The Town of Smithers is situated northwestern British Columbia directly on the Trans Canada Highway 16, approximately half way between the cities of Prince Rupert and Prince George. It was founded in 1913 as a regional centre for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad.
Nearly 6,000 people call Smithers home and nearly 20,000 live in the surrounding valley and rural communities. As a service centre, Smithers offers many more amenities than you might expect for a town its size. Smithers has a lively downtown, three major grocery stores, a regional hospital, and is a government service centre. The Smithers Regional Airport is serviced by two direct flights per day from Vancouver and is an established jumping off point to reach all points in the North and West of B.C. Smithers offers outstanding outdoor recreational pursuits during all phases of the year. This includes fishing and hunting, downhill and cross-country skiing, golfing, snowmobiling, canoeing and kayaking and many more. Coupled with a lively music scene, Art Gallery, Museum, theatrical performances and an energetic sporting community, Smithers has something for everyone.
Nestled on the banks of the world-renowned Bulkley and Telkwa Rivers, the picturesque, historical village of Telkwa is located about 11 km’s South of Smithers and is home to about 1350 residents. Tyhee Lake Provincial Park borders Telkwa and is a hub of summer boating, swimming and camping. Telkwa's spectacular natural setting offers extensive outdoor adventure and recreational opportunities. Many people prefer the small-town charm and country feel of Telkwa, the lots are generally larger then Smithers and the forests and nature are always only a few steps in any direction. Telkwa features some great eateries, a pub, convenience store, building supply store/ garden centre, elementary school and a post office. Telkwa also boasts an outdoor hockey rink, tennis courts, ball diamonds, soccer field, the Telkwa Community hall and a Senior’s Centre.
Just an FYI for navigating, you will find that many locals refer to directions on Highway 16 as East and West of Smithers but the Highway runs North until Hazelton. Locals do this because the general direction of the Highway 16 is to the West Coast and Prince Rupert. This can be confusing for visitors who expect North to be North.
The Hazelton area comprises two municipalities (the Village of Hazelton and District of New Hazelton), three unincorporated settlements (South Hazelton, Two Mile and the Kispiox Valley), four First Nations’ villages: three of which are of the Gitxsan people - (Gitanmaax, Glen Vowell and Kispiox) - and one of the Wet'suwet'en people - (Hagwilget). The Hazelton area is part of the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine. The Hazelton area features stunning mountains and rivers. Salmon and Steelhead fishing rule with the Skeena, Kispiox, Suskwa and the Bulkley rivers all running through or nearby. The Kispiox Valley has good farmland which follows the Kispiox River South and has long been a mecca for fly fisherman from around the world since the 60’s. New Hazelton is the commercial centre servicing the area’s 6500 residents.
Smithers is surrounded by a broad valley and productive farm land. Farmers started developing farms around 1910 when land was Crown Granted to Boer War Veterans. The majority of the rural area is made up farmland in large parcels averaging 160 acres in size [ ¼ section]. Much of the land around Smithers is in the Agricultural Land Reserve[ ALR] with the purpose of protecting farmland, which makes subdivision difficult. There are a number of 5 acre rural neighbourhoods that are [generally] on non- ALR land or were created before the ALR came into effect in 1973. Country properties are responsible for their own water and sewer systems, which can be expensive to build or replace. Rural internet services are improving but can be site specific so always ask what is available. Demand is highest within 15 minutes of town so if you are willing to go farther out you will see that the prices are lower. The rural neighbourhoods hold onto the past with community halls such as, Glentanna Hall, Round Lake Hall and Evelyn Hall that act as gathering places the community.