Abbotsford was established in 1858 when the Royal Engineers were surveying for gold. In the 1860’s the small town began producing milk, butter and tobacco. Abbotsford became an official town after John Cunningham applied for a Crown grant and bought the first 160 acres. Then in 1891 a railway was built through the area, connecting it to Mission, Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railways. The City of Abbotsford resulted from first an amalgamation of the Village of Abbotsford with the District of Sumas in 1972, to form the District of Abbotsford, and a further amalgamation with the District of Matsqui in 1995.
Abbotsford has one of the most diverse populations in Canada. The largest population is European Caucasians, making up 73.6% consisting of German, Dutch, British, Irish, Scandinavian and Slavic. Abbotsford also has a large South East Asian population of 19% which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
The population of Abbotsford has a median age of 40, with most residents raising a family with at least 2 children. Amenities and communities reflect this family orientation. The city is surrounded by productive farmland, and has become known as the berry capitol of Canada.
The weather in Abbotsford is quite comfortable all year round, with warm summers and relatively mild winters. It’s an oceanic climate. There’s just enough summer precipitation for the area not to be classified as warm-summer mediterranean. The average annual temperature is 9.5 °C. The hottest days of summer are typically in low thirties Celsius. Abbotsford typically will have 53 days a year where the temperature is at 0 °C or below. Precipitation averages 1557 mm, and even during a dry month, there is plenty of rainfall.
Abbotsford is divided into four sections, Central Abbotsford, East Abbotsford, West Abbotsford and the up-and-coming University District. Central Abbotsford is mostly made up of commercial properties, East Abbotsford has a plenty of farm land, some large homes and beautiful views. West Abbotsford is a mix of commercial buildings and homes, while the UDistrict is a joint effort between the City of Abbotsford and the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV).