First came the announcement last July of the long-awaited redevelopment of the downtown core and the contract awarded to the Algra Brothers.
Then work began, the area fenced off, the demolition of two buildings, and the transformation underway.
Now the branding: “Chilliwack is Back”.
Using the hashtag #chilliwackisback and a new website of the same name, the Algra Bros are promoting the downtown Chilliwack project that will include residential, restaurant, retail and office space on the 3.75-acre parcel of prime land east of Five Corners.
The website, www.chilliwackisback.com, includes a video tour of a 3D rendering of the plans, and a spotlight of one of the first tenants: None other than the Chilliwack Progress will be moving into the core of downtown into Phase I of the Algra Bros’ Downtown Chilliwack project.
For 83 years starting in 1891 the Progress was situated on a stretch of Yale Road across the street from where the new development is underway. W.T. Jackman started the paper in the wooden, three-storey building in 1891.
After eight decades the business moved to its current location on Spadina Avenue, but in the fall the Progress will be back at Five Corners.
Some signage has also been put up on the construction site hoarding, in some cases teasing what’s to come, and in others offering brief history lessons about Chilliwack.
On one sign, for example, it tells the story of James Bertrand who “put the Whack in Chilliwhack.” A farmer working 163 acres near Five Corners, he is known for anglicizing the spelling of Chihlkwayuhk to Chilliwhack, which was later simplified further to Chilliwack.