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Maple Ridge is a District Municipality in British Columbiamarker, located in the northeastern section of Metro Vancouvermarker. Maple Ridge has a population of approximately 68,949.

History

The District of Maple Ridge was incorporated September 12, 1874, it covered an area of 33,000 acres (130 kmĀ²) yet only had approximately 50 families living in the town. Maple Ridge is British Columbia's sixth-oldest municipality (after New Westminstermarker, Victoria, Langleymarker, Lake Cowichanmarker, and Chilliwackmarker). Until the expansion of Metro Vancouvermarker (the GVRD) it was part of the now-defunct Dewdney-Alouette Regional Districtmarker with the city of Pitt Meadows and District of Mission and other north-side communities east to Chehalis.

Communities

Maple Ridge is made up of several different historical areas, they are;



These areas are often represented by a cultural group. For instance, Webster's Corner and Albion are represented by the many Finnish families that settled in the area. While Port Hammond is known for its small cottage like mill houses originally built by the local mill to house its workers. Ruskin is the location of a community hall of the Sons of Norway, while Kanaka Creek originally was a village for Kanaka employees of Fort Langleymarker.

Port Haney, located adjacent to the Fraser River to the southwest of downtown Haney, and the site of the WestCoast Express commuter rail station, is a heritage district created to protect some of the remaining buildings from earlier times. In addition to buildings already on-site when this was the steamboat landing as well as the CPR station, other heritage buildings from around the District of Maple Ridge were relocated to Port Haney to preserve them and enhance the heritage flavour of the location.

Recent growth

In the past 20 years, Maple Ridge has grown very rapidly, with a 12.5% population increase between the 1996 and 2001 censuses. The construction of new residential subdivisions has threatened many sensitive wildlife habitats as well as the District's limited agricultural land. About two-thirds of those who work outside the home commute into other suburbs or Downtown Vancouvermarker. Because of burgeoning growth connected to the expansion of the Vancouver metropolitan area, Maple Ridge joined the Greater Vancouver Regional District in 1995 (now renamed Metro Vancouvermarker), having historically been a member of the now-rescinded Dewdney-Alouette Regional District marker (Missionmarker and other eastern parts of that regional district are now in the Fraser Valley Regional Districtmarker). The completion of the Golden Ears Bridgemarker and the construction of the new high level Pitt River bridge span also signal increased growth in coming years.

Transportation

Translink provides public transit services to Maple Ridge, including buses and the West Coast Express. Haney Place Exchange is the main bus exchange, with every bus line in Maple Ridge stopping here at some point along it's route.

Maple Ridge is connected via Highway 7 to Pitt Meadowsmarker in the east and Missionmarker in the west.

The Golden Ears Bridgemarker connects Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to Langley.

Industry

The early settlers in Maple Ridge engaged in forestry and agriculture. Forestry companies continue to be the largest private-sector employers in the district. They include Interfor and companies that manufacture building materials, yachts and poles. The soil and climate are not well-suited to the production of traditional food crops, but the Maple Ridge agriculture sector generates upwards of $40 million annually (2001), largely from berry crops, nurseries and horse breeding. The biggest challenge for the district is to attract commercial and industrial investment while trying to preserve the "close to nature" feel that is Maple Ridge's biggest asset.

Demographics

Demographics according to Statistics Canada 2006 census.
  • Population: 68,949
  • 2001 to 2006 population change (%) : 9.2%
  • Area:
  • Density:


Government

Maple Ridge is governed at the municipal level by a seven-member council made up of six councilors and the Mayor. Five of the seven school trustees elected to the School District 42 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Board of Education are chosen by Maple Ridge voters. School trustees, councilors and the Mayor are elected on the same ballot for three-year terms. The most recent term for both the board of education and council began in December 2008. In addition, residents of Maple Ridge vote for representatives to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbiamarker and the Canadian House of Commons.

Ernie Daykin is the current Mayor of Maple Ridge and was elected on November 15, 2008. He served two previous terms as a Maple Ridge councilor.

Maple Ridge has a history of electing Mayors by a landslide vote and then throwing them out of office after one term. Previous Mayors include Gordon Robson, Kathy Morse, Al Hogarth, Bill Hartley, Belle Morse and Carl Durkson.

In the Legislative Assembly of British Columbiamarker, Maple Ridge has two constituencies: In the 2005 provincial election, the BC Liberal Party and the BC New Democratic Party each won a seat. Liberal MLA Randy Hawes holds the seat to the east and NDP MLA Michael Sather holds the seat to the west. There will be a general provincial election on May 12, 2009.

In the Canadian House of Commons, Maple Ridge has one constituency: in the 2006 federal elections, the Conservative Party of Canada won the seat. The MP is Randy Kamp.

Education

Public schools are administered by School District 42 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. The school district welcomes residents of Maple Ridge and neighbouring Pitt Meadowsmarker, along with students transferred in from other British Columbiamarker School Districts and tuition paying international students.

The school district operates 17 elementary schools, 5 secondary schools, 2 adult learning centres, 1 community college, and other educational facilities in Maple Ridge. (Along with more in Pitt Meadows.)

Several of the five secondary schools have 'specialized' in certain areas and/or started 'academy' programs to attract more students and better prepare them for the 'real world'.

Thomas Haney Secondary School operates on a 'self-directed' learning system that is designed to allow students to plot their own paths toward fulfilling Ministry Learning Outcomes. The school also operates an Equestrian Academy for all abilities and "no horse required", and Music, Theatre and athletic programs.

Samuel Robertson Technical Secondary School opened in 2005 and, as the name suggests, was designed to allow students to experience various technologies as well as their traditional education. The school offers various trades programs in partnership with local trade schools and colleges.

Garibaldi Secondary School offers the International Baccalaureate program and Digipen Technology Academy.

Westview Secondary School and Maple Ridge Secondary School are the other two high schools in Maple Ridge.

Several of the elementary schools also offer non-traditional systems. These include: Kanaka Creek Elementary, which operates a 'year-round' schooling system, exchanging a long summer break for shorter breaks throughout the year, and Yennadon Elementary School, which operates a 'cyberschool' program, enabling some students to work from home on a computer on certain days.

Several private schools are located in Maple Ridge. These include Meadowridge School, a K-12 independent school, and St. Patrick's, a Catholic school. These are not operated by the school district, but must still meet British Columbia Ministry of Education standards.

Sports

Maple Ridge is known for being the hometown of several high-profile athletes, such as baseball player Larry Walker, deceased race-car driver Greg Moore, and hockey players Cam Neely, Brendan Morrison and Andrew Ladd. These professional athletes are the product of very well organized youth sports programs, including a baseball program which has produced three Midget AAA Western Canadian Championship teams since 2001, including back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002.

Arts and culture

A few venues for performing arts exist in Maple Ridge. These include the Arts Club Theatre (ACT), the bandstand in Memorial Peace Park, and various theatres in local secondary schools.

The ACT contains a main-stage theatre capable of seating 500 for musical and dramatic performances as well as the more versatile Gemstar Studio Theatre used for other performances as well as classes and special events. The ACT is also home to many smaller classrooms for everything from pottery to painting and a conference room. It is a non-profit public resource.

Also inside the ACT building is the Maple Ridge Art Gallery, focusing on local artists and art students.

Maple Ridge also has several large festivals and parades occurring yearly, including the Rogers Santa Clause Parade, the Jazz and Blues Festival, and the Caribbean Festival.

Notable people from Maple Ridge



Surrounding municipalities

References

  1. Port Haney page, Maple Ridge Museum website
  2. http://www.translink.ca/~/media/Documents/Maps/Transit%20System%20Maps/sys_Pitt_Maple_Langley.ashx
  3. http://www.sd42.ca/schools
  4. Rick Tippe Is Singin' A Different Tune


External links




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