Prince Rupert, BC
Demographic Factsheet:

Population in 2011: 12,508 
Population change 2006-2011: -2.4 
Population change 2001-2006: -12.5 
Median age of the population: 39.5 
Population density (per square km): 227.7 
Land area (square km): 54.93 
Median income in 2005: 24,742 CAD
Median income after tax in 2005: 22,797
Average annual income for married families: 72,000
Visible minorities (% of pop): 10.6
Participation rate: 68.2 
Employment rate: 59.2 
Unemployment rate: 13.1 
Average price for a single detached home:
Average value of owned house: 167,017 CAD 
Average rent rate for two bedrooms:
Homeownership rate:
Total # of private Dwellings: 5,290
Economic Activities: Port, Tourism, Fishing Industry, Forest Industry
Prince Rupert is located on Kaien Island in northwestern British Columbia, north of the mouth of Skeena River, and is linked by a short bridge to the mainland. The City is approximately 770 km north of Vancouver, 140km west of Terrace, and 715 km west of Prince George (5). Prince Rupert is Canada’s wettest city, with 2552 mm of precipitation per year (7). Archeological evidence indicates First Nations have inhabited the region over 10,000 years (6). Its greatest asset is its location to one of the deepest natural ice-free harbours on the planet, which also happens to be three days closer by shipping lane to Asia than any other major port and is only 100 hours by train from Chicago and the huge market of the American Midwest. Terminals for grain, coal, containers and two cruise ship terminals dominate the city’s waterfront.
By the middle of 19th Century, Prince Rupert was the centre of an extensive fish canning industry exploiting the Skeena River salmon runs and it is been an important forest industry centre (8). Named for the first Hudson’s Bay Company governor, Prince Rupert was envisioned in the
early 20th century as the eastern terminus of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTP - today’s Canadian National Railway system) (9) and as a rival port of Vancouver as Canada’s west coast port city. The location of this port provided the shortest shipping route between North America and the Orient. In January of 1908, landscape architects of the Boston firm Brett and Hall arrived in Prince Rupert to plan the new city. After a public auction and the land sale, the population tripled and on March 10, 1910, the city was incorporated.
The Canadian Fish & Cold Storage plant opened in 1912 confirming the fishing vocation of the region. In 1915 a drydock and shipyard was completed by the GTP (10). During the World War II its strategic localization was used for the transport of troops and materiel in the Pacific. The Skeena Highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace would be finished by March of 1942. In the 1960s, access to Prince Rupert was further improved, by the opening of the Digby Island Airport and the Alaska and B.C. Ferries terminals. New port terminals were opened in the 1970s and 1980s and in 2004 the Port of Prince Rupert entered the cruise business with the opening of Northland Cruise Terminal (11).
Today the Port of Prince Rupert is increasingly at the centre of a global trade corridor that connects Asia and North America. Although the city suffered in the 1990s with the closure of the coal mines of northeastern British Columbia and of its pulp mill in 2001, trade with China and other Asian countries has since rebounded. The Prince Rupert Fairview Container Terminal began its operations in 2007 and it represents a new high-speed, congestion-free corridor between Asia and North America. The port of Prince Rupert is supported by a range of transportation and logistics services. This is an important sector of the local, regional and national economies, one that is expected to grow rapidly as the Port expands (12).
Tourism is growing rapidly with the expansion of cruise ship traffic, and locally with an emphasis on sportfishing, and other activities such as water sports, golfing, biking, hiking and kayaking. Its daily newspaper, the Prince Rupert Daily News, was first published in 1910 (13). The climate of Prince Rupert is characterized by an oceanic climate, and is also located in a temperate rainforest. It has an annual precipitation average of 2,590 milimetres. Rainfall peaks in the autumn months. Winters are mild by Canadian standards, (15). Snowfall in Prince Rupert is rare and normally melts within a few days. The daily mean in January is 2.4 Celsius and in July 13.4.
Prince Rupert is the most important fish-landing port on the northwest coast and fishing is still one of the main activities of the region. The top private employers in the city are the Canadian Fishing Company, JS McMilla (Seafood Processor), the International Longshoremen & Warehousemen’s Union Local 505 (Container Port) and Prince Rupert Grain, Ltd (Grain Terminal) (14). Due to Prince Rupert’s strategic localization and importance for the logistic sector, the Prince Rupert and Port Edward Economic Development Corporation (PREDC) is one of the key actors working with business to facilitate growth, expedite local, national and international business investment development opportunities, collaborating with all levels of government.
Urban Planning and Land Use Planning are used to manage the growth of the city, tools like zoning are used to manage the pace of development. The most popular (16) land use documents are: the Cow Bay Development Permit Area, Downtown Development Permit Area, Energy Plan, Official Community Plan, Parking Study, Rezoning and Zoning Bylaw.

Dr. Leith Deacon PhD