Our Story

Since 2002, SFU's Surrey campus has been a key part of the growth and development of Surrey’s downtown core. Take a journey down memory lane with us.

The early years: 2002-2010


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

SFU Surrey opens as a beta space within Central City mall. The space, which once was a 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.

On September 8, 2006, the campus celebrates the grand opening of its first building. Nearly 2,000 people attended the public open house the following day. The $70 million, 297,000 square feet, 4-floor iconic structure designed by Bing Thom uniquely integrated the campus with the mall complex. 


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

Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection launches at SFU Surrey to provide mentorship and training for emerging entrepreneurs and innovators. It is the longest running entrepreneurship program at SFU. 

Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection website



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.

SFU Surrey-TD Community Engagement Centre website

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 NeuroTech 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.


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.


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.

ImageTech Lab website


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.

Sustainable Energy Engineering program website

Present day: 2020-now

As of 2020, SFU's Surrey campus spans over 600,000 square feet across seven locations in Surrey. 

Learn more about our locations