Castlegar

Discover Castlegar, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Nestled in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada, Castlegar is a community that thrives on forestry, mining, and tourism. Located in the Selkirk Mountains, where the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers meet, Castlegar serves as a regional trade and transportation centre. With a population of 7,259, it is home to Selkirk College, a regional airport, a pulp mill, and several sawmills. The town's early development and growth were largely influenced by the Doukhobors, a significant part of the local population.

The Rich History of Castlegar, British Columbia

On 5 September 1811, David Thompson arrived in the area of present-day Castlegar, camping near the mouth of the Kootenay River. The first settlement in the area was West Waterloo, now known as South Castlegar. The town boomed with the gold prospecting rush in the late 19th century, and by 1895, there were 40 houses in Waterloo. The town's name, Castlegar, comes from Castlegar Estate, the ancestral home of townsite founder Edward Mahon, in County Galway, Ireland. The town was planned in 1897, and by 1902, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) had built a bridge and laid wide-gauge railway tracks to Trail. The town continued to grow, with the first store, hotel, and schoolhouse being built in the early 20th century. Castlegar was incorporated into a village in 1946, became a town in 1966, and amalgamated with neighbouring Kinnaird into a city in 1974.

Indigenous Peoples History in Castlegar, British Columbia

Castlegar is located in the border area between the Sinixt (Interior Salish) and Ktunaxa Indian bands. The area was originally inhabited by the Sinixt people, with the Kootenai arriving several hundred years ago from central Canada. Kp'itl'els was an Indigenous settlement on the north side of the Kootenay River, just above the junction with the Columbia River.

Doukhobor History in Castlegar, British Columbia

The Doukhobors operated a ferry near Brilliant on the Kootenay River in 1910. Brilliant was the centre of the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood (CCUB) commercial enterprises, including the Brilliant Jam Factory, a grain elevator, and a flax mill.

Demographics of Castlegar, British Columbia

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Castlegar had a population of 8,338 living in 3,549 of its 3,702 total private dwellings, a change of 3.7% from its 2016 population of 8,039. The city has a land area of 19.87 km2 (7.67 sq mi), with a population density of 419.6/km2 (1,086.8/sq mi) in 2021.

Languages Spoken in Castlegar, British Columbia

The majority of the population in Castlegar speaks English as their mother tongue, with a small percentage speaking French and other languages.

Climate of Castlegar, British Columbia

Castlegar experiences a humid continental climate or an inland oceanic climate, bordering an inland warm-summer Mediterranean climate. Summers are warm and sunny, while winters are cool and frequently unsettled.

West Kootenay Regional Airport in Castlegar, British Columbia

The West Kootenay Regional Airport, owned and operated by the City of Castlegar, provides regular service to Vancouver International Airport.

Recreation in Castlegar, British Columbia

Castlegar offers a variety of recreational activities, with dozens of walking trails maintained by the Castlegar Parks and Trails Society. The Columbia River flows through Castlegar, offering boating and camping amenities at Scotties Marina and Syringa Provincial Park.

Geography of Castlegar, British Columbia

Castlegar's main business street, Columbia Avenue, runs the length of the city. The city is divided into several neighbourhoods, including Downtown, Southridge, Oglow Subdivision, Woodland Park, Grosvenor, Kinnaird, and Blueberry Creek.

Transportation in Castlegar, British Columbia

Castlegar is a transportation hub for its region, with an airport and junction of highways 3A, 3 and 22. The city is well-connected, providing easy access to neighbouring areas.

Sister Cities of Castlegar, British Columbia

Castlegar has three sister cities: Enbetsu, Japan; Yueyang, China; and Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador.

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