This Is Powell River

About >> City Profile

Located on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, Power River offers an amazing mixture of nature, culture and industry. The region has become a hotspot for businesses, families, and retirees relocating from centres across North America and the world. Here you will find friendly locals, unique neighbourhoods, opportunities, and a wide variety of events and art venues to keep you entertained. Neatly tucked into BC’s coastline and mere hours from Vancouver by car or minutes by plane, Powell River is an attractive option for those seeking to capitalize on a growing community with constantly expanding opportunities.

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Location

The City of Powell River is located on the Sunshine Coast, in some of the most rich and fertile land in British Columbia. Located just over 170 km from Vancouver, BC, Powell River is surrounded by forest, mountains, and many freshwater bodies of water and is part of the coastal mountain range. With the Pacific Ocean to its west, the region enjoys a temperate climate.

The mild winters bring plenty of precipitation, but less than 32 cm of snow on average, keeping the area green year round. Annual precipitation is almost 1,400 mm. The average winter temperature (Dec – March) is 5C, while the summer (June – September) averages a mild 17C. Fittingly for the Sunshine Coast, there is an average of 1,900 hours of sunlight yearly.

Demographics

In 2016, the City of Powell River had a population of 13,157, virtually no change from the 2011 census (13,165). The qathet Regional District did experience some growth, with a 2011 population of 19,884 and a 2016 population of 20,707, approximately 1.0 percent growth. This compares to the provincial average growth of 5.6%.

The city's land area is 28.91 square kilometres with a population density of 455.1 persons per square kilometre.

School District No. 47 provides public education for the community of Powell River. With six elementary schools, one middle school, three secondary school, the School District has an operating budget of approximately $21 million and more than 300 employees committed to the education of 2,000 students.

Vancouver Island University at Powell River is a permanent, year-round campus offering quality programs relevant to community development initiatives. The campus augments and expands its programs and services through developing a widely known core specialty drawing on community strengths, to help maintain and enhance a vibrant and viable presence in the region. The University also has an aggressive international studies program, bringing students from around the world.

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Labour Force

The labour force represents the total number of Powell River residents who are employed. Compared to British Columbia as a whole, the Powell River economy appears to be more diversified, and that diversification means it is an ideal place to build, expand, and invest in business opportunities.

According to the 2016 census, Powell River has significant labour force participation at 53.4%, and a large population of entrepreneurs, with 14.4% self-employed.

Major employers include Catalyst Paper, School District 47, Western Forest Products, and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Housing

Powell River offers a wide range of housing options at a very affordable price – whether you’re looking for heritage, modern, waterfront or farm. The Powell River Real Estate Association collects data quarterly providing a current reflection of the local housing market.

While average housing prices have been increasing, it is still possible to find your dream house for a price that doesn't break the bank. But if you do, jump on it quick! Powell River tends to be in a buyer's market, as properties are scooped up quickly when they are on the market.

(Charts courtesy of the British Columbia Real Estate Association, September 2020)

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Infrastructure

Powell River relies on air and water transportation for both passengers and cargo. The community has developed an efficient transportation system that caters to its residents and visitors, as well as the logistical needs of the goods being shipping in and out of the community. Within the community you will find reliable public transportation, friendly road and water taxi services , and other transportation means.

Pacific Coastal Airlines offers daily direct flights from Powell River’s Municipal Airport to Vancouver International Airport’s South Terminal. Flight time is only 25 minutes.

And for the adventurous, take in the northern-most part of the longest highway in the world. From Lund, you can take Highway 101 south all the way to Quellon, Chile, 14,880 miles/24,000 km away.

Utilities

British Columbia is widely recognized as having some of the best water quality in the world. The City of Powell River’s water originates from the Haslam Lake Watershed. Haslam Lake is located within the traditional territories of the Tla'amin and Sechelt First Nations. Logging in the area is expected to increase in the coming years, as much of the timber is now reaching harvestable age.

The City of Powell River is responsible for sewer maintenance and is mandated by the Ministry of Environment to ensure safe treatment and disposal is within Ministry regulations. The City is regulated to ensure safe water treatment and discharge of sewage and storm water as well as water conservation and sustainable environment initiatives.

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Economy

Powell River offers an excellent mix of industrial, commercial and residential development, and has become a hotspot for businesses and individuals looking to relocate to an area offering an abundance of opportunities.

Many of Powell River’s residents have become entrepreneurs and started new businesses, or are telecommuters using the region’s fibre optic network to work remotely.

The City of Powell River is committed to working with those interested in investing in Powell River. Whether you are an existing business or looking to open a new business in the community, Council has established an effective economic development program. The community recognizes that you can invest anywhere and it is our goal to make sure that we work with you to ensure you not only select our community but that you remain for the long term.

Life Balance

The Tla’amin people have used and occupied these lands since time immemorial and their rich culture is celebrated. Named a Cultural Capital of Canada in 2004, Powell River offers a wide range of activities for arts and culture enthusiasts. Powell River’s mill town roots are on display in the Historic Townsite, and the history is collected at the Powell River Historical Museum.

The Community is proud to have two large state of the art performance venues in the Evergreen Theatre (800 seats at the Recreation Complex) and the Max Cameron Theatre (500 seats at Brooks Secondary School).

Powell River also boasts a stimulating blend of sport and recreation, outdoor adventure, and cultural amenities. The Recreation Complex features twin ice sheets, an aquatic centre, fitness gym and studio, and several meeting rooms. Green spaces, sports fields, and trails are abundant throughout the community and opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts include kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, golfing, boating, hiking, biking, fishing, and scuba diving. The city is also host to world-class art galleries, tremendous dining opportunities, and memorable events and festivals. The Powell River area is a dream destination for people looking for year-round, unforgettable experiences.

For your health care, the 33-bed Powell River General Hospital includes a fully equipped Intensive Care unit, operating and emergency rooms, x-ray and physical therapy facilities, oncology department, laboratory, hydro-therapy pool and a helipad for air ambulance.

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Government

Four levels of government provide services to the residents of Powell River and area – City of Powell River, the qathet Regional District, the Province of British Columbia and the Canadian Federal Government. Texada Island and Savary Island have improvement districts for specific aspects of local governance.

In addition, the Tla’amin Nation negotiated a fair treaty settlement with the Province of BC and the Government of Canada. The agreement provides Tla’amin Nation with certain rights and benefits regarding land and resources, and self-government over its lands, resources and its members.