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Welcome to Nelson...

The Queen City of the Kootenays

Incorporated in 1897, Nelson has a population of 10,230 and a trading area of over 60,000 people. Within its municipal boundaries, the City's total area is 913.6 ha (2257.53 acres, or 7.2 sq. kms) It is located in the Southern Interior of British Columbia in a region called the West Kootenay. Nelson is in the Central Kootenay Regional District, one of 27 Regional Districts in the Province of BC and is most closely bordered by RDCK Areas E & F. The regional districts and municipalities function as a partnership to provide and co-ordinate services in both urban and rural areas.


By highway Nelson is 663 kms (412 miles) from Vancouver, 624 kms (387 miles) from Calgary, and 237 kms (148 miles) from Spokane Washington.

Nelson is situated on the junction of provincial Highway 3A and Highway 6, and sits on the shores of Kootenay Lake, one of the largest lakes in British Columbia. Traditionally, the economy of Nelson and area has been primarily resource based (forestry and mining) and while this sector still represents a vital component of this area’s employment, Nelson is also the provincial administrative center for the Kootenays. Traditionally, many regional and district offices of the provincial government have been centralized here, as well as some Federal offices. Tourism is an up and coming sector of the local economy and is fostered by breathtaking scenery within the area and at the City's doorstep.

Nelson - One of British Columbia's Most Beautiful Towns

- courtesy of the

Nelson’s picturesque setting is a shelf of land overlooking the dark blue waters of Kootenay Lake. Parks and beaches can be found along its waterfront, and the town itself is home to more than 350 heritage buildings constructed between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of these well-preserved buildings have been converted into cafes, quirky galleries, and offbeat boutiques. Adding to Nelson’s charm is its artsy, youthful culture, with the town touted as having more artists per capita than any other town in Canada. Nelson is also an excellent base for hiking, kayaking, and skiing in the mountains, lakes, and streams found in the surrounding area.

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