University of the Fraser Valley

Gillis lane closure & tree removal mark the start of Student Housing construction

Gillis lane closure & tree removal mark the start of Student Housing construction

Site preparation work is about to begin for UFV’s new Student Housing building in Abbotsford.

Effective immediately (Monday, Dec 18), one lane is closed on Gillis Ave in front of Building H — Lá:lem te Baker and the Bookstore — and will remain closed for the duration of construction for UFV’s new Student Housing project. Traffic will only be able to exit the area, not enter. This will impact anyone attempting to access Lot 10 from the east (McKenzie Road entrance, map below). The lane will remain closed until Student Housing construction is complete — expected to be Fall, 2025.

Following an arborist’s evaluation, 13 trees will be removed to prepare for construction, with 29 new trees scheduled to be planted in return. Another five trees will need to be topped to accommodate construction equipment, with all tree work starting the week of Dec 18-25.

Abbotsford-based consulting arborists Wyatt Earth wrote two reports in the lead-up to the project. The report has identified six trees that will be retained and protected throughout the construction.

The first is an empress tree that the report describes as “magnificent … covered in upright purple flower panicles in spring and provides an abundance of seeds for local fauna.”

The second is a Leyland Cypress “notable for its unique structure, its health and its canopy cover.”

There are also two apple and two pear trees. All the protected trees will be fenced off with a barrier before construction work begins.

There will be other impacts as construction begins.

On Jan 11, 2024, a significant portion of the northeast section of Lot 10 be unavailable for parking to accommodate Student Housing construction. The southwest section of Lot 10 will remain open.

On the other side of campus, UFV’s Cascade Cafeteria closed Dec 15 and will remain closed until the new dining hall is finished in the fall of 2025. Beginning in January 2024, food service will include (see map here):

Temporary Cascade Cafeteria (S Building, 2nd floor)

Spirit Bear Café (A-West)

Tim Horton’s (G Building)

Triple O’s food truck (between Building E and S)

Fair Grounds Coffee Shop (SUB)

For more information, visit the current capital projects page or email