Abbotsford, BC, incorporated as a city in 1995, population 133 497 (2011c), 124 258 (2006c). The City of Abbotsford is the result of the amalgamation of the district municipalities of Matsqui and Abbotsford. Abbotsford is located on the south bank of the Fraser River, 76 km east of Vancouver. The name Abbotsford commemorates Harry Braithwaite Abbott, general superintendent for the BC division of the Canadian Pacific Railway as well as Sir Walter Scott's castle. Situated in the middle of one of the most productive agricultural areas in Canada, Abbotsford has experienced strong population growth, in large measure due to its proximity to Greater Vancouver. It is BC's fifth most populous municipality.
Abbotsford has a diversified economic base with the primary elements being agriculture (dairy, poultry, berries and horticulture), business and government services and manufacturing (building components, agricultural products, metal fabricating, aircraft modification and food products). It is known as the Raspberry Capital of Canada. The city is the main retail and trading centre for the upper Fraser Valley with a growing office, professional and administrative function.
The Abbotsford International Airport is a major flight-training facility as well as a developing centre for the aerospace industry. The airport is also the location of the renowned Abbotsford International Air Show.
The city is served by the University College of the Fraser Valley and by several denominational colleges as well as the Mennonite Educational Institute, which serves a large Mennonite population. Canada's oldest extant Sikh temple, built in 1911 by Sikhs working in a local lumber mill, is now a national Historic Site. Abbotsford is served by 2 community newspapers, the Abbotsford Times and Abbotsford News.