I have lived in Fort Langley now for just under 20 years, and I have seen many changes within this small idyllic community. Not surprisingly, the village that I first moved to is now a growing, sprawling, community, and is a hot-bed of real estate as the rural identity shifts into a suburbian landscape of roof-tops and construction zones. People seem to be lured by the small town look and feel, while only minutes from the major artery that connects them to the power centers of the metropolitan machine called Vancouver. The frontal assault of subdivisions and housing projects from the West have reached the border of the village. All that separates us from the roof-top development wave is a strip of farmland that surrounds us. From the North, the latest development of old industrial land is now the mecca of the village’s newest housing boom; beyond that lays the Fraser River. The community is changing.
I see the benefit of our growth as outweighing the bad and the ugly impacts that some local old-timers like to talk about. But there is a “laughable” quality about Fort Langley that people are attracted to, and this one positive quality will soon disappear as these poeple buy their new homes; and that is, our village will be part of a sea of roof-top mania that will touch Surrey and Langley City. For me, I see this as a good thing because growth and expansion will cement the value of my investments, and my already-established-location will garner me more clients and business, and this makes the distant future look very rosy. Sure, the days of leaving your doors unlocked when you go to work are gone, but economic security seems to fill in the village lifestyle left behind.
In contrast, I see people living the life as depicted in the play Death of a Salesmen (1949) by Arthur Miller, where these people spend all of their lives living in the same home, doing the same job, paying off their mortgage, that once they are able to sit back and reap the rewards of retirement, the city surrounds them and they can no longer cope with the changes. To be stuck thinking that Fort Langley will always be this little idyllic village is a sad illusion of grandeur if you haven’t noticed the many dump trucks moving dirt and soil through the main street, or seen the serge of vehicular traffic coursing through the three main roads connecting us to the outside world.
So come to Fort Langley, “Birth Place of BC,” as one shop sign says, because Fort Langley may not look the way it does now much longer. Oh, and spend your money here too!