Located in the southeastern portion of the province, Chilliwack sits between the Fraser River and the Canada/United States border. The city covers over 261 square kilometres near the communities of Cultus Lake, Slesse Park, Bridal Falls, and Barrowtown. Chilliwack is home to a population of over 83,000 people. There are numerous natural areas in and around the city to explore, including the Fraser River, the Chilliwack River, Cultus Lake Provincial Park, Chilliwack River Provincial Park, and Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park.
Chilliwack’s real estate market tends to have mid-range prices, with average house costs ranging from $350,000 to $500,000.
The majority of real estate options in the city’s northern section are single-family homes, both new and older styles, most of which are quite large. The central section of Chilliwack has a variety of condo options, as well as single-family homes, high-priced vacant land, and row houses. Condos are common in the city’s southern section, which also has single-family homes, row houses, and some high-priced vacant lots. Single-family homes in this section are often on large, rural-style lots. Commercial space is not as commonly on the market in the city.
Chilliwack has seen an increase in its vacancy rate over the past few years, with the rate sitting at around 4%. The vacancy rate for bachelor apartments is highest, while three-bedroom apartment units have the lowest rate. The increased vacancy rate can be attributed to economic developments in the area, as well as increased supply that has not been met with higher demand. Average rent costs in the city are around $550 for bachelor apartments, $650 for one-bedroom apartments, $800 for two-bedroom apartments, and $820 for three-bedroom (or more) apartments. Rent costs have increased over the past several years, with bachelor and three-bedroom apartments seeing the highest increases. The overall average rent cost in the city is about $710.
The largest industries in Chilliwack are retail, manufacturing, construction, health services, education, accommodation and food, public administration, and agriculture/fishing/forestry/mining. About 64% of the city’s land is used for agriculture, with vegetables, berries, poultry, and dairy being major products produced. Some of the largest employers in the city include Chilliwack School District #33, Chilliwack General Hospital, University of the Fraser Valley, and Convergys. The city has a number of business organizations that aim to encourage economic growth and investment in the area. Chilliwack’s unemployment rate sits between 7% and 8%, which is higher than the national rate.
Public bus services are operated by Chilliwack Transit System, which has a partnership with BC Transit. The agency services 10 routes throughout the city and has 4 main transit hubs, which are Downtown Exchange, Chilliwack Mall, Cottonwood Mall, and Carvolth Exchange. One route travels to smaller communities in the area, including Rosedale, Popkum, Agassiz, and Harrison Hot Springs. A handyDART service provides door-to-door transportation for those with disabilities. Residents can also access VIA Rail passenger train service at the Chilliwack Railway Station, or travel by Greyhound (long-distance bus).
Schools in the city are operated by Chilliwack School District #33 and Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique. Examples of schools in the city include East Chilliwack Elementary, Watson Elementary, Little Mountain Elementary, Bernard Elementary, Chilliwack Middle School, Vedder Middle School, Chilliwack Secondary School, and école La Vérendrye. Private school options are also available.
Chilliwack’s post-secondary institutions include Sprott Shaw College – Chilliwack, with courses in business, healthcare, education, and marketing; CDI College, which has classes in art and design, business, healthcare, technology, and trades; University of the Fraser Valley – Chilliwack Campus, offering a wide variety of degree programs; and Justice Institute of British Columbia – Chilliwack Campus, which offers courses in paramedic, emergency management, and conflict resolution.
The Chilliwack Museum features permanent and temporary exhibits that focus on the natural, historical, and cultural aspects of the city and the surrounding area. Artifacts on display include photographs, tools and equipment, spiritual objects, clothing, military objects, documents, and art. School programs and group tours are available, and the museum can be booked for private events.
Live shows and events can be enjoyed at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, which hosts a variety of independent and mainstream performances. The centre also houses various art classes, including crafts, jewelry, drawing, painting, photography, glasswork, pottery, and theatre. Kids’ camps and workshops are also held at the venue throughout the year.