Video by Hawkins Media for the Chilliwack Museum and Archives
Informant: Dr. Chad Reimer, author of Chilliwack’s Chinatowns (Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia, 2011)
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Dr. Chad Reimer discusses the beginnings of Chilliwack’s Chinatowns.
A title slide is shown, reading “Chilliwack Museum Presents: Interview with Dr. Chad Reimer, Author of Chilliwack’s Chinatowns.” Photos of early Chilliwack resettlers are shown.
[What] most people don’t know is that Chilliwack had not just one Chinatown, but two. The first developed on Young road just north of Five Corners. There were also a couple of businessmen right in around Five Corners. And that was around the turn of the, you know, previous century, 1800s, 1900s. And then the Chinese population moved northward to just outside city limits to Yale road, which is pretty much where Chilliwack starts when you come off the highway and go on Yale road, travelling north.
An aerial photo and a map of Chinatown South are shown side by side, with the caption “Chilliwack had two Chinatowns. Chinatown North was located near the current Central Elementary School, just off Young Road. And Chinatown South, was located near the new Molson brewery, just off Yale Road West.
And that was a very vibrant community. And from the 1870s on you get a good trickle of, more than a trickle of, Chinese coming into the area to work on farms.