Cranbrook is a city in southeast British Columbia, Canada, located on the west side of the Kootenay River at its confluence with the St. Mary’s River. It is the largest urban centre in the region known as the East Kootenay. Take a look below for 25 amazing and fun facts about Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada.
1. It is the location of the headquarters of the Regional District of East Kootenay and also the location of the regional headquarters of various provincial ministries and agencies, notably the Rocky Mountain Forest District.
2. Cranbrook is home to the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel which presents static exhibits of passenger rail cars built in the 1920s for the CPR and in the 1900s for the Spokane International Railway.
3. Originally inhabited by Ktunaxa peoples, the land that Cranbrook now occupies was bought by European settlers, notably Colonel James Baker who named his newly acquired land Cranbrook after his home in Cranbrook, Kent, England.
4. In 1890, the Kootenay Indian Residential School, also called St. Eugene’s, opened in Cranbrook, and operated until 1975.
5. In 1898, Baker had successfully convinced Canadian Pacific Railway to establish their Crowsnest Pass line through Cranbrook rather than nearby Gold Rush Boom Town Fort Steele.
6. With that accomplishment Cranbrook became the major centre of the region, while Fort Steele declined; however, the latter is today a preserved heritage town.
7. On November 1, 1905, Cranbrook was incorporated as a city.
8. Some of the major industries include mining and forestry services, trades, and health care.
9. While much of the city is relatively flat, Cranbrook is surrounded by many rising hills where many residential homes are located.
10. Cranbrook faces the Purcell Mountains to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the north and east.
11. There are many lakes in close proximity to Cranbrook. Some of these lakes include Jim Smith Lake, Wasa Lake, Lazy Lake, Moyie Lake, Monroe Lake, Norbury Lake and Elizabeth Lake.
12. Many of these lakes contain opportunities for boating, fishing and camping. There are public recreational beaches and provincial campgrounds.
13. Cranbrook features a humid continental climate under the Köppen climate classification.
14. Environment Canada reports Cranbrook as having the most sunshine hours of any BC city at approximately 2190.5 hours annually.
15. It is a fairly dry city throughout the year, and when precipitation does fall a good percentage of it will be in the form of snow.
16. Environment Canada also states that the city experiences some of the lightest wind speeds year-round, has few foggy days, and has among the highest average barometric pressure of any city in Canada.
17. Frost-free days average 110 days, typically occurring between May 26 to September 14.
18. The highest temperature ever recorded in Cranbrook was 40.5 °C (105 °F) on August 10, 2018.
19. Cranbrook is at the junction of major highways 3 and 93/95, and due to its close proximity to the borders of Alberta and the United States, it is an important transportation hub. Cranbrook has a major Canadian Pacific Railway yard, which serves as a key gateway for trains arriving from and departing to the United States.
20. The McPhee Bridge also known as the St. Mary’s Bridge rises high above the St. Mary River and is near the Canadian Rockies International Airport and the Shadow Mountain Golf Community. It supports the thousands of people who travel between Kimberley and Cranbrook on highway 95A.
21. Approximately 9 km (6 mi) north is the Canadian Rockies International Airport, which has recently completed its 12.5 million dollar expansion including the lengthening of its runway from 6000 to 8000 feet in order to accommodate a limited number of international flights and an expansion to the Terminal for more passengers.
22. The airport is served by Air Canada Jazz to Vancouver, Pacific Coastal Airlines to Victoria and Kelowna, and WestJet Link to Vancouver and Calgary. On February 11, 1978, Pacific Western Airlines Flight 314, a Boeing 737-200, nearly impacted a snowplow on the runway at the airport in Cranbrook, then lost control and crashed, killing 42 of the 49 people on board.
23. Cranbrook has a public transit system operated by BC Transit, which runs buses on eight different lines.
24. Cranbrook has the largest hospital in the region, the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.
25. Western Financial Place (formerly called the RecPlex) is a pool and hockey arena in Cranbrook that opened in 2000, and was formerly the home to the Kootenay Ice until relocating to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 2019.