Fraser Valley Regional District Township Survey Maps
The Fraser Valley Township Survey Maps contains 50 township survey maps from the Fifth System of Survey in the Lower Fraser Valley region from 1859-1890, created by the Province of British Columbia. This collection encompasses surveys of townships two, three, four, five and seventeen which illustrate the landscapes, vegetation and soils, early cultural features, place name variations and pre-settlement landscape observations in the Lower Fraser Valley Region. This collection is held in the possession of the Fraser Valley Regional District.
In 1869, the Dominion Land Survey System was created by the Government of Canada in order to survey townships portions in Canada. The purposes of these surveys were to document the land and agriculture, in order to build a railway system that extended from Manitoba to the West Coast (Rule, C.). In British Columbia, the areas around the proposed railway that were surveyed were known as the Railway Belt lands. The Railway Belt lands were 20 miles wide on each side of the proposed railway track and were to be granted to the Government of Canada to support the construction of the railway (Taylor. R, p.1, 1978). Due to delays of the construction of the railway in B.C, the Province of British Columbia conducted a township survey system for areas within the Lower Fraser Valley (Taylor. R, p.1, 1978).
The Dominion Land Survey System was a method that divided Canada into 7 meridians to survey. In order to design a grid within each meridian, the areas were further subdivided by township lines that ran parallel horizontally, and range lines than ran parallel vertically which created a grid of 6 x 6 miles square townships (Rule, C.). Each 6 x 6 mile square within the grid was comprised of 36 square miles and were identified as a specific section within a township, numbered from 1-36 (Rule, C.). Finally each specific section within a township was further divided into four quarters each ½ mile in size known as NorthWest, NorthEast, SouthWest and SouthEast. The map on the right demonstrates the Dominion Land Survey System of Canada and townships in the Lower Fraser Valley:
Dewdney-Alouette Regional District Planning Department. (1978). “Map Showing The Boundaries of The Fifth System of Survey In the Province of British Columbia”, Photo-Lithographed At The Surveyor General’s Office, Ottawa, Canada.
Public Archives Canada. Index to Township in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Showing the Townships for which Official and Preliminary Plans have been issued up to January 1, 1929. National Map Collection. Retrieved from http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/nmc/n0043265.pdf
Rule, Chris. Dominion Land Survey. Retrieved from http://www.websiteservice.ca/powerpoints/dominionls.pdf
Taylor. R. (1978). Official Township Plans in the Dewdney-Alouette Regional District. Dewdney-Alouette Regional District Planning Department.