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5 Things you didn't know about Smithers, BC

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5 Things you didn't know about Smithers, BC

5 Things You Didn't Know About Smithers, BC

1 – Founded in 1913, Smithers was the First Incorporated Village in BC

Founded in 1913, the community of Smithers, British Columbia has grown over the last century to become one of the more iconic settlements in the area. It gained its village designation in 1921, the first such event in British Columbia. With a reverence to its history that is mirrored in the beautiful scenery and breathtaking seasonal shifts, there are few places in British Columbia that can boast the quality of life that Smithers has become known for.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Smithers, BC

2 - Named for Sir Alfred Waldon Smithers

The chairman of the board of directors of the Grand Truck Pacific Railway is to whom the community of Smithers owes their name. A financier and parliamentarian by trade, his time as the head of Grand Trunk Railway lasted until 1921 when the company was nationalised. Lake Kathlyn is also a representative of the legacy left by the Smithers family, taking the name from Sir Alfred Smithers’ daughter. Later, his son, Waldon Smithers, would take over his father’s constituency and become a member of the House of Commons, spending 30 years in the position, and was knighted in 1934.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Smithers, BC

3 - Connection to the Wet’suwet’en People

Not unlike so much of British Columbia, the area where modern day Smithers now stands was once part of the expansive First Nations. Translated, roughly, as “People of the lower hills” the Wet’suwet’en are classified as being part of the Athapaskan language group, and had a territory that surrounded the Bulkley River in the northern interior. Today we can map where Wet’suwet’en lived from the west near Hagwilget in New Hazleton to the east of Burns Lake. Wet’suwet’en is also sometimes written as: Hwotsotenne, Witsuwit'en, Wetsuwet'en, or Wets'uwet'en.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Smithers, BC

4 - Town Bylaws Require Businesses to Support an Alpine Theme

Smithers requires all the businesses operating in the downtown core on Main Street to construct the buildings in such a way that the alpine theme of the area is maintained. Near the entrance of Main Street you can spot “The Alpenman” or, sometimes simply called, “Alpine Al” which serves as a representative of the town’s symbol and mascot. Interestingly, the residents of Smithers are more accepting of being referred to as Smithereens than the other demonym Smitherite.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Smithers, BC

5 – Known for Its World-Class Skiing and Fishing

There are certainly many reasons to be drawn to Smithers, among them you’ll find some very impressive skiing options, along with top-notch fishing opportunities with a particular emphasis on steelhead. If winter sports are you’re thing, head over to the Hudson Bay Mountain and get out on the slopes. Alternatively, in the summer Smithers offers great hiking options, extreme spots with paragliding, mountain biking and much more. The community of Smithers was referenced on the popular show “How I Met Your Mother” in episode six of the seventh season as well as having had “Alice, I think” set in the town.

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