mithers is a town in northwestern British Columbia, in the Bulkley Valley between the Babine Mountains and the Hudson Bay Mountain Range. Smithers lies on the Yellowhead Route of the Trans Canada Highway, about 370 kilometres west of Prince Goerge.
Hudson Bay Mountain is the dramatic feature overlooking Smithers. The 2,621m (8,600ft) high mountain dominates the town and sets the scene for its alpine theme which many of the stores and businesses along Main Street have adopted. Red brick sidewalks are pedestrian friendly with places to sit and admire the mountains. The mountain is the location of a popular area ski hill, calling itself “North America’s Last Authentic Ski Resort” with 44 runs and 1,759 of lift-accessed vertical.
Smithers’ 5,000 residents enjoy the area’s stunning natural beauty, rich history, and outdoor recreation. The town is a popular destination for hikers, skiers, fishermen, and other outdoor enthusiasts, and hosts several festivals (Mid-Summer Music Festival) and cultural events over the year.
The area that is now Smithers was originally inhabited by the Wet’suwet’en First Nation for thousands of years. In the late 1800s, the region began to see an influx of European settlers who came for the fur trade, mining, and timber industries.
In 1913, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway reached the area, and a townsite was established at the present location of Smithers. The town was named after Sir Alfred Smithers, a prominent figure in the development of the region. The railway made this town a divisional point (where staff rested and where trains resupplied with fuel and water. The town grew rapidly, with a sawmill, hotel, and other businesses springing up to serve the needs of the railway and the surrounding region. The railway was the town’s dominant employer into the 1950s.
During World War II, Smithers was a training center for Canadian soldiers. After World War II, the town was a hub for agriculture, forestry, and mining. With the construction of the Yellowhead Route of the Trans Canada Highway In the 1960s and 1970s, tourism began to take off in the area, and the community built ski resorts, fishing lodges, and outdoor recreation facilities and trails.