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

Kaslo, a charming village nestled on the west shore of Kootenay Lake in the West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia, is a member municipality of the Central Kootenay Regional District. Known as the "Little Switzerland of Canada," Kaslo is a treasure trove of history and natural beauty.

The Historical Significance of Mining in Kaslo, British Columbia

In the late 19th century, Kaslo was a bustling center for shipping silver ore from mines in the area. The village expanded rapidly due to the silver boom, and in 1895, it became the eastern terminus for the Kaslo and Slocan Railway. Although the silver rush ended and mining activity collapsed after World War I, the growth in fruit farming and logging partially offset this decline, preserving the village's economic vitality.

The Community of Kaslo, British Columbia

Kaslo's rich history is evident in its community. After the 1891 townsite survey, building lots were marketed and Kaslo was incorporated as a city on August 14, 1893, making it the oldest incorporated community in the Kootenays. Despite being destroyed by the 1894 flood, the townsite was rebuilt and thrived, with a population of about 3,000 at the time. The Kaslo Kootenian, a newspaper established in 1896, existed at least into the mid 1950s. The settlement was re-incorporated as a village on January 1, 1959.

Demographics of Kaslo, British Columbia

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Kaslo had a population of 1,049 living in 526 of its 583 total private dwellings, a change of 8.4% from its 2016 population of 968. With a land area of 3.01 km2 (1.16 sq mi), it had a population density of 348.5/km2 (902.6/sq mi) in 2021.

National Historic Sites in Kaslo, British Columbia

Kaslo is home to two National Historic Sites of Canada. The SS Moyie, the oldest intact sternwheeler in the world, worked on Kootenay Lake from 1889 until 1957 and now rests on Front Street in Kaslo. Restored by the Kootenay Lake Historical Society, it draws thousands of visitors every year. The Village Hall, built in 1898, is one of only two intact wooden municipal buildings still in use in Canada.

Attractions in Kaslo, British Columbia

Kaslo offers a variety of attractions, from health and wellness facilities like The Sentinel and neighbouring Yasodhara Ashram and Ainsworth Hot Springs, to the Kootenay Lake Innovation Centre, a non-profit fostering creative events, civic engagement, and technology development. The Langham, a former grand hotel built in the mid-1890s, now serves as a public arts heritage centre and Japanese Canadian Museum. The Kaslo Golf Club, one of the oldest in British Columbia, and the Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival, held every August long weekend, are other popular attractions.

Japanese Internment in Kaslo, British Columbia

In 1941, Kaslo was selected as one of many sites throughout BC for the internment of Japanese Canadians. 964 Japanese Canadians were relocated to Kaslo in 1942, before being moved to New Denver in 1946.

Kaslo, British Columbia on Television

Kaslo has been featured on the historical television series Gold Trails and Ghost Towns (season 2, episode 2). It was also featured in the 1995 film Magic in the Water, starring Mark Harmon and Joshua Jackson, as well as in Tougher Than It Looks, starring Glenn Erikson in 2017.

Climate of Kaslo, British Columbia

Kaslo has a humid continental climate (Dfb) or an inland oceanic climate (Cfb) depending on the isotherm used. This unique climate adds to the village's charm and appeal as a tourist destination.