Fernie and Sparwood


The City of Fernie is located in the southeast corner of British Columbia, Canada, surrounded by the Canadian Rockies. Founded in 1898 and incorporated in July 1904, the municipality presently encompasses a year-round population of approximately 5,000 although the population drastically increases throughout the winter. An additional 1,500 live outside city limits under the jurisdiction of the RDEK.

Fernie lies on the Elk River, along Canada’s southernmost east-west transportation corridor through the Rockies that crosses the range via the Crowsnest Pass, 40 kilometres (25 mi ) to the east. As the largest and oldest community in the immediate area, Fernie serves as something of a regional centre.

After a disastrous fire leveled much of the downtown core in 1904, the fledgling municipal government passed an ordinance requiring all buildings in the area to be built of ‘fireproof’ materials like brick and stone. Consequently, a new city centre rose from the ashes sporting brick buildings along broad avenues that would have looked more at home in a sedate and refined Victorian city rather than a rough-and-tumble frontier coal town. They were short-lived, however, as a second, larger inferno swept through the city on August 1, 1908. Whipped up by sudden winds, a nearby forest fire burnt its way into a lumber yard on the edge of the community and sparked a Dresden – style firestorm that melted brick and mortar and essentially erased the entire city in an afternoon. There were few casualties, however, and for a second time a stately brick downtown core rose from the ashes. Today, these historic buildings, most of which still stand, are a treasured and distinctive feature of the community.

Fernie Weather

Sparwood, BC

Sparwood is a town in British Columbia, Canada. It is the second largest community on the Elk River.

Located approximately 30 kilometers from Fernie, the District Municipality of Sparwood has approximately 3812 residents, according to the 2001 census. Sparwood is quite large for its population, taking up an area of 177.71 square kilometers and incorporating the local Coal Mines.

Sparwood promotes itself extensively as the home of the Terex Titan , at one time the largest truck in the world. The bright green Titan stands a few yards from the Crowsnest Highway where it can attract the attention of tourists and travelers.

A “Coal Discovery Center” is being built across the highway from the Titan. It will be a museum and information center to promote the district’s history with coal mining.

Sparwood has a population of approximately 3812 residents, with a population density of approximately 21.5 per square kilometer. The local population is mainly white, blue-collar families, working in or supporting the coal industry. A large percentage of the population has completed education to the high school level, but a much smaller percentage has a college/university degree.

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