Neighbourhood History Walk: Jubilee Park Exploring Place Names in the Jubilee Park Neighbourhood

Self-guided activity for students under adult supervision

Figure 1. Jubilee Park Neighbourhood Memory. View looking northeast into the village from the oil derrick on the property that would become Jubilee Park in 1927. This image shows buildings and features around the future park site, the Great Northern Railway track, the water tower, the intersection of Essendene Avenue and Gladys Avenue, Abbotsford School, and properties beyond; circa 1914. The Reach P1528.

PLEASE NOTE: For this activity, we recommend partnering an adult with a student from the same household that is already practicing social distancing together. When the City of Abbotsford Parks are open, members of the public are encouraged to follow current health advisories including physical distancing. For a full list of public health practices and other resources please visit the Public Health Website.


Edukit Series: Neighbourhood History Walks

There’s literally history in the streets! Abbotsford’s streets, neighbourhoods, and place names are tied to history, linking community geography to the people and events that shaped the city as we know it today. The Neighbourhood History Walks series provides interesting anecdotes and insights that make a stroll through your community a fascinating history lesson!

This Edukit: Exploring Place Names in the Jubilee Park Neighbourhood

In this edukit, discover the history around the park in Abbotsford known as Jubilee Park. This lesson focuses on places in the neighbourhood that were named by settlers to the area.

This lesson plan combines place-based learning methods with content from The Reach Gallery Museum archive and permanent museum exhibition Voices of the Valley. Participants are encouraged to expand their walking tour learning experience by creating a place name sign based on the locations explored in this lesson.

This Edukit uses Historical Thinking Concepts to encourage participants to use primary resources and to develop historical literacy.

While this activity is designed to appeal to the whole family, it fulfils Curricular Competencies for high school students grade 9 – 11.


This activity was designed with Placed-Based Learning in mind and also fulfills Curricular Competencies in BC’s New Curriculum for the following subjects and classes:

• Social Studies 9, 10, 11.

To see relevant connections between this activity and BC’s New Curriculum, see downloadable PDF “Placed-Based Learning and Curricular Competencies Related to Neighbourhood History Walk: Jubilee Park.”



Through this activity participants will:

  • Discover how place names teach us about the history of a place, the values of a community and the people who shaped it.
  • Identify important historical locations in the neighbourhood surrounding Jubilee Park (McCallum Road, Essendene Avenue, Five Corners intersection, Pauline Street and Laurel Street, Cannon Avenue, and Switzer Avenue) in order to understand their past and present significance to Abbotsford.
  • Connect with local history by enjoying a walk in the Jubilee Park area to integrate learned knowledge with participants’ lived experience.






The Reach Gallery Museum acknowledges that the City of Abbotsford is located on S’olh Temexw. [pronounced: suh-oll TUMM ook]

S’olh Temexw is the unceded, traditional, ancestral shared territory of the Semá:th First Nation and Mathekwi First Nation. These two First Nations are part of the Stό:lō Nation, the People of the River. The Stό:lō people have occupied this territory for more than 10,000 years. We acknowledge their sovereignty in the territory now also known as the Fraser Valley.

For more information, check out:



Jubilee | Confederation | Cenotaph | Canadian Pacific Railway | Urban planning

Figure 2. Voices of the Valley permanent museum exhibition.


Voices of the Valley is the permanent museum exhibition at The Reach Gallery Museum that illustrates aspects of Abbotsford’s history through the use of primary source materials to reflect interconnected themes that have impacted community development. The exhibition uses primary source documents to present information about the people, events, opinions, and viewpoints that have shaped our present-day community. It reflects broad themes that have significantly impacted our community since the time of settler colonization. Interconnected themes include: First Nations, Survey and Settlement, Forestry, Brickmaking, Sumas Lake Drainage, Agriculture, Transportation and Economy. These narratives are presented through objects, photographs and oral histories that remind us that multiple factors have influenced growth and change in our community today. This activity expands primarily on the Survey and Settlement, Transportation and Economy sections of the exhibition.


The Jubilee Park neighbourhood, part of Historic Downtown Abbotsford, was an important site for settlers to the region in recent history. Learning about the history of the park and surrounding area teaches us important lessons about how Abbotsford has grown and changed.


Jubilee Park

The word jubilee describes a special celebration of an event. On July 1, 1927, Abbotsford’s Jubilee Park was named for the 60th anniversary of the confederation of Canada (when provinces came together to become Canada on July 1, 1867). The park was made by a committee of Abbotsford citizens who bought the land to provide a venue for the community-wide celebration. With the help of volunteers, they cleared the grounds to create the parkland we know today.

For many years Jubilee Park was the preferred venue for other community celebrations including May Day celebrations and Canadian Citizenship ceremonies. It was a popular sports field and hosted softball, football, and lacrosse games, as well as local school track meets. The park was also home to Abbotsford’s cenotaph (a monument to someone buried elsewhere) that remembered the people from Abbotsford who lost their lives in World War I, which was installed in the park in 1929. In 1935 several local fall fairs amalgamated to create the Central Fraser Valley Fair (today’s Agrifair). The fair was held at Jubilee Park until 1948 when it outgrew the site. The park has also been home to a lawn bowling club, a wading pool, and a bandstand.


Village of Abbotsford


Jubilee Park is situated in the area known today as “Historic Downtown Abbotsford” but it used to be called the “Village of Abbotsford.” At one time, the village was very small and had very few roads.

In 1891, Abbotsford was named by the village’s first owner John Cunningham Maclure after Henry Abbott who was the Western Superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). This was a strategic choice for a name because Maclure wanted Abbott to construct a railway station to connect his village with the rest of Canada. Maclure’s plan worked!

A CPR station was constructed in Abbotsford and the railway’s transcontinental connections brought settlers into Abbotsford and (at the time) the larger, neighbouring districts of Sumas and Matsqui. The District of Sumas amalgamated with the Village of Abbotsford in 1972 to become the District of Abbotsford. In 1995, the District of Matsqui joined the District of Abbotsford to become the City of Abbotsford as we know it today. It is important to know that the name of the original village was tied to its establishment as an important, historic transportation hub.

Now that you’ve learned about some of the background of the area, you’re ready to start the walking tour activity in order to discover how street names and urban planning (the development and design of land use) relate to the values of the community, past and present.


Before the walk (10 min)

On the walk (60 min of walking suggested)

  • Visit Jubilee Park while practicing social distancing from others. Adults and students taking part in this activity together should be in the same household or group that is social distancing together. If you are driving to Jubilee Park for this walk, we suggest parking in the free parking lot along the south side of Jubilee Park. The tour begins on the west side of the park, bordering McCallum Road (see instructions for more details). There are six stops along this historical walking tour:


  1. McCallum Road
  2. Essendene Avenue
  3. Five Corners intersection
  4. Pauline Street and Laurel Street
  5. Cannon Avenue, and
  6. Switzer Avenue.



If you aren’t able to actually visit Jubilee Park to participate in a self-guided walking tour right now, use Google Maps to discover the locations. View Jubilee Park and the surrounding area virtually as a way of preparing for when you can actually visit in-person. Click on this link to view Jubilee Park map.


  1. If John Cunningham Maclure had not named his village “Abbotsford” after Henry Abbott, what would be some alternative names for the small village? How do you think a different name might have affected our city today?

  2. The name “Jubilee Park” was given to celebrate a moment in national history and represents a patriotic sentiment. Do you think this is appropriate for a community park? If not, what values do you think a central community gathering place should reflect?



After your self-guided walk, design a street sign for one of the six places you’ve learned about on the walking tour. Base your street sign on the historical information in the downloadable PDF “Self-guided tour for the edukit Neighbourhood History Walk: Jubilee Park” and what you saw when you visited the location. Challenge yourself to visually communicate an aspect of the history behind the name. Your street sign should incorporate the street name in some way and include drawings or design elements that communicate the significance of the place you chose.

For example, if you decided to create a street sign for Five Corners intersection, you might incorporate drawings of a train, as a symbol of the form of transportation that transformed the community.




If you use this free resource with your students at school / at home, we’d love to hear from you! Send an email to Diana Hiebert (Curator of Learning and Community Engagement at The Reach) at, with your comments including the number and age range of participants. This statistical information is important to us as a not-for-profit organization and will allow us to continue offering this kind of content.