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Home / Vancouver Coast and Mountains / Mighty Fraser Country / Abbotsford


A Step Back in Time

Abbotsford's colonial development occurred when the Royal Engineers surveyed the area in response to the Gold Rush along the Fraser River in 1858. Settlement grew and butter, milk, and tobacco production were key to the agricultural development that started in the late 1860s. In 1889 former Royal Engineer John Cunningham Maclure applied for a crown grant to obtain the 160 acres that would become Abbotsford. In 1891, the Canadian Pacific Railway built a railway line through the area that connected to Sumas, Washington in the U.S.

The Village of Abbotsford was incorporated in 1892 and the British Columbia Electric Railway arrived in 1910, ensuring a rapid rate of growth that has continued to this day. Abbotsford became a city in 1995. 

Today, the City of Abbotsford is known as the 'City in the Country'. It is one of the fastest growing cities in BC yet maintains its small town charm surrounded by rolling hills, mountains and farmlands.


Abbotsford is located in the Fraser Valley, 75 km (47 mi) east of Vancouver.  There are seven convenient exits off the Trans-Canada Highway, daily flights to and from the Abbotsford International Airport, and a 24-hour Canada/US international border crossing.

Things to See and Do
  • Clayburn Village

Clayburn is a unique, secluded historic village in Abbotsford and situated in the shelter of the west side of Sumas Mountain. The homes, village store, church and school from the early 1900s have been lovingly restored. Clayburn attracts many visitors throughout the year. 

  • Historic Downtown Abbotsford

Life's simple pleasures in this traditional village in the heart of Abbotsford are plentiful. Enjoy delicious treats, locally-made jewellery, boutiques and more. 

  • Walking, Hiking & Biking

The Discovery Trail is a 30 km (19 mi) all-season paved trail through the City of Abbotsford and surrounded by lush meadows and towering trees. The trail is suitable for walkers, cyclists and roller-bladers.The Abbotsford area has trails for riders of all abilities including one that takes you to the top of Sumas Mountain and its spectacular views. Hikers who enjoy moderate-to-difficult trails have several to choose from, particularly in Sumas Regional Park. 

  • Agri-Tourism

Take a Circle Farm Tour in the beautiful Abbotsford countryside and enjoy home-made ice-cream, fresh fruit, organic cheeses, honey and more. Anjoy a glass of wine in one of Abbotsford's two award-winning wineries.  

  • Golfing

Abbotsford has three year-round golf courses that will please both the championship golfer and the novice. 

  • Abbotsford International Airshow

Annually in August, over 250,000 visitors thrill in the aerobatics and displays of vintage and modern aircraft at the Abbotsford International Airshow. Civilian and military planes including the Canadian Forces Snowbirds grace the skies. 

Nearby Communities
Contact Information

Tourism Abbotsford Visitor Centre



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Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia

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