Invest in the District of Fort St. James

British Columbia, Canada

A resourceful community with established forestry, mining, and tourism sectors.

Economic Development Contact

Emily Colombo | Economic Development Officer
250-996-8233 |  

Founded by Simon Fraser in 1806 on the shores of beautiful Stuart Lake, Fort St James is the gateway to a chain of rivers and lakes that traverse 400 kms of central British Columbia. The total population of Fort St. James, including the municipality itself, rural areas and First Nation reserves, is 4,757 people that benefits from an established forest industry and a growing tourism industry.

Year round recreational opportunities include hiking and biking trails, ballparks, golf, fishing, hunting, water-skiing, rock climbing, horseback riding, atv and snowmobile trails, canoeing, swimming, sailing and boating, alpine and nordic skiing, skating, archery, hockey, curling, snowmobiling, dog sledding and camping. Cultural opportunities include a Public Library, the Community Arts Council, live music performances, and an amateur theatre company. Approximately 10,000 visitors attend the Fort St. James National Historic Site annually to learn about the origins of the fur trade in British Columbia. Few towns are more proud or more aware of their history.

The forest sector continues to dominate the local economy, with Conifex Timber and Apollo Forest Products operating as the community's largest employers. Many independent logging and hauling contractors, smaller processors, as well as forestry consultants, silviculture workers and Ministry of Forests employees, also supporting the forest industry.

Mount Milligan is a copper and gold mine close to the community, with approximately 900 construction workers living on site and an expected 450 employees needed for operational employees when the mine begins to operate in late 2013/early 2014. Mount Milligan is expected to bring an increased demand for workers and services in the region. Recent business sales have been brisk, with several local apartment buildings, commercial properties and a hotel changing ownership. In 2011, 44 new businesses took on business licences with the District of Fort St. James. Between 2011 and 2012, commercial property values increased by 19%, with residential property values taking the third highest jump in British Columbia at an increase of 16.6%.

Tourism is a growing industry in the area, with outfitters available for hunting and fishing, cultural tourism, and horseback trail riding; boats and float planes are available for charter. The Fort St. James National Historic Site, the ancient burial site of Carrier Chief Kwah, Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church, and the monument to legendary bush pilot, Russ Baker attracts those interested in history and culture; plentiful provincial parks, private campgrounds and lodges in the area bring outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the vast wilderness of Stuart Lake at their doorstep.

Local Infrastructure Projects

Community Economic Development Contact

Emily Colombo
Economic Development Officer
District of Fort St. James

Community Contacts


Rob MacDougall
Fort St. James

Community Contact

Kevin Crook
Chief Administrative Officer
District of Fort St. James

Chamber of Commerce Contact

Miguel Romero
Fort St. James Chamber of Commerce

Community Futures Contact

Keith Federink
Community Futures Stuart Nechako