Recently, the city of Trail has been quietly attracting significant investments from senior levels of government and private sector investors, setting up for a major boom for the town, which is known for its mining and smelting industries.
Last year, FortisBC, Columbia Power and Columbia Basin Trust completed an expansion of the Waneta Dam, south of Trail. In addition to providing more than $300 million to the local economy, this expansion created jobs for over 1,400 people, including 194 apprentices from 13 trades.
This past June, the B.C. government announced $1.18 million in BC Air Access funding would go towards the construction of a new terminal building at the Trail Regional Airport. “It will be the centrepiece of several improvements to the airport to take advantage of increased activity,” said Mayor Mike Martin, in a press release. “We anticipate more business and holiday travellers will come to the area.”
The downtown region of the city is in the midst of a makeover as various investments in existing buildings are creating new businesses, services and opportunities. Renovations are underway for a new microbrewery and boutique hotel/conference centre.
In October, the city broke ground on the Riverfront Centre, a new integrated library and museum. The 15,000 square foot facility will provide innovative educational tools and a showcase for the city’s unique history and culture. The city is also working towards bringing more people downtown with its upcoming Columbia River Skywalk, a 1,000 square foot pedestrian/pipeline bridge that is set to open in December and will be the first of its kind in Canada.
Trail is also working closely with the Interior Health Authority and the B.C. government to fund $40 million in necessary improvements to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail. “With all of these investments being made, jobs being created and people coming to Trail, we need to ensure our health care facilities are kept in top shape to meet ever-rising demand,” added Martin.
Another local sector that will benefit from investments is sports and recreation. The Trail Smoke Eaters, the local hockey team for nearly 100 years, has just attracted a new owner that plans to make significant improvements to the local arena. Nearby, Rossland’s Red Mountain Resort continues to grow, and is now the eighth-largest skiing region in Canada.
“Trail and its residents have always worked hard and contributed to their community. More investors, senior governments and employers are recognizing the advantages of being here and Trail is benefiting as a result,” said Martin.