Richmond


 

RICHMOND occupies most of LULU ISLAND, SEA ISLAND (site of VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT) and 12 smaller islands (including Mitchell, Twigg and Deadman) at the mouth of the FRASER R, immediately south of VANCOUVER. Farming began in 1862 with the arrival of Hugh McRoberts, who named his property Richmond View after a place in his native Australia. It incorporated as a municipality in 1879. During the 1880s SALMON CANNING began at STEVESTON; at its height that community had 49 canneries. In 1889 Richmond was connected to the mainland by a bridge; the first railway link was in 1902 and the airport opened in 1931. The CPR built a train which was electrified by BC ELECTRIC RWY CO and operated as an INTERURBAN line until 1955. Many JAPANESE people were attracted to the community by the commercial FISHING industry at Steveston; after WWII CHINESE immigrants began to comprise a large portion of the population. When it opened in 1990, the Aberdeen Centre, the first of several shopping malls catering to the Asian community, was the largest enclosed Asian mall in N America. During the 1990s a wave of immigration arrived from Hong Kong, prior to that colony being handed back to China. Since then, immigration to the city has been mainly from China, Taiwan, India and the Philippines. As of 2014, 62% of the city's population were foreign-born, the highest percentage of any community in the country. The rich alluvial farmland was protected from inundation by a system of dikes. Since the 1960s most of this land has been taken over by housing and commercial development, and today Richmond is primarly a mixed commercial/residential suburb, though several thousand hectares are preserved in the AGRICULTURAL LAND RESERVE. During the 1980s dozens of HIGH-TECHNOLOGY companies located here. In 1992 the Richmond Library and Cultural Centre opened with its gallery, archives and museum. Richmond reincorporated as a city in 1990. In 2009 the Canada Line opened to provide light-rail rapid transit service between downtown Vancouver and central Richmond with a branch line to the airport.

Population: 190,473 (2011)
Rank in BC: 4th
Population increase since 2001: 6.2%
Date of incorporation: district 10 Nov 1879; city 3 Dec 1990
Land area: 168.19 sq km
Location: Greater Vancouver Regional District
Economic base: fishing, agriculture, canneries, manufacturing, warehousing