Living in Dawson Creek City, British Columbia

Dawson Creek is a city in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, located near the British Columbia-Alberta border. The municipality of 24.37 square kilometres had a population of 12,978 in 2016.


Dawson Creek derives its name from the creek of the same name that runs through the community. A member of George Mercer Dawson's land survey team named the creek after him when they passed through the area in August 1879. 


Once a small farming community, Dawson Creek became a regional centre after the western terminus of the Northern Alberta Railways was extended there in 1932.


The city grew rapidly in 1942 as the US Army used the rail terminus as a transshipment point during the construction of the Alaska Highway. 


In the 1950s, Dawson Creek was connected to the interior of British Columbia via a highway and a railway through the Rocky Mountains. Since the 1960s, growth has slowed, but the area's population has increased.


Today, Dawson Creek is the regional centre for northeastern British Columbia. The region's economy is based on agriculture (including grain shipment), forestry and oil and natural gas exploration and development. 


Dawson Creek's "Mile 0" on the Alaska Highway has made tourism important as all traffic along the highway must pass through the city.


Some of the city's attractions include the Northern Lights College campus, Northern Alberta Railway Park with the Station Museum and Dawson Creek Art Gallery, Walter Wright Pioneer Village, Gardens North, and numerous recreational facilities. The city is located at latitude 55.760555 and longitude -120.235558.


History of Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada

The history of Dawson Creek, a city in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, is deeply rooted in its evolution from a small farming community to a regional center. 


Named after George Mercer Dawson, the city was established as a farming community by European-Canadian settlers moving west through the Peace River Country. 


The pace of migration increased in 1912 when the Canadian government began issuing homestead grants to settlers. By 1919, Dawson Creek had opened stores and hotels, becoming a dominant business center in the area. 


The city's growth accelerated in 1931 with the arrival of the Northern Alberta Railways, attracting more settlers and businesses.


During World War II, Dawson Creek played a crucial role as the US Army used the rail terminus to construct the Alaska Highway, leading to rapid population and economic growth. 


The city continued to expand in the 1950s with the construction of highways and railways connecting it to the interior of British Columbia. 


By 1951, Dawson Creek had over 3,500 residents, and in 1952, the John Hart Highway linked the town to other developments in BC. 


The city's population tripled between 1951 and 1961 due to industrial developments like the propane gas plant and the Pacific Great Eastern Railway extension.


Since the 1960s, Dawson Creek's population has steadily increased, reaching a plateau in recent years. The city has experienced continuous development, including boundary expansions, industrial growth, and improved infrastructure. 


Today, Dawson Creek remains a regional center for northeastern British Columbia, with its economy based on agriculture, forestry, and oil and natural gas exploration. 


The city's historical significance, natural beauty, and outdoor recreational opportunities contribute to its vibrant culture and appeal to residents and visitors alike.


Geography of Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada

Dawson Creek is located near the British Columbia-Alberta border in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. The city is situated at the foot of Bear Mountain ridge, around the Dawson Creek watercourse, which flows eastward into the Pouce Coupe.


Dawson Creek has an elevation of 665 meters (2,182 feet). The municipality covers an area of 24.37 square kilometres (9.41 square miles). 


As of the 2021 census, Dawson Creek's land area was 26.72 square kilometres (10.32 square miles), and its population density was 461.2 people per square kilometre (1,195 per square mile).


The city is located approximately 406 kilometres (252 miles) northeast of Prince George and 589 kilometres (366 miles) northwest of Edmonton. Dawson Creek is known as the "Mile 0 City" due to its location at the southern end of the Alaska Highway.


The region around Dawson Creek is characterized by dry and windy prairie land, part of the Peace River Country. As the Peace River Regional District seat, Dawson Creek serves as a regional center for the rural areas south of the Peace River.


Demographics of Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada

According to the 2021 Census, Dawson Creek's population was 12,323, living in 5,405 of its 6,189 private dwellings, a change of 1.2% from its 2016 population of 12,178. 


With a land area of 26.72 square kilometres (10.32 square miles), its population density was 461.2 people per square kilometre (1,195 per square mile) in 2021.


The city has seen significant population growth since its early days. The 1941 census counted 518 residents, which increased sevenfold to 3,589 by the 1951 census due to the construction of the Alaska Highway. 


The population peaked in 1966 at 12,392 before declining in the 1970s. Dawson Creek's population is younger than the provincial average, with a median age of 34 in 2016 versus 43 for British Columbia. 


However, the proportion of seniors aged 65 and older has been growing, comprising 44% of the city's population growth between 2001 and 2011.


In 2016, 19% of Dawson Creek's population was under 15 years old, higher than the provincial average of 15%, while 13% were over 65, lower than BC's 18%. 


The city has a lower proportion of visible minorities, at 10%, compared to 30% for the province. In 2016, the average household size in Dawson Creek was 2.3 persons, similar to the provincial average of 2.4. 


One-person households comprised 32% of total households, slightly above the 29% average provincewide. The average family size was 2.9 persons.


Economy of Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada

The economy of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada, is diverse and relies on several key industries. Agriculture has historically been a significant sector, with the city serving as a regional transshipment point for agricultural commodities. 


The region's fertile soil supports livestock and produces high-quality grain and grass crops like canola, hay, oats, alfalfa, wheat, and sweet clover. 


Retail and service industries cater to the city's residents and surrounding rural communities, although there is notable retail leakage to Grande Prairie, Alberta, due to tax differences.


Dawson Creek's tourism industry thrives as the starting point of the Alaska Highway, attracting thousands of visitors annually. 


The city's hospitality sector caters to travellers, especially in winter when oil patch workers contribute to the local economy. 


The discovery of oil and gas reserves in the area has further boosted economic activity, with the nearby Fort St. John economy spilling over to Dawson Creek. Additionally, the city is home to British Columbia's first wind farm, the Bear Mountain Wind Park.


Dawson Creek's economy is also supported by industries such as mining, construction, wood product manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, transportation, professional services, education, healthcare, accommodation, food services, and public administration. 


The region's access to abundant natural resources, including energy sources, has driven its economic growth and sustainability. 


The city's strategic location, well-developed infrastructure, and skilled labour force make it an attractive destination for businesses looking to establish or expand their operations.


Education in Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada

Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada, has several schools that serve the educational needs of the city and surrounding area:


Public Schools

  • Canalta Elementary (K-7), 1901 110 Ave, Dawson Creek, BC
  • Crescent Park Elementary (K-7), 9300 17 St, Dawson Creek, BC
  • Dawson Creek Secondary (8-12)


Independent Schools

  • Mountain Christian School (K-12), 9700 5 St, Dawson Creek, BC
  • Notre Dame School (K-7), 925 104 Ave, Dawson Creek, BC


Notre Dame School aims to provide opportunities for students to grow and develop in all aspects of life - spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social and physical.


There are also job opportunities in education in Dawson Creek, with 11 education jobs currently available in the city, according to


Northern Lights College has a campus in Dawson Creek, providing post-secondary education to the region. The city's schools and educational institutions play an important role in serving the community and supporting the local economy.


Transport System in Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada

The transportation system in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada, is well-developed and includes air, road, and rail travel options. Here are some key aspects of the transport system in Dawson Creek:

  • Roads: Dawson Creek has a well-maintained road network, with 88 km of paved and 11 km of unpaved roads. The city's primary roads follow a grid pattern, with two arterial roads, 8 Street and Alaska Avenue, serving as major traffic routes. Several highways intersect in Dawson Creek, including Highway 2, Highway 97 (Alaska Highway), Highway 49, and the John Hart Highway, providing essential connections to other regions.
  • Public Transit: BC Transit operates two bus routes in Dawson Creek, providing public transportation services within the city. Passes can be purchased at various locations, including City Hall, the Co-op Mall, and the School District #59 Offices. The trip planner on the BC Transit website helps residents and visitors navigate the city using public transit.
  • Airport: The Dawson Creek Regional Airport is located southeast of the city, just seven minutes from downtown. The airport offers charter services, MedEvac services, a 5000-foot runway, flight planning, competitive fuel rates, under-wing camping, and a modern Pilot's Lounge. It provides essential air travel services for the region, with larger airports in Fort St. John and Grande Prairie offering more comprehensive flight schedules.
  • Rail Services: Dawson Creek is connected by CN Rail to Fort Nelson, Prince Rupert, and Vancouver ports for freight services. While passenger rail service was available in Dawson Creek between 1931 and 1974, due to the region's resource-based economy, the focus has shifted to commodity shipments of grains, oil and gas by-products, and forestry products.


Dawson Creek's transportation system is vital in connecting the city to other regions, supporting economic activities, and facilitating the movement of people and goods within and beyond the community.


Living in Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada

Living in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada, offers a unique blend of small-town charm and access to natural resources, agriculture, and outdoor activities. Here are some aspects of living in Dawson Creek:


Location and Climate: Dawson Creek is situated in northeastern British Columbia, near the British Columbia-Alberta border, at the foot of the Bear Mountain Range. The city experiences a subarctic climate with long, cold winters and mild summers.


Economy and Industry: The local economy is driven by agriculture, oil and gas, retail, and tourism sectors. Dawson Creek is the primary regional transshipment point for agricultural commodities and is known as 'Mile Zero' for the Alaska Highway.


Things to Do: Residents and visitors can enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, swimming, mountain biking, ATV riding, snowmobiling, and downhill and cross-country skiing at nearby Kiskatinaw Provincial Park and Bear Mountain. The city hosts events like the Dawson Creek Spring Rodeo and the Dawson Creek Fall Fair & Exhibition.


Amenities: Dawson Creek has a range of amenities, including two ice hockey arenas, a curling rink, an indoor swimming pool, a speed skating oval, and an outdoor ice rink. 


The South Peace Community Multiplex offers a pool, ice rink, and indoor rodeo grounds. The Dawson Creek Golf and Country Club is an affordable 18-hole golf course popular with residents and visitors.


Transportation: Dawson Creek is accessible via Highway 97 from Prince George, Highway 2 from Grande Prairie, Alberta, and the Alaska Highway from Whitehorse, Yukon. Central Mountain Air and Greyhound Bus offer connecting flights and bus services to Dawson Creek from various cities.


Real Estate: Dawson Creek real estate includes spacious detached single-family homes available for under $300,000, affordable land for development, and a range of townhomes.


Overall, living in Dawson Creek offers a unique blend of small-town living, outdoor activities, and access to natural resources and amenities.


Healthcare in Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada

Healthcare in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada, is set to improve significantly with the construction of a new state-of-the-art hospital. The British Columbia government has awarded Graham a design-build agreement to construct the new Dawson Creek and District Hospital, with a total project value of approximately CDN $590M.


The new 263,000-square-foot hospital will replace the existing facility and serve a diverse population in the Peace Region, including the communities of Dawson Creek, Pouce Coupe, Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, Fort St. John, Hudson's Hope, Fort Nelson, and several First Nations communities.


The three-story hospital will include:

  • An emergency department with 15 treatment spaces
  • 70 inpatient beds providing medical, surgical, maternity, high acuity and mental health services
  • 2 operating rooms and a procedure room
  • Diagnostic imaging, chemotherapy area, perinatal unit, nursery, mental health department, academic and teaching space, and pharmacy services


Construction is slated to begin in July 2023, with substantial completion in November 2026 and the hospital ready for patients in 2027. The new facility will be built to meet LEED Gold certification standards, ensuring energy efficiency and sustainability.


The Dawson Creek and District Hospital Replacement Project will significantly enhance healthcare services in the region, providing state-of-the-art facilities and a wide range of medical services to the residents of Dawson Creek and surrounding areas.


Tourist places in Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada

Some of the popular tourist places in Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada, include:

  1. Mile 0 Alaska Highway: A significant landmark marking the starting point of the world-famous Alaska Highway.
  2. Dawson Creek Art Gallery: A cultural venue showcasing local art and exhibitions.
  3. Walter Wright Pioneer Village: A historical site featuring original buildings, replicas, old farming equipment, and a beautiful garden.
  4. Swan Lake Park: A scenic park offering opportunities for hiking, fishing, boating, and bird watching.
  5. Dawson Trail: A trail along the creek and through town, ideal for walking and enjoying nature.
  6. Kin Park: A recreational park with amenities for outdoor sports and activities.
  7. One Island Lake Provincial Park: A natural attraction offering opportunities for outdoor recreation like hiking and wildlife watching.
  8. N.A.R. Park: A city park with historical significance and recreational facilities.
  9. Peace Park: A serene park provides a peaceful, relaxing and leisurely environment.
  10. Barbaree Park: A park offering green spaces and recreational opportunities for visitors.


These attractions and activities showcase Dawson Creek's natural beauty, cultural richness, and historical significance, making it a compelling destination for tourists and visitors alike.


Local Food of Dawson Creek City, British Columbia, Canada

The local food scene in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada, offers a variety of options for residents and visitors to enjoy. Here are some insights based on the provided sources:

  • Local Cheese: The cost of local cheese in Dawson Creek is approximately 0.90 C$ for 0.10 kg.
  • Restaurants: Dawson Creek boasts a selection of dining establishments, with popular options including Browns Socialhouse Dawson Creek, Post & Row, Mile 0 Pizza, Le's Family Restaurant, and Stuies Diner, as highlighted on Yelp.
  • Agricultural Produce: Dawson Creek's Peace Region is known for producing a significant portion of British Columbia's grain and canola crops. Traditional crops grown in the area include wheat, oats, barley, and canola.
  • Local Markets: While the sources do not provide specific details on local markets, the agricultural sector's prominence suggests that residents may have access to fresh, locally-grown produce and products.


Overall, Dawson Creek's food scene likely includes a mix of local ingredients, traditional dishes, and diverse dining options that cater to various tastes and preferences.


You can also check the information regarding Edmonton, Alberta

Promote your business for Free

Comments 0

Leave a Reply