Midway, British Columbia Canada

Discover Midway, British Columbia: A Historical and Tourism Perspective

The Origin of Midway, British Columbia

Midway, located in the West Kootenay region of south central British Columbia, is a village that lies 13 kilometres west of Greenwood and 51 kilometres east of Osoyoos along Highway 3. The village's name has an interesting history. Around 1884, Louis Eholt obtained a preemption that became a popular stopping place for travellers, known as Eholt's. In 1893, Capt. Robert C. Adams purchased the property and created the townsite subdivision. Initially named Boundary Creek or Boundary City, it was renamed Midway by 1895. The name is believed to reflect the village's location approximately midway between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains.

The Railways of Midway, British Columbia

In 1899, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) extended the Columbia and Western Railway to Midway, creating a standard gauge link to Nelson. The Great Northern Railway (GN) arrived westward from Curlew, Washington in 1905. Despite CP opposition, the GN line westward reached Princeton in 1909. In 1914, the CP Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) connected to Penticton and Vancouver in 1915. The GN track west of Curlew was abandoned in 1935. Passenger service on the KVR ended in 1964. The Penticton–Beaverdell track was abandoned in 1973, and Beaverdell–Midway in 1979. The CP eastward almost to Castlegar was abandoned in 1991.

The Early Community of Midway, British Columbia

The post office and school in Midway opened in 1894. A provincial police constable was stationed from 1895. During the mining boom, the population peaked at around 700 in 1895, falling to around 200–250 from the late 1890s, and 100 by the late 1910s. In 1908, two masked bandits murdered Charles L. Thomet, a hotel proprietor. Despite a $1,000 reward, no suspects were brought to trial. Midway incorporated as a village in 1967.

Demographics of Midway, British Columbia

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Midway had a population of 651 living in 324 of its 340 total private dwellings, a change of 0.3% from its 2016 population of 649. With a land area of 12.23 km2, it had a population density of 53.2/km2 in 2021.

Climate of Midway, British Columbia

Midway has a humid continental climate, characterized by high diurnal temperature variation throughout certain times of the year.

Local Attractions in Midway, British Columbia

Midway is Mile Zero of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, a popular wilderness cycling trail which follows the rail bed of the old Kettle Valley Railroad. The Village of Midway operates the Kettle Valley Museum which highlights the life of early Boundary Country settlers. Notable museum features include a windmill from the Bubar farm that was originally purchased from the T. Eaton Co. The Midway Curling Club is a popular destination for Boundary Area curlers. A hockey rink next door is popular with local youth. The curling rink is home to the Boundary District Curling Club. Across the street from the curling rink and arena is McMynn park, a large green space which hosts many ball tournaments and picnics. Tubing the Kettle River is a popular summer activity, and the village maintains a stock of inner tubes at Frank Carpenter Memorial Park. The park is also a local campground, and is particularly popular with RV owners traveling through.

Midway, British Columbia's Aerodrome and Music Festival

Midway features a grass airstrip known as Midway Aerodrome which is suitable for small planes. Hangars were added in 2005 to the airstrip. Plans exist for a paved runway, but the completion date is uncertain at this point. Midway is also a host to the ever-growing Groove Music Festival.

Midway, British Columbia on Television

Midway was featured on the historical television series Gold Trails and Ghost Towns, Season 3, Episode 11.