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One of the most amazing and unique aspects of Mission, British Columbia is that over 40 percent of the city is, in fact, a tree farm! It is part of the Central Fraser Valley, overlooking Abbotsford on the north side of the Fraser River. The municipality was incorporated in 1892 and, after a couple of name changes that evolved along with the size of the locale, eventually adopted the name of Mission in 1969. The town was originally settled as a result of land purchases in conjunction with the CPR, and experienced heavy growth at that time, as it was once the retail center for the Fraser Valley. With the completion of Highway 1 in the 1960s, much of this retail traffic actually moved to Abbotsford and so Mission has remained since that point a neighbour to the North, focusing on the tree farm, agriculture (mainly berries), and other economic activity.
Mission prides itself on being a very active city and to this end boasts a high function recreation and leisure center, many local parks, plenty of trails and an arena. The municipality has many programs available to residents - from learn to skate initiatives to fitness programs, gymnasium programs, and swimming lessons. There is never a loss for recreational opportunities in Mission. Culturally, the municipality has a theatre that it supports, as well as a program called Communities in Bloom that encourages environmental awareness and beautification. Mission also has all the amenities needed for daily living and emergency services such as Fire and Rescue, RCMP and Search and Rescue.
The major infrastructure in the area is Highway 11 and Highway 7 (also known as the Lougheed Highway) but the city is also accessible by train and has a commuter train that runs to and from Vancouver during the work week. In addition to the train, Via Rail also stops in Mission. There are two ports within an hour of Mission, and the area is serviced by Abbotsford International Airport. Public transportation within the city is handled by the Central Fraser Valley Transit System, which is shared with neighbouring Abbotsford. The Valley Connector bus serves as a transit link between Abbotsford and Mission.
The district of Mission has 20 schools, 13 of which are elementary schools. There are three secondary schools, as well as two French Immersion schools and two schools that offer alternative secondary schooling. Many residents are attracted to this variety in schooling that Mission offers - something that is not always available in cities that are less urban. The mix between small town familiarity and big city opportunity in elementary and secondary education is a great asset for the community.
The community of Mission is largely comprised of many young commuters - the average age is 36.4 - whose average household income is slightly higher than the rest of the province. Current estimates set the population of the locale at about 37 000 people with potential to grow to about 100 000 people before reaching the upper limit. In 2013 the property tax rate on residential property was 4.6811. The flat rates for services were $465.48 for water, $354.00 for sewer, $162.00 for garbage, and $127.56 for recycling.
Though Mission may have a small population, the people are very active and are constantly organizing events and social outings to draw the community together. Every month, something new is happening in Mission. Annually, the community looks forward to an Easter Egg Hunt in the Spring that happens on a farm in the vicinity, as well as a Teddy Bear Picnic that occurs on Victoria Day. In the summer there is a Twilight Concert Series that always draws a crowd, as well as a Soapbox Derby that happens at the end of the summer. Mission is a close-knit community made of many people who want to enjoy the amenities of city living without sacrificing the solitude, peace and friendship of a more rural area. Mission consistently offers residents ways to get involved in the community and enjoy the outdoors while also providing feasible work opportunities. Children growing up in Mission are afforded the absolute best when it comes to hallmarks of an ideal childhood such as a small town community, great schools, fun community events and accessible recreational activities. Mission is a great place for young families to grow and develop and has shown itself to be a community that prides itself on being there for every member.