New Hazelton, British Columbia Canada

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

New Hazelton, British Columbia, is a district municipality nestled on the south side of the Bulkley River in the Skeena region of west-central British Columbia, Canada. Located on BC Highway 16, New Hazelton is approximately 68 kilometres northwest of Smithers and 137 kilometres northeast of Terrace. It is one of the "Three Hazeltons", along with the original "Old" Hazelton to the northwest and South Hazelton to the west.

The Establishment of New Hazelton, British Columbia

The community of New Hazelton was established in 1911 during the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. This period saw a surge of interest in Central and Northern British Columbia, particularly along the proposed route of the railway. While the Grand Trunk Pacific built many of the towns along the line, others like New Hazelton were purchased and promoted by land speculators, who bought the properties in advance of the railway.

New Hazelton was originally Lot 882, purchased by Robert Kelly in 1911. The location was strategically chosen due to its proximity to the Rocher de Boule and Silver Standard mines, both of which were potential customers for the railway. Despite initial disputes over the location of the railway station, New Hazelton prospered during rail construction. By 1913, it had 121 buildings and a population of 350.

The Infamous Union Bank Robberies in New Hazelton, British Columbia

New Hazelton has a rich history, marked by events such as the Union Bank robberies of 1913 and 1914. The first robbery in November 1913 saw gunmen escape with $16,000, a significant amount in those days. The second robbery occurred on April 7, 1914, a historic day for the area as the last spike of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was being driven 180 miles away in Fort Fraser. This robbery was thwarted by local residents, and the culprits were eventually brought to justice.

Demographics of New Hazelton, British Columbia

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, New Hazelton had a population of 602 living in 266 of its 305 total private dwellings. This represented a change of 3.8% from its 2016 population of 580. With a land area of 24.34 km2, it had a population density of 24.7/km2 in 2021.

Tourist Attractions in New Hazelton, British Columbia

New Hazelton offers a variety of tourist attractions that showcase its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. The 'Ksan Historical Village, a Canadian heritage site, is located where the Bulkley and Skeena rivers meet. The Hagwilget Canyon Bridge, one of North America's highest suspension bridges, offers breathtaking views. New Hazelton is also known as the "Totem Pole Capital of the World", with over four dozen classic totem poles in the nearby native villages. For fishing enthusiasts, the nearby Kispiox River offers excellent opportunities for steelhead fishing.