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Crescent Road

Crescent Road, Surrey, British Columbia, V4P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/04/02

View of Crescent Road, 2004; Donald Luxton and Associates, 2004
typical view
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Crescent Road corridor in southwest Surrey is a 4.5 kilometre length of two-lane road, with gentle curves, hills and landscaped verges covered with lush vegetation. Its context is primarily single-family residential lots of a half-acre size or more, with large houses set back from the road. There is some limited commercial use at King George Highway in Elgin and at 128 Street.

Heritage Value

Crescent Road is a link to the pioneer origins of Surrey and reflects the lifestyle of the area at a time of early settlement. It is the last extant example of roadwork completed by Surrey's earliest engineers, built as part of the local road system. Today, the road retains its semi-rural character and early engineering standards, such as its restricted width and landscape verges. Following natural contours, it connects three evolving and successive north-south corridors, east of Boundary Bay: Semiahmoo Trail/wagon road, King George (originally Peace Arch) Highway and Highway 99 Freeway, with the community of Crescent Beach. Between logging, agricultural land clearing and road building, little vegetation remained. Today's road-side vegetation was created largely by natural regeneration of a variety of indigenous species of trees and under storey. The area's rural origins are still reflected in the landscape and the views of crops are much the same as they have been for decades.

Crescent Road is also significant for its association with the development of the Elgin and Crescent Beach neighbourhoods. The area has been a seasonal destination for local people for thousands of years. The Coastal Salish tribes, of the Snohomish and the Semiahmoo, used this area for a fishing camp. Non-native settlement along the Nicomekl River began in the 1860s, with settlers engaging in a mixture of agriculture and forestry. Elgin developed along an important communication and transportation route where the historic Semiahmoo Trail crossed the river. Until 1875, Semiahmoo Trail was the only passable land route between New Westminster and Blaine, Washington. The low-lying land in the area flooded frequently, but after a series of dykes were constructed, agriculture became the predominant local activity, spurring a growth in population. When Surrey was incorporated in 1879, it became possible to organize and finance local improvements. Sponsored by Councillor John Stewart, an early improvement was the surveying and cutting of a road from Elgin to Crescent Beach, completed in 1882 by James Holt. Crescent Beach became popular as a tourist and beach resort area, spurred by the completion of the Great Northern Railway (GNR) in 1909. There was further work undertaken on the road from 1910 to 1923.

The heritage designation of Crescent Road demonstrates the commitment of the City of Surrey in recognizing and preserving its built and natural heritage.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of Crescent Road corridor include its:
- semi-rural character;
- restricted width;
- curving layout that follows natural contours;
- landscaped and natural verges;
- planting of Western Flowering Dogwood; and
- prominence of indigenous species, including Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir and Big-leaf maple trees.



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1910/01/01 to 1923/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Road or Public Way

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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