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Covering an area of 150 square kilometers, Maple Ridge, B.C. was incorporated as a community on September 12, 1874 after a group of fifty families saw the potential in their beautiful area and decided it would be prudent to become a municipality. They met at a local resident's farm and named the area after a pretty row of maple trees on the property. Maple Ridge, as they affectionately called their area, now holds the distinction of being the fifth-oldest municipality in British Columbia and sits on the shores of the Fraser River just east of Vancouver. Originally, it grew alongside what was then the province's major transportation route, the Fraser River, and eventually it adapted as the railway was completed, becoming a hub for agriculture and industry. Nowadays, with a population of about 76,000 people, Maple Ridge is considered an area of high growth for the region it is in and the community has a thriving economy.
Maple Ridge boasts many parks and recreational facilities. They have two outdoor pools, two arenas, a variety of community centers, two museums, a golf course, and several historical sites that you can tour at your leisure. In addition to this, there exists a specific committee that oversees the development of youth programs and the arts, as well as other volunteer-led initiatives. Of course the municipality also provides services like snow removal, and has a cemetery, a library, two medical clinics, a hospital, and a hospice. The area has all the amenities of a small town both for health care, daily living, and recreation.
The community boasts two major bridges that are part of the transportation makeup of the region. First is the Golden Ears Bridge, which connects Maple Ridge to Surrey and Langley across the Fraser River. It is a six-lane bridge that makes commuting easier and reduces traffic congestion. In addition to this bridge, there is the Pitt River Bridge, which is three lanes wide headed westward and four lanes wide headed east. As with the rest of the Greater Vancouver Area, public transit is handled by TransLink. Maple Ridge also has a program called HandyDART, which is available to provide door-to-door service for those with special needs who are unable to take a regular bus.
Maple Ridge is part of B.C. school district number 42 and yearly educates about 15,000 youngsters throughout 18 elementary schools and 5 secondary schools. There are both public and private schooling options for students in Maple Ridge and the school district is diligent to provide opportunities for adult learners who want to finish their high school diploma requirements. Not only this, but Maple Ridge actually has many opportunities for post-secondary learners. The nationally acclaimed Trinity Western University is located within Maple Ridge, as well as the B.C. Institute of Technology and other well-respected institutions.
In 2011 the population of the community was 76,052, which is in line with the trend for Maple Ridge which has been a steady increase in population with every census. The employment rate is sitting at about the provincial average at 66.4%, with the median income also around the provincial average at approximately $30,000. Of course, this number takes into account all types of family units—within married-couple families the average income was closer to $80,000. Tax rates for residential property owners are about 6.7711 and in 2013, annual utility services were $475.70 for water and $274 for sewer.
Maple Ridge is proud to be known for a bustling event calendar, with several community wide events happening every month. From Halloween Fireworks to a Harvest Festival, from a community tree lighting celebration at Christmas to outdoor summer festivals, Maple Ridge tries to make the most of every opportunity to pull the community together. If you're looking for a small town with all the services of a big city and close enough to a major trade center to make commuting and business viable, look no further than Maple Ridge. The area is proud of their history and rightfully so. Since the early days of Maple Ridge the community has always banded together to make things beautiful and appealing to residents, and nothing has changed in that way since it was founded.