Welcome to Pitt Meadows, a charming municipality located in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. With a land area of 86.34 square kilometers and a population of 19,146 as of 2021, Pitt Meadows is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Let’s explore what this beautiful city has to offer.
Pitt Meadows has a rich history that dates back to approximately 1000 years ago when Indigenous Peoples resided in the area. James McMillan explored the area during the 1824 Hudson’s Bay Company expedition to the Lower Fraser. Europeans started a settlement known as Bonsons Landing in the area in the 1870s. The municipality takes its name from the Pitt River and Pitt Lake. The river, the lake, and the settlement were named for British prime minister William Pitt the Younger. The Municipality of Maple Ridge, which included the Pitt Meadows area, was incorporated in 1874. In 1892, residents of the Pitt Meadows area petitioned for their removal from the District of Maple Ridge. In 1893, the first dyking district was organized. The Fraser River Flood of 1894 flooded many acres of land in the spring. Pitt Meadows reverted to unorganized territory from 1892 until it was separately incorporated as a municipality in 1914. In 1914, Pitt Meadows was a small, agricultural community of less than 250 individuals which supplied Vancouver and New Westminster with produce and dairy products. After 1910, many French Canadians and Japanese arrived as settlers. During World War II, Pitt Meadows lost servicemen including: Aircraftman 2nd Class William George Bend; Ordinary Seaman John Pastorek and Flight Lieutenant Robert Arnold Samuel Lasser. A large group of Dutch farmers reclaimed much of the low-lying land in Pitt Meadows after World War II. In 1995, Pitt Meadows became a member municipality of Metro Vancouver. In 2007, the District of Pitt Meadows was incorporated as the City of Pitt Meadows. In 2014, Pitt Meadows centennial occurred.
Pitt Meadows is located in the Lower Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver. Most residents live in the urban town center, which is located on a highland area. 82% of Pitt Meadows is within the Green Zone, lands, including watersheds and 200-year floodplains, forests, wilderness areas, wildlife habitats, wetlands, recreational areas, farms, and forestry areas that are fundamental to Metro Vancouver’s character and ecology. Pitt Meadows, an agricultural town, is over 68% within a floodplain with 86% of Pitt Meadows lying within the BC Agricultural Land Reserve as protected farmland. Lands designated as environmentally sensitive include wildlife conservation areas such as Pitt-Addington Marsh and Codd Wetland Ecological Conservancy Area, and the banks of the Fraser, Pitt, and Alouette Rivers. Other areas of Pitt Meadows that are within the Green Zone include most of the riverside of the dikes, municipal parks, and greenways. Pitt Meadows is sandwiched on the north side of the Fraser River at its junction with the Pitt River on the west and Maple Ridge on the east. Two arms of the Alouette River run through Pitt Meadows, along with a number of other sloughs and waterways. To the north, Pitt Lake is the largest freshwater tidal lake in the world, connected by the Pitt River to the Fraser River, which is the southern boundary of Pitt Meadows. The Pitt River flows backward at high tide and has created a delta where it joins Pitt lake. The Thompson Mountain Range rises along the Pitt Meadow’s northeast edge. Pitt Meadows is protected from flooding by 64 kilometers of dikes which provide a multi-use trail system alongside the farmland and marshes and offer views of the mountains to the north. The northern sector of the floodplain, closest to Pitt Lake, presents several challenges to development; it is largely a peat bog containing a large wildlife refuge. The deep peat and bog soil conditions sometimes require considerable fill and/or pre-loading prior to development. On the west side of the Pitt River is Port Coquitlam. Pitt Meadows is located between the rapidly developing communities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey, and Langley.
Pitt Meadows is a city that is rich in culture and heritage. The city has a Heritage Preservation Area that contains several buildings of significant heritage value, including the old General Store (now the Pitt Meadows Museum) and Hoffman and Sons Garage. Hans Hoffmann, a mechanic, worked in and then ran the family business of Hoffmann and Son Ltd. for almost 45 years. In 1974, Hans began his hobby of collecting and restoring stationary gasoline engines. In 1990, the Pitt Meadows Cenotaph was constructed in memory of all those who have served and died for us. The City of Pitt Meadows received funding for the restoration of the Pitt Meadows Cenotaph, in 2009. The announcement of the Letters Patent for Pitt Meadows, and Grant of Arms, Supporters, Flag, and Badge was made on March 12, 2005, in Volume 139, page 688 of the Canada Gazette. The Arms consist of the colors purple and gold, its heron emblem, and a band running parallel to the edge of the shield which represents the dykes which protect the lands of the municipality.