Mission is located 14 km (9 miles) north of Abbotsford
on Hwy 11 and 27 km (17 miles) east of Maple
Ridge via Hwy 7 or more commonly known as the Lougheed Hwy,
about 70 km (44 miles) east of Vancouver.
Mission is situated on the north side of the Fraser River just across
from Abbotsford in the Lower Mainland's Fraser Valley. Mission was
first established in 1895 as a transportation link up the Fraser
River from New Westminster. From
Mission a person could then travel by railway into Washington State
with further links into the rest of the USA.
House at Stave Falls
The community of Mission was transformed in the early 1900's into
a commercial hub, especially on the north side of the Fraser River.
During the expansion both British Columbia's and, especially, Vancouver's
electrical needs were met by the building of the power house by
BC Electric at Stave Falls. This power house, one of British Columbia's
earliest hydro-electric plants, was completed in 1912.
Hydro Visitor Info Centre
The power house, now owned by BC Hydro, has been made into a workable
museum for you to visit. The BC Hydro Visitor Info Centre showcases
this electrical growth via a self-guided tour, 50-seat theatre,
electrical knowledge games for the kids and a nearby recreation
Another landmark quite prevalent in Mission is Westminster Abbey,
the home of Seminary of Christ the King, and the very distinctive
abbey chapel. Situated on a bluff, the grounds of Westminster Abbey
are open to the public with access to the chapel on weekdays from
1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Always a favourite of drag racing fans throughout the Lower Mainland
the Mission Raceway Park still operates. Drags and other events
are held from March through to October with the award ceremony in
November. If you're a fan of drags, be a kid again and get out and
relive Mission Raceway Park.
Courses in Mission
Mission has a few good golf courses in the nearby area. For 18-hole
courses, there is both the new Cedar Ridge Golf Course and the established
Eighteen Pastures Golf Club. Then, for a shorter course, there is
the long-established 9-hole Mission Golf & Country Club.
There is a museum in Mission established right in town in an old
pre-fabricated Canadian Bank of Commerce building built in 1907
and later moved in 1947. The museum is sponsored by the Mission
District Historical Society and has a number of well-maintained
artifacts dealing with Missions past.
River Heritage Park
For more places to see, the Mission Heritage Association operates
a heritage park called Fraser River Heritage Park. Displayed in
the park are the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.) Cemetery, the
Marcellus Rhododendron Walk, the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and
the Norma Kenney House which features the Blackberry Kitchen Café.
Other places you might consider visiting include the Mission Art
Gallery. The gallery displays various exhibits from local artists
is sponsored by the Mission Arts Council. The art gallery also includes
a tea room plus gift shop featuring wonderful handcrafted goods.
The area around Mission, especially the Fraser River is the traditional
home of the Stó:lo First Nations. Evidence from one of the
oldest-known First Nations' archeological sites in British Columbia
shows that the Stó:lõ have fished, gathered and hunted
in this part of the Fraser River for over thousands of years.
You can visit an archeological dig site presented by the Stó:lo
around this archeological treasure into a public museum. At Xáy:tem
you will be shown the proud Stó:lo First Nation travelled,
traded and transported goods throughout the region some dating back
to between 3,300 and 3,650 B.C with some estimates back as far as
Today the Stó:lõ Nation, a cultural group belonging
in the larger Coast Salish, reside throughout the Mission area.
The band can sometimes be viewed fishing along the Fraser River
for traditional food source, especially during the salmon spawn
in the fall.
Every year in June on Father's Day is the Old Car Sunday event held
at the Fraser River Heritage Park. Estimated to have at least 1,000
unique classic vehicles converge into Mission for this car lovers'
spectacle. If you enjoy 'Show N' Shines' you will be at home with
Old Car Sunday.
Canadian Soap Box Derby
A long time tradition that started in Mission 1946 and continued
up until 1974 was the Western Canadian Soap Box Derby. The race
had spectator crowds up to 20,000 in 1956 with the winners of the
Western Canadian Soap Box Derby going on the international race
in Akron, Ohio, called the All-American Soapbox Derby Championship.
& District Soapbox Derby Association
The race had been absent for 25 years up until 1 July, 1999, when
the Mission Lions Club sponsored the restart of the event. Today
though the Mission & District Soapbox Derby Association has
been formed and the annual soapbox race has been resurrected with
the derby held every third Saturday in June.
For those of you who are looking to swim, have a hot tub or workout,
there is the Mission Leisure Centre. The facility is very nice with
lots of areas for kids to play.
Located east of Mission towards the District
of Kent on the Lougheed Hwy, Hatzic Lake offers some fishing
opportunities. You can launch a cartop-style boat at Neilson Regional
Park located on the west side of Hatzic Lake. Neilson Regional Park
also features a picnic shelter that is great for organized gatherings,
wild life viewing especially bald eagles and swimming opportunities.
Neilson Regional Park, located on the west side of Hatzic Lake,
an easy five-minute drive from Hatzic Park. Hayward Lake Reservoir
Recreation Area offers some swimming.
If you visit Mission and happen to be staying here, there is a good
way to visit Vancouver by using the public transportation called
the West Coast Express. This leaves every morning and stops at Port
Haney, Maple Meadows, Pitt Meadows,
Port Coquitlam, Port
Moody and waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver and then
returns to Mission in the late afternoon.
Coast Express - for service connections between Waterfront
Station (Vancouver) and Mission