Langley, BC, incorporated as a district municipality in 1873, population 104 177 (2011c), 93 726 (2006c). The Township of Langley is located about 40 km east of VANCOUVER. The city of Langley, population 25 081 (2011c), 23 606 (2006c), became a separate municipality in 1955. Within the township of Langley there are the urban areas of Aldergrove, Brookswood, Fort Langley, Murrayville, Walnut Grove and Willoughby.
The colony of BRITISH COLUMBIA was incorporated 19 November 1858 at FORT LANGLEY, a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) post built in 1827 and now restored. It was named after HBC director Thomas Langley. Governor Douglas, however, bowed to pressure and on 14 February 1859 proclaimed the site of the capital to be NEW WESTMINSTER. Before the advent of the TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY in the early 1960s, the area had an economy based largely on agriculture; Langley City was its trade and service centre, a role it continues.
Improved access and land suited for subdivision led to a residential construction boom. Large industrial estates have drawn numerous manufacturing and warehousing operations and have made Langley a regional commercial and industrial centre. Such activity is concentrated in the Langley Regional Town Centre, which has lands in both municipalities.
Enterprises include wineries, cedar-products firms, machine shops, plastic and concrete products and meat packers. Poultry and swine production, dairying, beef farming, mushroom cultivation and berry growing are part of a thriving agricultural economy on the 75% of Langley Township protected for the purpose. It also has export-oriented growing sectors specializing in greenhouse products. Langley Township is called the "horse capital" of British Columbia because of its large equestrian facility, Thunderbird Show Park, and numerous smaller ones, as well as breeding and training facilities.
Post-secondary educational institutions include TRINITY WESTERN UNIVERSITY and Kwantlen University College. There are a number of museums focusing on native history, agriculture, aviation and communication. The Greater Vancouver Zoo is located in the township community of Aldergrove.