Trail is a city in the West Kootenay region of the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. It was named after the Dewdney Trail, which passed through the area.
Trail was founded in the 1890’s to serve the rich mines of Rossland a Italian colony is notorious for their festivals in May and in September.
You can find rock walls everywhere in the city, a mason heritage.
The main source of wealth has come from the Teck Cominco’s smelting industry, one of the largest lead and zinc of the world.
Also a strong legacy on sports has built the town since years ago.
Employing approximately 1,800 people, Teck Resources (formerly Cominco) is the region’s largest employer. The average age of an employee at Teck Resources’ Trail operation is 47. It is anticipated that within 15 years Teck Resources’ Trail operation will have a completely new and different labour force. A younger and perhaps more technical labour force will most likely replace those that are retiring. The big picture for the area is one of an aging population which brings about ongoing employment opportunities in the area. This is evidence based on the improved housing sales in the years between 2005 to 2007, making the Greater Trail area a target destination for people looking for better quality of life in a smaller community setting.
The City of Trail is also home to the largest hospital in the West Kootenay region.
The Trail Memorial Centre currently plays host to the Trail & District Public Library, the Trail Smoke Eaters hockey team, the Trail Museum, and the Sports Hall of Memories, in addition to many local sports facilities. This historic landmark, located at 1051 Victoria Street, was home to two world championship Smoke Eaters teams.
The Trail Memorial Centre is a hub of civic activity year-round, and has been a focal point of the community since its inception.
River Activities and Music in the Park at Gyro Park in Trail
Located at 1090 Charles Lakes Drive in East Trail on the route to Sunningdale, Gyro Park is the home to Music in the Park during the summer. Listen to the melodic tunes under the gazebo in Gyro Park, where visitors enjoy live music Thursdays in July and August. During long hot summer days, Gyro Park is extremely popular with locals and visitors to the area who enjoy a day at the beach.
“The Onions” and other popular river currents that wind between the rocks on the East banks of the Columbia River, are a popular summer magnet for river activity. Often, throughout the summer, an abundance of avid swimmers and rapid paddlers with a deep respect of the Columbia River dare to navigate the frosty swift waters to ride the waves, such as the local favorite “Onions” river current at Gyro Park beach.
Teck Cominco Interpretive Centre
Trail is home to the largest non-ferrous lead and zinc smelter in the world and visitors can learn more about the areas largest employer by taking the 2.5 hour industrial tour of the Teck (Cominco) smelter which can be arranged in the Teck Cominco Interpretive Centre through the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce office located above the Toronto-Dominion Bank, in the heart of downtown Trail. This centre is the starting point for the free tours beginning at 10 am, Monday to Friday during the summer; by appointment from September to May. Learn about the plants’ operations in the mini-science centre featuring hands-on exhibits for the whole family.
View video presentations and displays which exhibit sophisticated environmental monitoring systems installed in the Trail area by Teck. Other presentations illustrate the history of Cominco’s Trail smelting operations and provide information on career opportunities in the industry.
The Historic Gulch
In the early 1900s a large influx of Italian immigrants lent a distinctive character to “The Gulch” which is located at the entrance to Trail accessed by the Schofield Highway which drops down the long grade down from the city of Rossland and the village of Warfield and sub-division of Annabel onto Rossland Avenue.
This neighbourhood which runs the length of Rossland Avenue is known as “the Gulch.” Originally called the “Dublin Gulch” in the very early days, it eventually became known as “The Gulch” as it filled up with Italians who chose not to live on the original Trail townsite. The Gulch starts as throat of Trail Creek narrows between the high, sandy slope of Smelter Hill on its left bank and the West Trail bank where early pioneer houses were built by immigrants as the purchased properties along the west bank steep terrain.
In the early pioneer days, industrious Chinese launderers and cooks spent time gardening in the defile of the Gulch. Few of these immigrants ever acquired rights to own land in the Gulch and their gardens were gradually displaced by Italians and other European working families who terraced their properties into level plots. Despite the steep terrain, these immigrant families planted vegetable gardens reminiscent of the old country, fed by plenty of water from Trail Creek and the hot summer sun.
The Gulch is home to shops and the Best Western Terra Nova hotel, located at the entrance to Trail’s central business district at the foot of Rossland Avenue.
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