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City of Chilliwack
Flag of Chilliwack
Official seal of Chilliwack
Nickname(s): The Wack
Motto: "Cor Viride Provinciae"  (Latin)
"The Green Heart of the Province"
Chilliwack is located in British Columbia
Location of Chilliwack in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°09′27.8″N 121°57′03.3″W / 49.157722°N 121.950917°W / 49.157722; -121.950917
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
RegionFraser Valley
 • MayorSharon Gaetz
 • Governing bodyChilliwack City Council
 • City261.50 km2 (100.97 sq mi)
Elevation10 m (30 ft)
Population (2011)
 • City77,936
 • Density298.0/km2 (772/sq mi)
 • Metro92,308
 • Metro density75.7/km2 (196/sq mi)
 • DemonymChilligonian
Time zonePST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-7)
Postal code spanV2P to V2Z
Area code(s)1 + 604
Highways BC 1
BC 9
WaterwaysChilliwack River, Vedder River, Fraser River
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City of Chilliwack
Flag of Chilliwack
Official seal of Chilliwack
Nickname(s): The Wack
Motto: "Cor Viride Provinciae"  (Latin)
"The Green Heart of the Province"
Chilliwack is located in British Columbia
Location of Chilliwack in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°09′27.8″N 121°57′03.3″W / 49.157722°N 121.950917°W / 49.157722; -121.950917
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
RegionFraser Valley
 • MayorSharon Gaetz
 • Governing bodyChilliwack City Council
 • City261.50 km2 (100.97 sq mi)
Elevation10 m (30 ft)
Population (2011)
 • City77,936
 • Density298.0/km2 (772/sq mi)
 • Metro92,308
 • Metro density75.7/km2 (196/sq mi)
 • DemonymChilligonian
Time zonePST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST)PDT (UTC-7)
Postal code spanV2P to V2Z
Area code(s)1 + 604
Highways BC 1
BC 9
WaterwaysChilliwack River, Vedder River, Fraser River

Coordinates: 49°09′27.8″N 121°57′03.3″W / 49.157722°N 121.950917°W / 49.157722; -121.950917 Chilliwack (English pronunciation: /'tʃɪləwæk/) is a Canadian city in the province of British Columbia. It has long been a predominantly agricultural community, but with an estimated population of 80,000 people, it has become more urban. Chilliwack is the seat of the Fraser Valley Regional District and its second largest city. The city is surrounded by mountains and recreational areas such as Cultus Lake and Chilliwack Lake Provincial Parks. There are many outdoor amenities in the area, including hiking, horseback riding, biking, camping, fishing, and golf.


In Halq'eméylem, the language of the Stó:lō communities around Chilliwack and Sardis, Chilliwack means "as far upriver as you can go before having to switch to a pole". It is also the name of a river (the Chilliwack River), and group of aboriginal people, the Ts’elxweyeqw.[1] The spelling of Chilliwack is sometimes a matter of confusion. Prior to the amalgamation of the City of Chilliwack and the Municipality of Chilliwhack, there were two different spellings. Upon amalgamation, the spelling of the City was used.[2] Anglicized spellings include Chilliwhyeuk and other versions closer to the original Halq'eméylem.


Yale Road Chilliwack circa 1908 Site of City Hall museum

Between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago the Stó:lō lived in the Chilliwack area. At the time of the first contact with Europeans it is estimated that there were as many as 40,000 people living within Stó:lō territory.

In 1857, gold was discovered in the Fraser Canyon. By 1859, over 40,000 gold miners had trekked to the goldfields, most travelling through the Chilliwack area. By the mid-1860s several farms had grown up around the steamboat landings on the Fraser River called Miller's Landing, Minto Landing, Sumas Landing and Chilliwack Landing.

The Township of Chilliwack was incorporated in 1873, the third municipality in British Columbia. Initial settlement was along the Fraser River at Chilliwack Landing. Steamboats were the main mode of transportation, carrying goods and passengers between Chilliwack and New Westminster. After the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, many residents began to cross the Fraser River at Minto Landing to catch the train at Harrison Mills.

With little room for expansion along the river, the commercial area of the town moved south to the junction of the New Westminster-Yale Wagon Road, Wellington Avenue and Young Road, called "Five Corners." A large subdivision called Centreville was built in 1881. The name Centreville was replaced In 1887 by the more popular "Chilliwhack." The area was incorporated in 1908 as a separate municipality, the City of Chilliwack. The City and the Township co-existed for 72 years. In 1984 they merged to form the District of Chilliwack. The District of Chilliwack became the City of Chilliwack in the early 1990s.


Vedder River Campground near Cultus Lake, located just south of Chilliwack.
Vedder River

Chilliwack is located in the Upper Fraser Valley, 100 kilometres (60 mi) east of Vancouver on the Trans Canada Highway. The city is bounded on the north by the Fraser River, and on the south by the Canada-United States border.

Chilliwack is surrounded by tall mountain peaks (such as the dramatic Mount Cheam and Slesse Mountain) and mighty rivers (the Fraser and Vedder). Some have argued that the city itself, once a small agricultural town, "has become an example of sprawling suburbia and bad city planning." Efforts to revitalize the languishing downtown, and to curb the spread of housing subdivisions into valuable farmland, have proved challenging.


Salish Park in Downtown Chilliwack
Bridal Veil Falls near the Village of Popkum

The city made up of several amalgamated villages and communities. The urban core has a decidedly North-South axis bisected by the Trans-Canada Highway. The city is bounded in north by the Fraser River, in the east by the Eastern Hillsides, in the south by the Canada-U.S. border, and in the west by the Vedder Canal. With 939 farms on approximately 17,322 hectares of dedicated farmland, farming is essential to the city's identity.[3]


Neighbourhoods on the Northside

Also referred to as Chilliwack Proper, the northside covers the area from the Trans-Canada Highway in the south, to the Fraser River in the north, and includes the communities of Camp River, Downtown Chilliwack, East Chilliwack, Fairfield Island and Rosedale. Downtown Chilliwack is the historical urban centre of the city. Several cultural attractions, such as the Prospera Centre, Chilliwack Cultural Centre and the Eagle Landing Shopping Centre are located there, as well as key government buildings, such as City Hall, FVRD offices, and the Provincial Court of British Columbia.

Neighbourhoods on the Southside

The southside includes the communities of Atchelitz, Cultus Lake Park, Greendale, Popkum, Ryder Lake, Sardis, Vedder Crossing, and Yarrow. Sardis is the urban core of the southside and is a popular shopping destination.


Arts and culture[edit]

Front view of the newly constructed City of Chilliwack City Hall, 1912

Chilliwack is known for its locally-grown corn. The months of June until September are the months when the farmer's take advantage of the sunny weather and produce up to two crops of corn for both human consumption as well as to feed the cattle. Some farmers in Chilliwack open up a "corn maze" for the public to roam around in the field trying to find their way out.

The Book Man is the second-largest used bookstore in the province of British Columbia.


Chilliwack has a vibrant rock music scene, centering mostly around young ska and punk rock bands. Bands originating in Chilliwack include: These Kids Wear Crowns, Mystery Machine, and The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets.

Chilliwack also has a thriving classical music community featuring the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra.

The drumline from Sardis Secondary School played at several venues during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

They also offer many other community events and classes throughout the year. The Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association hosts free concerts and activities in the downtown core each Friday evening during the summer months of July and August called Party in the Park. Music and More is another free summer event that takes place each Wednesday throughout July and August, with kids activities at Noon and concerts in the evening. This event is presented by numerous local arts groups working together, such as: The Chilliwack Library, The Chilliwack Academy of Music, and The Chilliwack Community Arts Council. Another annual event that is the corn maze where the public go to roam in the farmers fields when the crops of corn are at their highest.

Despite their name, the band Chilliwack actually formed and has always been based, in nearby Vancouver.

Performing Arts[edit]

The Chilliwack Cultural Centre is a performing arts venue located in downtown Chilliwack. The building is home to the Chilliwack Players' Guild (the resident theatre company), as well as the Chilliwack Academy of Music, which provides high quality music instruction and programming in all styles, for students of all ages and abilities living in Chilliwack and the surrounding communities. Expert instruction is offered on a variety of instruments as well as through group classes and performing ensembles led by highly trained and experienced faculty.

The UFV Theatre is a 206-seat thrust stage venue belonging to the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) Theatre Department. UFV produces 3-4 mainstage shows each year, as well as the annual Directors' festival featuring student directors and performers from UFV, Capilano University, Thompson Rivers University, University of Victoria, UBC and Douglas College.[4]

The Chilliwack School of Performing Arts provides training in acting, singing and dancing to children ages 3–18 at the Chilliwack Arts Centre.


Annual events and festivals include:


Noted People[edit]

Piper James C. Richardson was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry at the Battle of the Somme
Former Lieutenant-Governor Steven Point hails from Chilliwack
Arts and Entertainment






Chilliwack ChiefsBCHLIce hockeyProspera Centre2011
Chilliwack HuskersCJFLFootballExhibition Stadium1999
Chilliwack Crusaders RFCThird DivisionRugby unionCFB Field2012
Sports clubs in Chilliwack

The British Columbia Hockey League's Chilliwack Chiefs, play at Prospera Centre. The team is formerly the Quesnel Millionaires. The franchise was purchased and moved to Chilliwack by the Chiefs Development group, headed by Moray Keith, Jim Bond and Harvey Smyl. They started in the BCHL's Interior Conference for the 2011/2012 BCHL Season. While the original Junior "A" team, the Chilliwack Chiefs, plays in Langley, British Columbia, as the Langley Rivermen (the Chiefs Development Group sold their interest in the Langley Chiefs but retained the 'Chiefs' name and history). The Western Hockey League's Chilliwack Bruins, formerly played at the Prospera Centre. The expansion franchise began play in 2006 and ended when the team was sold at the end of the 2011 season. They became the Victoria Royals WHL hockey team in 2011.

Community sports include hockey, lacrosse, softball, soccer, football, baseball and swimming. The Canadian Junior Football League's Chilliwack Huskers play at Exhibition Stadium.

Chilliwack's minor baseball Cougars were the 2006 Western Canadian tier 2 champions. Chilliwack hosted the 2007-2008 Synchronized Skating Canadian Championships at the Prospera Centre.

Chilliwack Minor Hockey Association was organized in 1958 with the opening of the former Coliseum arena and has featured presidents such as Dave Soltys.


Chilliwack's mild climate with limited extremes provides excellent growing conditions for a wide variety of crops and agricultural products. The highest temperature recorded in Chilliwack was 38.2 °C (100.8 °F) on July 29, 2009, and the lowest recorded temperature was −21.7 °C (−7.1 °F) in 1968. Precipitation falls mostly as rain, with snow limited, for the most part, to the surrounding mountains.

Chilliwack receives nearly the same number of days of precipitation (184.6 days at greater than 0.2 mm) as comparable local communities nearer Vancouver such as Maple Ridge (185.8 days) and the City of Mission (186.0 days) (Environment Canada Statistics). Summers in Chilliwack are usually sunny and hot, with long days (light out until well after 10pm in June with dusk that lasts for hours).

Due to its location at the eastern end of the Fraser Valley, there has been some debate about preserving Chilliwack's air quality. However, the 2011 World Health Organization's study of air quality shows that Chilliwack enjoys air quality among the best in the world. For PM10 (10 µm) size particulates, Canada averaged third best in the world (along with Australia) at an average of 13 micrograms per cubic metre. The City of Chilliwack and Metro Vancouver were tied at a low 8.0 MPCM. For smaller particulate of 2.5 µm size (PM2.5), "the City of Chilliwack averaged 4.9 micrograms per cubic metre. Vancouver also had 4.9, Calgary had 5.6, Winnipeg had 5.6, Toronto had 7.9, Montreal had 11.2 and Sarnia had 12.7."


Canadian Provinces and Territories
Demographics of Canada's provinces and territories

(according to Statistics Canada 2011 census)

Canada 2006 CensusPopulation % of Total Population
Visible minority groupSouth Asian5550.8%
Latin American4750.7%
Southeast Asian2100.3%
West Asian750.1%
Other visible minority400.1%
Mixed visible minority2200.3%
Total visible minority population3,0654.5%
Aboriginal groupFirst Nations1,9702.9%
Total Aboriginal population3,3954.9%
Total population68,670100%


Chilliwack is part of the Lower Mainland-Southwest economic region. Chilliwack’s service and retail sectors account for approximately 50% of GDP. Other growing industries include manufacturing accounting for 13%, construction at 8% and agriculture and forestry at 5% of Chilliwack’s GDP.[13]

IndustryEst. % of GDP
Agriculture & Forestry5%
Finance, Insurance & Real Estate11%
Public Administration9%
Retail/Wholesale Trade12%

Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack[edit]

Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack (CFB Chilliwack) closed in 1999 due to defense cutbacks at the end of the Cold War, in 1991. The base originated in 1941, as Camp Chilliwack, following Canada's 1939 entry into the Second World War. A few months after the outbreak of the Pacific War in response to the attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, the camp was expanded to garrison Canadian Army units for the defence of Canada's West Coast. The base was also a recruit training facility: 112 Canadian Army Basic Training Centre, and A6 Canadian Engineering Training Centre were housed at Chilliwack until the war's end in 1945.

During the Cold War, the base was used as a permanent training facility and the garrison for the Canadian Army units of British Columbia. The base housed the Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering, formerly A6 Canadian Engineering Training Centre and 58 Field Engineer Squadron which was transferred from CFB Esquimalt on Vancouver Island (Greater Victoria).

Following the unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968, the base was renamed Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack (CFB Chilliwack). The base housed the following units:

In 1994, the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, was transferred from CFB Esquimalt to CFB Chilliwack, the last unit to be transferred to the base.

Due to Department of National Defence cutbacks at the end of the Cold War, the base was closed in 1997. The CFOCS, was transferred to Area Support Unit St-Jean in Quebec (ASU St-Jean), the CFSME transferred to CFB Gagetown, 3 PPCLI and 1 Combat Engineer Regiment were transferred to CFB Edmonton. The base at Vedder Crossing, containing the barracks and schools, was mothballed and sold for civilian development, while the Chilcotin Training Area, better known as Area C, is still operational and is part of Western Area Training Centre (WATC).

Area C is used by the Primary Reserves units of British Columbia for field training and for the use of its firing ranges. The ASU is also used by Cadets for field training. The ASU also houses supply depots for the Canadian Army units of 39 Canadian Brigade Group, and the cadet units of BC.


Mass Transit[edit]

Until the railway and road access were built most travel to Chilliwack was done via paddlewheelers

Chilliwack Transit System consists of a fleet of 8 buses that operate along regularly scheduled routes throughout the metropolitan area.

Bicycle Lanes[edit]

Currently there are about 175 km (109 mi) of bike lanes throughout the city with additional lanes being added every year.[14]


International arrivals hall at YVR

Vancouver International Airport is located about 113 km (70 mi) from Downtown Chilliwack and has non-stop flights daily to Asia, Europe, Oceania, the United States, and Mexico, and other airports within Canada. In 2012, it was the second busiest airport in Canada by aircraft movements (296,394[15]) and passengers (17.6 million[16]), behind Toronto Pearson International Airport. The airport has won several notable international best airport awards; it won the Skytrax Best North American Airport award in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, the second, third, fourth and fifth time respectively it has received the honour (the first was in 2007). The airport also made the list of top 10 airports in the world, rated at 9th overall, for the first time in 2012. In 2013 it is rated 8th overall worldwide. It is the only North American airport included in the top 10 for 2013.

Abbotsford International Airport is located about 42 km (26 mi) west of Downtown Chilliwack. The airport is classified as an airport of entry by NAV CANADA and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency. The airport is the second largest airport in the Lower Mainland after Vancouver International Airport (YVR), and is the only other airport to host major airlines and functions as a reliever for YVR. In 2012, YXX was Canada's 15th busiest airport by aircraft movements, with 108,545 movements.

Chilliwack Airport

Chilliwack Airport is a small regional airport located in Downtown Chilliwack. It has 1,219 m (3,999 ft) of paved and lit runway that includes a parallel taxiway. Approximately 70% of the estimated 60,000 annual air traffic movements are itinerant traffic that consists of both pilot training and recreational flights from all around BC and south of the border.


Nearby Major Airports[edit]

Blank map.svg
Map pointer black.svgYVR
Red Dot.svgSEA (205 km (127 mi))
Dot-yellow.svgPDX (403 km (250 mi))
Dot-yellow.svgYYC (688 km (428 mi))
Small-city-symbol.svgYEG (811 km (504 mi))
Small-city-symbol.svgYYJ (63 km (39 mi))
Small-city-symbol.svgYLW (288 km (179 mi))


Chilliwack Railway Station consists solely of a signpost and paved low-level platform located on the north side of the CN Railway tracks at Nowell Street. The station is served by Via Rail's The Canadian three times per week (two in winter) as a flag stop (48 hours advance notice required).[17] The station is only served by the westbound train to Abbotsford and Vancouver. Eastbound trains call at the Agassiz railway station located on the north side of the Fraser River on the CP Railway tracks. The reason for the splitting of service is that between Abbotsford and Kamloops CN and CP use each other's tracks for directional running through the Fraser Canyon on long stretches of single track.


UFV Campus at Canada Education Park


Aerial view of SFU on Burnaby Mountain
Aerial view of UBC

Canada Education Park

Canada Education Park (CEP) is an 86-acre (35 ha) campus in the Vedder Crossing neighbourhood on the south side of Chilliwack that houses several post-secondary institutions, including University of the Fraser Valley, RCMP Pacific Region Training Centre, and Justice Institute of British Columbia.

University of the Fraser Valley

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is the largest post-secondary school in Chilliwack, and the seventh largest in British Columbia in terms of full-time enrollment. It offers master's degrees, bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations across a range of programs in fine arts, humanities, science, social sciences, applied communication, business, nursing, as well as technical and trade programs. Its campuses are located in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope and Mission.

Trinity Western University

Trinity Western University (TWU) is a private Christian liberal arts school located on a rural 157-acre (64 ha) campus near the historic village of Fort Langley about 60 km (37 mi) from Downtown Chilliwack. It enrolls approximately 3,500 students.[18] TWU is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and is Canada's largest privately funded Christian university.[19] It has a broad-based liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies curriculum, offering 45 undergraduate majors and 16 graduate and post-graduate programs.[18] It has received an A+ rating in The Globe and Mail for its quality of education every year since 2005 and has a student to faculty ratio of 11:1 with an average class size of 16.[20]

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University (SFU) has three campuses in Greater Vancouver. The main campus is located atop Burnaby Mountain, about 89 km (55 mi) from Downtown Chilliwack. SFU enrolls about 29,697 undergraduates (14,911 full-time and 14,786 part-time)[21] and over 5,000 graduate students in a wide range of full-time and part-time academic programs.[22] International students comprise 20% of the graduate student population as a whole and 30–40% in science and technology areas. SFU was ranked second among Canada's comprehensive universities in by Maclean's in 2014.[23]

British Columbia Institute of Technology

The main British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) campus is located in Burnaby, about 92 km (57 mi) from Downtown Chilliwack. It includes a library, gym and sports field, lecture rooms, computer labs as well as student services and administration offices. BCIT is comprised of 6 schools:

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) main campus is located at Point Grey about 111 km (69 mi) from Downtown Chilliwack. UBC has twelve faculties at its Vancouver campus and seven faculties at its Okanagan campus.[24] UBC Vancouver has two academic colleges: Interdisciplinary Studies and Health Disciplines, while UBC Okanagan has a College of Graduate Studies. At the Vancouver campus, the Faculty of Arts, is the largest faculty with twenty departments and schools. The Faculty of Science is the second largest faculty with nine departments. The Sauder School of Business is UBC's Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration. The School of Architecture offers a program in architecture accredited by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board at both the bachelor level (B.Arch.) and the master's level (M.Arch.).[25] As of December 2012, a new school was created: UBC Vancouver School of Economics in conjunction with the Sauder School of Business.[26][27][28] In 2011, UBC had over fifty-eight thousand students (48,726 undergraduate students and 10,686 graduate students), and more than 275,000 alumni in 120 countries.[29]

In 2014, UBC was ranked second by Maclean's for medical doctoral universities.[23] Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked the university 31st overall, 24th in North America and second in Canada. The 2013 Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked the university 40th overall, 31st in North America and second in Canada. In Newsweek's 2011 global university rankings, the university was ranked 8th among institutions outside the United States, and second in Canada. The university was also ranked 49th in the world and third in Canada in the 2013 QS World University Rankings and the 2013-2014 U.S. News and World Report 's Top 400 Universities. As of September 2013, according to the University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP), the University of British Columbia was ranked 2nd in Canada, 16th in North America and 21st in the world.[30]


List of independent schools in Chilliwack:

Saint Mary'sElementaryK-7
Unity Christian SchoolElementary-SecondaryK-12
John Calvin SchoolElementaryK-7
Timothy Christian SchoolElementary-SecondaryK-12
Highroad AcademyElementary-SecondaryK-12
Mount Cheam Christian SchoolElementary-SecondaryK-12
Chilliwack Adventist Christian SchoolElementary-Junior secondaryK-7
Cascade Christian SchoolElementary-Junior secondaryK-9


List of public schools in Chilliwack:


  1. ^ Chilliwack Museum and Archives
  2. ^ History of Chilliwack
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Directors' Theatre Festival". Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Back 2 Blues. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Chilliwack City Hall. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  10. ^ Lazaruk, Susan (2011-06-25). "‘Moving, simple and beautiful’ services held for Betty Fox, 73". Postmedia News (Windsor Star). Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  11. ^ People from Chilliwack, British Columbia.
  12. ^ "Calculation Information for 1981 to 2010 Canadian Normals Data". Environment Canada. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ name=2012move>"YVR Aircraft Movements 1992-2013". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  16. ^ name=2012pax>"YVR Passengers (Enplaned + Deplaned) 1992-2013". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b Canada. "Trinity Western University - Quick Facts". Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  19. ^ "RSC: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada". February 13, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  20. ^ "~ Campus Navigator - Trinity Western University". February 28, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Unique Undergraduate Headcount by Full-time/Part-time Status, Sex and Faculty". Institutional Research and Planning, SFU. 
  22. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  23. ^ a b "Maclean's 2014 University Rankings". Maclean's. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  24. ^ "Faculties & Schools". University of British Columbia. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  25. ^ Architecture Canada
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ "UBC Facts and Figures". Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  30. ^ "URAP - University Ranking by Academic Performance". Retrieved 2013-09-05. 

External links[edit]