The daffodils that brighten the Trans Canada Highway

Have you ever been driving down the Trans Canada Highway between Chilliwack and Vancouver and wondered who planted the daffodils?

I wonder what year it was?   I wonder if they were planted to celebrate Canada's 100th year in 1967?
Does anyone know?  One day when I have more time, I will have to do a search in my Mom's journals to see if she noted it.  

My Dad was one of the Abbotsford Department of Highways crew that planted the daffodils that brighten up the cloverleafs and medians between the east and west bound lanes.

For those of you who have grown up in Abbotsford you may remember the Department of Highways Yard, situated on the corner of Gladwin and South Fraserway.
He worked there in the 60's and 70's and because we were a one car family for many years,  I have many memories of waiting for him to finish work and taking that time to practice long division.

One Fall he brought a bag of daffodil bulbs home and told my Mom that they were given the left over bulbs.  Probably at some point the daffodil bulb diggers were told to resume their regular work of road maintenance.
Every year after that we had a nice row of daffodils that came up behind our garage.

My Dad took great pleasure in seeing those daffodils and every spring I am reminded of my Dad who brought my Mom flowers and corsages for special occasions and lots of non-occasions.

Edited to add this information from the link that Anneliese  found and then offered in the comments.
Thank you Anneliese!!

First phase of Highway 401 beautification project was completed at the end of October, under the supervision of Mike Pope, Landscape Supervisor, Maintenance Branch, the planting of 131/2 tons of daffodil bulbs along freeway between Chilliwack and Vancouver, a total of 175.000 to 180,000 bulbs. Bridge District, New Westminster District. and Chilliwack District personnel did the planting with a two-man power auger and farm tractors with augers. Art Regier. Abbotsford maintenance crew, left, and Jerry Wheeler.
Co-ordination of the work was by Ian McI.ennan of the Bridge District.

all for now...
with love,


  1. Oh what a wonderful story!!! Daffodils DO brighten wherever they are and I think it's so great that your dad had a hand in making that happen - love it! Have a wonderful Easter Lovella.....blessings to you all!

  2. What a beautiful legacy! Imagine all the smiles, all the peace, that seeing those daffodils brings over and over, mile after mile, year after year. (I wish more highways were beautified.)

  3. What a wonderful gift to everyone who drives that highway! How special for you to know that your dad had a part in that! Beautiful legacy!


  4. Corsages are such a nice memory for me. Nice memories, Lovella. I really enjoy when the highway medians bloom!

  5. I grew up in the interior. Our grandparents, aunts and uncles lived in the Fraser Valley and we made frequent trips through the Fraser Canyon and on to that exciting "freeway." I remember coming at Easter and loving all the daffodils planted on the median. Everything looked so green and fresh and bright compared to the brown grass/no flowers/still snow in other parts. How fun to find out that your father was one who planted the bulbs that bring so much joy.

  6. That is so special! Imagine the hundreds of thousands of people those daffodils have brought joy to over the years!! And how nice that your father was given a bag to take home! I hope you have a wonderful Easter!!!

  7. That is so neat and must be beautiful to see. What a special memory of your dad too. I wish you a blessed Easter, Lovella.

  8. I love that an idea one person had one year long ago is still bringing joy, color and beauty to people today.

  9. Maybe you have seen this, Lovella ... Page 12 of a Paper called the Road Runner
    (it's a poor copy... hard to read, but definitely about this.. 175,000 bulbs .. there is a picture of them planting. So neat to have this gift that keeps on giving and to know your dad was part of it.

    1. That is so amazing that you found that publication. You made my day! My sister in law also thought it must be 1970 because that was the year they lived in a trailer and my Mom and Dad helped them plant some of those bulbs there. I obviously did not google using the right words in the search! thank you so much. I have updated the post to include those photos and even found that copying and pasting that caption into a google drive document, easily made it readable.

  10. Love this post! For many years I have wondered exactly that! And today too, as I went along with my son's class trip to the Steveston Cannery, again I saw them blooming and wondered about them again. Thanks for sharing :)

  11. I have always wondered about those daffodils and now I know!! Such a gift that keeps on giving year after year!

  12. Those daffodils truly are a gift that keeps on giving. We commented on them on Sunday as we drove through Abbotsford...wondering who planted them and when. Now we know! How special that your dad had a part in this!

  13. This is a most interesting story! I love that your dad was involved in such a memorable job, one that
    blesses others year after year. I like too, that he brought your mother flowers at random times. He must have grown to appreciate the beauty and joy they could bring to others. Makes me wish I could drive on that highway and see "his" legacy of love. Thanks so much Lovella, for sharing this heartwarming story.

    Wishing you and your family, a joyous Easter!

  14. We see swathes of daffodils along Island roads too, and I think a silent 'thank you' to the people who planted such a beautiful gift.

  15. What a fabulous memory for you as you drive by. Now I'll think of your dad each spring when we drive by the flowers.


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