Montrose, British Columbia Canada

The Establishment of Montrose, British Columbia

Montrose is a charming village nestled in the West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia. Located just 7 kilometres east of the city of Trail along Highway 3B, Montrose has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century.

The establishment of Montrose was triggered by a legal dispute over smoke pollution between American landowners in the region and the Trail Smelter. Since the 1910s, the smelter had been buying out Canadian farmers who complained that the smoke was damaging their crops and orchards. Over 120 metres up the northern slopes of Beaver Creek, a plateau known as Wood's Flats was developed into a subdivision by Leon Selk Simmons, a smelter employee, and Arthur Garfield Cameron, a Trail lawyer. Initially named Beaver Heights, the name was changed to Montrose to avoid confusion with other settlements in BC with "Beaver" in their names. The name Montrose was likely inspired by Leon's Scottish roots and images of Montrose, Angus.

Growth and Access in Montrose, British Columbia

Montrose experienced steady growth throughout the mid-20th century. In 1947, Engvold Melgard and Louis Campeau established a grocery store, and a three-room elementary school opened in 1952. The following year, Montrose gained a post office when Beaver Falls lost its own. The settlement was officially incorporated as a village in 1956. The Trail–Fruitvale section of Highway 3B, completed in the early 1960s, replaced the rudimentary "cut-off" road dating from the early 1920s, improving access to the village.

Demographics of Montrose, British Columbia

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Montrose had a population of 1,013 living in 429 of its 435 total private dwellings. This represented a 1.7% increase from its 2016 population of 996. With a land area of 1.46 km2, Montrose had a population density of 693.8/km2 in 2021.

Features of Montrose, British Columbia

Montrose is home to the "Antenna Trail," a 4-kilometre loop hiking trail that rises 250 metres above the village and offers stunning views of the Beaver and Columbia Valleys. This trail is part of the Kootenay Columbia Trail system and is popular for its early spring accessibility and minimal mountain bike traffic.

The village shares its territory with a variety of native BC wildlife. Elk, Whitetail Deer, Mule Deer, Black Bears, and Wild Turkeys are frequently spotted on Montrose Mountain, and occasionally within the village proper. Hummingbirds are attracted by the numerous feeders put out by residents, with at least seven different species recorded.