Cars and beach-goers dot the shoreline at Sullivan Point Park. The Crescent Beach pier is visible in the background in the 1960s. (Photo: Surrey Archives, WH.239)

Heritage Surrey launches time-lapse mapping tool

It matches local historical images to modern-day locations

Ever wondered what the Surrey Zoo looked like in 1967? Or what 104th Avenue and 152nd Street looked like before Guildford Town Centre was built? Or how about Scott Road heading toward the Pattullo Bridge in the 1960s?

Now people can get a glimpse into Surrey over the years with its recently launched time-lapse mapping tool, which “allows people match local historical images to modern-day locations.”

A preview on the website shows a picture of Old Yale Road through Green Timbers in 1913, next to a photo of the same location – now called Fraser Highway.

However, the map doesn’t give any other side-by-side views of an historical image with its modern counterpart.

Ryan Gallagher, the city’s heritage administration and facilities manager, said right now the mapping tool just gives “a teaser” of the location, adding that it “would be great” in the future to include the side-by-side images. He said staff hasn’t gotten to the stage of going out and collecting the “now” photos.

“That would be quite the undertaking.”

Gallagher said the tool is just another way to provide access to the city’s archival collection “in a more experiential sort of way.”

“Mapping, it’s very popular right and this is a great tool for people to be able to pinpoint an exact location and say, ‘Oh, of course. I know that (place) today, and that’s what it looked like 10, 20, 40, 100 years ago.’ That’s something useful for people to be able to do,” Gallagher told the Now-Leader.

The time-lapse tool is organized by Surrey’s six communities.

“We thought we definitely want to include content all across all of Surrey. We don’t want it to be Newton heavy or Cloverdale heavy, for example,” Gallagher said of the more than 100 images included in the map.

Discussions for the tool began about a year ago, he said, and then staff just worked toward “finding a way to implement it in a useful way.”

Gallagher said staff is excited to hear feedback about the tool.

“Are there certain areas of the city you’d like to see mapped this way? What about time periods? Are people more interested modern content, than say the 1920s or 1910s? We’re very interested to see what the community has to say about using it.”

There is also a contest, which ends Feb. 27, to win a $100-Visa gift card. Through the Heritage Surrey page, people can guess the locations in the posts. People can use the new mapping tool to find the answer.

A random winner will be drawn the morning on Feb. 27, according to contest rules.

The time-lapse map can be found at


A view of the Esso gas station, back in 1962, at the southwest corner of King George Boulevard and 72nd Avenue. The station was located opposite the original Newton School. (Photo: Surrey Archives, 2014.0049.396)

A view of the original Port Mann Bridge from Surrey Road in 1964. (Photo: Surrey Archives, 203.21)

Fraser Highway, back in 1949, originally curved as it crossed 168th Street, referred to by locals as the “Wander Inn Curve.” (Photo: Surrey Archives, SM.74)

Businesses on the western side of King George Boulevard just north of 108th Avenue back in 1950. (Photo: Surrey Archives, 180.7.22)

A view of the western side of 176th Street between 56A and 57th avenues. Businesses shown include the Government Liquor Store and Dann’s Electronics. (Photo: Surrey Archives, 180.1.16)

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