Lane to be named for key figure behind downtown Abbotsford rejuvenation

Bob Bos constructed key downtown buildings and led ADBA for more than a decade

Street signs and maps will soon bear the name of an Abbotsford man who left a lasting legacy in the historic downtown and helped revitalize the area.

Bob Bos served on the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) board for more than two decades, was president of the organization for 13 years, and helped construct key downtown buildings that spurred the growth of the area. He died in December 2018 at the age of 74.

OBITUARY: Robert William “Bob” Bos

On Monday, council gave the enthusiastic thumbs-up to a proposal to name a lane in the historic downtown after Bos.

The previously unnamed lane links West Railway Street with Montvue Avenue, and passes next to the Spruce Collective, one of several buildings Bos helped construct.

He also built the Montrose Place project that houses six different storefronts and which the ADBA said “encapsulated downtown Abbotsford’s historic heritage in a new build.” Bos was also credited for helping lead downtown opposition to the Sumas Energy 2 power project.

The ADBA, in a submission to the city, said Bos’s projects, “among countless other improvements that he advocated for was a testament to his unwavering sense of commitment and leadership that kept the momentum of change going in a positive direction.”

RELATED: Protecting the past while planning for the future in Abbotsford’s historic downtown

Coun. Ross Siemens said Bos’s contributions are now on display across the downtown.

“I think a lot of what we see today is a direct result of him sticking his neck out, investing.”

(Before he became a developer, Siemens knew Bos – whose last name is pronounced “Boss” – when he had worked as a mechanic at his father’s auto repair shop.)

“From the time I was born to the time I graduated high school, I always thought Bob was the boss and my dad worked for Bob,” Siemens remembered.

Coun. Bruce Banman agreed.

“Much of the historic downtown is because he was the one who jumped on the horse first and led the charge,” he said. “All of this sort of came to be because Bob had a vision of how to make the downtown core beautiful, how to make the downtown core quaint and how to give it rich, rich character.”

And Mayor Henry Braun said the current success of the historic downtown “is largely because of Bob and a few others who came alongside and really put some time sweat and money to restoring the downtown.”

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