A city founded on mining by 1910 the mining boom had peaked, with both Greenwood and nearby Phoenix enjoying steady business. However, copper prices soon plummeted, the market died, and by 1918, Greenwood was virtually deserted.
This changed with the onset of the Second World War, when a thousand displaced Japanese Canadians arrived by train to be interned in the vacant houses in the town during 1942. Thus Greenwood was saved from the ghost town status that befell virtually every other mining community in the region. The new residents of Greenwood transformed the town into a bustling community, once again, and when the war ended in 1945 and many city councils endorsed the deportation of Japanese Canadians, Greenwood stood fast in supporting its much appreciated community members.
Today, Greenwood has evolved into an historic tourism destination, and remains deeply committed to mining and forestry, and is expanding its role as a regional continuing education centre.
Winters in Greenwood are fairly mild, with average snowfalls and warm, dry summers.
Mining, forestry, historical tourism
Town Population: 708 (BC Stats, 2011 Census)
Health Administrative Information
Health Authority: Interior Health
Health Service Delivery Area: Kootenay Boundary
Regional District: Trail
Rural Designation: RSA community
RRP Designation: A
RRP Points: 30.60
General Practitioners: 1 (www.cpsbc.ca)
Greenwood Public Health Building
255 South Government Street
Greenwood, BC, V0H 1J0
P: 250 445-6600
Hrs: 8-9 am, Monday
Mammography services provided by BC Cancer Agency. See www.bccancer.bc.ca for details.
Greenwood is located on Highway 3, a well-travelled east west route providing access to Vancouver in the west and Calgary in the east.
Without even a STOP sign to slow traffic, people driving through on the main thoroughfare at Copper Street and Highway 3, feel compelled to pull over for a look around. Greenwood is a clutch of well preserved commercial buildings and homes remind people of a turn-of-the-century mining town.
Winter tires are recommended on mountain roads from October through April. Road conditions at higher elevations can be treacherous. Four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicles are best suited for rugged backcountry travel.
Greyhound Canada buses stop in Greenwood and provide daily connections with Vancouver, Calgary and regional centres. There is no passenger rail service to Greenwood.
There is a local bus service throughout Greenwood provided by BC Transit. Click here for fees and schedules.
Car rentals are available from Enterprise and Budget at the West Kootenay Regional Airport in Castlegar (137 km / 85 mi east).
Grand Forks Taxi
Grand Forks, BC, V0H 1H0
P: 250 442-2400
The Boundary Chamber of Commerce provides valuable information about the community, relocation and local businesses. Visit their website here.
Greenwood currently has a Heritage Savings and Credit Union.
Greenwood Elementary (4-7, 34 Students)
Greenwood, BC, V0H 1J0
P: 250 445-6616 | F: 250 445-6360
Hours of Operation
May 1-31: 10 am-4 pm
June 1-Aug 31: 9 am-5 pm
Sept 1-Oct 31: 10 am-4 pm
Nov 1-Apr 30: Call 250 445-6685 to make appointment.
Greenwood is a community based city that boasts an Annual Arts & Crafts Fair, Halloween Bonfire & Fireworks, Family Snowmobile Poker run, Fathers & Mothers Day Pancake Breakfast’s, Demolition Derby (May), the West Kootenay Bluegrass Festival and Winter Fest. For a complete listing visit here.
Historic buildings and heritage sites are the main attraction in Greenwood. Check out the excellent Greenwood Museum and take the Greenwood Heritage Walk to fully appreciate the 1890s/early 1900s homes that speak volumes about the community’s boom days as the hub of regional mining activity.
The museum is also an excellent source for information on Greenwood’s role as a Japanese-Canadian internment camp during World War II.
Greenwood makes a good base for exploring the region’s mining and railway history, and outstanding scenery. Mountain bikers can take the Trans Canada Trail. Cars and other vehicles follow driving routes to the town of Midway and to Phoenix Mountain.
Camping, hiking and fishing are king during summertime in the Monashee Mountains surrounding Greenwood. Two provincial parks, Boundary Creek Provincial Park and Jewel Lake Provincial Park, are located close to town.
There’s also easy access to winter sports. Ice fishing is popular at Jewel Lake, while cross-country skiers head to the trails at Jewel Lake and at Marshall Lake. Local downhill skiers and snowboarders claim Phoenix Mountain Ski Hill is the best-kept secret in BC – a really great local ski hill.
Natural sights include Boundary Falls, 7.5km/4.7mi west on Highway 3. Wildlife such as deer and black bears may appear along roadsides and trails at any time. Fishing for trout is popular in Boundary Creek and in high country lakes. Two provincial parks, Boundary Creek and Jewel Lake, provide excellent opportunities to get close to nature.
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