From "Real Estate Weekly”
Since the closure of CFB Chilliwack, the Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack Historical Society (http://www.cfbchs.com/) has been working with Canada Lands (http://en.clc.ca/featured-property/13) to help perpetuate the heritage of the former base and the service personnel who lived and trained there.
The Garrison Crossing Legacy Walk, commemorating the military legacy of the former CFB Chilliwack, officially opened at the new community of Garrison Crossing on 23 April 2006. Located throughout the neighbourhood, the distinctive Legacy Walk markers remember the life and legacy of the military, as well as the families who called the former CFB Chilliwack “home”. The Legacy Walk will ultimately connect to the Vedder Rotary Trail along the neighbouring Vedder River. The weather cooperated beautifully for this opening. The Retired Sappers, Air Force Association, RCMP, Corrections Canada, and Cadets were resplendent and steadfast on parade. Accompanying the #280 Vedder Golden Legion's strong showing of colours was the Chilliwack District Pipes and Drums who provided cadence for those marching and wowed the crowd at each of the seven stops with tunes and medleys.. In opening the Legacy Walk ceremonies, Mr. Doug Kester, Vice President, Real Estate, Western Region, Canada Lands Company (CLC), reminded everyone of the past history and of the future commitment by his corporation - pledging an environmentally sound and attractive setting in the Garrison Crossing area.
Memories of days-gone-by were invoked by the Branch Advisor, Colonel John K. Tattersal, CD as he reminisced about growing up near the site of the official opening. Hugh Miller, Gwen Goodey and Canada Lands representative, Larry Morgan, Director of Engineering and Environment (CLC), jointly cut the ribbon to open a new road: “Sappers Way” that memorialises the 56 years that this was "Home of the Engineers".
Mayor of Chilliwack, Clint Hames, also spoke fondly of his times as a ‘PMQ brat’, and that he is now truly back home. He not only grew up in the PMQs, he has recently purchased a home in Garrison Crossing on what used to be the ‘boulevard.’ Following the ceremony, Canada Lands were excellent hosts at their Presentation Centre in the former Officers Mess, where a sumptuous brunch was served. To remind everyone of the proud military history of the area, the CFB Chilliwack Historical Society loaned an exciting display of uniforms, artefacts and pictures for the occasion. Retired Sappers were evident through all aspects of the planning and preparation of the Opening of Legacy Walk, Don Rodger was Parade Marshall, Tom Walton was Sergeant at Arms, Bill Stone was Base Drum for the band and Al Dempsey, Project Manager (CLC) was Master of Ceremonies.
The transformation of the former military base into the vibrant 153-acre residential community of Garrison Crossing began several years ago, with the creation of a multi-year community redevelopment plan. The goal is to build a walkable community that compliments the charm and ambience of the former base, with its narrow, winding roads and majestic trees. When complete, Garrison Crossing will feature 1,800 homes encompassing both new homes and restored military homes. Garrison Crossing is a pedestrian-friendly, environmentally aware community that was meticulously planned by a team of British Columbia's leading architects, designers, engineers and builders. Garrison Crossing features lots of green space and homes that blend beautifully together between curving roadways, pocket parks and community amenities.
The first homes were released to the market in mid-2004 and quickly sold out. "To date, virtually all the new and refurbished homes offered for sale have been snapped up in record time, demonstrating that Garrison Crossing is where people want to live," says Doug Avis of Canada Lands Company, the developer behind Garrison Crossing. Over 170 units have been sold, being a combination of new single-family homes, refurbished single-family and duplex homes, townhouses and refurbished row houses. Nearly one-half of the site is now under construction to supply another 500 units to the market in the next year. This will include another 130 new single-family homes, 40 refurbished homes, 60 refurbished rowhouses and 230 multi-family apartments and townhouses. Included in this total are 120 condominiums in three four-storey buildings around a beautiful courtyard with underground parking. The first building is now under construction.
Coming soon will be the renovation of the existing Cheam Community Centre featuring a new indoor pool and outside spray park. Integrated with this exciting new facility will be a pedestrian oriented neighbourhood retail village at the corner of Keith Wilson and Vedder Roads.