Mission City: small-town roots, suburban realities

First Avenue, Mission

In most of our cities, it’s too late to cry about the shift of commercial activity from high streets to asphalt plazas; the deed is done.  If the high street is going to survive, it must function primarily as the core of an urban village, and gather new residents around it, especially seniors, within a walkable area.

Mission City is an example: a townsite in the District of Mission, a Fraser Valley municipality with a population of about 37,000.  Mission grew up as a mill town, and is still home to the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau (“The Recognized Authority Since 1915”).  The premiere shopping venue is The Junction, a plaza constructed in the 1990s.  There’s a new neighbourhood shopping centre up by the high school, and another one in development on Highway 7. Continue reading