Our Story

First established in 2002, SFU’s Surrey Campus has grown to become an integral part of Surrey’s city centre. Learn more about the rich history of our campus. 

The Early Years: 2002-2010

A shot of the beginnings of SFU Surrey. Photo from SFU Archives.


SFU establishes temporary campus in Surrey's Central City Mall, in space formerly occupied by TechBC, with more than 230 new first-year students joining 282 existing former Tech BC undergrads and 53 grad students, studying for degrees in information technology and interactive arts. The space, which once was Zellers Department Store, comprised of open access classrooms, study and research spaces.

Former Simon Fraser University President Michael Stevenson and former B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell unveil the plaque officially opening SFU's Surrey campus on Sept. 8, 2006. Photo from SFU News Archives.


SFU moved from its temporary campus space to its permament space in Surrey's Central City complex, designed by architect Bing Thom. The space occupied 200,373 square feet in its initial mezzanine, galleria, podium, and tower levels, uniquely integrated the campus with the mall complex. 


Our facility expands with the addition of two more floors on the Galleria, bringing the campus size to 322,671 square feet in Surrey's Central City complex. New programs include Mechatronic Systems Engineering, Criminology, World Literature, Life Sciences and Professional Development Programs for teachers.

A photo from the 2008 launch of Venture Connection. Photo from Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection.


Former SFU Surrey executive director Joanne Curry in 2008 at the Surrey launch of SFU’s flagship incubator program, Venture Connection, now Coast Capital Venture Connection. It is the longest running entrepreneurship program at SFU. 

Learn more about Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection



SFU Surrey begins its campus expansion with Podium 2. The $10 million, 54,000 square foot renovated space at the base of Central City tower houses science labs, research and teaching spaces. Podium 2 has LEED Silver designation.

Volunteers and participants of Racing Readers, one of the many programs run by the SFU Surrey-TD Community Engagement Centre. Photo by SFU CEC.


In 2013, the SFU Surrey-TD Community Engagement Centre (SFU CEC) launches. The centre fosters engagement between SFU and the ethnically diverse and growing South Fraser community through programs in partnership with community groups.

Learn More about the SFU Surrey-TD Community Engagement Centre

Shortly after the opening of the NeuroTech Lab, about 100 guests were invited to the lab to watch demos and learn more. Photo by SFU News.


In December 2013, the eBrain Lab at Surrey Memorial Hospital opens. The NeuroTech Lab is a venue for SFU researchers to collaborate with technology experts and hospital clinicians to advance research in the areas of brain injury, concussion measurement, surgical simulation, rehabilitative devices and spinal cord injury prevention.

Learn more about the eBrain lab

Photo from Community Leaders Igniting Change.


Community Leaders Igniting Change (CLIC) was initiated under the direction of the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition. After a pilot offering, CLIC has been funded through the financial support of Envision Financial and remains in partnership with the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition. Taught by Dr. Kathleen Burke (SFU Beedie School of Business), CLIC is a 12-week, grass-roots program which builds upon participants’ existing skills and knowledge to foster problem solving to local issues to promote social well-being and belonging. To date, over 100 participants have completed the CLIC program.

Learn more about CLIC

Photo by SFU.


In 2016, the federal and provincial governments announce $90 million in funding towards a $126 million building for the SFU Surrey campus, across from its main building. The building will house the new Sustainable Energy Engineering program, teaching and research labs, and state-of-the art theatres and activity space that will be shared with the community.

SFU’s expansion will also help meet the increasing demand for accessible post-secondary education south of the Fraser.

From left to right: Don Coulter (past CEO, Coast Capital), Bill Cooke (past Board Chair, Coast Capital), Anne Giardini (past SFU Chancellor) and Andrew Petter (past SFU President & Vice-Chancellor). Photo from Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection.


A $1 million gift from Coast Capital Savings was given to help further the success of the Venture Connection program, advancing innovation across SFU. In honour of this gift, the program was re-named the Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection program.

The SFU ImageTech Lab's high field 3T whole-body MRI. Photo by SFU News.


On September 18, 2018, the SFU ImageTech Lab, a world-class clinical research facility, opens its doors. The ImageTech Lab is the first-of-its-kind in Western Canada and will be a cornerstone in Surrey’s Health Technology District. It provides the critical combination of high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) together with high-density magnetoencephalography (MEG)—uniquely embedded within Surrey Memorial Hospital—an emerging academic health sciences centre.

Learn more about the ImageTech Lab

Photo by Dale Northey.


SFU unveils the first phase of its $126 million, 221,000 square foot, 5-floor campus expansion. Located near the original campus building, the building houses the new Sustainable Energy Engineering program, the first of its kind in western Canada.

Learn more about the Sustainable Energy Engineering program


SFU received $17 million to establish a Quantum Algorithms Institute to be based at the Surrey campus. The institute will be one of the first facilities of its kind that focuses on building quantum computing software and algorithms.

Learn more about the Quantum Algorithms Institute

Present day: 2020-Today


COVID-19 impacted our SFU community, which required us to pivot to the online learning and working environment. Despite the fact that we were apart, the Surrey community remained busy and active, including many community-oriented projects.


As part of the Student Experience Initiative, many of the open study spaces on campus received an upgrade, including new furniture and cubicles.

Learn more about the Student Experience Initiative


SFU Surrey, the heart of innovation in the community, celebrated an incredible milestone - its 20th Anniversary, marking two decades of groundbreaking progress.

Learn more abou SFU Surrey's 20th Anniversay


The provincial government announced $4.9 million in start-up funding for a new medical school on SFU's Surrey Campus, the first new medical school to be built in western Canada in more than 50 years. The school is aiming to start its charter class in fall 2026, and students will attend classes at the Surrey campus and other interim spaces before a new building is built. Residency programs are anticipated to start in 2028. 

Learn more about the SFU Medical School