Bold vision for Chilliwack’s downtown a step closer to reality

But bricks and mortar can only take a plan so far without community support

The number of former city councillors who were on hand for Monday’s momentous announcement about the redevelopment of Chilliwack’s historic core is a fair indication of how long it’s taken.

For more than a decade politicians, city staff, community members and Chilliwack’s economic development arm have been struggling to craft a workable solution to the hollowing of the city’s downtown.

Money has been spent, plans have been made. And yet for every step forward there seemed another step back. For every investment and strategic plan, another building came down, or another business relocated.

Chilliwack certainly isn’t the first community to face these challenges. Changing shopping patterns and suburban migration have left many downtowns an echo of their former selves. What was once the economic and cultural heart of a community is a dusty relic of a bygone age, noted more for its litany of sad social problems than its health and vitality.

The difference, as Dave Algra pointed out, is that Chilliwack never lost hope that its commercial heart could be resuscitated. Residents always believed its historic hum would return, once new blood was pumped in.

Algra believes it has found the right prescription, and both the City of Chilliwack and CEPCO agree. Not only are they confident the developer can transform the 3.75 acre site, but that the development will set the bar for future projects in the downtown.

But what Algra also pointed out is that they can’t do it alone. They can build it, but it is up to us to ensure the shops and services come.

We can do that with our support – not just for the new businesses that will call this location home, but also the ones who have toughed it out while the planning and prognostication came to fruition.

Just Posted

Harrison Blaisdell picked by Winnipeg Jets in National Hockey League entry draft

Blaisdell and Kevin Wall, teammates on the 2018-19 Chiefs, were picked by NHL teams.

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from June 24 to 30

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

Chilliwack judge veers from joint submission, bumps up sex assault sentence

‘I find the joint submission is contrary to the public interest and I’m rejecting it’

Fraser Valley author launches second crime novel

Seamus Heffernan releases book Ten Grand on June 27 in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Dramatic car fire on Highway 1 in Chilliwack

Vehicle on the shoulder of the westbound lanes west of Lickman Road Friday evening

Canadian communities responding to climate change

New research highlights state of local adaptation planning in Canada

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Woman found after absence from forensic psychiatric hospital in Coquitlam

Barbara Tom was reported on an unauthorized absence from Brookside Treatment Centre

Tiny Yorkshire terrier survives days on remote B.C. island

ROAM rescue crews, family searched for dog, missing in Greater Victoria for days

Man presumed dead after boat capsizes in Columbia River

Search and rescue efforts recovered a life jacket

Crews fight wildfire along Sea-to-Sky Highway

A cause has not been determined, although a downed power line is suspected

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Most Read