What the Historic Town of Prince George Has To Offer Newcomers and Locals by Megan McClymont

Welcome to the historic town of Fraser Fort George. Also known as Prince George. This town has been through so much over the years. I would like to provide a little history for all the new locals moving here. Prince George is like nowhere else on earth. It was originally known as Fort George. Back in 1807, on the Lheidli T’enneh territory, a fur trading post was founded as an agricultural settlement around the post. In the 1900s, Prince George was introduced to the idea of hosting the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, now called CN Rail. Construction on this railway started back in 1914. On March 6, 1915, Prince George became an official town with a new name and a new plan for growth.

Where did the name come from?

So how did they come up with the name “Prince George”? Well, we have two main rivers that surround this junction, the Nechako and the Fraser. Vice president Morley Donaldson, of the Grand Trunk Pacific, and President Charles Hays, wrote a memo in an internal company back in December 1911, over a debate. Donaldson wanted to name the town after King George V, also known as Prince Edward, not Prince George, however, Hays realized none of the other surrounding towns carried the company’s endorsement. After much back and forth, they finally made an agreement to name the town of Prince George.

We have many different activities to take part in. Each season is so unique from the scenery to the indoors. When you first arrive here, you are instantly greeted by the outdoors. I have heard comments from newcomers that they felt like they just landed in the middle of nowhere. The RPG airport is small and we only have once arrival gate, but it serves the needs of tens of thousands of people visiting PG every year. So, welcome to the great outdoors. A lot of the activities you will find to enjoy will inevitably be held outdoors.

Trails, Trails, Trails…

Outdoor activities include walking the scenic trails of Cotton Wood, LC Gun Park, Pidherny, Forests for the World, Lheidli T’enneh park, and those found on Cranbrook Hill. All of our trails have a great view of the woods of PG, and many are even bike-friendly. Many of our trails are available to use all-year-round. With the outdoors here, we have great snowboarding and downhill skiing at the Hart Ski Hill and Otway for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Both locations have friendly service and assistance.

Be sure to check out some of the local photographer’s photos of Ottway, sharing the scenic beauty of the place. If you have a camera, be sure to bring it along with you to all the outdoor places. In my view, each community venue has something beautiful to offer you. For example, one more of the city’s hidden gems, us locals know about, is the cut banks. I suggest that you take a friend with you up there to the lookout points. The lookout points help you see how expansive PG is. Getting a new perspective of the town you live in, often brings a person right into the moment.

Living in Pg teaches a person that they can go from being surrounded by buildings in one moment and the forest the next. For some of us, the woods are home. In fact, many of us who live here, find the forests to be a welcome retreat to visit when we need a mental break or to get some exercise. Home is where we plant our roots and grow. In PG, community residents are learning from growing out of nothing into something amazing, I think I’m just stuck with focusing on the outdoors.

I challenge you to submerge yourself in the woods to start your story in PG. Let this city write the chapter of your journey. Share your journey with others if this isn’t finally destinations but if this is your final destination, welcome. Unpack and settle down because this city will change you to expand. Find something to expand yourself here in PG because when you do this your world will become more focused.