Chilliwack’s 31 demolished heritage buildings

In 1991, 129 heritage buildings were identified as worthy of preservation in Chilliwack. Today, 31 of those have been demolished.

By Grace Kennedy | July 18, 2022 |5:00 am

Thirty years ago, a heritage inventory for the City of Chilliwack identified 129 houses, barns, and schools as having potential heritage value. Over the last three decades, they have been demolished at a pace of one each year and today, nearly a quarter of them are gone.

The 1991 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory was a successor to the 1970s Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings, which aimed to document 18th and 19th century buildings across the country. When the program was disbanded, municipal heritage inventories took up the cause.

In Chilliwack, the inventory focused on early settler buildings, most of which were built before the 1930s. It included 129 wood-framed barns, small school houses, early churches, commercial buildings, and homes, several of which had connections to Coqualeetza Residential School.

Although it’s now considered outdated by local historians—in large part because it didn’t focus on cultural or natural heritage assets, and significantly left out Indigenous history—it still remains one of Chilliwack’s most comprehensive listings of historic buildings.

The inventory offered no actual protection for the buildings it identified. That was left to the city’s municipal voluntary designation program, which has 16 buildings on its list. (You can read our story about the program’s latest addition here.)

So it’s not surprising that, in the 30 years since the inventory was created, a quarter of the historic properties would be gone. In 2018, when Chilliwack began work to develop its new Heritage Strategic Action Plan, committee members identified 34 buildings that were either already gone, had a demolition permit in place, or whose properties had been recently rezoned or had an active building permit. (You can read more about Chilliwack’s new heritage plan here.)

These are those properties.

(This story has been edited to reflect the fact that the barn at 7032 has been moved, not demolished. The map will be corrected soon.)

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Evans Barn and Granary

Evans Barn. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 7953 Atchelitz Rd

Details: When the Chilliwack Heritage Inventory was created in 1991, the Evans family homestead only had two buildings remaining: the barn and the granary. The family moved to the property in 1865, and built the wood frame buildings in 1888. The barn and granary were typical of large scale agricultural operations at the time. The Evans farm routinely employed Chinese labourers, most of whom would have lived in one of Chilliwack’s Chinatowns.

Log Barn (corrected)

Log Barn. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Moved

Location: 7032 Chilliwack River Rd

Details: The log barn on Chilliwack River Road was one of the oldest settler buildings in the area, having been built sometime in the 1880s. It was constructed from hewn logs with square notched corners. The logs would have come from trees that were cleared from the land the home was built on. In 1991, it was one of only a handful of log structures that had survived from Chilliwack’s early colonization. The barn was moved about 60 metres to the north. The property is now home to Vallevue Holsteins Ltd.

Thompson Barn

Thompson Barn. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 51260 Nevin Rd

Details: Built in 1907, the barn was typical of the pre-WWI era, with a broken gable roof. It was built for the Thompson family and purchased by the Bryant family in 1919. In 1991 the barn had been re-sided, but the timber frame structure was still intact. Although the Chilliwack Heritage Inventory listed the address as Nevin Road, Chilliwack’s planning department said that was a delivery address and the barn’s location was actually on the nearby Ford Road. The building was demolished in 2001 after a fire.

Nixon Log Barn

Nixon Log Barn. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 7650 Nixon Rd

Details: Built by Henry Nixon in 1911, the log barn was the Nixon family’s first home. Having previously lived in a tent on their property, and then a temporary cabin, they moved into the loft for the winter after the barn was built, and waited for the house on their property to be finished the following year.

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Hewer House

Hewer House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 8772 Butchart St

Details: Built in 1911 by Frank A. Hewer, the Hewer House once stood on a five-acre farm site, although in 1991 it was surrounded by later development. The house was designed in the Craftsman style, and had a partially-screened porch and prominent gable screens. It featured cedar shingles which were typical of the time. The property was rezoned in 2009 and later subdivided with four single-detached homes.

Brock House

Brock House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 9153 Edward St

Details: Brock House was built by Robert Harvey Brock in 1921 as his second home. His original home, also called Brock House, is located on Gore Avenue and received municipal heritage designation in 2014. Brock’s plan with this second house was to build it as a potential prototype for future development; it was constructed with hollow terra cotta tile blocks. It was decided the construction was too expensive, and it did become a popular development choice in the community. The home was demolished to make room for a 44-unit apartment building.

Davies House

Davies House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 9194 Edward St

Details: The house was built for Mrs. W. V. Davies in 1911 by Ernest Hill, one of the early proponents of concrete block construction in Chilliwack. In 1991, it was one of the smaller concrete block houses remaining from that time period. It was built in the Craftsman style that was popular in the pre-WWI era. The property was rezoned in 2019, and the house was subsequently demolished. In 2022, there was a development permit for a new apartment and an active building permit for the site.
https://www.royalhotelchilliwack.com/blog/Chilliwacks-Concrete-Block-Homes–Buildings

Voight House

Voight House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 49582 Elk View Rd

Details: Built in the early 1900s by W.J. Voight, the small house was one of the earliest settler buildings in the Ryder Lake area. It was built of roughly sawn cedar logs, and in 1991 the home was said to be in good condition, although a picture from the time shows the roof shingles falling off.

Dandy House

Status: Demolished

Location: 45987 Higginson Rd

Details: Built in the 1910s for W.H. Dandy, the house featured a bellcast hip roof, symmetrical hip dormers, and a wraparound veranda. Earl Currie and his family moved into the house in 1913, and stayed until 1938.

Newby House

Newby House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 47768 McGuire Rd

Details: The house was built for carpenter William Newby in 1911. Unusually for the time, the house had a veranda inset in the northwest corner, rather than a wraparound porch. There has been no structures visible on the property since the early 2000s.

Pearson House

Pearson House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 7158 Maitland Ave

Details: The Pearson House was built in 1911 originally owned by Clifford M. Pearson, who was one of the owners of Pearson Bros. Store in Sardis. The house’s siding changes from drop siding at the ground level to lapped siding on the second floor, which is typical for the period. In 2018, a developer was set to demolish the house to create room for new construction on the site. Although he offered $10,000 to anyone who wanted to move the home, it was ultimately demolished in 2019. The decision to demolish the Pearson House sparked the creation of Chilliwack’s new Heritage Strategic Action Plan.

Ord House

Ord House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 41810 Majuba Hill Rd

Details: Built in 1927 for Harry Ord, the Ord house featured Colonial Revival influences. Ord was American, and owned both the Fuggle Hop Garden in Sumas Prairie and hopyards in Kamloops. Every summer, his extended family would travel from California in a chauffeured limousine to visit with the Canadian Ord family in their Majuba Hill mansion. In 1991, the Chilliwack Heritage Inventory said the house was being restored, but by 2018 it had been demolished.

Edwards House

Edwards House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 47638 Prairie Central Rd

Details: The house was built in 1917 by John T. Edwards, who had purchased the 40-acre dairy farm it stood on in 1914. Edwards arrived in Chilliwack on the first BC Electric Railway train in 1910. The house was built from concrete blocks that were made on site. There has been no house visible on the property since 2009.

Glengarry

Glengarry. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 6590 Prest Rd

Details: Built by John and Anna McIntyre in 1902, the house featured balloon-frame style construction, where the wall studs ran from the foundation to the roof line.

Thornton House

Thornton House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 5655 Promontory Rd

Details: Although the farm was first homesteaded in 1873, the house was built in 1911 by George I. Thornton. Constructed in the Foursquare farmhouse style, it had a high hip roof, projecting bays, and a full front veranda. Thornton was nationally known for his alcohol-preserved fruit that he grew and canned on the Promontory farm. Thornton’s property has now been developed into a number of townhomes.

Wells House

Wells House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 45593 Spruce Dr

Details: Built by renowned BC architect Thomas Hooper in 1897, the house was intended as a retirement home for Allen Casey Wells, who founded Edenbank Farm. The house was similar in style to one built for the director of the Coqualeetza Residential School, with square projections cantilevered over semi-octagonal bays. By 1991, the house had seen a number of alterations, including new vinyl siding. By 2018, the property was rezoned for townhomes and the Wells House demolished shortly after.

Coqualeetza Director’s House

Coqualeetza Director’s House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 7201 Vedder Rd

Details: In 1888, Coqualeetza Residential School was built in Chilliwack to forcibly assimilate Indigenous children into settler society. Eight years later, a wood-frame house was built for the director of the residential school. Historians assume it was built by architect Thomas Hooper, who designed parts of Coqualeetza and similarly-styled buildings in Chilliwack. At the time, the Indigenous children at Coqualeetza were kept in a brick building that housed 120 children and eight staff. In 1920, the brick building was replaced with a larger structure. From 1941 to 1971, Coqualeetza Residential School largely acted as an “Indian Hospital” for tuberculosis. You can read more about Coqualeetza Residential School in The Current’s story based on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings. In 1997, the Stó:lō people began a formal lands claims process to recover the property, where a number of Stó:lō Nation builds are now located.

Webb House

Webb House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 7447 Vedder Rd

Details: The house was built as a retirement home for Lucy and Horatio Webb in 1911. It was made of concrete blocks, which were themselves made from sand found roughly 300 feet away from the building site. It was likely built from a pattern book design. The Webb family had purchased 80 acres from A.C. Wells in 1878, part of which was sold to the Methodist Church to build Coqualeetza Residential School. A gabled roof barn with a shed addition was built behind Webb House, and in 1991 was in good condition and being used as a studio.

Paisley House

Paisley House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Rezoning and/or active building permit

Location: 45632 Wellington Ave

Details: The large rectangular house was built in 1894 for L.W. Paisley, who would later become Reeve of Chilliwack. The house was later purchased by Isaac Kipp in 1899. In 1930, then-Prime Minister Mackenzie King visited the Kipp family and had tea in the backyard. In 1991, it retained much of its original carpenter ornamentation. In 2019, the property was set to be turned into condos and the developer offered $28,000 to anyone who was willing to move it off the site. Although there was a significant number of newspaper articles about the offer, no one appeared willing to move the home.

Chadsey House

Chadsey House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 45750 Wellington Ave

Details: Built in 1911 by John Laughlin, the house was made for Hannah Chadsey, the widow of Chester Chadsey, who settled 640 acres of farmland in the Sumas area. The house was built on the old Fairgrounds site—roughly 4.5 acres close to Five Corners—which was subdivided for housing in 1909 because it had become too small for the growing agricultural community. The Agricultural Society auctioned off 20 lots, which ranged in price from $400 to $950.

Edgar Kipp House

Edgar Kipp House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 8975 Young Rd

Details: Built by contractor Edgar Allen Kipp for his family in 1911, the house had significant street frontage on all three sides. The son of the well-known Chilliwack resident Isaac Kipp, Edgar Kipp was the first white boy born in Chilliwack. Kipp had built many of Chilliwack’s early settler buildings, including Cheam Church and his own residence. Kipp’s daughter Dorothy would later live in the house with her husband Arthur Menzies, who ran a hardware business on Menzies street.

Grossman House

Grossman House. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 46419 Yale Rd

Details: The Grossman House was built in 1894 for Carl Grossman, a grocer in the area. Grossman, an entrepreneur, would later become the general manager of the Harrison House Hotel, located at the corner of Wellington Avenue and Corbould Street. He would be the one to install electric wiring into the hotel. That exact address is no longer officially in existence.

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Rosedale Elementary School

Rosedale Elementary School. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 10125 McGrath Rd

Details: The old Rosedale Elementary School was built by the provincial department of public works in 1914. It was a two-storey, wood-frame schoolhouse with four rooms, and was one of a number of schools built from the same plan. It had a hipped porch over the central door. Later changes added a coat of stucco over the siding. The shed at the back of the school dated from when children would ride their horses to school, and kept them sheltered there during the school day. The school was demolished in 2011, when Chilliwack moved students at Rosedale Elementary and Rosedale Middle School into a new building at the former middle school site.

Strathcona Elementary School

Strathcona Elementary School. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 46377 Strathcona Rd

Details: Built in 1909 by the provincial department of public works, Strathcona Elementary was a two-room schoolhouse typical of the Edwardian era. It was built with a growing population in mind. The west room was used when the school first opened, and the east room was opened in 1913.

Sumas School

Sumas School. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 6621 Sumas Prairie Rd

Details: Sumas School was the second school built in the Sumas School District, and was constructed in 1927 to accommodate new settlers arriving in the Greendale area. The school was built as a simple rectangle, with a prominent hipped roof and inset stairways at the back. By 1991, it had been turned into Greendale Elementary, and aluminum sash windows were added on the second floor as replacements to the original windows.

Sardis Elementary School

Sardis Elementary School. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 45765 Manuel Rd

Details: Similar in design to Rosedale’s elementary school, Sardis Elementary was also built in 1914 by the provincial department of public works. It was one of a number of schools built to a standard plan between 1904 and the 1920s.

Chilliwack Junior Secondary

Chilliwack Junior Secondary. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 46354 Yale Rd

Details: Built in 1912, the new Chilliwack Junior Secondary School was designed to accommodate 200 students. It was the only high school in the community at the time. The school’s gym and auditorium were added in 1929, and construction was fundraised by the community following WWI. The original slate-covered roof was removed in 1951 and a flat roof installed. At that time, the school had transitioned to a junior high school only, as a new secondary school was built across the street. In the 1990s, the old school was demolished, and Chilliwack Middle School was built in its place.

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Commercial Building

Commercial Building. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 45950 Wellington Ave

Details: Joseph H. Turpin constructed the two-storey commercial building in 1925. The building was likely the location of Turpin’s Bakery and Confectionary, a precursor to the well-known Fashion Bakery on Wellington Avenue. Turpin sold the bakery in 1933, and moved to Vancouver. In 1991, the building formed part of a consistent streetscape of stone facades on Wellington Avenue. The property was part of the courthouse development in the early 2000s. (If you are looking for it on a map, the old address no longer exists.)

BCER Sardis Station

BCER Sardis Station. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 45660 Wells Rd

Details: In 1991, the BC Electric Railway Sardis Station was one of the last remaining buildings related to the BCER. Built in 1910, it acted as one of the many local train stops in Chilliwack for the interurban railway. It was the third-to-last stop on the way to Chilliwack, followed by only the Knight Road station and the Chilliwack station. In 1950, the railway finished its final run, and the stations fell out of use. (The Chilliwack station was dismantled almost immediately.) By the ’90s, the Sardis Station had been moved back from the tracks and was converted into a residential duplex. Last year, the empty lot was available for lease.

Empress Hotel

Empress Hotel. 📸 Chilliwack Heritage Inventory

Status: Demolished

Location: 9260 Young Rd

Details: Although the first Empress Hotel was built in 1908 and later moved to the building’s back lot, the bulk of the hotel was constructed in 1927. It was designed in the Tudor Revival style with 70 guest rooms, including 25 with their own bathroom. The hotel was a key part of downtown Chilliwack for many years, and received another addition in 1950 with a banquet hall, ballroom, and beer parlour. A cocktail lounge was added in 1964. In the decades after, the hotel fell into disrepair and gained a seedy reputation. The building was eventually demolished in 2010. When it came down in 2010, onlookers expressed a range of emotions. “It’s sad to see,” one onlooker said. “I’m glad to see it come down,” another said. After sitting vacant for years, a new apartment building has been built on the site as part of the District 1881 development.

Irwin Block

Status: Demolished

Location: 9282 Young Rd

Details: This block of commercial buildings was built between 1909 and 1913 by B.A. Irwin. It was constructed in three stages, with the centre section being built last. In 1991, it was the oldest remaining building at Five Corners. It was demolished in the 2010s along with the Empress Hotel to make way for the District 1881 development in downtown Chilliwack.


At least one house was saved after the heritage plan committee created their list. The Gibbens House, which had been located on Hope River Road, was scheduled for demolition to make space for a townhouse development. Someone offered to move the home to their property across the street for free in 2020.

The fate of the Paisley House is still up for debate. Built in 1894 for L.W. Paisley, the house was set to be turned into condos in 2019. The developer offered $28,000 to anyone who was willing to move it off the site. Although there were a significant number of news stories about the offer, no one appeared willing to move the home.

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Grace Kennedy

Reporter at Fraser Valley Current

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