Greenwood, British Columbia

Coordinates: 49°5′28″N 118°40′37″W / 49.09111°N 118.67694°W / 49.09111; -118.67694
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The Corporation of the City of Greenwood
Location of Greenwood in British Columbia
Location of Greenwood in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°05′24″N 118°40′39″W / 49.09000°N 118.67750°W / 49.09000; -118.67750
ProvinceBritish Columbia
RegionBoundary Country
Regional districtKootenay Boundary
 • MayorJohn Bolt
 • CouncilJessica McLean, Gerry Shaw, Clint Huisman, Jim Nathorst
 • Total2.52 km2 (0.97 sq mi)
770 m (2,530 ft)
 • Total702
 • Density280/km2 (720/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
Zip code
V0H 1J0
Area code(s)250, 778, 236, 672
Highways3 Edit this at Wikidata

Greenwood (2021 population 702) is a city in south central British Columbia. It was incorporated in 1897 and was formerly one of the principal cities of the Boundary Country smelting and mining district.[1] It was incorporated as a city originally and has retained that title despite the population decline following the closure of the area's industries.

The town is served by Greenwood Elementary School which covers grades from K-7. Following grade 7 local students attend Boundary Central Secondary School in nearby Midway.

In 1942, 1,200 Japanese Canadians were sent to Greenwood as part of the Japanese Canadian internment.[2] Among those interned at Greenwood were Isamu and Fumiko Kariya and their son Yasi, the grandparents and uncle of NHL star and Hockey Hall of Fame member Paul Kariya; his father Tetsuhiko (T.K.) was born in internment.[3]


In 1886 several mining claims had been staked in a narrow gulch ten miles north of the mouth of Boundary Creek. The ore was high in copper. Ten years later more claims had been staked in the area. These claims gave rise to the city of Greenwood. In 1895 a merchant named Robert Wood erected a log store and named the region Greenwood.

By 1896 there were three hotels, a general store, a livery stable, two assay offices, a mining broker, an opera house, and a dozen other establishments. Greenwood became an incorporated city in 1897. The population climbed to 3,000 by 1899 and a railway called the Columbia and Western Railway reached Greenwood from the east. In 1899 a fire struck Greenwood which gutted several businesses.

Trains at the Mother Lode Mine near Greenwood, 1903

The BC Copper Company smelter began operation in 1901, servicing ore from the Mother Lode Mine and other mines in the area. Greenwood was the supply center for surrounding camps such as Providence, Copper, Deadwood, Wellington, Central, Skylark and others. The city became the seat of government for the Boundary with one hundred firms in the business district. Greenwood had a newspaper called the "Times" by 1906 another paper called the "Greenwood Ledge".

By 1910 the boom had passed and Greenwood's population was 1,500. At the end of World War I, the demand for copper dropped, and by 1918 the copper market was dead, and the smelter in Greenwood lay idle. The following year it closed down permanently. The collapse of the smelters led to close of mines around the vicinity of Greenwood. Greenwood was on the decline after this period.[4][5]

Lost mines

Close to Greenwood is the location of Jolly Jack's Lost Mine. Local historian Bill Barlee wrote about Jolly Jack's lost mine. The location of the mine was never found. The Greenwood local museum has written records of Jolly Jack.[6]

Henry Morgan's lost mine is located somewhere around Greenwood. The mine is thought to have been at the headwaters of Boundary Creek, although it has never been found. Local historian Garnet Basque has written about Morgan's lost mine.[7]


Historical population
1891 1,000—    
1901 1,359+35.9%
1911 778−42.8%
1921 371−52.3%
1931 171−53.9%
1941 363+112.3%
1951 809+122.9%
1956 815+0.7%
1961 932+14.4%
1966 911−2.3%
1971 868−4.7%
1976 931+7.3%
1981 856−8.1%
1986 767−10.4%
1991 725−5.5%
1996 784+8.1%
2001 666−15.1%
2006 625−6.2%
2011 708+13.3%
2016 665−6.1%
2021 702+5.6%
Sources: Statistics Canada[8]

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Greenwood had a population of 702 living in 375 of its 448 total private dwellings, a change of 5.6% from its 2016 population of 665. With a land area of 2.42 km2 (0.93 sq mi), it had a population density of 290.1/km2 (751.3/sq mi) in 2021.[9]

Arts and culture[edit]

Greenwood was featured on the historical television series Gold Trails and Ghost Towns, Season 2, Episode 1. Greenwood was one of the filming locations for the theatrical film Snow Falling on Cedars.[2] It was also featured as a town named after the fictional logging magnate of Everett Greenwood in the 2019 Michael Christie novel Greenwood.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Greenwood". BC Geographical Names.
  2. ^ a b Timmermans, Tricia (2005). British Columbia Off the Beaten Path. Globe Pequot. p. 109. ISBN 0-7627-3516-3.
  3. ^ Michael, Farber (January 26, 1998). "Two Different Worlds: Superstar Paul Kariya is proud of his heritage but also proud to be an Olympian for Canada, the country that punished his grandparents for being Japanese". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  4. ^ N.L. Barlee (1973), Gold Creeks and Ghost Towns, Canada West Publications
  5. ^ "Nelson Star, 23 Dec 2014". 23 December 2014.
  6. ^ N.L. Barlee (1976), Historic Treasures and Lost Mines of British Columbia. Canada West Publications.
  7. ^ Basque Garnet (2000), Lost Bonanzas of Western Canada, Heritage House
  8. ^ "British Columbia – Municipal Census Populations (1921–2016)". BC Stats. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  9. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), British Columbia". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  10. ^ Christie, Michael, 1976- (2020). Greenwood : a novel (First U.S. ed.). New York. ISBN 978-1-9848-2200-0. OCLC 1107067296.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]

49°5′28″N 118°40′37″W / 49.09111°N 118.67694°W / 49.09111; -118.67694