CHILLIWACK is on the south side of the FRASER R, 100 km east of VANCOUVER. The name derives from the local Ts'elxwiqw people and is thought to mean "going back up," or returning to the Chilliwack R from a visit to the Fraser. It is a growing retirement centre with an economy based on AGRICULTURE, service industries, food processing and lumber re-manufacturing. A Canadian Forces Base, established in 1942, was the largest single employer for many years until it closed in 1996. Farm settlement began in the 1860s. The townsite was originally known as Five Corners because of its location at a crossroads of several transportation routes. Incorporation of the area began with the Township of Chilliwhack in 1873 (the third oldest in BC). In 1883 the site at Five Corners was renamed Centreville and it was incorporated in 1908 as the City of Chilliwack. The 2 municipalities merged in 1980 as the City of Chilliwack, which also includes smaller communities at SARDIS, VEDDER CROSSING, Promontory, YARROW, ROSEDALE and Greendale. The BC ELECTRIC RWY CO's INTERURBAN to Vancouver (1910–50) integrated Chilliwack into the regional economy of the Lower Mainland and the city developed as a commercial centre for a rural farming district. Nearby CULTUS LK is a popular recreation area. Chilliwack's museum is located in the old city hall, a national historic site.

Population: 69,217 (2006)
Rank in BC: 16th
Population increase since 2001: 10.6%
Date of incorporation: town 26 Apr 1873; city 26 Feb 1908; city again 1 Jan 1980
Land area: 265.33 sq km
Location: Fraser Valley Regional District
Economic base: agriculture, forestry, TOURISM