Friday, April 14, 2017


         100 MILE HOUSE

              100 Mile House's population: 1,980

100 Mile House is a district municipality located in the South Cariboo region of British Columbia. It is also located halfway between Vancouver and Prince George along Highway #97.

The community was previously known as Bridge Creek House, it was named after a small creek streaming through the north end of town. Its origins of a small Canadian town date back through the 1860s during the Cariboo Gold Rush. A group of ramshackle buildings were used as stopover and resting points for miners on their way towards other places, such as Barkerville and Quesnel Forks, in their search for gold. Its current name comes from the reference of the fact that a roadhouse was built at the 100 mile mark of the Old Cariboo Road from Lillooet.

At this time, the road was so busy that 100,000 people traveled this route, so much so, a stagecoach and line was established. The modern origins of this town came in the late-1930s when Martin Cecil came from England to manage an estate owned by his father, William Cecil, the 5th Marquis of Exeter.

During this time, 100 Mile House had a population of 12 and only consisted of a roadhouse, power plant, post office and a store. A mural erected in August of 2011, on the south side of Coach House Square honors him, it has been said that the Cecil Family is the founding family of 100 Mile House.

For being the largest incorporated community along Highway #97 between Williams Lake and Kamloops, it has a rather sizable amount of businesses in its downtown area and along the highway. In downtown, you will find, a coffee shop,2 pharmacies, electronics retailer, a movie rental store, 3 banks, credit union, 2 grocery stores, 2 shopping centers, and a post office among others. Most of these are scattered from Birth Avenue at the north end, to Horse Lake Road at the south.
Furthermore, the downtown area is also home to the 100 Mile House Community Hall, famous as a landmark, because of its orange colored roof.

The highway part of town, on the other hand, has grown in recent years especially since the late 1980s to the early 1990s, when it was mostly ranch land. Today it ishome to numerous businesses that interest the tourist. This includes gas stations,
restaurants, pub, motels, auto dealerships, and a 9-hole golf course. 

The tourism information center located along the highway, near the center of town is home to the world’s largest cross-country skis, in dedication to the numerous winter activities and the many cross-country ski trails 100 Mile House has to offer.

As with many towns located within British Columbia’s Fraser Plateau, 100 Mile House regularly experiences a dry and warm summer and a cold, mild and sometimes wet winter. The summers average a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius
and average about 294 millimeters of precipitation a year. The winters are a different story depending on the year and circumstance (El Nino, La Nina etc.), the thermometer can sometimes dip below the -30 degrees Celsius mark with icy, wind chill conditions.

100 Mile House receives more precipitation year-round than its southern neighbor counterparts such as Cache Creek and Lillooet. This is due to its location in a valley, high elevation (about 930 meters, 3,051 feet above sea level) and that unlike
the above-mentioned locations south, there are no tall mountains to produce a rainshadow effect to protect 100 Mile House from the effects of severe weather. Thecommunity normally receives an average of 250 centimeters of precipitation during
the winter months. In 2010 during the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler on top of a mild El Nino winter, the temperature here averaged about +5 degrees Celsius during the daylight hours.

The 100 Mile House Wranglers, a Junior "B" ice hockey team and member of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL), play 26 of their 52 regular season games at the South Cariboo Recreation Centre.
This team began play in 2001 in Summerland as the Summerland Sting, however due to poor attendance and lackluster performance and results, they then relocated to Penticton prior to the 2009-10 season as the Penticton Lakers. However like in Summerland, poor attendance, poor performance, and strong competition from the British Columbia Hockey League's Penticton Vees, they then relocated to their current home in 100 Mile House in 2013.

During the 2015-16 KIJHL season, this team won the championship in that league, beating the Kimberley Dynamiters 4 games to 1 in the final series. In an ironic twist to the prior paragraph, it was Summerland's current KIJHL team, the
Summerland Steam who the 100 Mile House Wranglers beat for the right for them to play in the final championship series. 2 weeks following their KIJHLChampionship win, the Wranglers then went on to win the Cyclone Taylor Cup
(the British Columbia Provincial Junior “B” Hockey Championship). They beat the Victoria Cougars of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League 8-4 in the final game.

In mid-April of 2016, this team won the Keystone Cup (Western Canadian Junior B Hockey's equivalent to the Memorial Cup), beating the Saskatoon Quakers of the Prairie Junior Hockey League 3-2 in triple overtime. This championship gave
British Columbia, its 9th Keystone Cup, the most of any province that participates in this competition (provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northern Ontario).

This championship is also the first for a junior hockey team based in the Cariboo Region of British Columbia of any kind, since the Williams Lake Mustangs won a championship in the now-defunct Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League, in 1993. This is the 2nd amateur junior hockey team to call 100 Mile House home. For all you hockey historians out there, the 100 Mile House Blazers of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League played here from 1975 to 1980.

By provincial law, for a community to be labeled and qualify as a district municipality, they have to have an area greater than 800 hectares of land or an average population density of 5 persons per hectare. Currently there are 51 district
municipalities in British Columbia and 2 of them are located in the Cariboo Region, they are 100 Mile House and Wells.
Currently, 100 Mile House covers an area of 5,330 hectares and has an average population density of 35.4 persons per hectare.

Logging, tourism, and log-home building are beneficial to 100 Mile House's economy. In terms of the logging industry, most of the area's residents, work at a sawmill owned by West Fraser, and at a sawmill that manufactures Oriented strand
board (OSB) owned by Ainsworth (subsidiary of Norbord). Both of these mills are located at an industrial area west of town, near the railway siding of Exeter.

There are about 15 log-home building companies based in the 100 Mile House area, Due to this, the town has earned the title of being “North America's Handcrafted Log-Home Building Capital”.


Clinton’s population: 636

Clinton is a small community located on Highway #97 in the South Cariboo region
of British Columbia, between Cache Creek and 100 Mile House.

A townsite was built here in 1862 at the junction of the Harrison-Lillooet Trail
(known as the Douglas Trail and the Old Cariboo Road where Lillooet was Mile 0),
and the Cariboo Wagon Road (todays' Highway #97). For this reason, it was known
for a time in the 1850s as “The Junction”. During the Cariboo Gold Rush in the
beginning of the 1860s, it was known as 47 Mile House, because of it, being
located 47 miles from Lilloet on the Old Cariboo Road.

Clinton became a very important stagecoach stop during the 1860s Gold Rush for
tired and weary miners heading towards the goldfields at Barkerville. After the
gold rush subsided, Clinton relied on the ranching industry. Some of the oldest
ranches in British Columbia, operate in Clinton and the surrounding area.
Clinton which became incorporated as a village in July of 1963, was renamed
“Clinton” in 1863 for Lord Henry Pelham Clinton, a former Duke of Newcastle and
Colonial Secretary from 1859 to 1864. The Colonial Secretary was a title given to a
British cabinet minster, in charge of handling and managing the affairs of the
United Kingdom’s various colonial dependencies (such as Canada).

The Clinton Hotel was the host of a ball that was an annual event in the hotel from
1868 to when the hotel burned to the ground in 1958, however it is still a lively
event but it is held in other locations in town. For nearly 100 years, it was also a
landmark serving as a stopping point for travelers traveling along Highway #97. It
was located at the northern section of town across the highway to the Wolf's Cry-
Inn and Liquor Store. Ironically, when it burned down in 1958, it happened the
morning after that year's ball.

In the community, Highway #97 runs right through its downtown core and there
some services for travelers including gas stations, grocery store, credit union, a
couple of restaurants and there are also numerous tourist attractions of historic
interest, including a cemetery that dates back to 1861. A museum located inside a
old brick schoolhouse, is also located here. It recalls the history of the Cariboo
Gold Rush and Clinton's beginnings.
Pavilion-Clinton Road, just south of the core of town, is a pleasant 40-kilometer
backroad that goes southwest from here, to the small community of Pavilion as
well as Highway #99 and Lillooet. Through here are provincial parks (Marble
Range, Edge Hills and Downing), lakes (Kelly Lake), and river canyons to explore.
The road also has access to the backroad ranching communities of Jesmond and
Big Bar located just to the west, The turnoff to these communities is just before
Downing Provincial Park. Travelers can also access Williams Lake (via the Gang
Ranch and Dog Creek) on this road as well.

Travellers should be advised that travel on the Clinton-Pavilion Road just past
Downing Provincial Park, on the road to Pavilion, is best recommended for
summer travel only or to have a vehicle in superior working condition. There are
areas where the road is muddy in some spots and between September and April, it
can experience heavy snowfalls. It is also recommended to check in both Clinton
and Lillooet for road conditions for travel on this road. Similar to a stretch of
Highway #99 between Lillooet and Pemberton, this road also has several
kilometers of switchback (hairpin) turns.

downtown Clinton


Saturday, September 17, 2016


Sparwood’s population: 3,778

Sparwood is a district municipality, situated in the Elk Valley, just west of British Columbia’s border with Alberta.

This small town is named from the area’s valued and respected wood that was once shipped and manufactured to the Coast and made into spars used for ocean vessels. In order to ship and load the harvested wood, a railway stop/siding was created in the late-1800s.

However, it wasn’t until the mid-1960s when the Provincial Government, as part of a urban renewal scheme, decided to build a new town to replace the old and historic coal-mining settlements and towns of Natal, Middletown and Michel which were settled in the 1890s, and relocate the residents of those towns to Sparwood. This scheme happened because these 3 towns had been blackened by coal dust and made living in them unsafe.

Sparwood officially became incorporated in 1966.

Although Natal, Middletown and Michel have since been long abandoned (Sparwood was only about 4 kilometers within the surrounding area of the 3 towns), their story lives on and is told on many of Sparwood’s downtown buildings which celebrate and depict the life and history of these towns through a series of murals. There is also a story board on the history of these towns located at the Sparwood Information Centre.

In 1968, a company by the name of Kaiser Resources Limited developed a coal mine (known as the Elkview Mine), about half of Sparwood’s residents work as an inside employee of the mine or work as one of its truckers or laborers. The coal produced at this mine (which is owned by Teck Resources), is used to make steel.

Sparwood not only relies on the coal mining industry but also relies on logging and the oil and gas industry which are also a valuable asset to the economy. The town celebrates the coal mining heritage with a special event that takes place here annually, during the second weekend in June. Known as Coal Miner Days, this family fun event has everything from crib tournaments, street markets, to slo-pitch tournaments, and even bed races and parades.

Sparwood is home to the Terex Titan, at one time the world’s largest dual-axle dump truck, a major town attraction where it draws thousands of tourists a year to stop in Sparwood and take a picture of. Formerly from Kaiser Resources’ Eagle Mountain iron mine in southern California where it carried 70,000 pounds of rock. This truck is so large (about 350 tons of payload, 260 tons of weight, 6.88 meters in height, 20.09 meters in length, 17.07 meters with the box raised and 7.57 meters in width) that 2 Greyhound buses and 2 pickup trucks can fit on the back of it, all at the same time. Sparwood bought the truck in 1996 for only a dollar. This tourist attraction is located at the property of the Sparwood Tourist Information Center.

In terms of population size, Sparwood is the second-largest community in the Elk River Valley after Fernie. It is one of the province’s youngest and newest incorporated communities. It is however, older than Elkford, a town of about 2,500 people, located just north of Sparwood on Highway #43 as that town has been around only since 1971.

Sparwood's business center is situated along 3 main streets (Red Cedar Drive, Aspen Drive and Centennial Square). Business along these streets include a shopping center, drug stores, gas station, restaurants, tourist information center and a couple of motels.

Because of its location high in the mountains, the precipitation accumulations in Sparwood are more higher than other locations in the Rocky Mountain Trench such as Cranbrook. Summer temperatures in Sparwood tend to average around 23 degrees Celcius, but be prepared for cooler nights especially during late Summer. From November to April, winter temperatures hover around the -5 to -10 range, but can be colder depending on how cold the winter months are. Also during this time of year, be prepared for harsh driving conditions especially the Crowsnest Highway (Highway #3) from here to the British Columbia/Alberta border, where blowing snow and limited visibility are common.

Sparwood is a sister city to Kamisunagawa, a city of about 4,200 people, located in Japan, on the island and prefecture of Hokkaido, the northernmost and largest of Japan's 47 prefectures.
view of Sparwood
downtown Sparwood


Is a small city located at the confluence of the Granby and Kettle Rivers, the latter river being a tributary of the Columbia River and is named after the junction of the 2 rivers; about 21 and 95 kilometers west of Christina Lake and Castlegar respectively in the Boundary/Kootenay Region of southern British Columbia.

The history of Grand Forks dates back to the late 1800s, when the original settlers were attracted to the area’s rich agriculture farmland. Wagon roads north of Marcus, Washington and east of Penticton helped quicken the development of Grand Forks as construction of the Columbia and Western Railway through and from Castlegar promised a great supply of smelting ore from the Crowsnest fields and in turn, also helped jumpstart the Granby Mining and Smelting Corporation to construct a new smelter in Grand Forks.

In August of 1897, Grand Forks was officially incorporated as a city and in August 3 years later; a smelter was finally built and was once the largest copper smelter in the British Columbia and the second largest in the world.

Doukhobors, a group of Pacifist Russian immigrants, moved into the area from the Canadian Prairies in 1909 in search of religious freedom, and because of the area’s suitable and pleasant climate, worked in the agricultural and farming professions. A recall of the Doukhobors era is remembered in Grand Forks via a museum that tells the history of the Doukhobors as well as how the area was like back in the day.

During the decade of the 1990s, Grand Forks held the distinction of being the fastest-growing community in the Kootenay/Boundary area.

The smelter closed after the First World War and was razed shortly afterward, however some remains including traces of some of its old slag piles can still be seen just a short distance from town.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Grand Forks’ population: 4,036

Granby River



Genelle's population: 823

Genelle is a small unincorporated residential community located approximately 13 kilometres north
of Trail and 5 kilometers south of Castlegar, along the western banks of the Columbia River.

Genelle was established in 1900 when Peter Genelle operated a sawmill to supply lumber for the Cominco smelter at Trail.

During the same time, the nearby locality of China Creek was home to a settlement of Chinese miners who panned for gold in the creek of the same name, when this area was home to a stopping point on the wagon road from Trail to Robson.

Known today as a dormitory community for residents who travel to Castlegar or in Trail for employment opprotunities. Genelle is small but it does have some services including a gas station, community hall, post office, and general store.

Friday, September 16, 2016


Kelowna’s population: 106,707

The city of Kelowna is situated on the beautiful shores of 170-kilometer long Okanagan Lake approximately halfway between Vernon and Penticton.

Officially incorporated in 1905, Kelowna was first settled by Father Charles M. Pondosy, a Roman Catholic Oblate Missionary who opened a mission here in 1859 and thus became the first European to settle in the area. Its name is an Okanagan First Nations word for “female grizzly bear” said to be a referrence and citation of a scruffy and giant first settler who lived literally underground. The story says that one day when he crawled out of the ground like a bear, passing First Nations people called him Kimach Touche, which meant black bear’s face or brown bear. However in 1892 when a new name was chosen for the settlement, some townsfolk thought the name to be uncomfortable or ill at ease so Kelowna was chosen instead.

Kelowna has an unbeatable climate of long, sunny summers and short mild winters, resulting from a rain-shadow effect from the Cascade Mountain range that protects the city from substantial amounts of precipitation. This gives Kelowna summer temperatures that often exceed +35 degrees Celsius and winter temperatures that seldom reach the -10 degrees Celsius. There are many things to do in Kelowna including golfing, hiking up Knox Mountain, walking the downtown streets, swim or sunbathe at the beaches of Okanagan Lake, and skiing at Big White Ski Resort. The Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League (WHL), play their games at the Prospera Place, a 6,886 seat multi-purpose facility, used not only for ice hockey but also for concerts among other events including concerts.

Kelowna first became a city on May 5 1905; the first floating bridge in Canada was built in 1958 but was replaced in 2008 by the new William Richards Bennett Bridge, named after a former British Columbia premier. In 1963, the Okanagan University College opened its doors and offers diploma programs to students. A major service center for the entire of the Okanagan Valley with fruit-growing, wineries as well as tourism playing a huge role in its economy, Kelowna held the distinction of being one of British Columbia’s fastest growing communities during the 1980s, when it had a population of only about 55,000 people and since then is British Columbia’s 9th largest city and has became a popular hotspot for retirees.

Highway #33 is a 129-kilometre highway that goes from downtown Kelowna to Rutland (a neighborhood of the city), Big White Ski Resort, and finally the small South Okanagan hamlet of Rock Creek. In 2003, some 2,000 homes were destroyed and about 30,000 residents were evacuated when a 61,000 hectare forest fire consumed much of Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park, caused by a lightning strike and fuelled by a constant wind, this fire was so large it also destroyed 12 of the 18 Myra Canyon Trestles originally built for the historic Kettle Valley Railway. Aside from being the Okanagan Region’s and Interior of British Columbia’s largest city, Kelowna is also the largest city outside of the Lower Mainland and Victoria.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Enderby is a small riverfront city, perched along Highway #97A and located in the North Okanagan Valley. It is also situated approximately halfway between Vernon and Salmon Arm, alongside the banks of the Shuswap River, about 13 kilometers north of Armstrong.

Known previously as Lambley’s Landing and Belvedere, Enderby was first settled in 1866 by Alexander Leslie Fortune who bought, settled, and took up land here near a bend in the Shuswap River. Fortune also became the first Caucasian settler to live in the North Okanagan Valley. To commemorate this, its name was then changed to Fortune’s Landing shortly afterward. Fortune’s land soon became an ideal sternwheeler landing for paddlewheel ships from Kamloops in order to ship supplies to the Okanagan Valley. The town began to grow in the early-1900s when tracks for the Okanagan and Shuswap Railroad were laid and soon after, Enderby, had a sawmill and a flour mill open for business.

Enderby today is named by its present-day name, after a place of the same name that is mentioned in several paragraphs of the famous Jean Ingelow-written poem “High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire”. This poem tells the story of a flood that happened in 1571 in Boston, Lincolnshire, England.

Villagers were then saved from the rising waters by church bells playing the tune “The Brides of Enderby” that was used as an evacuation alarm to warn the people of the town.

Here’s a paragraph of this poem:
The old mayor climbed the belfry tower,
The ringers ran by two, by three;
Pull, if ye never pulled before;
Good ringers, pull your best,” quoth he
Play uppe, play uppe, O Boston bells!
Ply all your changes, all your swells,
Play uppe, ‘The Brides of Enderby’

The story of why it is called “Enderby” isn’t really clear but one theory is that in 1887 during an afternoon tea party with some ladies, the Spallumcheen River (now known as the Shuswap River) began to overflow its banks. This is when one of the ladies, Mrs. Henry Oliver became inspired to recite the aforementioned and popular poem.

One of only a few communities with a population of smaller than 3,000 people that are actually considered to be a city, Enderby has many recreational activities including recreational boating, golfing, and many great hiking trails.

Incorporated officially as a city in 1905, its major industries include that of farming activities, such as cattle ranching and dairy farming, in addition to small-scale lumber manufacturing.

Highly regarded as the original inhabitants to Enderby, the Spallumcheen Indian Band, a branch of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) First Nations, have lived in the Enderby area for well over 10,000 years to fish and hunt near the banks of the Shuswap River.

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KELOWNA Kelowna ’s population: 106,707 The city of Kelowna is situated on the beautiful shores of 170-kilometer long Okanagan Lake ...