The Village of Hazelton is a vibrant community with a welcoming atmosphere and some of the most stunning natural beauty in British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province.
It is located at the junction of the Bulkley and Skeena Rivers in northern British Columbia along a 10 kilometre corridor west from Highway 16 and beginning with New Hazelton. The Village – or “Old Hazelton” as it is also called, is steeped in history and adventure. Even today, people who choose to live and work in the Village are adventurous spirits.
The Village of Hazelton is adjacent to Gitxsan First Nations’ (First Nations refer to Native American or Aboriginal peoples in Canada) territory, which encompasses approximately 33,000 square kilometers of land, from the basin of the Upper Skeena River at Legate Creek to the Skeena’s headwaters and its surrounding tributaries.
Throughout its history, the residents of the Village and the First Nations people have respected and shared the early settler traditions and rich indigenous culture of the area.
Business in Hazelton
Opportunities exist for various technical trades, as well as commercial, retail and professional businesses that serve the local and regional economy. There is potential for an expanded tourism sector, including hospitality businesses that complement the natural and cultural assets currently bringing tourists to the Village.
British Columbia’s reputation as a premiere outdoor destination, as well as its potential for increased commercial recreation and adventure tourism, aligns well with the Village of Hazelton’s focus on tourism and cultural tourism. British Columbia has one of the largest and most diverse agriculture and agri-food sectors in Canada. From berries to vegetables, wine to seafood, the sector continues to grow and embrace the province’s many micro-climates. The province’s Highway 16 region has historically supplied vast quantities of the province’s agricultural product.
Despite its northern location, the Hazelton area’s climate is milder and wetter than the neighbouring interior plateau, due to warm Pacific air. It has a strong tradition of agriculture production resulting from the unique micro-climate, rich river valley soils and a Zone 5 rating on the Plant Hardiness Zone classification.
British Columbia is also one of the world’s largest exporters of wood products and the Village of Hazelton has a rich forestry history. Today, that wood sector tradition creates new opportunities for producing and delivering value-added wood products (millwork, containers, doors and window frames, etc.) to the rest of Canada and foreign markets.
British Columbia is a globally-recognized centre for mining activity. The province possesses abundant mineral, coal and gas resources the bulk of which are located in northern British Columbia. The Village of Hazelton’s strategic location can serve as a low-cost, central base from which supplies, services and support are delivered to mining operations.
Nature Lovers’ Paradise
For those who love the outdoors, the Village of Hazelton and surrounding area offer pristine forests, mountains and waterways that are increasingly difficult to find anywhere in the world. This stunning natural beauty begins from Main Street and offers endless opportunities to experience nature on walking paths, hiking trails or back-country adventures. The Village is a fishing enthusiast’s paradise, with opportunities to catch salmon and steelhead from four pristine rivers: the Kispiox, Skeena, Bulkley and Suskwa. In fact, the area has been recognized as one of the best steelhead fishing spots in North America.
Gitanmaax is a first nations community adjacent to the village of Hazelton at the confluence of the Bulkley and Skeena Rivers. The Gitanmaax Band operates the Ksan Campground near the Ksan Historical Village, Tri-City Theatre, Gitanmaax Community Hall and Gitanmaax Food and Fuel.
Kispiox is a Gitxsan community located at the junction of the Kispiox and Skeena rivers 15 km up river from Hazelton. It is known as “People of the Hiding Place and is estimated to be approximately 3000 years old. The totem poles, both old and new, in the village are a famous landmark of the village.
Hagwilget is a Gitxsan village just north of New Hazelton on the west bank of the Bulkley River. It is marked by the St. Mary Magdalen church, built in 1908. The area adjacent to Hagwilget is also known as Two Mile due to its location in relation to the Village of Hazelton.
Sik-E-Dakh (formerly known as Glen Vowell) is a Gitxsan village located approximately halfway between Old Hazelton and Kispiox. It was developed by members of the Salvation Army church 1898. Sik-E-Dakh is a planned community that is very neat with the old church near the Skeena River.
Gitsegukla is a Gitxsan community located on Highway 16 at the confluence of the Kitseguecla and Skeena Rivers west of Hazelton. It is marked by a distinctive set of slender totem poles and the old United Church. This church has sheet-metal spires and an authentic “candle-flame” top.