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District municipality
District of Sparwood[1]
Sparwood is located in British Columbia
Location of Sparwood in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°43′56″N 114°53′13″W / 49.73222°N 114.88694°W / 49.73222; -114.88694
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
 • Mayor Cal McDougall[2]
 • Governing body Sparwood council
 • MP Wayne Stetski
 • MLA Bill Bennett
 • Total 191.60 km2 (73.98 sq mi)
Elevation 1,140 m (3,740 ft)
Population (2016)
 • Total 3,784
 • Density 19.4/km2 (50/sq mi)
Time zone Mountain Standard (MST) (UTC-7)
Area code(s) 250 / 778 / 236
Highways Hwy 3
Hwy 43
Website Official website

Sparwood is a district municipality in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is the second largest community on the Elk River.

Located approximately 30 kilometers from Fernie, the District Municipality of Sparwood has approximately 4200 residents. Sparwood is quite large for its population, taking up an area of 191.01 square kilometers and incorporating the local coal mines.

In the late 1800s, there was a railroad stop known as Sparwood, which was so named because of the trees from this area being shipped to the Coast for manufacturing SPARS for ocean vessels. [4]

The barn scenes from Disney's 1985 film The Journey of Natty Gann were filmed here. Sparwood is also home to the 2011 B.C provincial champion boys snowboarding team.(

Sparwood's welcome sign


The local economy is heavily dependent on coal mining, one of British Columbia's primary industries. A large part of the population either works in the mines or as tradesmen and labourers in related support industries, such as trucking or as mechanics. Logging is another important industry.

Sparwood/Elk Valley Airport is the local airport for general aviation; airlines provide service to Cranbrook/Canadian Rockies International Airport.

Sparwood was formed on May 12, 1966 accepting people from the nearby towns of Michel, Natal and Middletown (an urban renewal). Since the beginning of Sparwood, it has experienced many ups and downs in the primary industry (coal mining).


Terex Titan in Sparwood

Sparwood promotes itself extensively as the home of the Terex Titan, at one time the largest truck in the world. The green Titan, in service at Sparwood between 1978 and 1991, stands a few yards from the Crowsnest Highway where it can attract the attention of tourists and travelers. The adjacent tourist information centre serves visitors to the district municipality and the wider area.

Sparwood is distinguished by mural art which depicts something of the history of the former Michel-Natal mining communities.


Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Fernie Ghostriders
Ice hockey Elk Valley Leisure Centre

Fernie Memorial Arena disaster[edit]

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017 there was an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena which killed three workers (two City of Fernie employees and one CIMCO refrigeration employee from Calgary) during the Ghostriders regular season. Because of this tragedy, the City of Fernie declared a state-of-emergency and people had to evacuate the area for days. The 'Riders were relocated because of this to the Elk Valley Leisure Centre in Sparwood, during the 2017-18 KIJHL season for the unforeseeable future; until the City of Fernie decides what to do.[5][6]


Sparwood has a population of approximately 4200 residents, with a population density of approximately 21.5 per square kilometer.


There are two public schools in Sparwood; Frank J Mitchell which is an Elementary School and the new Sparwood Secondary School. These schools are operated by School District 5 Southeast Kootenay which is based in Cranbrook.


Sparwood has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) with relatively cold and very snowy winters combined with moderately warm summers with relatively high diurnal temperature variation. As a result of the low overnight lows in summer, September's mean of 10.5 °C (50.9 °F) places Sparwood just above subarctic climates in classification.

Local media[edit]


  • Fernie Free Press - Weekly Paper
  • Elk Valley Herald - Weekly Paper
  • Kootenay News Advertiser - Weekly Paper
  • The Valley - Weekly Paper
  • Fernie Fix - Monthly Glossy Magazine
  • Black Rock News - Semimonthly

Radio stations[edit]

  • 99.1 FM - CJDR, Rock
  • 92.7 FM - CFBZ, Country
  • 97.7 FM - CBTN, CBC
  • Mixitup FM - MIUFM, Pop
  • 107.1 Summit 107 Music variety

Cable television stations[edit]

Notable people[edit]

The following people were born in Sparwood:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°43′59″N 114°53′07″W / 49.73306°N 114.88528°W / 49.73306; -114.88528 (Sparwood)