Prince George, British Columbia

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Prince George
City
City of Prince George
A view of Prince George from University Hill
A view of Prince George from University Hill
Flag of Prince George
Flag
Motto: "Shaping A Northern Destiny"
Prince George is located in British Columbia
Prince George
Prince George
Location of Prince George in British Columbia
Coordinates: 53°55′01″N 122°44′58″W / 53.91694°N 122.74944°W / 53.91694; -122.74944
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Regional District Fraser-Fort George
Established 1807
Incorporated March 6, 1915
Government
 • Mayor Shari Green
 • Governing body Prince George City Council
 • MPs Dick Harris
Bob Zimmer
 • MLAs Shirley Bond
Mike Morris
Area[1]
 • City 318.26 km2 (122.88 sq mi)
 • Metro 17,686.50 km2 (6,828.80 sq mi)
Elevation 575 m (1,886 ft)
Population (2011)
 • City 71,273
 • Density 226.1/km2 (586/sq mi)
 • Metro 88,043
 • Metro density 4.8/km2 (12/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
Postal code span V2K to V2N
Area code(s) 250, 778
Website City of Prince George
Flag of Canada.svg

Prince George, with a population of 71,973 (census agglomeration of 88,043),[1] is the largest city in northern British Columbia, Canada, and is the "Northern Capital" of BC.[2] Situated at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers, and the crossroads of Highway 16 and Highway 97, the city is the service and supply hub for one of the fastest-growing regions in Canada and plays an important role in the province's economy and culture.

History[edit]

The origins of Prince George can be traced to the North West Company fur trading post of Fort George, which was established in 1807 by Simon Fraser and named in honour of King George III.[3] The post was centred in the centuries-old homeland of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation, whose very name means "people of the confluence of the two rivers".

1800s[edit]

Hudson's Bay Company post at Fort George (1880)

Throughout the 19th century Fort George remained unchanged, while Fort St. James reigned as the main trading post and capital of the New Caledonia area. Even during the Cariboo Gold Rush, Fort George was isolated, although Quesnel prospered as the Cariboo Road was built to its doorstep, making it the main staging area for the miners going to the goldfields at Barkerville. Then, when the Collins Overland Telegraph Trail was built in 1865–67, it bypassed Fort George, following the Blackwater Trail from Quesnel and continuing northwest towards Hazelton.

Grand Trunk Pacific Railway[edit]

Finally in 1903, Fort George's fortune began to change when it was announced that the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (later part of CN Rail) would pass near the fur post. In 1906, agricultural settlement began around Fort George and then in 1909, development of the town began as two rival land speculation companies built the communities of South Fort George and Central Fort George. South Fort George was built on the Fraser River near the Hudson's Bay Company’s trading post and Central Fort George was built two miles (3 km) to the northwest on the Nechako River. Both communities flourished due to the marketing strategies of the land promoter for Central Fort George, George Hammond, who advertised the community all over Canada and Britain, describing Fort George in glowing terms as being the future hub of British Columbia, having mild winters and being suitable for any agricultural endeavor (except for the growing of peaches). Ten paddle steamer sternwheelers serviced the area, coming up on the Fraser River from Soda Creek.[4]

Prince George (1914) Large building in centre is the PG Hotel

Properties were sold in both of the main townsites and many others nearby, such as Birmingham, Fort Salmon,[5] Nechako Heights and Willow City. By 1913, South and Central Fort George each had a population of 1500 and were booming as thousands of rail construction workers came to town for supplies and entertainment.[6] Both communities believed that the Grand Trunk Pacific station and townsite would be built in their town, and both were disappointed when the railway purchased the 1,366 acres (5.53 km2) of land in between them from the Lhiedli T'enneh instead, even though Charles Vance Millar, then the owner of the BC Express Company, was well into negotiations to purchase that property himself.[7] The railway compensated Millar by giving him 200 acres (0.81 km2) of the property and, by 1914, when the railway was completed, there were four major communities in Fort George: South, Central, Millar Addition and the railway's townsite, Prince George, where the station was built. And, although George Hammond fought a series of bitter legal battles for a station for Central and for the right to incorporate, the railway won in the end and the City of Prince George was incorporated on March 6, 1915. Residents voted by plebiscite to name the new city in honour of the fourth son of King George V, Prince George, Duke of Kent.[8]

War years[edit]

With the onset of the Great War in 1914, the local economy was devastated as many local men enlisted and the construction of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway was halted, creating a massive drop in population, a problem that was exacerbated by the ensuing Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918.[9] Prince George persevered through the 1920s and the Great Depression of the 1930s and did not experience any significant growth until World War II when an army camp for 6,000 soldiers was built at the foot of Cranbrook Hill, bringing new life to the struggling businesses and service industries. After the war, as the ravaged European cities rebuilt, the demand for lumber skyrocketed and Prince George, with its abundance of sawmills and spruce trees, prospered.[10] Finally, in 1952, after 40 years of construction, the Pacific Great Eastern was completed and joined with the CN line at Prince George, and with the completion of Highways 16 and 97, Prince George finally fulfilled George Hammond’s long ago promise of being the hub of British Columbia.

Modern history[edit]

In 1964 the first pulp mill, Prince George Pulp and Paper was built, followed by two more in 1966, Northwood Pulp and Intercontinental Pulp.[11] New schools and more housing were needed and the new subdivisions of Spruceland, Lakewood, Perry and Highglen were built. Then, in 1975, Prince George amalgamated and extended its borders to include the Hart area to the north, Pineview to the south and the old town of South Fort George to the east. In 1981, Prince George was the second largest city in British Columbia with a population of 67,559, narrowly edging Victoria out of the honour, whose population was then 64,379.[12]

Due to its low-lying location at a confluence of rivers that can freeze, Prince George has suffered flooding on many occasions.[13] In late 2007 an ice jam formed on the Nechako River and soon grew to a length of more than 6 kilometres, causing widespread flooding in the city. Faster runoff due to devastation of nearby lodgepole pine forests by the mountain pine beetle was identified as a contributing factor. A state of emergency was declared on December 11. On January 14, 2008, with the ice jam still present, the Provincial Emergency Program approved an unprecedented plan to melt the ice by piping water from a pulp mill steam plant 2.7 km to the jam area where it would be mixed with well water and poured into the river at a temperature of 15 °C. In the interim an amphibious excavator was used for 10 days to move some of the ice. Costing C$400,000 to build and C$3,000 per day to run, the "Warm Water System" was completed on January 29, by which time the ice jam had grown to 25 km long.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

Geography[edit]

These cutbanks on the Nechako River are Prince George's signature natural landmark.

Prince George is located in the Fraser-Fort George Regional District near the transition between the northern and southern portions of the Rocky Mountain Trench. Prince George proper contains several areas: South Fort George, the Hart, the residential and light industrial neighbourhoods north of the Nechako River; College Heights, the southern part of the city which contains a mix of residential and commercial areas, and the Bowl, the valley that includes most of the city and the downtown. There are also a number of outlying areas that are also part of Prince George. Prince George encompasses two provincial electoral districts: Prince George-Mackenzie and Prince George-Valemount. Prior to 2008, these ridings were Prince George North and Prince George-Mount Robson. The cutbanks of the Nechako River are one of Prince George's many interesting geological features.

Local wild edible fruit include bunchberries, rose hips, blueberries, huckleberries, cranberries, chokecherries, strawberries, raspberries, saskatoons, currants, gooseberries, and soapberries (from which "Indian ice-cream" is made). Morel mushrooms are also native to this area.

Climate[edit]

The area has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb), but with winters that are milder than what the latitude and elevation may suggest: the January average is −9.6 °C (14.7 °F), and there are an average of 38 days from December to February where the high reaches or surpasses freezing. Winter months in which Pacific air masses dominate may thaw on a majority of days, as in January 2006 when the mean daily maximum temperature was 1.5 °C (35 °F). On the other hand, Arctic air masses can settle over the city for weeks at a time; in a rare case like January 1950, the temperature can stay well below freezing over a whole calendar month. Summer days are warm, with a July high of 22.1 °C (72 °F), but lows are often cool, with monthly lows averaging below 10 °C (50 °F). The transitions between winter and summer, however, are short. There is some precipitation year-round, but February through April is the driest period. Snow averages 216 centimetres (85.0 in) each year, sometimes, but not always, falling in May and October, rarely later or earlier, respectively, than that.

Climate data for Prince George Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high Humidex 12.8 12.2 18.5 29.2 35.3 36.4 37.3 36.1 32.7 25.1 16.6 10.9 37.3
Record high °C (°F) 12.8
(55)
12.8
(55)
18.9
(66)
29.7
(85.5)
36.0
(96.8)
33.9
(93)
35.6
(96.1)
33.4
(92.1)
31.4
(88.5)
25.2
(77.4)
17.4
(63.3)
11.7
(53.1)
36.0
(96.8)
Average high °C (°F) −4.0
(24.8)
−0.4
(31.3)
5.2
(41.4)
11.2
(52.2)
16.7
(62.1)
20.2
(68.4)
22.4
(72.3)
22.0
(71.6)
16.7
(62.1)
9.4
(48.9)
1.0
(33.8)
−3.5
(25.7)
9.7
(49.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) −7.9
(17.8)
−5.0
(23)
−0.2
(31.6)
5.0
(41)
10.1
(50.2)
13.8
(56.8)
15.8
(60.4)
15.0
(59)
10.4
(50.7)
4.5
(40.1)
−2.5
(27.5)
−7.2
(19)
4.3
(39.7)
Average low °C (°F) −11.7
(10.9)
−9.6
(14.7)
−5.6
(21.9)
−1.1
(30)
3.4
(38.1)
7.3
(45.1)
9.1
(48.4)
8.0
(46.4)
4.0
(39.2)
−0.5
(31.1)
−5.9
(21.4)
−10.9
(12.4)
−1.1
(30)
Record low °C (°F) −50.0
(−58)
−45.0
(−49)
−37.8
(−36)
−25.6
(−14.1)
−8.3
(17.1)
−2.8
(27)
−1.7
(28.9)
−3.9
(25)
−12.2
(10)
−26.5
(−15.7)
−41.7
(−43.1)
−45.6
(−50.1)
−50.0
(−58)
Wind chill −51.5 −50.7 −46.0 −32.9 −12.5 −4.6 0.0 −3.5 −11.5 −31.8 −48.2 −49.4 −51.5
Precipitation mm (inches) 52.9
(2.083)
29.5
(1.161)
29.7
(1.169)
36.0
(1.417)
49.0
(1.929)
65.3
(2.571)
62.1
(2.445)
51.5
(2.028)
56.3
(2.217)
63.3
(2.492)
55.3
(2.177)
43.9
(1.728)
594.9
(23.421)
Rainfall mm (inches) 8.1
(0.319)
6.7
(0.264)
12.0
(0.472)
28.9
(1.138)
47.2
(1.858)
65.3
(2.571)
62.1
(2.445)
51.5
(2.028)
55.9
(2.201)
56.5
(2.224)
23.9
(0.941)
5.6
(0.22)
423.6
(16.677)
Snowfall cm (inches) 54.6
(21.5)
28.1
(11.06)
20.8
(8.19)
7.4
(2.91)
1.9
(0.75)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.3
(0.12)
7.9
(3.11)
36.2
(14.25)
47.7
(18.78)
205.1
(80.75)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 15.2 11.7 11.3 10.3 13.5 15.2 14.3 13.1 12.6 15.8 15.6 14.3 162.9
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 3.2 3.6 5.7 8.6 13.1 15.2 14.3 13.1 12.6 14.6 7.0 2.6 113.5
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 14.0 9.9 7.9 3.3 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 2.6 11.3 13.3 63.3
 % humidity 77.4 66.2 52.1 42.4 41.2 45.7 46.8 46.5 51.5 61.5 76.8 78.9 57.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 49.0 84.0 153.5 204.6 247.5 251.0 286.2 261.8 177.7 108.0 51.2 43.6 1,918.1
Percent possible sunshine 19.7 30.5 41.8 48.7 50.1 49.2 55.8 56.9 46.5 32.9 19.8 18.7 39.2
Source: [21]

Sewer and water utilities[edit]

Prince George's drinking water is taken from the Nechako and Fraser Rivers via ten wells. The raw water is disinfected with sodium hypochlorite and fluoridated.[22] The local government treats sewage in a treatment facility in the Lansdowne area, on the west side of the Fraser River, or one of three other smaller treatment facilities on the east side.

Air pollution[edit]

The Prince George Airshed has many local sources of various air pollutants including several major industrial sources (pulp mills, sawmills and an oil refinery), vehicle emissions, locomotives, uncovered coal cars, unpaved and paved road surfaces, vegetative burning and residential and commercial heating.[23] Because the city and its local sources of air pollution are contained within a valley, there are often meteorological conditions that trap pollutants and result in episodes of poor air quality and unhealthy levels of air pollution exposure.

More people die in Prince George every year due to diseases associated with air pollutants than any other community in the province, according to data gathered by two B.C. physicians.[24]

As many as 81 deaths each year in Prince George may be attributed to fine particulate exposure in the air.

Demographics[edit]

Population trend, 1976–2006.[25][26][27]
Canada 2001 Census[28]
Prince George British Columbia
Median age 33.9 years 38.4 years
Under 15 years old 21% 18%
Over 65 years old 7.6% 14%
Visible minority 6% 21%
Protestant 31% 31%
Catholic 21% 17%
Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1996 75,150 —    
2001 72,406 −3.7%
2006 70,981 −2.0%
2011 71,974 +1.4%

According to the 2001 Canadian census,[28] there were 72,406 people living in 27,605 households within the city. Of these households, 23% were one-person households, below the 27% average provincewide, and 31% married couples with children, above the 26% average. Prince George had a smaller proportion of married couples than the province, 47% compared to 51%, but very similar persons per households. With 90% of Prince George residents being Canadian-born, and 87% with an English-only mother tongue, the city has few visible minorities. However, 10% identified themselves as Aboriginal, much higher than the 4% provincewide. Only 14% of residents between 20 and 64 years of age completed university, almost half the provincial average, and 22% did not complete high school, similar to the 19% provincial average.

Crime rate in Prince George, 1984–2005.[29]

In 2005, with a budget of $15,524,482 ($201 per capita) the 121 officer Prince George Royal Canadian Mounted Police municipal detachment reported 13,800 Criminal Code of Canada offenses. This translated into a crime rate of 179 Criminal Code offenses per 1,000 people, up from the previous year's rate of 177, and much higher than the provincial average rate of 125. In 2005, on the per 1,000 people basis, the city had higher crime rates compared to the provincial averages on all criminal code offenses except impaired driving (2.9 city, 3.1 provincially), theft from motor vehicles (17.1 city, 17.3 provincially), cannabis-related (3.3 city, 3.8 provincially), and business break and enters ( 3.45 city, 3.96 provincially). The city had slightly higher but comparable levels on all other offenses except arson (2.1 city, 0.7 provincially), motor vehicle thefts (12.1 city, 8.2 provincially), non-sexual assaults (17.6 city, 10.1 provincially), and shoplifting (8.5 city, 4.6 provincially). Prince George has been plagued with gang problems for a while and has had a steady rise in crime rate.[29] Prince George was declared Canada's most dangerous city for the second year in a row in December 2011 by Macleans Magazine,[30] based on data from 2009. Prince George, British Columbia hosts the 2015 Canada Winter Games. http://www.canadagames2015.ca

Canada 2011 Census Population  % of Total Population
Visible minority group
Source:[31][dead link]
South Asian 1,935 2.7%
Chinese 785 1.1%
Black 575 0.8%
Filipino 810 1.1%
Latin American 140 0.2%
Arab 140 0.2%
Southeast Asian 280 0.4%
West Asian 25 0%
Korean 65 0.1%
Japanese 240 0.3%
Other visible minority 40 0.1%
Mixed visible minority 65 0.1%
Total visible minority population 5,115 7.2%
Aboriginal group
Source:[32]
First Nations 5,485 7.7%
Métis 3,300 4.7%
Inuit 35 0%
Total Aboriginal population 9,065 12.8%
White 56,610 80%
Total population 70,790 100%

Economy[edit]

The economy of Prince George in the first decade of the 21st century has come to be dominated by service industries. The Northern Health Authority, centred in Prince George, has a $450 million annual budget and is investing more than $100 million in infrastructure over the coming years, as Prince George builds the BC Cancer Agency: Centre for the North, which will include radiation therapy facilities and associated buildings for modern cancer care.

Education is another key dominant part of this city. With the University of Northern British Columbia, the College of New Caledonia and School District #57, education adds more than $780 million into the local economy annually.

Forestry dominated the local economy throughout the 20th century, including plywood manufacture, numerous sawmills and three pulp mills as major employers and customers. The Mountain pine beetle epidemic of the late 1980s and 1990s resulted in a short term boom in the forest industry as companies rushed to cut dead standing trees before the trees lost value.[33] Sawmill closures and the creation of 'supermills' is already being seen in the area and more closures are expected.[34] Mining exploration and development may become the future of Prince George. Initiatives Prince George estimates that the Nechako Basin contains over 5,000,000 barrels (790,000 m3) of oil.[35]

Other industry includes two chemical plants, an oil refinery, brewery, dairy, machine shops, aluminum boat building, log home construction, value added forestry product and specialty equipment manufacturing. Prince George is also a staging centre for mining and prospecting, and a major regional transportation, trade and government hub. Several major retailers are expanding into the Prince George market, a trend expected to persist. In recent years, several market research call centres have opened in Prince George.

Heritage, College Heights, Hart Highlands and St. Lawrence Heights are prime residential areas, both commercial and residential development are growing at an accelerated rate and more subdivisions are planned for St. Lawrence Heights, West Cranbrook Hill and East Austin Road.

Education[edit]

Prince George's education system encompasses 40 Anglophone elementary schools, eight secondary schools, and eight private schools.[36] The anglophone public schools are all part of School District 57 Prince George.[37] It is also home to a public francophone elementary and secondary school, both of which are part of School District 93 Conseil scolaire francophone,[38] a province-wide francophone school district. Post-secondary education choices include the regional College of New Caledonia (CNC),[39] which offers two-year university-transfer courses, plus vocational and professional programs. Several BC universities, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the Open Learning Agency have integrated their local programs with CNC. Prince George is also home to Guardian Aerospace Flight School.[40]

The University of Northern British Columbia[41] (UNBC), established in 1990, is the second-newest university in Canada. A total of 55 undergraduate programs, 15 masters programs and two PhD programs are now offered at UNBC, as well as the new Northern Medical Program, a joint program with the University of British Columbia intended to alleviate the shortage of physicians in the north. A degree-granting institution with regional teaching centres in nine BC communities and a sponsor for several research institutes, UNBC has recently completed the construction of the I.K. Barber Enhanced Forestry Lab. UNBC's hilltop campus overlooks the City of Prince George and offers spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains to the east. In 2005 and 2006, UNBC was ranked by Maclean's Magazine as being the best small university in Western Canada.[42]

The College of New Caledonia[39] (CNC) is a post-secondary educational institution that serves the residents of central British Columbia. It was established in Prince George in 1969, and has since expanded across central British Columbia, with campuses in Quesnel, Mackenzie, Burns Lake, Valemount, Fort St. James, Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof. CNC enrolls about 5,000 students each year in approximately 90 distinct programs in business and management, community and continuing education, health sciences, adult basic education / upgrading, trades and industry, social services, and technologies. About 75 of these programs are available at CNC Prince George. As well, CNC offers university classes leading to degrees and professional programs in more than 50 subjects, with excellent transferability to universities in BC, Alberta, and elsewhere. All university classes are available at CNC Prince George, and many are available at other campuses.

Sports and recreation[edit]

Club Sport League Venue
Prince George Cougars Ice hockey Western Hockey League (WHL) CN Centre
Prince George Spruce Kings Ice hockey British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) Prince George Coliseum
Northern BC Centre for Skating Ice Skating SkateCanada (BC/YT) Elksentre arena
UNBC Timberwolves Basketball Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Northern Sports Center
UNBC Timberwolves Soccer Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) CN Centre

Prince George's teams include the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Youth Bowling Club (YBC) bowling teams (Nechako Bowling, 5th Avenue, and also a ten pin team), and Prince George Curling (Prince George Golf and Curling Club). Recently, the Duchess Park Secondary School Senior boys basketball team won the provincial AA title for the first time in 26 years.

The Spruce Kings hosted the RBC Royal Bank Cup May 5–13, 2007.

Prince George has been home to several NHLers including Murray Baron, Dan Hamhuis, Devin Setoguchi, Turner Stevenson and Darcy Rota. Eric Brewer and Zdeno Chara were teammates on the Cougars in 1995 and 1996.

Prince George Citizen Field opened in the spring of 2006. The baseball facility has established itself as one of the most unusual diamonds in British Columbia.

Recreation facilities include 116 playgrounds and parks, baseball, soccer and lacrosse fields, eight golf courses, plus tennis courts, ice rinks and roller rinks, a new modern Aquatic Centre as well as an older swimming pool and the CN Centre, which is a 5,995-seat multi-purpose arena. For hikers there is an 11 kilometer riverfront system of urban hiking trails called the Heritage Trails.[43] Four provincial parks in the region provide downhill, cross-country and heli-skiing.

Parks include Fort George Park, Paddlewheel Park, Rainbow Park, Connaught Hill, Foot Park, L.C. Gunn Park, Ginter's Property, Eskers Park, Forests for the World, and Cottonwood Island Park. North of Prince George is the Huble Homestead and Giscome Portage. The Otway Nordic Centre, operated by the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, is home to one of the largest Nordic ski clubs in the province, and boasts more than 40 km (25 miles) of groomed trails (5 km of lit trails for evening skiing), a biathlon range, and a 1,400 sq ft (130 m2). day lodge.

The Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Club offers weekly hikes in the city and surrounding countryside from May to October, as well as snowshoeing in the winter months; while the Prince George Section of the Alpine Club of Canada offers year-round hiking, scrambling, climbing, skiing and ice-climbing trips in the nearby Cariboo and Rocky Mountains and local crags. The Prince George Backcountry Recreation Society is an umbrella organization representing these and several other Prince George outdoor clubs.

For race fans, the Prince George Auto Racing Association (PGARA) offers a variety of racing events at the PGARA Speedway including the locally famous hit-to-pass races.

Prince George offers a Pride Centre for all LGBTQ and ally members in Prince George and the greater north. Located at the University of Northern British Columbia, the PC, an organization under the Northern Pride Centre Society, offers a safe space, resources, and support.

Prince George offers several nightclubs, sports bars, pubs and fine dining facilities.

The Treasure Cove Hotel and Casino is located at the junction of Highways 16 and 97.

Moviegoers can choose between the Famous Players six-plex or the Park Drive-in Theatre, which also offers mini-golf facilities and a go-kart track. As well, 'Cinema CNC' hosts two arts cinema series each year in the fall and winter, as well as a moving pictures film festival of Canadian films each February.

Prince George, British Columbia will host the 2015 Canada Winter Games.[44]

Arts and culture[edit]

Mr. P.G.

The official mascot of Prince George is Mr. P. G., an anthropomorphic assortment of logs who greets newcomers to the city at the intersection of Highways 97 and 16. Mr. P.G. was one of five roadside attractions featured on the first series of the Canadian Roadside Attractions Series issued by Canada Post stamps on July 6, 2009.[45]

In 1960, the first Mr. PG was constructed as a symbol of the importance of the forest industry to Prince George. It was originally 40’ tall and made of spruce wood. The mascot was built to ride on a float in the Pacific National Exhibition parade in Vancouver, and was the prizewinner for best float. On the parade float, Mr. PG was hinged so it could bend down when the float encountered high wires. It could also speak. In between appearances, Mr. PG was kept on display at The Chamber of Commerce building and was later moved to the Tourist Information Centre.

In 1983, Mr. PG began to deteriorate and rot, and in the summer of 1983, a reconstructed Mr. PG was erected. The new Mr. PG had a yellow hardhat and a time capsule filled with memorabilia representing Prince George in 1983 in its chest.

Mr. PG is 8.138 meters high, his head is 1.5 metres in diameter. The statue is constructed of fiberglass and sheet metal painted to look like wood.

Art galleries and studios[edit]

  • The Two Rivers Gallery, which opened in June 2000, has two exhibition galleries named the North and South Canfor Galleries, a gift shop and a galleria. It offers guided tours and art classes for both adults and children.
  • The Groop Gallery, which opened in May 2010, features modern and contemporary art created by local and regional artists. The Groop Gallery is the newest commercial gallery in Prince George.
  • Studio 2880 houses the Artists' Workshop, the Quilters', Potters', Weavers' and Spinners' Guilds. Its sister building, Studio 2820, is a Ticketmaster outlet and houses the Artisan Gift Shoppe.

Live theatre and symphony[edit]

  • Theatre Northwest is a professional theatre company producing stage productions throughout the year.[46]
  • The Prince George Theatre Workshop Society is a stage production company founded in the 1960s which puts on amateur theatre events throughout the year.
  • The Prince George Playhouse (originally built by the Prince George Theatre Workshop Society, now owned by the City of Prince George) has many different uses such as amateur and professional theatre, musical events and major plays put on by local small businesses.
  • The Prince George Symphony Orchestra (PGSO) is a mixed professional and semi-professional orchestra. The orchestra plays a number of concerts each year at venues around the city and occasionally tours other communities in northern British Columbia. A majority of its concerts are held at the Vanier Hall,[citation needed] which is attached to the Prince George Secondary School.
  • The Street Spirits Theatre Company is a Prince George youth-oriented social-action theatre group founded by its Artistic Director Andrew Burton with support from The Youth Around Prince Resource Centre. The group creates and presents audience interactive performances using improv theatre techniques inspired by Theatre of the Oppressed (Augusto Boal) and Theatre for Living (David Diamond) along with many other influences.[47] The group has been running since 1999 and has been given several grants from organizations such as the Vancouver Foundation and awards such as the Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theatre and the Canada Peace Medal, among others.[48] The group writes and performs interactive plays about issues affecting communities, such as drug addiction, teen pregnancy and racism and has put out several movies including a feature-length film dealing with northern sex-trade recruitment entitled "Streetwise".

A 2005 cultural project that involved Prince George had 'Spirit Bears' placed throughout various locations around the city. The 'Spirit Bear' is a fiberglass statue of a bear that has various sceneries painted on it.

Museums and libraries[edit]

Downtown branch of the Prince George Public Library.
  • The Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre is located in Fort George Park and offers a wide variety of galleries and exhibits, including a paleontology exhibit, First Nations exhibit, children's gallery, the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame, and the 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge[49] Fort George Railway complete with a working steam locomotive.
  • The Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum opened in July 1986, coinciding with Expo'86 and 150 years of rail travel in Canada. The museum has one of the largest vintage rail collections in the province, including vintage rail cars, locomotives and historical buildings. Most of the museum pieces are located outdoors on the lot. Some historical buildings include a building showing the advancement of the telephone and a building that was once a train stop. There is also old firetrucks and forestry equipment. As well, there is a mini-train that goes around the museum lot for the kids.
  • The Prince George Public Library has two branches in the city, the Bob Harkins branch in the downtown area, which is considered the "main" library of the city and the smaller Nechako branch in the Hart.

Notable residents[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Located at the intersection of Highways 97 and 16, Prince George is the hub for northern British Columbia. Considerable truck traffic passes through Prince George, which also has extensive facilities for maintenance of trucks and heavy equipment. Greyhound Bus Lines provides daily bus service south to Vancouver, west to Prince Rupert, east to Edmonton, Alberta and north to Fort St. John.

The streets in the "Bowl" area of Prince George are laid out in a grid, with streets travelling north-south, and avenues travelling east-west. The streets are named after prominent citizens, and they are placed in alphabetical order, starting with A (Alward Street) near downtown, and continuing westward to R (Ruggles Street) in the western part of the city. Some avenues in the city are numbered. 1st Avenue is located the northern part of the Bowl, and the numbering increases southward until 22nd Avenue (the highest numbered avenue in the city).

The grid in the downtown area is rotated so that avenues run from northwest to southeast, and streets run northeast to southwest. All avenues in downtown are numbered, while most of the streets are named after various cities and provinces of Canada.

Many streets in College Heights are named after various colleges and universities. However, College Heights streets are not laid out in a grid like the Bowl. Instead, many roads in College Heights are curved and/or winding, and most are called avenues or crescents.

There is an inland port to Prince Rupert in Prince George which is served by CN Rail.[50]

Prince George Airport,[51] located 7 km (4.3 mi) from the city centre, is an airport with customs facilities. The primary air connection to the rest of the world is provided by multiple daily flights to Vancouver on Air Canada and Westjet. Westjet's service also includes a weekly direct flight to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico during the winter months. Central Mountain Air and Northern Thunderbird fly to regional and smaller centres. Horizon Air provided daily service to Seattle for a few months in 2008, but the service no longer exists as of 2009. Charter services provide flights to outlying areas primarily by float plane though helicopter service is also available. An expansion study to allow the airport to handle 747s is currently underway .[35]

CNR freight lines operate out of Prince George as well as Via Rail passenger service; the Jasper – Prince Rupert train overnights at the Prince George railway station.

Local public transportation consists of the PG Transit bus service.

Directions[edit]

West of Prince George are Vanderhoof (96 km/60 miles), Fraser Lake (155 km/96 miles), Burns Lake (224 km/139 miles), Smithers (375 km/235 miles), Terrace (571 km/355 miles), and Prince Rupert, British Columbia (715 km/444 miles).

East of Prince George are Giscome (44 km/27 miles), McBride (211 km/131 miles), Jasper (377 km/234 miles), and Edmonton (739 km/459 miles).

North of Prince George are Mackenzie (185 km/115 miles) and Fort St. John, British Columbia (437 km/272 miles).

South of Prince George are Quesnel (119 km/74 miles), and Williams Lake (238 km/148 miles).

Annual events[edit]

  • The British Columbia Northern Exhibition, also known as the BCNE, started in 1912 and is the city's largest summer event. The four-day show was known as the Prince George Exhibition or PGX until 2012 when the name was changed as part of 100th anniversary celebrations. The BCNE is held each August and attractions include a large midway, food fair, trade show, art and horticulture exhibitions, 4-H exhibitions, firefighter competitions and many other events.
  • The Forestry and Resources Expo began in 1985 to educate the public about the importance of forests to the city and region, while displaying the latest in forestry technology, supplies and services. The Expo was revamped in 2013 and renamed the Canada North Resources Expo to reflect a focus on the wide range of sectors that impact the economy in Prince George and Northern British Columbia including forestry, oil & gas, mining, independent power producers, the biomass industry and transportation.
  • Downtown Summerfest was revived by the Downtown Business Improvement Association in 2012 and is held every August. The street party takes place in downtown Prince George and features entertainment, vendors, activities for children and a Taste Pavilion featuring food from local restaurants.
  • The Prince George Coldsnap Festival (formerly known as the Prince George Folk Festival) is a national folk music festival held annually in the winter at various venues throughout Prince George. Past artists have included John Denver, Bruce Cockburn, Sarah Harmer, Janis Ian, Alpha Ya Ya Diallo. 2006 saw Matthew Good, Fred Eaglesmith, The Paperboys, and many others.[52] Local musicians include: The Goat Island Extrapolation,[53] and Shae Morin.[54]
  • The Snow Daze Winter Festival is held each February. Some of the featured events include the Mr. PG pageant, curling, bed races, OTL (over the line) baseball, Texas hold'em poker tournament and snow golf.[55]
  • Prince George celebrates BC River's Day on the last Sunday in September at Fort George Park with a live free music festival. Performers in 2006 included Marcel Gagnon and Fear Zero among many others.[56]
  • The Father's Day Show and Shine is held in Fort George Park and features vendors, live performers and both vintage and modern cars. 2007's event saw an estimated 25,000 visitors and 365 cars were on display.[57]

Media[edit]

Government and politics[edit]

The City of Prince George's council-manager form of municipal government is governed by a mayor and an eight-member council; these positions are subject to at-large elections every three years. Shari Green was elected mayor in November 2011, replacing incumbent Dan Rogers. Shari Green is only the second woman to be elected mayor of the City of Prince George and is the first challenger to defeat an incumbent mayor in over 60 years. Prince George holds four of the fourteen seats at the Regional District of Fraser – Fort George. School District 57, which includes not only the city of Prince George but a large, sparsely populated area to the East and North, is governed by seven elected school trustees.

Prince George is divided into three different provincial electoral districts: Prince George-Mount Robson represented by Shirley Bond, Prince George North represented by Pat Bell, and Prince George-Omineca represented by John Rustad. All three Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia belong to the British Columbia Liberal Party with Rustad first being elected in 2005 and Bond and Bell in 2001. Bond has been serving as the Deputy Premier of British Columbia since 2004 and the Minister of Education since 2005, while Bell has been serving as the Minister of Agriculture and Lands since 2005.

Federally, Prince George is divided between the Cariboo—Prince George and Prince George—Peace River ridings. They are represented in the Canadian House of Commons by Conservative Party Members of Parliament Dick Harris and Jay Hill. Harris and Hill were both first elected in 1993. Harris defeated the New Democratic Party incumbent Brian Gardiner in the Prince George—Bulkley Valley riding. Hill succeeded Frank Oberle who held his riding since 1972 for the Progressive Conservative Party and served as the Minister of Science and Technology and the Minister of Forestry.

Canadian federal election, 2006
Prince George polls in Cariboo—Prince George[58]
Party Candidate Votes city  % riding %
     Conservative Dick Harris 7452 41% 45%
     Liberal Simon Yu 5005 28% 24%
     NDP Alfred Trudeau 4287 24% 23%
Green Alex Bracewell 933 5.2% 5.5%
     Christian Heritage Chris Kempling 133 0.7% 1.2%
     Canadian Action Bev Collins 117 0.7% 0.6%
First Peoples National Don Roberts 40 0.2% 0.2%
     Marxist–Leninist Carol Lee Chapman 35 0.2% 0.2%
Turnout 18002 57% 60%
Canadian federal election, 2006
Prince George polls in Prince George—Peace River[59]
Party Candidate Votes city  % riding %
     Conservative Jay Hill 4441 46% 60%
     NDP Malcolm Crockett 2170 23% 17%
     Liberal Nathan Bauder 2120 22% 16%
Green Hilary Crowley 748 7.8% 6.4%
     Independent Donna Young 76 0.8% 0.9%
Turnout 9575 56% 53%

Bibliography[edit]

  • Christensen, Bev (1989). Prince George: Rivers, Railways and Timber. Burlington: Windsor. ISBN 0-89781-266-2. 
  • Downs, Art (1971). Paddlewheels on the Frontier one. ISBN 0-88826-033-4. 
  • Leonard, Frank. A Thousand Blunders: The History of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in Northern British Columbia. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. ISBN 0-7748-0552-8. 
  • Poser, William (1999). Lheidli T'enneh Hubughunek (Lheidli T'enneh Carrier Dictionary). Prince George: Lheidli T'enneh. 
  • Runnalls, Reverend Francis Edwin (1946). A History of Prince George. Prince George: the author. 
  • University Women's Club of Prince George (2005). Street Names of Prince George. Prince George: College of New Caledonia Press. ISBN 0-9735092-0-1. 
  • Walker, Russell. Bacon, Beans and Brave Hearts. 
  • West, Willis J. (1985). Stagecoach and Sternwheeler Days in the Cariboo and Central BC. ISBN 0-919214-68-1. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Statistics Canada 2011 Census [1]
  2. ^ City of Prince George – Our City!
  3. ^ Runnalls (1946:23)
  4. ^ Downs (1971:47–59)
  5. ^ Ramsey, Bruce (1963). Ghost Towns of British Columbia. Mitchell Press. p. 212. 
  6. ^ West (1985:34)
  7. ^ Christensen (1989:36)
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Christensen (1989:77–79)
  10. ^ Christensen (1989:88)
  11. ^ Christensen (1989:114)
  12. ^ Christensen (1989:116)
  13. ^ Davison, George (January 9, 2008). "It’s all happened before". Prince George Citizen (Letter to the Editor). Retrieved January 11, 2008. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Prince George considers melting ice jam with hot water". CBC News. January 8, 2008. Retrieved January 11, 2008. 
  15. ^ Atkinson, Cathryn (January 15, 2008). "Prince George to send warm water into river to ease ice jam". Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 17, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Amphibex on its way, city hall says". Prince George Citizen. January 15, 2008. Archived from the original on January 16, 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2008. 
  17. ^ "Nechako Levels Continue to Drop". 250 News. January 17, 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2008. 
  18. ^ Atkinson, Cathryn (January 17, 2008). "Fire won't snuff out plans to clear ice jam". Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 17, 2008. 
  19. ^ "Prince George removes floating digger as ice jam stretches 25 km". CBC News. January 29, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2008. 
  20. ^ Cyr-Whiting, Michelle (January 30, 2008). "Part Two In Flood Efforts: The Warm Water System". 250 News. Retrieved January 31, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Calculation Information for 1981 to 2010 Canadian Normals Data". Environment Canada. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  22. ^ "City of Prince George Annual Water System Report 2011". City of Prince George. 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2012. 
  23. ^ Prince George Airshed Technical Management Committee(1996)
  24. ^ Dr. Catherine Elliott and Dr. Ray Copes(2007)
  25. ^ BC Stats, British Columbia Municipal Census Populations, 1976–1986, November 27, 2005.
  26. ^ BC Stats, British Columbia Municipal Census Populations, 1986–1996, November 27, 2005.
  27. ^ BC Stats, British Columbia Municipal Census Populations, 1996–2006, January 9, 2007.
  28. ^ a b Statistics Canada, Community Highlights for Prince George, 2001 Community Profiles, June 23, 2007.
  29. ^ a b Police Services Division, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Province of British Columbia (2006) Police and Crime: Summary Statistics: 1993–2005, pages 101, 106–110, 151, 154. ISSN 1198-9971
  30. ^ "Canada's most dangerous cities 2011". Macleans Magazine. Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Community Profiles from the 2011 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision". 2.statcan.gc.ca. 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  32. ^ "Aboriginal Peoples - Data table". 2.statcan.ca. 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13. 
  33. ^ Province, Canfor Join Fight Against City'S Pine Beetle
  34. ^ Prince George Citizen – MLA Bell mum about Canfor meeting[dead link]
  35. ^ a b [3][dead link]
  36. ^ "Organization Chart 2011–2012". School District #57 Prince George. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  37. ^ School District No. 57 (Prince George)
  38. ^ School District No. 93 (Conseil Scolaire Francophone)
  39. ^ a b College of New Caledonia homepage
  40. ^ "Flight School". Guardian Aerospace. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  41. ^ University of Northern British Columbia homepage
  42. ^ UNBC – 11_02macleans
  43. ^ City of Prince George – Parks, Recreation & Culture – Heritage River Trails
  44. ^ http://www.canadagames2015.ca
  45. ^ Canada Post Stamp Details, July to September 2009, Volume XVIII, No. 3, p. 10
  46. ^ Theatre North West
  47. ^ Street Spirits Theatre Company http://www.streetspirits.com/?page_id=2
  48. ^ Arts Health Network Canada "Arts Health Network Canada>>Canadian Initiatives>> British Columbia 2011 http://www.artshealthnetworkcanada.com/canadian-initiatives/british-columbia
  49. ^ Steamlocomotive.info - Grand Trunk Pacific Railway No. 1
  50. ^ Rail.http://www.pgairport.ca/yxs/business/cargo/inland_port.php
  51. ^ The Prince George Airport Authority
  52. ^ The Prince George Folkfest – July 27 & 28, 2007 – Welcome
  53. ^ MySpace.com – the goat island extrapolation – Prince George, CA – Indie / Christian / Expérimentale – www.myspace.com/thegoatislandextrapolation
  54. ^ Shae Morin
  55. ^ Prince George's Mardi Gras of Winter Society – Snow Daze Winter Festival, British Columbia, Canada
  56. ^ BC Rivers Day Music Festival – Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
  57. ^ [4][dead link]
  58. ^ Elections BC (2006). Prince George—Peace River. Thirty-ninth General Election 2006 — Poll-by-poll results, Official Voting Results. British Columbia. Retrieved on July 9, 2007. (Requires navigation to Cariboo—Prince George)
  59. ^ Elections BC (2006). Prince George—Peace River. Thirty-ninth General Election 2006 — Poll-by-poll results, Official Voting Results. British Columbia. Retrieved on February 28, 2007. (Requires navigation to Prince George—Peace River)

External links[edit]

Media related to Prince George, British Columbia at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 53°55′01″N 122°44′58″W / 53.91694°N 122.74944°W / 53.91694; -122.74944