The District of Pitt Meadows is located on the north bank of the Fraser River between Port Coquitlam and Maple Ridge. Pitt Meadows has rivers on two sides and one that runs through it: the Pitt River to the west, the Fraser River to the South and the North and South Alouette Rivers in its centre. As well, Pitt Meadows has the largest tidal lake in North America on its northern boundary, Pitt Lake.
Along the community's north east edge lies the Thompson Mountain Range. Pitt Meadows is considered the "Gateway" to the Fraser Valley and is forty minutes by West Coast Express commuter train service and one hour by car from Vancouver’s downtown area and Stanley Park.
The existing population is estimated to be 15,755 (2002 estimate). Population growth in Pitt Meadows has generally met or exceeded the BC population growth rates in the past ten years, and has been amongst the fasted growing communities in BC.
Pitt Meadows demonstrates concentrated land use planning with most residents living in a urban town centre area that is surrounded by agricultural land. About 85% of residents live in the core urban area which comprises about 404 hectacres with a population density of about 33 persons per hectare. The rest of the residents live in the rural area which makes up nearly 8425 hectares with a population density of approximately one person for every four hectares.
Pitt Meadows is comprised of a total of 8,825 hectares of land and water. It is primarily lowlands with some higher elevations in the upland areas in the northern part of the rural area and in the urban area. 86% of the land mass is in the BC Agricultural Land Reserve and thus, farming is a big industry in Pitt Meadows.
Pitt Meadows farms grow a variety of crops and are probably best known for it's greenhouses and small fruit productions (blueberries and cranberries).
As Pitt Meadows is bordered on two sides by rivers and is primarily lowlands it has over 40 km of dykes. The dykes not only protect the community from flooding, but provide a unparalleled multi-use trail system alongside some of Canada’s most productive lush farmland and most spectacular marshes and wildlife with magnificent views of the mountains to the North.
A Brief History
Pitt Meadows first inhabitants where aboriginal people approximately 1000 years ago. James McMillan explored the area in 1874. Europeans began a settlement in the area in the 1870's and this settlement was originally known as Bonson’s Landing. The Municipality of Maple Ridge was first incorporated in 1874 and included Pitt Meadows to the west, but residents of the Pitt Meadows area petitioned for their removal of the District of Maple Ridge in 1892. Pitt Meadows reverted to unorganized territory but was separately incorporated in 1914. Early settlers were mostly Anglo-Saxon until after 1910 when many French Canadians and Japanese arrived. A large group of Dutch farmers reclaimed much of the low-lying land in Pitt Meadows after World War II
In 1885, Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed through Pitt Meadows to Port Moody. In 1893 the first dyking district was organized. In the spring of 1894, the major Fraser River Flood event occurred and flooded many acres of land. In 1948, Pitt Meadows joined the Greater Vancouver Water District, in 1957 a highway bridge was constructed over the Pitt River and in 1963 the Pitt Meadows Airport opened.
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