A Good Place to Be
The story of Kimberley begins in 1891 with the discovery of Galena, the natural mineral form of lead. It is the most important ore for making lead and an important source of silver.
This was found at Northstar mine, now the location of the Kimberly Alpine resort. A year later four prospectors were drawn to the area to ultimately discover one of the greatest lead zinc mines in the world, Walter Burchett, EC Smith, John Cleaver, and Pat Sullivan arrived at the base of Northstar mountain only to realize that the entire hillside had already been staked, undaunted they crossed Mark Creek to explore what is now called Sullivan mountain. There they found ore and staked three claims. In 1896 Burchett, Smith and Cleaver formed the Sullivan group mining company named in memory of Pat Sullivan, who died in a cave-in in a mine in Idaho. In 1909 Sullivan money and was acquired by the CPR owned, consolidated mining and smelting company, which later became Cominco limited and Tech Cominco.
For the next 60 years, the Sullivan mine was the biggest zinc producer in the world. Towards the end of the 1960s however, it became clear that the mines resources were dramatically depleted and they would have to prepare for shutdown. Recognizing that the mind would no longer be the economic base for the community the city council turned their attention to tourism and to shifting the economy away from an industrial mining economy to a tourist based economy. In the early 1970s in pursuit of tourist dollars, the city council decided to remodel Kimberly as the Bavarian City of the Rockies. And all of the architecture and buildings around the town were remodelled to look like a small Bavarian village.
Facts about Kimberley
- The city has the largest urban park in Canada. At 1,977 acres (800 ha), the Kimberley Nature Park is the largest incorporated park in Canada.
- Kimberley is located in the sunniest climate in BC and enjoys over 300 days of sunshine per year
- at 3, 662 feet above sea level, Kimberley is Canada’s highest city
- Over the decades, the site of Teck’s (formerly Cominco’s) Sullivan Mine hosted a steel mill, fertilizer plant and tailings ponds, rendering the area tree-less for the forseeable future. What to do with an elevated, south-facing slope that could never again see natural shade? Ecosmart, a Vancouver-based nonprofit, had a brilliant idea in 2008. Why not mine the sun?
- In 2015 Kimberley launched the Sun Mine. The $5.3 million solar project has 4,032 solar-cell modules, mounted on 96 solar trackers which follow the sun’s movement to maximize solar exposure.BC's largest solar project, Canada's largest solar tracking facility, and the first solar project in B.C. to sell power to the BC Hydro (link is external) grid,
Click HERE to listen to the podcast episode, "A Good Place to Be"
|The Founding Fathers|
|The Original Kimberley Airport located in the Rocky Mountain Trench|
|North Star Mountain in the Purcell Mountain Range|
|The Sun Pit - A Kimberley Tradition|
|Heather Gimmell - The Stonefire Grill|
|Live at the Kimberley Golf Course|
|The Stemwinder Pub|
|Live Music at the Sun Pit|
|Inversion Effect |
|Open Stage at the ski hill|
|Kimberley National Park |