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Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert, Northern British Columbia
The town of Prince Rupert began as a dream when founder Charles Melville Hays, president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Company, saw the island on which it sits as the perfect terminus for marine trade, and rail and sea travel.

Unfortunately, on a trip back from Europe in 1912, where he was rustling up money to finance his vision, Hays met with an untimely and tragic death aboard the RMS Titanic.

The Northwest Coast has fed the human spirit for thousands of years. The land and sea has generously supported a vast First Nations population for over 10,000 years. Long before European contact, Prince Rupert's inner harbour was the most densely populated area north of Mexico. The Tsimshian Nation is the indigenous First Nations in the Prince Rupert area - their traditional territory extending south to Kitasoo, north to the mouth of the Nass River and up the Skeena River just east of Terrace.

Today, the communities of Metlakatla, Lax Kw’alaams (Port Simpson), Metlakatla Alaska, Gitkxaahla (Kitkatla), Gitga’ata (Hartley Bay), Kitasoo (Klemtu), Kitselas, and Kitsumkalum are still vital Tsimshian villages. You’ll find the central offices of the Tsimshian Nation at Chatham House above the Museum of Northern British Columbia. Other First Nations in the northwest include the Haida, Gitksan and Nisga’a people. The cultural centre of the Tsimshian-speaking First Nations people today, Prince Rupert had been surveyed as early as the 1870s, and was incorporated on March 10, 1910, named for the son of Queen Elizabeth and Frederick of Bohemia.

Seventy-five years later, a number of local folks have rekindled Hays' dream, and by the mid-1980s, Prince Rupert had two major export terminals and a booming local economy. With this newfound prosperity have come culture and tourism. Located on Kaien Island, which was uninhabited a century ago, Prince Rupert is the true Gateway to the North, with travel options as diverse as the spectacular scenery along the way. As a critical transportation hub, it affords access to some of the world's most remote and admired natural scenery.

Prince Rupert's natural deepwater harbour handles significant volumes of commercial traffic as well, with ocean-going freighters from all over the world loading cargoes of grain, lumber, pulp, mineral ore, sulphur and coal destined for international markets. The port's importance will increase as Pacific Rim trade grows.

Population: 15,281

Location: Prince Rupert is located on the northwest coast of British Columbia at the western end of the Yellowhead Highway 16, 30 miles (48 km) south of southeast Alaska, approximately 90 miles (145 km) from Terrace, and 453 miles (725 km) west of Prince George.

From Prince Rupert harbour, the third largest ice-free harbour in the world, the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system carries visitors up the coast to ports on the Alaska panhandle and farther north. BC Ferries takes vehicles and passengers across Hecate Strait to the breathtaking Queen Charlotte Islands (Ferry to Queen Charlotte Islands). Travellers heading south can hop aboard the ferry for the scenic journey through the Inside Passage to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. Travelling east, you can drive the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16) toward Prince George, or hop aboard Via Rail's Skeena Train for a romantic railroad trip to Jasper, Alberta - with an overnight stop in Prince George.

There is a scheduled commercial service to Vancouver International Airport, with a flying time of 90 minutes between Prince Rupert and Vancouver. The Prince Rupert airport is located on Digby Island, with ferry service between Digby Island and Prince Rupert. Bus-ferry service is provided for regular scheduled flights with drop-off at the Rupert Square Mall. There is float plane, helicopter, ferry and water taxi service between Prince Rupert and most of the smaller communities throughout the region.

View map of the area:
Map of Prince Rupert
Map of Queen Charlotte Islands


  • North Pacific Cannery, Prince Rupert, BC
    Step back in time and enjoy the colour and flavour of life at British Columbia's oldest surviving salmon cannery. Visit the old canning lines, then stroll the cedar boardwalks and docks along the river's edge to the messhouse, bunkhouses, cannery store, net loft and offices of the historical North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward. Built in 1889, it was a functioning cannery until 1968, and was declared a National Historic Site in 1985.
  • View exhibits in the Great Hall of the Museum of Northern British Columbia; displays that portray Northwest Coast history and culture dating back to the last ice age. Witness the legacy of oral history, archaeological discoveries and unique artifacts that depict ten thousand years of ancient lifeways. Located on the oceanfront overlooking Prince Rupert Harbour, the museum also reveals the dramatic history of the more recent period, including the power of the fur trade and the heyday of railway construction.

  • Kwinitsa Station Railway Museum, Prince Rupert
    Built in 1911, Kwinitsa Station was one of 400 identical rail stations along the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway from Winnipeg to Prince Rupert. Today, this fascinating structure is one of only four surviving stations, and serves as the Kwinitsa Station Railway Museum, telling the story of early Prince Rupert and the role of the railway in its development. The Firehall Museum also awaits those wanting to learn about the past.
  • Visit the First Nations Carving Shed and view some of the finest carvers of northwest First Nations art working on copper, silver, gold, cedar and argillite (carved exclusively by members of the Haida Nation).
  • Prince Rupert has one of the best collections of standing totem poles in the north, with excellent examples of both Tsimshian and Haida totem poles. Guided walking tours are available.
  • Sail through time on an Archaeological Harbour Tour and discover why Prince Rupert has the highest concentration of archaeological sites anywhere in North America. The voyage begins at the Museum for an introduction before setting sail for the First Nations village of Metlakatla, on the Tsimpsean Peninsula. Returning through Venn Passage to Dodge Cove, visitors will hear the incredible 10,000 year history of this engaging cove, from the earliest Tsimshian village to the establishment of a quarantine hospital.

  • Prince Rupert Courthouse, Prince Rupert, BC
    Explore the colourful history of BC's first planned city on a Heritage Walking Tour led by a personality from Prince Rupert's past. This walk, operated by the Museum of Northern BC, includes the telling of local tales and stops at heritage buildings and historic points. Escorted bus tours and totem pole tours to see the wonderful examples of aboriginal art are also available.
  • Look for the Shoe Tree II - this old western red cedar now bears hundreds of shoes, sneakers, sandals and boots. The quirky footwear-decorated home for lost soles is just four kilometres from town, on the coastal side of Kaien island. Shoe Tree I is located on northern Vancouver Island, west of Port Hardy on the road to Holberg.
  • VIA Rail Canada runs from Vancouver to Jasper in the BC Rockies, and back to the Pacific Coast at Prince Rupert, with an overnight stop in Prince George. VIA Rail Canada connects at several cross-border crossings with Amtrak, for continuing rail travel through North America. Today's VIA Rail network and services offer outstanding travel options, whatever your budget or destination. Whether you're on a coast-to-coast adventure or on an Inter-city hop, VIA Rail's trains will take you there in comfort and style.

  • Docks at Prince Rupert Government Wharf
    Ocean sportfishing is available most months of the year in the Prince Rupert area, with the season generally running from late April to late September. Anglers hook chinook salmon averaging 25 to 30 lbs, and some at 40 to 60 lbs, from mid-April to early August. Coho salmon, smaller than chinook but great fighters, come through from mid-July to mid-October. Pink salmon are caught from mid-July to late August and provide excellent angling in years of good returns. The world record chum salmon of 35 lbs was caught in the area in 1995. Halibut fishing is at its peak from May to September, with a complete closure in January. Rockfish are generally available year round, and crabbing for dungeoness crabs is also very popular.
  • Freshwater angling for sport fish is available in nearby lakes and rivers, with the Skeena River peaking from early July to mid-September, depending on the species. Rainbow, cutthroat and dolly varden are caught in the lakes and streams from early spring to late fall. Fishing in British Columbia.
  • Flat-water river kayaking or canoeing on various tributaries of the Skeena River is a great way to immerse yourself in some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on the BC west coast. The Ecstall and Kasiks Rivers are both spectacular.
  • Princess Royal Island is best known as being home to the legendary white Kermode Bear, Spirit Bear of the North Coast of British Columbia. These magnificent bears are not found anywhere else in the entire world.


Search Premier Listings
  Wescan Charter Bus Lines, Delta Listing Details 
Our charter buses are fully insured, licensed and certified from 11 seats up to 58 seats and are ready to go anywhere in Western Canada and the U.S. The bilingual drivers and tour guides are available in English and Chinese. Our owner operators are always prepared to deliver outstanding service, ensuring complete customer satisfaction. We have several luxurious buses with some of the most experienced drivers in the industry. At Wescan we provide exceptional service transporting large or small groups of people out for a day of relaxation or several days of sightseeing. Our drivers are very experienced, courteous, and safety trained so that we may get you to your destination relaxed and refreshed, hoping that you may remember your trip with Wescan as a once-in-a lifetime event. Call for an immediate quote 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
 
  Bluewater Adventures, Vancouver Listing Details 
Explore BC and Southeast Alaska with Bluewater Adventures aboard our 70' yachts sailing the BC Inside Passage, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Gwaii Haanas National Park, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Vancouver Island. You'll see whales, Grizzly, Black and Kermode bears, and experience ancient native villages and Haida culture, primeval forests, wilderness, and amazing coastal wildlife.
 
  Careers and Jobs at BCjobs.ca, Burnaby Listing Details 
BCJobs.ca enables job seekers and employers to connect with each other. Search for employment opportunities throughout BC or apply for and post BC jobs and resumes. Use the internet as a resource to find that dream job, including accounting jobs, administration jobs, construction, manufacturing, customer service, sales, marketing, financial, technical, technology, health care, tourism, retail and more .... all in British Columbia.
 
  Ecosummer Expeditions, Clearwater Listing Details 
Ecosummer Expeditions is a world-class leader in Adventure Travel Tours and BC's original sea kayaking outfit since 1976. We specialize in sea kayaking wilderness expeditions, outdoor hiking and backpacking trips, coastal cruises, canoeing, and first nations native culture. We offer guided adventure travel tours and expeditions to Vancouver Island, Queen Charlotte Islands, Gulf Islands, the Interior BC, and the Great Bear Rainforest, including the Khutzeymateen Valley and Princess Royal Island. Wildlife viewing includes grey whales, orcas, grizzly bears, kermode spirit bears, marine mammals, and rainforest ecology.
 
  LandQuest Realty Corporation, Vancouver Listing Details 
Landquest Realty Corporation is a unique real estate company specializing in marketing recreational real estate, development properties, ranches, guest ranches, oceanfront, islands, resorts, lakefront, timber, trophy properties, remote fishing and hunting properties and Big Game Outfitter Territories throughout BC. Landquest's dedicated group of experienced real estate professionals provide the best possible service in every corner of British Columbia.
 
  Ocean Light II Adventures, Vancouver Listing Details 
Ocean Light II is a beautiful and spacious 71ft sailboat offering comfort, a classic natural wood interior, 5 guest cabins, fishing gear, 7 seakayaks, and a 19ft hard-bottom inflatable. Her crew has 34 years of experience offering natural history and photography tours on the BC Coast, including Haida Gwaii, and specializing in grizzly viewing tours in the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, and spirit bear and grizzly tours in the Great Bear Rainforest. We also offer whale watching and eco tours, from totems to intertidal treasures, rocky shores to sandy beaches, and spawning salmon to towering trees. We offer five spectacular adventure trips between May and October, each to a different region and each highlighting the awe-inspiring beauty of the beautiful BC coast.
 
  Prince Rupert Adventure Tours, Prince Rupert Listing Details 
Experience stunning and magnificent displays of wildlife in their natural habitat in and around BC's beautiful North Coast! Encounter humpback, orca, gray and minke whales feeding and playing in the sheltered Northern Inside Passage. Watch for porpoises, seals, sea lions, bald eagles, blue herons, and other sea birds as you learn first-hand about the diverse West Coast environment with our marine adventures tours. Our Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Tours offer a chance to see these legendary giants in the famous and pristine Khutzeymateen “Valley of the Grizzly”, home of the largest population of Grizzly Bears anywhere on Earth.
 
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