In the late 1850s gold seekers arrived and ranching and farming began; Kamloops became a general depot for the region. The completion of the CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY (CP Rail) in 1885 encouraged further development, and by 1893 Kamloops had a population of 1000. Since the late 1950s, it has grown rapidly as a regional centre.
Served by CP Rail and CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS and several airlines, and situated at the junction of 3 major highways, Kamloops is the natural trade and distribution hub in the southern BC interior, a financial, travel and cultural focus and the administrative centre for the Thompson-Nicola regional district. Initially, agriculture dominated the economy, but by the 1960s, the forest industry and mining had become more important. A large pulp mill is still a major employer, and Kamloops is now also the headquarters for many companies and services related to forestry. In the 1980s it earned a reputation as the "ginseng capital of Canada." GINSENG has recently become the region's second most important agricultural product after livestock production. Copper mining is still important to the economy although Afton Mine closed down in 1997. Another open-pit copper mine at nearby Highland Valley is still in operation.
Tourism is flourishing as the region's more than 200 lakes offer excellent fishing and boating. Several ski resorts including Sun Peaks Resort, a four-season destination, are found nearby.
Kamloops is served by the Royal Inland Hospital, by numerous provincial and federal agencies and by Thompson Rivers University (formerly the University College of the Cariboo). Since the 1980s the economy has become more diversified with the establishment of major new employers including the headquarters of the BC Lottery Corporation, a gaming services company and most recently a major call centre. The city has 2 newspapers (Kamloops Daily News and Kamloops This Week), a TV station and several radio stations. Its cultural scene includes a museum, art gallery, symphony orchestra and theatre company.
The Kamloops INDIAN RESERVE, established in 1862, is situated on the northeast corner of the river junction. Part of the reserve is leased as an industrial park and a new housing development features geothermal energy.
Author ALAN F.J. ARTIBISE Revised: KEN FAVRHOLDT
Mary Balf, Kamloops: A History of the District up to 1914 (1969) and Mighty Company: Kamloops and the HBC (1973); R. Balf, Kamloops, 1914-1945 (1975); Kenneth Favrholdt, Kamloops: Meeting of the Waters: An Illustrated History (1989); Robert MacKinnon and Ross Nelson, "Post-Industrial Adjustments in a Staples Economy: Urban and Economic Change in Kamloops, 1961-2002," Western Geography vol 13/14 (2003/2004); Wayne R. Norton, Kamloops: 100 Years of Community 1893-1993 (1992).
Links to Other Sites
The official website of the City of Kamloops, BC.
The Colonial Despatches
View digitized copies of correspondence (dated 1846 - 1859) between the British Colonial Office and the "colonies" of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. Search or browse this site for references to specific individuals, communities, companies, or industries in the province. Also includes digitized images of maps of various locations. From the website for the University of Victoria.
View an extensive collection of historical photographs that document the building of the CPR Railway through difficult terrain in B.C. Produced by the Kamloops Art Gallery.
See maps and statistical data for regions and communities throughout British Columbia. A Government of British Columbia website.
BC Geographical Names
Search the BC Geographical Names Information System for historical and geographical data about specific locations in British Columbia.
British Columbia Archives
Explore the fascinating history of BC through online digitized copies of selected government documents, manuscripts, maps, architectural plans, photographs, illustrations, audio and video files, newspapers and much more.
Mining Operations for Gold, Coal, etc. in the Province of British Columbia
This 1886 report offers summaries of prospecting activity, the locations of new claims, transportation issues, and production levels at various mining sites in British Columbia. A Government of British Columbia website.
The website for Jane’s Walk, a network of free walking tours that explore the quality and livability of local neighbourhoods based on ideas espoused by Jane Jacobs. Click on "The Community" to access the latest news and photos on their blog and more. Also, check out "Find Your Walk" for maps and descriptions of local walks throughout the country.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...