Happy Canada Day!


Celebrating in the Park (courtesy Chilliwack Museum and Archives)

Canada Day is upon us once again – and an opportunity to celebrate Canada’s 147th birthday right here in Chilliwack. Starting with a pancake breakfast (8 to 11 am), the day long family festivities take place within walking distance of downtown Chilliwack at Evergreen Hall, The Landing Leisure Centre and Townsend Park. A bouncy castle and face painting are also offered to occupy younger family members. The fun continues with free skating at Prospera Centre from 11 to 2 and free swimming from 2 to 5 at the Landing Leisure Centre. The family focused fun culminates in the evening with free live musical entertainment followed by fireworks at 10 pm.

Dominion Day (as it was referred to from the year after Confederation in 1867 until the yearly celebration became Canada Day in 1982) was declared a statutory holiday in 1879 to mark the anniversary of Confederation.

Image of 2014.013.001, QuiltPhoto Courtesy Chilliwack Museum and Archives

To mark the 100th birthday of Confederation, Parliament Hill in Ottawa became the site where high-profile festivities are held complete with live entertainment and where new Canadians are sworn in.

Photo courtesy Getty Images

Construction of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa was underway on the 50th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation in July 1917. The iconic buildings were dedicated to the Fathers of Confederation and the Canadians who fought in the First World War.

Canada Day Fun Facts

• Color television was first introduced in Canada on Dominion Day, 1967.
• To celebrate Canada’s Centennial in 1967, crazy residents of Nanaimo, B.C., transformed bathtubs into motorboats and raced 58 kilometres across the Georgia Strait to Vancouver. The bathtub races are still held annually!

For more information on Canada Day celebration in Chilliwack, visit the Chilliwack Arts Council website: https://chilliwackartscouncil.com/events/canada-day-celebrations/

1957022002.JPGCanada’s 60th Birthday 

Who’s photo is on the button?

Photo courtesy Chilliwack Museum and Archives


Cherries, Chilliwack and Creativity



Did you know that cherries are the first tree fruit to ripen and Turkey is the world’s largest producer of the juicy red fruit crop? In Canada, 90% of sweet cherries are grown in southern B.C. with southern Ontario producing the remaining 10%. Exports to Asia, the United States and Europe account for a large share of the approximate 10,000 tons of sweet cherries grown in B.C. annually.

Cherries feature prominently in Chilliwack’s agricultural history with productive cherry orchards planted by early settlers to the area. But how did Chilliwack deal with an abundant cherry crop and increased competition from B.C.’s interior region in the 1920’s?

That was the question the Chilliwack Board of Trade (now the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce) faced in 1927 as the crop’s abundance became evident. What to do with all the ripe cherries?

Chilliwack pharmacist and head of the Board of Trade, Harry Hipwell is credited with the creation of the first Chilliwack Cherry Carnival held in 1927. Running for nearly thirty years the Cherry Festival was heavily advertised throughout the region and well attended attracting visitors from Vancouver, New Westminster and places in between. The BC Electric Train was on board, offering reduced fare to transport carnival attendees to Chilliwack’s Cherry Carnival.



Held at the old fairgrounds on Spadina Avenue, the well-attended event also included canoe races, dancing, horse racing, lacrosse and basketball games, and foot races. And what Cherry Carnival would be complete without the crowning of a Cherry Carnival Queen!

Crowds of thousands lined Yale Road and Wellington Avenue, some hanging out of windows to catch the mile long Cherry Carnival Parade as it wound through Chilliwack’s downtown core. The Vancouver Daily Province Newspaper reported a crowd of 10,000 parade watchers on July 3, 1950.


Cherry Carnival Parade

(all photos courtesy Chilliwack Museum and Archives)


Walkability and Downtown Chilliwack

walking : collection  back view of walking people . going people in motion set.  backside view of person.  Rear view people collection. Isolated over white background. Stock Photo

Everyone has heard about the health benefits from walking regularly; from reducing the risk of strokes, lowering blood pressure, increasing bone density and circulation, enhancing mental well-being, improving balance and co-ordination to helping control body weight walking is a low-tech low cost way to stay mentally and physically fit. But did you know in addition to the health benefits, a recent study from Stanford University in April of this year found that walking also boosts creativity! (Stanford Report, April 24, 2014)
“Many people anecdotally claim they do their best thinking when walking. We finally may be taking a step, or two, toward discovering why,” Oppezzo and Schwartz wrote in the study published in April 2014 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition.
For more information of the health benefits of walking check out this website from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261


Walking in Popkum, circa 1907 (Chilliwack Museum and Archives)

Leaving the car parked at home and using our feet for transportation has a positive impact on our environment as well, with less fuel consumed we are saving money and reducing the amount of fumes we spew into our airspace. Think about this the next time you grab the car keys for a trip to pick-up milk, or the kids from school. With a bit of planning, walking can become part of your daily activity offering a healthier transportation option, an opportunity to connect with neighbours and meet new people along the way.

If you have been house hunting lately, you may be familiar with a “walkability” score when viewing real estate listings. This fairly new method of rating neighbourhoods based on their walkability is the brainchild of a privately owned company called Walk Score. In 2007 the Seattle based company developed a system that uses computer algorithms to determine how walkable a particular area of any city is. Just type an address into their website search engine and up pops a score (see the chart, courtesy of Walk Score). Some realtors are using this technology to market properties for sale; promoting walkability as a selling feature as society moves toward being less car dependent and more physically active. Here is walk score’s website:  http://www.walkscore.com/


Walk Score® Description
90–100 Walker’s Paradise
Daily errands do not require a car.
70–89 Very Walkable
Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
50–69 Somewhat Walkable
Some errands can be accomplished on foot.
25–49 Car-Dependent
Most errands require a car.
0–24 Car-Dependent
Almost all errands require a car.

I typed in the address of the Royal Hotel (45886 Wellington Ave) in downtown Chilliwack and out popped the walk score of 97! This rating (see the chart) classifies the Royal Hotel as being a walkers paradise. From our central location you can easily walk to an assortment of retail shops, restaurants, medical offices, parks, schools, the post office, the hospital, the court house, Chilliwack Cultural Centre and Prospera Arena.


Planning a trip to Chilliwack? Remember the Royal Hotel in downtown Chilliwack offers quaint, impeccably clean guest rooms in a heritage setting located in the very walkable historic downtown core.


Walking on Mill Street through the snow (Chilliwack Museum and Archives)