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Village of Valemount[1]
Looking West on 5th Ave downtown Valemount, BC
Looking West on 5th Ave downtown Valemount, BC
Official logo of Valemount
Let the mountains move you
Valemount is located in British Columbia
Location of Valemount in British Columbia
Coordinates: 52°49′52″N 119°16′34″W / 52.83111°N 119.27611°W / 52.83111; -119.27611
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional districtFraser-Fort George
Incorporated13 December 1962
 • TypeMayor–council government
 • MayorOwen Torgerson
 • Village of Valemount Council
List of councillors
  • Hollie Blanchette
  • Sheri Gee
  • Donnie MacLean
  • Pete Pearson
 • Total5.17 km2 (2.00 sq mi)
792 m (2,598 ft)
 • Total1,021
 • Density200/km2 (510/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s)250, 778, 236
Highways Hwy 5
WaterwaysFraser River Edit this at Wikidata

Valemount (/ˈvlmɒnt/) is a village municipality of 1,018 people in east central British Columbia, Canada, 320 kilometres (200 mi) from Kamloops, British Columbia. It is between the Rocky, Monashee, and Cariboo Mountains. It is the nearest community to the west of Jasper National Park, and is also the nearest community to Mount Robson Provincial Park, which features Mount Robson, the tallest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. Outdoor recreation is popular in summer and winter—hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and horseback riding are common activities. Valemount is one of 14 designated resort municipalities in British Columbia.

As a flag stop Via Rail's Canadian calls at the Valemount railway station two or three times (depending on the season) per week in each direction.

The name Valemount was coined for the Canadian National Railway station there in 1927 from the words vale and mount.[2]


The land that would become Valemount is in the traditional territory of the Kootenai, Shuswap and Rocky Mountain Cree. Other first peoples with ties to the area included the Lheidli T’enneh and the Mountain Metis.[3]

In 1950, the Canoe River train crash occurred south of Valemount Station.

Valemount was incorporated as a village under the Municipal Act (now Community Charter), on December 13, 1962. Until the construction of the Yellowhead Highway 5 in the 1960s, Valemount's population was small and mostly itinerant. Road conditions were poor in the wintertime and electric power unreliable.[citation needed]

Expansion and growth in the 1970s

Valemount in 1974

Valemount's population increased from 600 people to 693, and from 693 people to 1,160 in the 1970s. The sewer system was completed in 1975, a water tower of 300,000 gallons started to service the town in 1977, a clinic opened in 1978, and a new Community Hall was inaugurated in February 1979. A shopping mall (1978) and several hotels on Highway 5 were completed in the late 1970s.

Valemount in the 1980s

In the 1980s population growth slowed. In 1980, work began at the Starratt Wildlife Sanctuary with a clean-up operation at an old dumpsite. The Canoe Robson Education Development Association (CREDA) was founded in 1984 to assist local residents with continued education and training. Canyon Creek Forestry Products was replaced by Clearwater Timber Industries which employed 400 people between Clearwater and Valemount. After two mill crises in 1984 and 1986, Clearwater Timber Industries went bankrupt and was purchased by Slocan Forest Products in May 1987.

Peak of lumber production in the 1990s

The mill was closed for part of 1991–1992 but reached a period of peak production between 1993 and 1996 when three shifts were employed full-time (160 employees). The population increased in these five years by 17 percent. In 1998, Slocan reduced its work force by two thirds and by 2001 the local population had dropped by 7.7 percent. The sawmill, which had shut down by Slocan and then acquired by Carrier Lumber, never met its former production or employment levels, and closed permanently in 2006.

Valemount Visitor Information Centre
Kinbasket Lake
Welcome sign

There are approximately 20 restaurants in Valemount.

Improvement and expansion of village infrastructure

All streets in the village were paved between 1993 and 2000. Major projects, such as the Curling Rink and the Arena, were completed or renovated, and the airport terminal was completed in 1996. In 1995, Valemount was invited to join the Columbia Basin Trust, created by the Columbia Basin Trust Act to benefit the region most adversely affected by the Columbia River Treaty. The Mica Dam had been completed by 1974 and the whole Canoe River Basin flooded. In 1997, the one-person office of CREDA grew into a busy Valemount Learning Centre; since then, the Valemount Learning Centre has been employing three full-time and three part-time staff, who provide various training and employment services to Valemount's residents.

21st century

Valemount has high speed wireless internet, train, bus and highway service. The village has one weekly newspaper, The Rocky Mountain Goat News, locally owned and based in Valemount. It covers the communities of Valemount, McBride, Dunster, Tête-Jaune, and to a lesser extent Jasper and Blue River. The Goat was named the top newspaper in its circulation category in 2015 by the BC Yukon Community Newspapers Association.[4]

Borealis Geopower obtained three permits October 27, 2010, to explore the Canoe Reach area of Kinbasket Lake south of Valemount for geothermal development. It is the second region of B.C. opened up to geothermal exploration.[5]

Valemount has increased its infrastructure capacity by adding a second water tower (300,000 imp gal or 1,400 m3) in 2003, and now has a water treatment plant.[citation needed]

A wireless wide-area network was established in September 1999 centred in Valemount and covering a three-kilometre radius area. ADSL service has been available since 2003, and cell phone service (only some providers) since July 2004. High-speed Internet services were available in rural areas by 2005.


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Valemount had a population of 1,052 living in 513 of its 602 total private dwellings, a change of 3% from its 2016 population of 1,021. With a land area of 5.16 km2 (1.99 sq mi), it had a population density of 203.9/km2 (528.0/sq mi) in 2021.[6]


Cariboo Lodge is a weather station about 20 km (12 mi) south-west of Valemount. It lies below Mount Sir Wilfrid Laurier in the valley of the Canoe River (British Columbia). Cariboo Lodge has a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc).

Climate data for Cariboo Lodge, BC (1981-2010): 1096m
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 7.8
Average high °C (°F) −5.5
Daily mean °C (°F) −8.1
Average low °C (°F) −10.6
Record low °C (°F) −35.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 123.9
Average snowfall cm (inches) 117.5
Source: Environment Canada[7]


Valemount is one of seven communities in English-speaking Canada with a license to broadcast over the air community television. The station is commonly referred to as VCTV within the community. In the event of a prolonged power outage or similar catastrophe where traditional communications are impossible or impractical, the society owning the station can use FM radio to provide critical messages to the people of Valemount.

See also


  1. ^ "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  2. ^ Yellowhead Pass and its people. Valemount, B.C.: Valemount Historic Society. 1984. p. 201. ISBN 9780889253957. Valemount, this name, for the vale amid the mountains was coined for the C.N.R. station moved here in 1927.
  3. ^ "The History Of Valemount". 24 January 2022. Archived from the original on 21 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  4. ^ "The Rocky Mountain Goat News : About". Archived from the original on 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  5. ^ "The Rocky Mountain Goat News : Calgary firm snags geothermal permits". 2 November 2010. Archived from the original on 2023-11-21. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  6. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), British Columbia". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Archived from the original on March 6, 2023. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  7. ^ "Cariboo Lodge, BC". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010 (in English and French). Environment Canada. Archived from the original on November 21, 2023. Retrieved August 31, 2023.
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