Grand Forks

Discover Grand Forks, British Columbia: A City Rich in History and Natural Beauty

Grand Forks, British Columbia, is a charming city nestled in the Boundary Country of the West Kootenay region. With a population of 4,112, it's located at the confluence of the Granby and Kettle Rivers, tributaries of the Columbia River. Just north of the Canada–United States border, it's approximately 500 km from Vancouver, 200 km from Kelowna, and a short 23 km west of the resort area of Christina Lake.

The History of Grand Forks, British Columbia

The city of Grand Forks was established in 1894 at the North Fork bridge, where the rivers join. Initially, the valley was dominated by copper mining and was known as Grand Prairie. The city was officially established on 15 April 1897, and by 1902, it boasted three railways, lumber mills, a smelter, mines, a post office, a school, and a hospital.

In 1908 and 1911, the downtown core was affected by fires due to wood-frame buildings and stores. Between 1909 and 1913, a group of pacifist Russian immigrants known as Doukhobors settled in the area, attracted by the fertile farmland. Today, many residents of Grand Forks are descendants of the Doukhobors.

In May 2018, Grand Forks and the Boundary region were affected by flooding of the Kettle and Granby Rivers, causing extensive damage to low-lying areas, including part of the downtown core.

Demographics of Grand Forks, British Columbia

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Grand Forks had a population of 4,112 living in 1,871 of its 1,969 total private dwellings. This was a change of 1.6% from its 2016 population of 4,049. With a land area of 10.37 km2, it had a population density of 396.5/km2 in 2021.

Industry in Grand Forks, British Columbia

Major industries in Grand Forks include logging, agriculture, rock wool manufacturing, fabrication (metal), and tourism. The city is close to the site of the former Phoenix copper mine, which closed in 1935. The sawmill in Grand Forks is operated by Interfor and ships forest products into the United States via rail.

Transportation in Grand Forks, British Columbia

The short-line Grand Forks Railway is based out of Grand Forks. The company owns 3.7 mi of track, which connects Roxul and Interfor with the Grand Forks Junction at the south end of town. The city is also served by the Grand Forks Airport.

Climate of Grand Forks, British Columbia

Grand Forks experiences a humid continental climate with a similar climate to the Okanagan Valley to the west. However, the Boundary area usually receives slightly colder and snowier winters and slightly hotter summer temperatures, due to its location away from large lakes.

Freedom of the City in Grand Forks, British Columbia

Several individuals and military units have received the Freedom of the City of Grand Forks, including Jock and Betty Ann McKay, Les Johnson, Larry Seminoff, and Gerry Foster.

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