City of Nelson, British Columbia

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Nelson Part of the BC Adventure Network. Over a million web site visitors annually !

City of the Arts

Nelson CourthouseLocated on the shore of the beautiful West Arm of Kootenay Lake, surrounded by the Selkirk Mountains, Nelson is home to 350 heritage buildings. Nelson's story-book charm with lush parks overflowing with bright flower gardens gives the visitor a sense of relaxation that pervades even the bustling city center.

In 1867, gold and silver were found in the area and Nelson grew quickly as a result of the frantic mining activity. Chateau style civic building were designed, as were lakeside orchards, and the first hydro-electric generating plant in BC. On March 4th, 1897, the City of Nelson was incorporated with a population of 3,000.

Today, visitors can ride the restored Streetcar 23 which winds along Nelson's waterfront. This popular attraction along with self-guided heritage walking tours and the Nelson Museum make the community's history come alive. Nelson has consistently been ranked as the number one small town arts community in Canada, by John Villani, who publishes The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America.

Boaters will also enjoy Kootenay Lake, a the lake that as a result of its size, is more like an ocean. In the afternoon, winds channel through the valley providing excellent conditions for sailing.

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City Information

Population: 9,700

Main Industries: forestry, mining, tourism

: Highways 6 & 3A, airstrip, heliport and float-plane base located 500 m. from city center. Greyhound bus & charter, as well as private service by small aircraft at the Nelson Airport are available. Scheduled domestic air service from Castlegar (30 minutes by road) daily.

Kootenay West ArmLocation: Surrounded by the Selkirk Mountains, and set on the shores of Kootenay Lake. The community is 663 km (412 miles) from Vancouver, 628 km (390 miles) from Calgary, and a short 55 km (34 miles) from U.S. border

580 m. (1,902 ft.)

Recreation Facilities & Activities: fishing, boating, sailing, canoeing / kayaking, swimming, windsurfing, wakeboarding, water-skiing and diving, Valhalla Park, Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, hiking, cycling, 3 golf courses, Whitewater ski hill, catskiing and cross country skiing. aquatic centre

Local and Area Attractions: Streetcar 23, restored Capitol Theatre, Artwalk, Whitewater Ski Area, Granite Pointe Golf Course, Lakeside Park, Nelson Museum (displays on Native Peoples, explorers, and settlers of the area, as well as art and history), Chamber of Mines Eastern BC Museum, Blaylocks Estate, self-guided Heritage & Craft-Art-Antique Walking Tours, Waterfront Pathway, Kokanee Glacier, Kootenay Lake Ferry, Harrop Procter Cable Ferry

June -- World Mid-Summer Bonspiel, Kootenay Lake Poker Run
July -- Nelson International Street Performers & Arts Festival
July to September -- Artwalk (a walking tour of the arts)
August -- Fat Tire Festival (downhill & cross country mountain bike races), Summer Songfest, Ameri-Cana International Relay (begins in Nelson)
November -- Kootenay Artisans Christmas Market

Accommodations: There are a variety of bed & breakfasts, first-class heritage hotels, comfortable motels and many campsites in Nelson and the surrounding area. The city-run park offers campsites in the downtown area.

For Information:
Nelson & District Visitor Info Centre (year round)
225 Hall Street, Nelson, BC V1L 5X4
Telephone: (250) 352-3433 Fax: (250) 352-6355
Toll Free (877) 663-5706



BC Kootenay Rockies Tourism
1905 Warren Avenue, Kimberley, B.C. V1A 2Y5
Telephone: (250) 427-4838, Fax: (250) 427-3344
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Upper Arrow Hwys 23 & 31:
Nakusp & Area
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City of Nelson, British Columbia