43 ways to make friends in the Fraser Valley

An Abbotsford newcomer wanted to know where to meet people in the Fraser Valley. We asked our readers. They responded en masse.

By Joti Grewal | January 17, 2023 |10:26 am

When Joanne Wing retired in her late 50s she wasn’t sure how she would fill her time.

“Most of my friends either hadn’t completed their working life, lived closer to Vancouver or had kids and grandkids to keep busy,” she wrote to The Current.

Wing’s problem is one many people her age have encountered. Recently, one Abbotsford newcomer wrote to the Current to seek advice on where people her age meet others. So we asked our readers for their insights. And Wing and many others responded.

“I really felt for the woman asking the question,” said Wing, who has now lived in Abbotsford for 10 years.

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Wing was kept busy in a 27-year career at a utility company. She retired just shy of 60.

Retirement made her feel both youthful and frustrated.

“You almost feel like a teenager—if you’re fairly fit and mentally active—but you just have money… and sometimes it still gets kind of frustrating if you don’t have a routine,” she said.

Wing realized she needed order to her day.

“I actually needed some form of a routine and schedule to feel like I’m accomplishing things.”

That routine came in the form of local walking groups.

“It has opened a whole new world.”

In fact, the 64-year-old was in the midst of an annual four-day trip to Manning Park with her Abbotsford walking group when she spoke to the Current. She’s also a member of a Lower Mainland walking group.

“Unless you’ve had more of an extroverted life, it’s hard for some people to take the plunge, but when they do, they find that there’s so many introverts in the group that it’s a safe place.”

Her advice: give a new group a chance.

“Just be brave: you don’t really accomplish anything unless you take a step.”

Some readers offered some more nuanced bits of advice.

One reader said, “You don’t make friends by making ‘finding friends’ your goal; you make friends by doing something that’s meaningful to you and, almost accidentally, finding like-minded and friendly people along the way.”

Another reader suggested volunteer work.

“Volunteer work gives us the opportunity to share skills, learn new ones and help to make our communities the great places they are. Archway Community Services has variety of ways to contribute. I loved working with newcomers as a conversation partner, helping them practice their English.”

Church is also a good place to meet others, one reader said.

“In my opinion the number one best place to meet people is a church. Churches are places where people gather and most have programs for various age groups. You may need to visit several churches to find one where you feel comfortable but with a little work you will find new friends. There are a lot of welcoming churches in the Fraser Valley so it should be easy to find one near you.”

Below, we have collected the suggestions of Wing and others on how to make friends in the valley. We have included links to those groups that were suggested, but many have a variety of local equivalents. (So remember: you can just use Google to find a more-local variant. For example: If you want to find a canoe club closer to you than Fort Langley searching ‘Chilliwack canoe club’ will pull up a more-local group.)

HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS IN CHILLIWACK, ABBOTSFORD, LANGLEY, AND BEYOND—as suggested by you

Activism

Education

Sports & Recreation

Arts & Crafts

Socially Focused

Have another suggestion? Leave a comment on the Facebook post below.


Join more than 30,000 other Fraser Valley residents by subscribing to our newsletter. Every weekday morning you’ll get a new feature story and other stories, news, and events from Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Mission and the rest of the valley. See a recent newsletter here.

We’re bringing independent, local-first, in-depth reporting to serve you and our community.

Subscribe for free and plug in to the news that matters in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, and the rest of the Fraser Valley.

By filling out the form above, you consent to receive emails from Fraser Valley Current. You can unsubscribe at any time. View our privacy policy here.

Having trouble with the form? Contact us at contact@fvcurrent.com.

Joti Grewal

Reporter at Fraser Valley Current

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