrey posts.