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History of roads in Prince RupertPosted On January 17, 2017
A Connection Across Canada
Prince Rupert is an idyllic setting where Canadian history seeps through from the time before European settlers arrived and the natural beauty and the First Nations population existed in undisputed harmony. From the towering mountains and their snow-topped peaks, to the cruising rivers that wind their way through long-eroded valleys towards the deep inlets and coastal communities, life out here is something cherished and sparked by the wonder and the imagination that livens up every day.
Being a part of Canada was not always so easy for the early pioneers.
In fact, even well into the modern age the northern reaches of British Columbia were, at a large, isolated from the rest of the country.
A Gateway from the West to the East
The port city of Prince Rupert was incorporated on March 10th, 1910 and is named for Prince Rupert of the Rhine, first Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
The spot where the city now stands was chosen, in part, for its convenience, noting that it was in line with the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.
An engineering feat in its own right, the railway transverses the length of the country as the Canadian Transcontinental Railway that begins thousands of kilometres to the east in Winnipeg. Here it connects with the National Transcontinental Railway (NTR) and continues the journey through to Ontario, Quebec, and ends in Moncton, New Brunswick.
The establishment of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway that connects it with the rest of Canada shift the economic centre of the area from Port Essington to Prince Rupert in the early 20th century. This length of track, now operated by Canadian National Railway (CN) has a line that runs from Prince Rupert to Valemount, BC. At this junction, the CN mainline goes to connect Vancouver with the rest of Canada, forecasts suggest it to continue to increase in use, effectively securing a comfortable and sustainable growth for the area for years to come.
More than Just a Port
For those who have never before heard of Prince Rupert, the geographic and natural beauties are not simply breathtaking – with notable practical uses as well, Prince Rupert is renowned for its sheltered harbour, recognized as being the deepest ice-free natural harbour in North America, and is among the top 3 deepest in the world.
Because of this, Prince Rupert is often the first and final port of call for cargo ships travelling to and from Asia and Western North America.
Driving to Prince Rupert has become easier in recent years, with additional highways and ferries connecting it with communities further to the north and south, respectively. The community is also home to the Prince Rupert Airport (YPR/CYPR) located on Digby Island, a small but practical position for those interested in exploring the area with regular connecting flights with other airports such as the Vancouver International Airport.