Maple Ridge, BC, incorporated as a district municipality in 1874, population 76 052 (2011c), 68 949 (2006c). The District of Maple Ridge is located 40 km east of VANCOUVER, bounded by the FRASER RIVER on the south and on the north by the Golden Ears Mountain. The district's northern area is rugged and mountainous, the western section flat and open.
Maple Ridge was incorporated as British Columbia's third municipality in 1874 and included 4 communities - Whonnock, Port Haney (later Haney), Port Hammond and Pitt Meadows - as well as the area then known as Maple Ridge. PITT MEADOWS ceded from Maple Ridge in 1896, later becoming a district municipality itself in 1914. The name Maple Ridge was given to the area by a pioneer, John McIver, in recognition of its maple trees. Maple Ridge now consists of 7 communities. The largest is HANEY, named after another early pioneer. The Haney House (1878) has been restored and is open to the public. Other communities are Hammond, Albion, Webster's Corners, Yennadon and Ruskin. Ruskin is named for John Ruskin, the famous 19th-century art and social critic.
Royal Engineers arrived in Maple Ridge in 1858 and were active both as surveyors (until 1863) and settlers. Many other early settlers were attracted by the productive farmland, with fruit, dairy and poultry farming being the most common. In the 1920s and 1930s, a significant number of JAPANESE settled in the area, although few returned after they were detained during World War II.
Rapid growth in recent years stems from the development of large tracts of residential land. This growth is due to the district's proximity to Vancouver. Forestry and agriculture are the leading resource sectors. There is light and medium manufacturing, but employment is concentrated in the service and construction sectors. The Maple Ridge Museum features displays on the history and geography of the area. St John the Divine Anglican Church (1859, one of the province's oldest churches) was moved from Derby (old FORT LANGLEY) across the Fraser River to what is now Maple Ridge in 1882. Golden Ears Provincial Park at Alouette Lake is one of British Columbia's most popular parks. Whonnock Lake, a municipal park, is heavily used as a swimming and picnic area.