Our Communities

Grand Forks

Nelson

The City of Grand Forks is the largest community in the Boundary Country of Southern BC, the region that runs along the boundary of the Canada/US Border between the West Kootenay and Okanagan regions. Grand Forks derives its name from being situated at the confluence (or fork) of the Kettle and Granby rivers. Similar to its near neighbours in the Kootenays, Grand Fork’s beginnings are intertwined with the early mining and forestry booms in British Columbia near the end of the 19 Century. The history of Grand Forks is also closely intertwined with the Doukhobors, a group of pacifist Russian immigrants who immigrated to Canada in the early 20th Century, eventually settling in the West Kootenay and Boundary regions.

Grand Forks retains a rural feel and holds well attended famer’s markets throughout the spring and summer months and agriculture is still prominent in the wide, East-West valley. Warm summers, rivers and lakes, and healthy wildlife populations make the area popular with outdoor enthusiasts and hunting and fishing are prominent pursuits. Although the original industries that powered Grand Forks’ economy have diminished there is still significant activity in agriculture, logging, metal fabrication, and rock wool manufacturing, which produces spun fiber insulation.

  • Population (2016 est.):
    3,953
  • Age Demographic Profile:
    
Children (0-14 years):505.
    

Emerging Labour Force (15-24 years): 290
    
.
Primary Labour Force (25-64): 1,840.

    
Seniors (65+): 1,315
  • Primary Industry:
    
Healthcare

    
Social and Gov’t Services
    

Heavy Industrial
    
Industrial Services Contracting

    
Retail Sales

    
Agriculture
  • Major Employers:
    School Dist. # 51
    Roxul
    
Interior Health Authority (regional)
    Interfor
    
Bron & Sons Nursery
    Silver Kettle Retirement Living

Christina Lake

Although Christina Lake is more of a resort community than an actual village or town, the influx of vacationing city dwellers from around the Kootenay-Boundary region, and beyond, makes it significantly more active over the summer months than the rest of the year. In the past it had a thriving sawmill and even a small commercial fishery on the lake but without a doubt the main economic driver now is the tourism and hospitality sector.

Christina Lake is said to be the warmest treed lake in Canada and at 18 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide provides plenty of water for boating, water-skiing, tubing, fishing, or just slowly cruising from end to end enjoying the sunshine. The area was prized by its first inhabitants, the Sinixt First Nation, and they left numerous pictographs still visible on the rocks along the shore in various places. The majority of the working age population travel to larger centers for employment.

  • Population (2016 est.):
    1,099
  • Age Demographic Profile:
    
Children (0-14 years):105.
    

Emerging Labour Force (15-24 years): 65.
    

Primary Labour Force (25-64): 545.
    

Seniors (65+): 375
  • Primary Industry:
    
Tourism and Hospitality
    
Retail Sales
  • Major Employers:
    School Dist. # 51
    Roxul
    Interfor

Greenwood

Greenwoods’s current title as “The Smallest Incorporated City in Canada” belies its colourful history as another of the Kootenay/Boundary area’s 19th Century boom towns. In 1891 gold, silver, AND copper were all found in the Greenwood area, leading to its explosive growth and incorporation in 1897. Amongst the colourful characters that made their way through to the city were John Marion Jarrett and his wife Mary Younger, a sister of Cole Younger, a member of the notorious Jesse James gang of American lore. In his earlier days Jarrett rode with the James/Younger gang, later in life turning to the safer occupation of prospecting instead of bank and train robbery. He died in 1906 in Greenwood. During World War II Greenwood was designated as a site of the first internment camp in Canada for Japanese immigrants, similar to New Denver in the Slocan Valley.

Greenwood today is known for its history and award-winning drinking water. Much of Greenwood’s labour force travel for their employment, primarily in forestry and lumber industry with tourism and hospitality industry the largest in-town economic driver.

  • Population (2016 est.):
    665
  • Age Demographic Profile:
    
Children (0-14 years):60.
    

Emerging Labour Force (15-24 years): 40.
    

Primary Labour Force (25-64): 315.

    
Seniors (65+): 250
  • Primary Industry:
    
Tourism and Hospitality
    
Retail Sales
    
Forestry
  • Major Employers:
    Vaagen Fibre – (Midway)
    School Dist. # 51
    Roxul – (Grand Forks)
    Interfor – (Grand Forks

Midway

Similar to much of the Kootenay Boundary Region, and much of British Columbia, The Village of Midway’s beginnings were directly tied to mining. The Kettle River Valley provided a convenient route between Washington State and British Columbia and when gold was discovered at Rock Creek in 1859 prospectors from the US swarmed through the area. With considerable traffic flowing through the area the townsite was plotted in 1893 and called Boundary City but was soon after changed to Midway and settlement began in earnest. Two railways were eventually established in the early 1900’s, the last surviving, the Kettle Valley Line, shutting down in 1964.

Today the local economy of Midway is largely driven by the forestry industry, as well as the agricultural sector, and as the designated Mile 0 of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, recreational opportunities abound with walking, hiking, and biking trails, as well as an arena and curling club, and a short drive to ski hills and golf courses.

  • Population (2016 est.):
    649
  • Age Demographic Profile:
    
Children (0-14 years):65.
    

Emerging Labour Force (15-24 years): 50.

    
Primary Labour Force (25-64): 320.

    
Seniors (65+): 235.
  • Primary Industry:
    
Forestry
    
Tourism and Hospitality
    
Retail Sales
    
Agriculture
  • Major Employers:
    Vaagen Fibre
    School Dist. # 51
    Mid-Boundary Contracting Ltd
    McMynn’s Family Foods
    YBR