Grand Forks, population 4,049, is a city in the West Kootenay region and close to the Canada-US border. It was located where the Granby joins the Kettle River, which flows into the Columbia River. The town began centered around copper mining and was laid out in 1895, and by 1905 had three railways, several lumber mills, a smelter and a hospital. The town was devastated by fires in 1909 and again in 1911. Between 1909 and 1913, the area attracted pacifist Russian immigrants known as Doukhobors, who were attracted by the area’s fertile farmland. The Phoenix copper mine closed in 1935, and the towns industries focused on logging, agriculture, metal fabrication and tourism.
In 1991, Canadian Pacific (CP) decommissioned their railway line through Grand Forks, and the right-of-way became part of the Trans-Canada Trail. In 2018 the community was hit by severe flooding of the Kettle and Granby Rivers, prompting the federal government to buy homes in the North Ruckle area to revert to a natural floodplain.
Approximately 500 km (310 mi) from Vancouver, 125 km (77 mi) from Osoyoos and 23 km (14 mi) west of the resort area of Christina Lake by road.
Grand Forks Attractions
Grand Forks Municipal Campground & City Park
7162 5th Street, Grand Forks, BC, V0H 1H0
Open: May 1st to September 30th
Whether tenting or in a 40-foot RV, this campground has hook-ups for electricity and water, with a free sani-dump beside the Rec Centre. Clean showers and washrooms are also provided. Be sure to check with the campground attendant for the washroom code and for what to do and see in Grand Forks!
The Markets of Grand Forks
Gyro Park, right along HWY 3, downtown Grand Fork
Open from Sprint through Fall, every Tuesday and Friday, from 8am until 1pm.
The mainstay being the Grand Forks Farmers Market. Taking place every Tuesday and Friday, you will find farm fresh food that was picked that morning, handmade crafts, coffee, beauty products, spirits, the occasional food truck, and even live music. The market also includes some regional vendors from throughout the Kootenays.
Downtown Grand Forks is Alive with Art!
Downtown Grand Forks was hard-hit in the 2018 flood. Downtown Grand Forks has become a place of revitalization for small business owners. Most of the buildings have been restored and open for business. Shop here for ice cream, books, board games, clothing, shoes, coffee, dinner, lunch, breakfast, cross-fit, yoga, and more. Local business owners have also added some artistic life to our streets.