BCBusiness in partnership with BCEDA and Castlegar & District Economic Development

At the centre of it all in Castlegar

Sunrise views near Castlegar from aboveLocated in the Kootenays within the Selkirk Mountain range is one of B.C.’s best-kept secrets: Castlegar. This city and its surrounding areas are seeing a massive renaissance. What’s driving this change? It’s affordable living, a strong job market, high levels of business confidence and a resource sector that is performing well.

2018 saw a record year for home building in Castlegar and district, which is partially a result of new families moving to the area for the affordable lifestyle and an abundance of outdoor activities. According to BCStats, an average family of four could save more than $48,000 a year by living in Castlegar compared to Vancouver. As with many places in B.C., Castlegar provides an excellent opportunity for new-home builders. BCStats also indicates that Castlegar will have the highest growth rate of all communities in the Kootenays in the next 20 years.

Massive success

For the last three years the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development office have been measuring business confidence. This year two-thirds (66 percent) of businesses indicated that business conditions are good, or improving and are up 11 percent from 2017. This has resulted in many changes to the retail landscape. There are no retail spaces for lease in the uptown area—which is creating an opportunity for new developers. The space in this area has been taken up by businesses such as Tailout Brewing—Castlegar’s first micro-brewery—Edward Jones with operators from Nelson opening an additional location, among others. Additionally, downtown Castlegar has had numerous businesses move into the area over the last couple of years, including Revival Boutique (from Rossland), Trackside Bistro, the Humble Bean Coffee Company, Swish Clothing, Kootenay Escape Room, Lotus Massage, Fitbox, Medipro, APEX, and the newly renovated Recharge Fuel and Fitness. The downtown renaissance is not by accident though, the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development office have been running an annual Storefronts of Opportunity event that takes potential new business owners on a tour of spaces available for lease. Chamber Executive Director Tammy Vergin-Burk says the “2017 tour was a massive success. We showed 28 downtown properties and within eight months, 20 of them were sold or leased.”

Our climate is described as Mediterranean or humid continental: snowy, yet with warm winters compared to other places, and hot, dry summers that allow residents to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle whether it’s climbing, fishing, mountain biking and boating in the summer, or skiing, snowshoeing and backcountry pursuits in winter.

Castlegar has it all, at the centre of it all.

Castlegar & District Economic Development
Castlegar, BC
Phone: +1 (250) 304-8231