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Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Prince Rupert, with its 12,000 residents, is located on the northwest coast of British Columbia, at the western end of the Yellowhead Route #16 of the Trans-Canada, which after a ferry crossing continues on Haida Gwai (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands). It is also a major west coast shipping harbour for exports of Canadian goods and raw materials, being at the west end of the Canadian National Railway line across Canada. Prince Rupert is only 48 km (30 miles) south of Alaska, USA!

Prince Rupert is located on Kaien Island in the territory of the Tsimshan First Nations. Prince Rupert calls itself “The City of Rainbows” and is Canada’s wettest city with 2,620 mm (103 inches) of average annual precipitation.

Prince Rupert’s deep harbor, surrounded by towering mountains and lush rainforests, made it attractive for both residents and visitors, though the high mountains cast a “rain shadow” on the community, giving it the highest rainfall (2,620 mm (103 in) per year) and cloudy-days (only 1230 hours of sunshine per year) of any place in Canada.

 

Prince Rupert History

The area has been home to the  Coast Tsimshian First Nations for at least 5,000 years.

In the late 1800s, the area attracted the attention of European explorers, who saw the potential for a deep-sea port that could connect the west coast of North America to Asia. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was built to connect Prince Rupert to the rest of Canada, and the town quickly grew into a bustling hub for transportation and commerce.

Following a Canada wide contest, the town was name after Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the first Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company,  who never visited Canada.

By 1909 the town was bustling, and there was lots of land speculation as the railway was parceling  off its land holdings in the community. The real estate boom ended in 1912, followed by World War One, which shifted Canada’s shipping focus to the East Coast. Mount Hays, the larger of two mountains on Kaien Island, where Prince Rupert is located is named for Charles Melville Hays, president of the Grant Trunk Pacific Railway.

During World War II, Prince Rupert played a vital role in the war effort as a major port for the movement of troops and supplies to and from the Pacific.  During the War,  US troops completed the road between Prince Rupert and Terrace to help move thousands of allied troops to the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific.

After the war years, the town continued to thrive as an important transportation hub and a center for fishing and logging. Today, Prince Rupert remains an important gateway to Asia, with its port serving as a major hub for international trade.

Prince Rupert Attractions

Museum of Northern British Columbia

100 First Ave West, Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1A8
(250) 624-3207
Website

This museum showcases the history, art, and culture of the First Nations and non-Indigenous people of the region. It has a collection of artifacts, exhibits, and educational programs

North Pacific Cannery

1889 Skeena Dr, Port Edward, BC V0V 1G0
(250) 628-3538
Website

This historic site is a preserved cannery that tells the story of the fishing industry in the region. It has exhibits, guided tours, and workshops

Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary

Prince Rupert, BC V0V 1G0
(250) 559-8818
Website: https://www.khutzeymateen.com/

This sanctuary is a protected area for grizzly bears and other wildlife. It has tours by boat and viewing opportunities

Butze Rapids Park

5 km E of downtown Prince Rupert, on Highway 16
(250) 624-6700
Website

This park has hiking trails, a suspension bridge, and views of the rapids. The 5.1-km loop is generally considered an easy route, taking under 1.5 hours to complete.

Port Interpretive Centre

215 Cow Bay Rd, Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1A2
(250) 624-3202
Website

This center has exhibits and information about the history and culture of the region, as well as the port and transportation industry

Sunken Gardens Park

Market Place, Prince Rupert, BC
(250) 627-1800
Website

This park has gardens, walking paths, and views of the harbor

Museum of Northern British Columbia

100 First Ave West, Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1A8
(250) 624-3207
Website

This museum showcases the history, art, and culture of the First Nations and non-Indigenous people of the region. It has a collection of artifacts, exhibits, and educational programs

North Pacific Cannery

1889 Skeena Dr, Port Edward, BC V0V 1G0

(250) 628-3538

Website

This historic site is a preserved cannery that tells the story of the fishing industry in the region. It has exhibits, guided tours, and workshops

Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary

Prince Rupert, BC V0V 1G0
(250) 559-8818
Website

This sanctuary is a protected area for grizzly bears and other wildlife. It has tours and viewing opportunities

Kwinitsa Railway Museum

101 1st Ave E, Prince Rupert, BC, V8J 1A6
(250) 624-3207
Website

This museum showcases the history of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and its impact on Prince Rupert. Visitors can explore restored railcars and see exhibits on railway history.

Pacific Mariners Memorial Park

150 1st Ave W, Prince Rupert, BC, V8J 1A8
(250) 624-9118
Website

This park honors the lives of mariners who lost their lives at sea. Visitors can see a memorial wall with names of lost mariners, as well as a statue of a fisherman and a lighthouse. The park is located on the waterfront and offers beautiful views of the harbor.

Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre

1087 Saskatoon Ave, Prince Rupert, BC, V8J 2A7
(250) 600-0060
Website

This center takes in injured and orphaned wildlife, providing medical care and rehabilitation. Visitors can tour the center and learn about the work they do.

Totem Park and Totem Trail

120 1st Ave W, Prince Rupert, BC, V8J 1A8
(250) 627-0934
Website

This park features a collection of totem poles, many of which were carved by local Indigenous artists. The Totem Trail takes visitors through the park, providing information about the totem poles and their cultural significance.

Prince Rupert, British Columbia Area Map