Workers replace the hands on the Five Corners clock tower. They were back up on Feb. 16, 2018 after being removed Jan. 17, 2018 for repair. Now the whole thing is up for repair and replacement from Feb. 15 to Feb. 17, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Time is up for downtown Chilliwack’s iconic clock tower

Five Corners landmark to be refurbished over the weekend at the end of its life

If you’ve been setting your watch to the Five Corners clock tower, well, you’ve probably missed a few appointments.

But this weekend don’t even think about it as the iconic downtown Chilliwack landmark, which is notoriously inaccurate, is finally undergoing end-of-life repairs.

A City of Chilliwack spokesperson said the clock will be completely non-functional Feb. 15-17 while Langley-based clock repair company It’s About Time performs repairs and replacement work.

City staff routinely conduct maintenance on the clock, but winter winds, freezing rain and years of weather have caused the clock to consistently be out of time due to gear slippage, according to the city spokesperson.

Not only that but after many years of inclement weather and general wear and tear, the clock face hands and internal mechanics have reached the end of their life.

It’s About Time technicians will be on site all weekend without dismantling the tower.

Back in December 2017 and into January 2018, high winds and ice storms did real damage to the clock.

• READ MORE: Time stands still for Chilliwack’s famously incorrect clock

• READ MORE: Chilliwack’s hands of time are back

The external clock arms often fall back by five to 10 minutes, something city crews regularly get called in to maintain.

But even when the hands are incorrect or missing, the chime is usually bang on.

That’s because the clock has two parts: the external mechanical arms connected to gears, and an internal digital system that sounds the chimes.

The now nearly 18-year-old clock was actually referred to as the Millenium Clock Tower when it was officially dedicated along with the surrounding plaza on May 31, 2002 by then-MLAs John Les and Barry Penner, along with then-mayor Clint Hames and city councillors Bernie Cross, Sharon Gaetz, Casey Langbroek, Mel Folkman, Dorothy Kostrzewa and Chuck Stam.

The bill for the clock came in at $530,000, $330,000 of which was paid for by city taxpayers with the remaining $200,000 coming by way of a provincial government grant.


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