Flowers in the Thompson Okanagan, Photo Allen Jones

Travel Spotlight

Greenwood

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Located in the South Okanagan, history is what makes Greenwood tick. Visitors come here to see the colourful, quirky, buildings – over 60 at last count – with many offering a peak into the past such as the Deadwood coffee house and antique store. When you have explored the town, a hike up Jubilee Mountain offers stunning views over the valley. Trails are aplenty in this area especially with the historic Kettle Valley Rail Trail nearby. You can walk or bike for miles along this popular trail that once transported people and goods by rail. Fishing, golfing and water sports are all nearby in the many rivers and lakes.

Location

Greenwood is located on Hwy 3 in south-central BC, just north of the Canada/United States border, 80 km (50 mi) east of Osoyoos and 36 km (22 mi) west of Grand Forks.

A Step Back in Time

Rich in historic charm, the story of Greenwood dates back to the discovery of rich lodes of copper-gold ore by prospectors in 1891. The dreams of Robert Wood came true, when in 1895 he purchased the land that is now the site of the city, built a General Store, and named the settlement Greenwood. With the discovery of rich copper ore came an influx of people from far and wide, and within two years the former rugged wilderness region had been transformed into a booming frontier city, one of the busiest and richest mining regions in Canada. Greenwood had become the social and economic hub of the entire Boundary region.

The City of Greenwood was incorporated in 1897, and by 1899, the population had reached 2,000, with the city boasting many fine hotels, an opera house, a newspaper, and countless other stores, services, and businesses that served the other mining camps in the region, such as Eholt, Boundary Falls, Phoenix, and Deadwood.

Greenwood’s new smelter plant was commissioned in 1901, processing copper-gold ore from the nearby Motherlode Mine, and mines in Nelson and Rossland. The smelter’s 121 foot brick smoke stack that looms over the city is one of the few surviving in the province, surrounded by mounds of black slag that once glowed red hot, an ever-present reminder of the early golden days of mining.

By 1910 the mining boom had peaked, with both Greenwood and nearby Phoenix enjoying steady business. However, copper prices soon plummeted, the market died, and by 1918, Greenwood was virtually deserted.

This changed with the onset of the Second World War, when a thousand displaced Japanese Canadians arrived by train to be interned in the vacant houses in the town during 1942. They were part of the 22,000 people of Japanese descent who were forced to leave their coastal homes during the first nine months of 1942, representing the largest mass movement of people in the history of Canada. Thus Greenwood was saved from the ghost town status that befell virtually every other mining community in the region. The new residents of Greenwood transformed the town into a bustling community, once again, and when the war ended in 1945 and many city councils endorsed the deportation of Japanese Canadians, Greenwood stood fast in supporting its much appreciated community members.

Today, Greenwood has evolved into a historic tourism destination, and remains deeply committed to mining and forestry, and is expanding its role as a regional continuing education centre.

Contact Information

Greenwood City 

Boundary Country Tourism

Greenwood & Nearby Accommodations

8 Listings

Greenwood Motel & RV Park

Greenwood Motel & RV Park

Greenwood

We invite you to stay at our exceptionally clean and quiet motel! Greenwood Motel & RV Park is conveniently close to downtown and a short walk to Greenwood’s Heritage Walking tour. Situated across Hwy 3 from the city park and playground, guests are welcomed to beautiful views of nature. The motel ... Read more
Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park

Midway

Enjoy camping right beside the river in the heart of the Village of Midway. The Frank Carpenter Riverfront Park is the perfect location for events such as weddings and family reunions. There are lots of fun outdoor activities for you to enjoy around Midway like hiking, biking, swimming and fishing. ... Read more
Kettle River RV Park

Kettle River RV Park

Rock Creek

Quiet country setting on the beautiful Kettle River. Golf, fish, swim, bird watch or just relax. Big rigs welcome. Large spacious sites, Full hook-ups. Across from golf course. Reservations recommended July & August. ... Read more
Pinegrove Motel

Pinegrove Motel

Grand Forks

Family-owned and operated since 1984, Pinegrove Motel offers unique ground level bungalows in a beautiful park-like setting. Our rooms are non-smoking and come with in-room coffee, air conditioning, TVs, some with fridges and microwaves. We are located near two gorgeous parks, perfect for evening st ... Read more
Grand Forks Municipal Campground

Grand Forks Municipal Campground

Grand Forks

Grand Forks Municipal Campground is located within the park, a wonderful setting whether you are tenting or have a 40 ft. RV. There are hook-ups for both electricity and water and there is a free sani-dump handily located close to the camping area. Extra clean showers and washrooms are provided for ... Read more
Victorian Motel & RV Park

Victorian Motel & RV Park

Grand Forks

Escape to the “Sunshine Valley,” and stay with us at the Victorian Motel and RV Park, located on the banks of the Kettle River and a short distance from downtown. Situated in a pristine area our motel is ideal to sit back, unwind and soak in the picturesque views. We offer unique rooms that feat ... Read more
Jim Blaine Memorial Campground & Wilderness Campground

Jim Blaine Memorial Campground & Wilderness Campground

Rock Creek

Jim Blaine Memorial Park Nestled along the banks of the Kettle River in rural Rock Creek. Jim Blaine Memorial Campground is shaded by tall ponderosa pine trees with a lush carpet of green grass. Just show up, choose your ideal spot on over 5 acres of beautiful park-like paradise and enjoy all that t ... Read more
Kettle Valley Villas & RVs

Kettle Valley Villas & RVs

Rock Creek

Located in the heart of the beautiful Kettle Valley, between Rock Creek and Midway. It is the ideal vacation destination for families to create memories. The lovely Kettle Valley Golf Course is at your doorstep. Enjoy this challenging and friendly 9-hole course during your stay. The Kettle River is ... Read more
Travel Spotlight
Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989