Manning Park Alpine Wild Flowers

Travel Spotlight

Agassiz

Agassiz, British Columbia is a year-round playground just 90 minutes east of Vancouver. The area’s many lakes and rivers provide swimming, fishing, boating, and sandy beaches, that attract locals and visitors alike. Golfing is a popular pastime in this area as is hiking, mountain biking and snow-skiing at nearby Hemlock Valley. For the adventurous, the area has two world-class hang gliding jump-off points.

This small community is located in the District of Kent in the Upper Fraser Valley of British Columbia’s southwest coastal region. Surrounded by mountains, lakes and the mighty Fraser River, it is known locally as a fertile farming country with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables in season. The community has a proud history and heritage. Cultural events, historical sites and museums such as the Kilby Store at Harrison Mills or the Agassiz Museum offer glimpses of the past.

Weaver Creek Spawning Channel

Weaver Creek Spawning Channel, Photo Trish C

Location

The community of Agassiz, resides at the intersection of Hwy 9 and Hwy 7, approximately 120 km (75 mi) east of downtown Vancouver via the Trans Canada Hwy (Hwy 1) and Hwy 9. Alternatively, you can take Hwy 7 east. Travelling from the east, Agassiz is 33 km (20 mi) west of Hope on Hwy 7. From Sumas, Washington, USA, the community is 56 km (35 mi) north via Hwy 1.

Pioneer Park in Agassiz BC

A Step Back in Time

Europeans first came through the area on their way to the Fraser Canyon during the gold rush of 1858. One of the first families to settle in the region was the Agassiz family after which the town was named.

In 1889, what is now the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, was established as one of the first five experimental farms in Canada. The facility was created to assist newcomers in learning about farming in this fertile area which grew to become the area’s primary economic activity. Farming and other agricultural uses are the predominant make-up of the rich heritage, history and community spirit of this District.

During the early part of the 1900s road construction began providing an economic generator from 1901 to 1940. In 1926, the completion of the bridge over the Harrison River provided the first road connection to areas west of Kent and helped to establish Agassiz as a market-oriented agricultural town.

In 1948 a devastating flood on the Fraser River brought an end to hop production in the District. Corn then became the new major crop in the area and Agassiz soon became known as the “Corn Capital of British Columbia.”

A basket of sweet corn.

Contact Information

Agassiz-Harrison Museum and Visitor Information Centre

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989