Life in Chilliwack

The city of Chilliwack is located one hour east of Vancouver in the beautiful Fraser Valley. Chilliwack is a community of 101,700 people that is well known for a wide range of outdoor recreation activities, like hiking, water sports, camping, mountain-biking, and fishing. Chilliwack’s quality of life is enhanced with a variety of arts, culture, entertainment, and sports options.

With easy access to the city of Vancouver for day and weekend getaways, there are endless entertainment opportunities to enjoy. With affordable real estate in well-planned neighbourhoods, Chilliwack provides a laid back lifestyle often associated with smaller towns while also appealing to people who are used to living in bigger cities.

The pace of life in Chilliwack provides more opportunities to spend time with family, and a quality of life that will have you calling it home before you know it.

How did Chilliwack get its name?

The word Chilliwack is the name of a local Indigenous tribe as well as a geographic description of the area. Originally spelled Chilliwhack, this “Halkomelem” word means “quieter water at the head” or travel by way of a backwater.
The archeological record shows evidence of Stó:lō people in the Fraser Valley, or S’ólh Téméxw, 10,000 years ago. Permanent structures in the Chilliwack area date from around 5,000 years ago. 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.

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 “Chilliwack.” 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 early 1999.


Chilliwack residents have a connection to community and love to live and work here. It will not take you long to connect and become part of a community or neighbourhood group here in Chilliwack.

Urban growth throughout Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley has brought much prosperity to Chilliwack. Business development and residential growth over the past 20 years has created a prosperous community with an outstanding quality of life.

While housing affordability and location are two of the biggest factors for people to move to Chilliwack, other key features that draw people here include excellent education and healthcare systems, diverse shopping and dining choices, limitless recreation and leisure activities, significant growth and development, and increasing business and employment opportunities.


The BC Ministry of Health has overall responsibility for ensuring that quality, appropriate, cost effective and timely health services are available for all British Columbians. Fraser Health serves the region from Boston Bar in the Fraser Canyon down the Fraser River Valley to the Vancouver suburbs of Burnaby and Delta. It is the largest health authority by population in British Columbia (BC)

The Chilliwack General Hospital (CGH) has been serving the community of Chilliwack since 1912. CGH today is a sophisticated, fully functional hospital that offers exceptional healthcare services to our community. Chilliwack is only 25 minutes away from the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre

The Chilliwack and Fraser Health Rural Primary Care Network are working with local community practices to connect patients to a family physician or nurse practitioner. If you are living in the areas of Chilliwack, Hope, Agassiz-Harrison or the Fraser Canyon, you can be added to a local waitlist for a primary health care provider by registering with the Health Connect Registry. You may also register your family members or a person in your care.

The Chilliwack and Fraser Health Rural Primary Care Centre is also known as Momíyelhtelaxwt in Halq’emeylem, which means “helping one another”.

The clinic provides health care every weekday, focusing on providing team-based, culturally safe care by incorporating traditional wellness mentors, as well as integrating resources that reflect traditional teachings by Indigenous communities. 

The centre will also provide ongoing wraparound care for unattached patients on an interim basis while they arrange for patients to be connected to other local practices.


The Chilliwack Division of Family Practice is a community-based group of family physicians working together to achieve common health care goals. The Division works collaboratively with community and health care partners to enhance local patient care and improve professional satisfaction for physicians.

Chilliwack Healthier Community is a network of local partners focused on affordable and accessible housing, mental health, public safety and healthy lifestyles. Partners include government, community agencies, law enforcement and businesses.

The Chilliwack Youth Health Centre provides free, drop-in, confidential access to integrated medical and mental health services to youth and young adults ages 12-26 years in a non-threatening, youth-friendly environment.

There are several non-emergency walk-in clinics in Chilliwack. These clinics provide healthcare after hours and on weekends, and also provide relief for the Emergency Room of Chilliwack General Hospital.

Pathways Medical Care is a new one-stop online directory to easily find information about doctors and medical clinics in British Columbia. Pathways also helps patients find details of how to connect with doctors for virtual care by phone or video and provides up-to-date information on walk-in clinic hours of operation. 

The Chilliwack Hospital Foundation is a local community foundation dedicated to raising funds to support and purchase medical equipment for the Chilliwack General Hospital. All funds raised in our community stay in our community.

Finding a School

The Chilliwack School District (SD #33) is a learning community of over 14,000 students, served by 1,800 teachers and support staff. Chilliwack is home to 21 elementary schools, six middle schools and five secondary schools as well as secondary alternative programs, continuing education, and distance learning programs. French Immersion is offered at six schools in Chilliwack.

Chilliwack is home to several independent schools. These schools generally provide the standard curriculum plus a special area of focus, such as Christian education.

Trades & Technology

Located next door to the main UFV building at Canada Education Park, UFV’s Trades and Technology Centre offers several training opportunities in applied technology and Red Seal Trades, including:

  • Agriculture and Horticulture
  • Architectural Drafting
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Digital Manufacturing
  • Engineering/Mechatronics
  • Physics
  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Heavy Mechanical
  • Construction Electrician
  • Professional Cook
  • Plumbing
  • Joinery
  • Welding

Food and Agriculture Institute

The Food and Agriculture Institute (FAI) at UFV  is an interdisciplinary research centre that focuses on issues, challenges, and sustainability solutions related to food and farm systems. FAI partners with a diversity of researchers, industry leaders, and governments to build knowledge and tools for moving toward sustainable, resilient food systems for communities and regions in British Columbia, Canada, and across the globe. To this end, FAI conducts research under two major themes:

Canada Education Park

The Canada Education Park is a multi-agency educational partnership that brings together some of the nation’s most respected education, training and research facilities and partners including the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pacific Region Training Centre (RCMP PRTC), the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the City of Chilliwack, Canada Lands Company and the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation.


The Chilliwack Fire Department is committed to community safety through public education, code enforcement, fire suppression and rescue services.

The Chilliwack RCMP are committed to providing the highest quality of policing services to Chilliwack. Its members are dedicated to protecting life and property while preserving the peace. Through the implementation of crime prevention and education programs, the RCMP work closely with citizens, businesses and community groups to promote safe homes and communities.

Chilliwack Search and Rescue is a 100% volunteer-run technical rescue organization that provides lifesaving services 24/7/365 for Chilliwack and surrounding areas.

The City of Chilliwack is dedicated to ensuring our city is safe through its many public safety initiatives including emergency preparedness, crime prevention, flood prevention and public health.

Are you interested in moving here?