Monday, September 28, 2009

Garrison Crossing Part 2 – Garrison Crossing takes a fitness test

This post is part 2 of a series that examines how Canada Land Corporation has transformed Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Chilliwack into one of Chilliwack’s most sought after real estate addresses. To find Part one  just a click away or scroll downward on the page. This post will appeal to area residents, those interested in urban development, people considering a real estate purchase in the residential portion of Garrison Crossing, Chilliwack and others like the Mullock family that lived on the Base.

Boulevard Houses September 2009

Garrison Crossing – Physical Fitness – 5BX

When I was a boy growing up on the Base the Royal Canadian 5BX Plan for Physical Fitness was the preeminent daily guide to wellbeing. So, just for fun, I hope to answer what 5 physical attributes of Garrison Crossing are keys to its fitness for habitation.

1-X Floodplain

The first is that it is situated above the 200 year floodplain. The last major flood in the Fraser Valley was in 1948, and while there was serious flooding in the lower parts of the Greendale area as recently as January 2009, the 1948 flood is the one seared into the memories of the old-timers here. Lucky for Chilliwack that the military base established in 1942 ,was on lands above the flooding, and available to give assistance in 48. Today, Chilliwack is better protected by dykes but who knows? New housing in Chilliwack has been required to meet the 200 year floodplain requirements for some time but in the case of Garrison Crossing the elevation is so high that even in-ground basements are allowed.

Fitness level: Excellent

2-X Fertile

The second, is that the rich fertile soil of the Fraser Valley provides a lush albeit seasonal growing environment. With ideas like the 100 mile diet floating around a small family garden is not such a bad idea. The land is relatively level providing a great walking environment or place to kick a ball around with a child.

Fitness Level: Very Good

3-X Climate

One of the most moderate climates in British Columbia and Canada (as defined by a deviation from a 15 degree Celsius day) is the third, it once provided a wonderful year round climate for military training, today, it offers a comfortable temperature for its inhabitants.  Having said that the hottest day ever recorded for Chilliwack occurred this July so maybe weather patterns are changing. Okay, I feel that I have to also mention rain. There I have said it – rain. Nothing is perfect but it keeps the trees beautifully green and does not need shovelling.

Fitness Level: Very Good, with an umbrella in winter

4-X General Movement

Transportation.  Tucked in the southern section of today’s City of Chilliwack adjacent to Vedder Crossing the Base must have been somewhat isolated when it opened in 1942. Vedder road, to the east, today, is the major thoroughfare to the Shopping areas in Sardis and the City of Chilliwack from Garrison Crossing and this is a very busy road. The result is congestion.
The good news is that the new Evans Road highway overpass, to the northwest, now under construction and nearing completion, will likely benefit Garrison Crossing more than almost any other area in Chilliwack moving its current "Fair" fitness level for vehicular traffic upward. A bus service is also available.
A short 25 minute drive takes you to the Abbotsford International Airport and commercial airlines like WestJet.  There is also a small Chilliwack Municipal Airport for smaller aircraft.
We will see in future posts that the Garrison Crossing development is a pedestrian friendly community where people can work live and play; to some degree limiting the need for a car.

Fitness Level: Fair Improving to Average within one year, Good within 5 years.

Cheam Centre Design

5-X Extra Play Availability

This area is rich in natural amenities to explore. The Chilliwack River /Vedder Canal offer white water rafting and fishing. The Blue Herron Reserve walking and biking trails right along the Vedder canal. Cultus Lake is 20 minutes away. There are 9 golf courses within 45 minutes. The Cheam fitness/pool centre is located within Garrison Crossing and is under renovation and expansion.

Fitness Level: Good Improving to Excellent within one year.


In conclusion, Garrison Crossing gets a passing grade quite easily on the physical side. The next post about Garrison Crossing, Chilliwack will explore the historical linkage.

If you are curious as to what residences are available for sale in Garrison Crossings as of this date click here.

Garrison Crossing Part 3: Historical or Hysterical

You can imagine that the thousands of soldiers and their offspring have an attachment to and are quite sensitive to how the Base might be developed. In part, this is due to a military life steep in tradition and always aware of the debt of those in the service before them. Even years after my father retired, frail and elderly, he would be invited to special Base openings, a chauffeur would be sent to pick him up and return him home. Now, if they do that for one man, imagine the collective sentiments for Base life. This was the time bomb that Canada Land Corporation inherited along with the site and the subject of the next post.

Coming Up Next: Chilliwack Real Estate Sale Statistics: The Month of September 2009 in Review

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Stephen Mullock is a Chilliwack real estate associate broker with 29 years of experience. He can be reached at Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty, telephone 604-792-0077.

Copyright September 28, 2009 by Stephen Mullock; especially those stick men drawings!

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