Fort St. John

Population: 21,523

Fort St. John is located at Historic Milepost 47 of the Alaska Highway, 47 miles north of Dawson Creek and 236 miles south of Fort Nelson, BC.

Visitor Information: 
City of Fort St. John Visitor Centre, 9324–96 Street (Pomeroy Sport Centre); phone 877-785-6037.

The original Fort St. John was established as Rocky Mountain Fort in 1794, making Fort St. John the oldest white settlement in mainland British Columbia. In 1942, Fort St. John became field headquarters for U.S. Army troops and civilian engineers working on construction of the Alaska Highway in the eastern sector. An immense natural oil and gas field discovered in 1955 made Fort St. John the oil capital of British Columbia.

Today, Fort St. John’s booming economy is based primarily on oil and gas, agriculture, forestry, tourism, hydro-electric power generation, and consumer and public services.

Fort St. John has all visitor services. Lodging at Blue Belle Motel and numerous other motels/hotels; dining at restaurants and fast-food outlets; full-service gas stations; and car/RV repair locations. There are several shopping malls, supermarkets, laundromats, banks, car washes, a bowling alley and a 5-plex movie theatre.

Camping at Rosco’s RV Park, phone 250-787-5500, on Alder Road and north of town at the Ross H. Maclean Rotary R.V. Park on Charlie Lake, and at Charlie Lake and Beatton provincial parks.

Attractions:

  • Fort St. John–North Peace Museum, at 9323–100 St., has more than 6,000 artifacts, gifts and books from the region. Open year-round, Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Pomeroy Sport Centre at 9324–96 Street, houses the visitor centre and also has ice rinks, indoor speed skating, and indoor jogging track.
  • Peace River Valley viewpoint at the end of 100 Street (off the Alaska Highway) offers a panoramic view of the Peace River valley.
  • Centennial Park has a water spray park, skateboard park, curling rink, tennis courts, volleyball court and picnic area. Farmers Market is here on Wednesday evenings 5–7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • A granite monument in Centennial Park commemorates Sir Alexander Mackenzie’s stop here on his journey west to the Pacific Ocean in 1793.
  • Pioneer Pathway Walking Tour begins at the Visitor Centre (pick up a map) and features historic photos and early stories of Fort St. John beginning in the 1920s.
  • North Peace Cultural Centre houses Fort St. John Public Library, a 413-seat theatre for live performances; an art gallery and cafe.
  • Play golf at the Links Golf Course in town, Lakepoint Golf Course at Charlie Lake or Lone Wolf Golf Club in Taylor.