The city of Chilliwack is located in the Upper Fraser Valley, British Columbia, 102 kilometres (63 mi) Southeast of Vancouver. On the North it’s bounded by the Fraser River, and on the South by the Canada-US border. Tall mountain peaks like Slesse Mountain and Mount Cheam, and recreational areas such as Chilliwack Lake Provincial Parks and Cultas Lake, surround the city.
Once a small agricultural town, Chilliwack was the third municipality to be incorporated in British Columbia in 1873. In 1881 a large new subdivision was built, called Centreville. The new area was incorporated in 1908, as a separate municipality called the City of Chilliwack. For 72 years, the township and city co-existed, finally merging to become the District of Chilliwack in 1980. Early in 1999, the district became the City of Chilliwack.
It has been challenging for the city to control the sprawl of suburbia, and retain its valuable farmland. The majority of Chilliwack’s more than 101,512 residents (2016 census) are now city-dwellers, instead of farmers. The median household income is $65,603 (2015). The median age is 43.2, with 18.0% 14 and under, 61.8% ages 15 to 64, and retirees age 65 and older making up 20.2%.
The soil and mild weather made Chilliwack a great place to farm, with outstanding growing conditions for a wide variety of crops. When averaged from 1981 through 2010, Chilliwack had the warmest mean temperature for any city in all of Canada. Most of the precipitation falls as rain. Snow is typically limited to the surrounding mountains, except for about two or three weeks per year.