Dawson Creek

Dawson Creek is a small city in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, with 11,583 inhabitants ( 2011). The city has the nickname " Mile 0 City " (Eng. city of the zero mile ) because it forms the southern end and the beginning of the Alaska Highway. The associated milestone Mile 0 Post is the main element of the city flag. The name comes from Dawson Creek Bach (german creek ) of the same name, which flows through the city and was named by a surveyor in August 1879 after George Mercer Dawson. As the city service center for the surrounding rural areas of is south Peace River, home to the Peace River Regional District and transportation hub on the way from Alberta in the part of British Columbia north of the Rocky Mountains, she gave herself the title of The Capital of the Peace (German capital of Peace).


Dawson Creek was one of the farmer communities that were founded by Euro -Canadian settlers on their way west through the plains of the Peace River Country. Immigration increased after the settlers their settlement lands was awarded by the Canadian government as property (see U.S. Homestead Act ). After the opening of some shops and hotels in 1919, Dawson Creek became the most important settlement in the area. On May 28, 1921 Dawson Creek Co- operative Union (Cooperative Association ) was founded, what the significance of the place as a business center again reinforced.

After intensive land speculation the terminus of the Northern Alberta Railways was built three kilometers from the village. The line was completed on 29 December 1930 and 15 January 1931, the first passenger train reached the station. The railway connection and the construction of many grain elevators attracted more settlers and led to Dawson Creek in 1936 officially as a village (german village) was founded. After the beginning of World War II came in 1939 refugees from the Sudetenland in the region and settled on land that was purchased by the Canadian Pacific Railway and managed by the Canadian Colonization Association in trust. In this way, the population exceeded 1941, the 500 -inhabitant border, and in 1943 was several thousand. The town grew rapidly in 1942, as thousands of U.S. soldiers, engineers and contract workers came to the railway endpoint to build the Alaska Highway.

In 1951, after the road was completed and the construction workers had left Dawson Creek, its population was about 3,500. The town experienced rapid population growth in the 1950s, especially after the British Columbia Highway 97 ( John Hart Highway) and a parallel railway Dawson Creek with the interior of British Columbia ( Cariboo ) and the Lower Mainland, the region surrounding Vancouver, union. During this time, the largest gas plant in Western Canada was built and furnished offices of the Canadian federal government and the city had about 11,000 inhabitants in 1961.

The city's growth took off in the 1960s; its highest population had Dawson Creek in 1966 with 12,392 inhabitants. In the 1970s, the provincial government offices built in the city, the Northern Lights College opened a campus in Dawson Creek and the Dawson Creek Mall shopping center was built. In addition, several modern grain elevators were built and dismantled the five old wooden grain elevators. Today only is one of the historic grain elevator, which now houses an art gallery. Since the 1970s, population and economy Dawson Creek did not grow significantly. This is mainly due to the nearby places of Fort St. John and Grande Prairie ( Alberta ). The former became the industry, the latter to the commercial center of the region.

The granting of local autonomy for the church took place on May 26, 1936 (incorporated as the Village Municipality ). Since June 27, 1967 Dawson Creek has the status of a city.


The Canadian census of 1941 identified 518 permanent residents in Dawson Creek. In the census of 1951 3.589 inhabitants have already been counted, which corresponds to a sevenfold increase in population in ten years. The census of 1956 identified 7,531 inhabitants. This rapid population growth is due to the construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942, the Dawson Creek to the terminus of the railroad from the U.S. made ​​over Alberta and thousands of workers brought into the city. The new road made ​​the city an important Umladepunkt of trucks on trains and at a traffic junction on the way to the Northeast British Columbia Alberta. Since the late 1970s, the population of Dawson Creek has still not changed.

According to the Canadian census of 2001, there were in the town of 10,740 people in 4,410 households. The average age is lower than in the rest of British Columbia, 22.4 % of the population are under 15 years old, compared to 18.1% in the province. 11.1% of the population is over 65 years old, while 13.6% are at the provincial level. The religion with the most followers is Christianity: 37 % of the population are Protestant, 18 % Roman Catholic.

According to the same census, the unemployment rate in 2001 was 10.4% and the employment rate, the proportion of the active labor force in the total population, 69.5 %, compared to 8.5 % and 65.2 % in total British Columbia. Dawson Creeks higher employment rate shows that a larger proportion of the population working or looking for work, the above-average unemployment rate indicates a surplus of labor. The unemployment rate is probably also with the economic structure Dawson Creeks together in the seasonal and short term jobs, for example in the processing of agricultural products, mining and oil and gas drilling play a major role. However, the poverty rate was also below average: it was in 2001 16.5% compared to 17.8 % in the province average.

The census in 2011 showed a further fouling of the population for the small town. The population of the city grew it in comparison to the census of 2006 by 5.4 % (from 10,994 to 11,583 inhabitants), while the population in British Columbia grew by 7.0 % at the same time.


Dawson Creek is a sales and service center for the region between the Peace River in the north and the Rocky Mountains in the south. The city's economy developed mainly based on the primary sector and depends on large resource-based employers. Apart from agriculture are retail, tourism and oil and gas extraction of meaning.

Agriculture was and is the most important industry for Dawson Creek, mainly because the city is a transportation hub for the transshipment and shipping of agricultural products from road to rail. The city is surrounded by the so-called Agricultural Land Reserve, a fertile region whose soil constantly produce good yields of quality grain and grass plants. Particularly wheat, oats, rye, barley, flax, hay, alfalfa and clover are grown. Livestock was formerly of importance, but which has fallen sharply after the BSE crisis and the associated global border closures for Canadian cattle.

As a service center Dawson Creek has many retail companies that supply both the countryside and the city's residents. However, the retail sector in recent years in favor of Grande Prairie, the nearest major city in the Canadian province of Alberta, lost demand, as in Alberta no provincial tax on purchases at retail exists, while in British Columbia, a 7 % tax obtained. In particular, for more expensive products therefore take residents of British Columbia to Grande Prairie. The situation of the local retail trade was made ​​even more difficult by the establishment of large supermarkets such as Wal -Mart. The people go for expensive products still many to Alberta, but the major supermarkets offer apart from an assortment of medium expensive and cheap products at where the shopping in Alberta so far practically not worth so that the located in the city center retailers in these segments are now also come under price pressure.

Dawson Creek is also a tourist destination and has hotels, motels and camping parks. The majority of visitors come to Dawson Creek to sail from there to the Alaska Highway. Many of them go on convoys on the highway and to meet in Dawson Creek.

The economic activities in the oil and gas sector, which have the economy of nearby Fort St. John brings strong growth have expanded in recent years to Dawson Creek. Finds of occurrence south of the city and rising energy prices have prompted the city to support the development of oil and natural gas production.

Transport and Infrastructure

With the rapid growth of the city mid-20th century, the road network of Dawson Creek was developed in a short time. It follows a grid plan of large blocks that are connected to each other only by a few connecting roads, for example, across a bridge over the creek or on a railroad crossing. Since there are within blocks of the grid many stop signs, the main traffic moves on the two main roads. Those are the 8th Street (8 Street) in the north-south direction and the Alaska Avenue in southeast-northwest direction. Both roads meet at a roundabout where a metal statue marks the beginning of the Alaska Highway. The main transport objectives in Dawson Creek are the shops in the southern part of 8th Street and the central part of Alaska Avenue. Most of the traffic of Alberta crosses the city, especially the one in the oil-producing rural areas; this traffic is coming from the north on the 8th Street and then follows the Alaska Avenue to the north- west or vice versa. Despite the disclosure of Highway 2 - south and west of the city as a dangerous route many trucks still drive on the route over the 8 described - Road and the Alaska Highway, which often hinders the traffic and the road is damaged.

Dawson Creek originated as intersection of two major highways and as a service center for the regional agricultural hinterland. It is connected via Highway 2 and the 8th Street with Grande Prairie and Southern Alberta, on Highway 49, the Alaska Avenue ( east of the traffic circle ) with the Peace River and northern Alberta, via Highway 97 and the Alaska Avenue ( west of the traffic circle ) with Fort St. John and Alaska in the north and the interior of British Columbia in the west. While the central roundabout of the beginning of the Alaska Highway is some intersections west of it is the " Zero Mile Post ," which is a key milestone and distances from Dawson Creek to many other places on the Alaska Highway indicating of which 2400 km (or 1.523 miles ) away, Fairbanks is the furthest destination.

Since 1931 Dawson Creek was connected through the Northern Alberta Railway to the passenger rail network. Since 1958, joined the Pacific Great Eastern Railway (later BC Rail, now a part of the Canadian National Railway) Dawson Creek with the domestic British Columbia, the port cities on the Pacific coast, Vancouver and Prince Rupert. As the city lives mainly from transhipment and transport of the products resource-based industries such as grain, oil and gas derivatives and wood, the movement was always more important than the number of passengers. Therefore, since 1974, no passenger trains run more out of Dawson Creek. Today, the railroad connects Dawson Creek Chetwynd, British Columbia, from where connections to south through the Rocky Mountains in the interior of the province and north to Fort St. John and Fort Nelson exist.

Dawson Creek has three takeoff and landing places for aircraft. About 4 kilometers southeast of the small town is the 1966 -built Regional Airport Dawson Creek ( IATA: ydq, ICAO: CYDQ ). The airport has a paved runway and runway of 1,524 meters in length. Another airport ( Flying L Ranch Airport ) is located about 14 kilometers northwest of Dawson Creek ( IATA: -, ICAO: -, Transport Canada Identifier: CDC3 ). This has a grass airstrip of 610 meters in length. A third airport, the water airport ( IATA: -, ICAO: -, Transport Canada Identifier: CBC3 ) on a lake near the regional airport.

Greyhound bus lines connect with Dawson Creek Vancouver. The route follows the provincial Highways 97 and 1, the trip takes about 19 ​​hours. About Grande Prairie is a bus to Edmonton.

Geography and climate

Dawson Creek is shallow, only the north-eastern edge rises above the city. The creek, which gave its name to the town, flows from east to west through the center of the city. The soils of the surrounding area correspond loudly Canada land Inventory of Class 2C. This means that the quality and hence the diversity there growing plants capable of the unfavorable environment is limited.

Dawson Creek is located in the south-west of the Peace River Country, 72 km southeast of Fort St. John and 134 km northwest of Grande Prairie. It is located in the ecoregion B.C. Peace Lowland Boreal Canadian Plains, which belongs to the continental Interior Plains of North America. The area has a sub-humid northern climate, as it belongs to the climatic region of the North American Cordillera. The city is preparing for their drinking water from the Kiskatinaw River, which flows to the city to the north of the Peace River 18 km west.

In the summer it is often dusty and dry in the city. During this time, occur irregularly strong downpours that last only a few minutes. The average rainfall in July is 83.5 mm with an average temperature of 15.22 ° C. In winter it can be very cold and dry in the city. Annual fall 171 cm snow fall of which an average of 33 cm in January on average. 14.7 ° C.; This month, the average temperature is minus In the city throughout the year blow strong winds. The time follows throughout the year the Mountain Standard Time; Daylight is only briefly seen in the summer time and winter.

Culture and Leisure

Travelers meet generally in the Northern Alberta Railways Park before leaving Dawson Creek. The park is approximately 1.3 acres in size and marks the official start of the Alaska Highway. The park is also - in a renovated grain elevator - the Dawson Creek Art Gallery. She exhibits work by local artists and artisans. The Station Museum also located in the park, is home to an exhibition and original objects on the construction of the Northern Railway Alaska and the Alaska Highway. A museum village, the Walter Wright Pioneer Village, located in the north west of the city in the Mile Zero Rotary Park. The museum village consists of some of the first building from the pioneer days of the area and numerous objects from this period.

Dawson Creek has a golf course and a variety of facilities for outdoor sports such as swimming, ice skating and tennis. The nearby Bear Mountain, located south of the city, has more than 20 km of snowshoe and cross-country skiing trails and slopes. Between Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge and beyond, there are more than 500 kilometers of snowmobile trails. In summer, these sections are traversed by mountain bikes and quads.

In the city there are three ice rinks, two ice hockey and curling, as well as an outdoor speed skating track and a swimming pool, a skateboard park with youth center. They are all located in the city center. In the southeast of the city is being built as a new leisure and sports complex of the South Peace Community Multiplex. He is particularly replace the indoor swimming pool and is due to its unfavorable position and the sharply rising cost of construction building public discussions. He should originally cost 21.6 million CAD ​​( approximately 15.5 million euros ). When construction starts, the projected cost was however (about 25 million euros ) already risen to 35 million CAD. At the location of the multiplex is especially criticized that he remotely located residential areas in an industrial area just behind the Wal -Mart market. However, is the exhibition area of Dawson City in the vicinity, and the multiplex is also a rodeo hall, a convention center and possibly accommodate gambling halls.

The most significant event during the year is the annual Fall Fair and Exhibition to be held since 1953. It takes place in late August in five days. Among other things, a professional rodeo competition, fairs and exhibitions, a parade will be aligned at this time. Other events include Music Festival Dawson Creek Symphonette and Choir in March, the auction of the Dawson Creek Art Gallery in April, the Dawson Creek Spring Rodeo in June and the Peace Country Bluegrass Festival in July.

In Dawson Creek regional daily newspapers are available, of which the Peace River Block Daily News and the Alaska Highway News, both part of the Canwest Global - local newspaper chain, are the two most important. The Peace River Block Daily News is published in Dawson Creek and concentrate more on Dawson Creek, while the Alaska Highway News is published in Fort St. John, to which they align their reporting stronger. The Northeast News is a weekly free newspaper, published in Fort St. John and has offices in Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson. The only radio station broadcasting from Dawson Creek from its program, is CJDC 890 AM, a country music station. The only local television station is the CBC transmitter CJDC TV.


The City of Dawson Creek is under the Council - Manager process, one of the two municipal administrative procedures in the U.S. and Canada, governed. Every three years, elected six members plus a mayor, a city council. In the same election, two school board delegates are elected, the Dawson Creek # 59 represented on the Board of Education, in which the regional education policy is defined. The Mayor and the City Council adopt the local rules and regulations, and the city budget. The city has its own fire department, which is responsible for the city in a five-mile radius. There is a contract with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian federal and national police for police duties. Mayor Calvin Kruk is presently a creative artist and radio host.

Dawson Creek is part of the constituency of Peace River South for provincial elections. It is represented in the Parliament of British Columbia by Blair fault leak (BC Liberal Party ), which had been elected in 1996 and 1999, the mayor of Dawson Creek. In the provincial election in 2001 he was elected to the Parliament, which he again succeeded in 2005. He was elected with 2,176 votes ( 66.93 % in the city and 64.2 % in the constituency ) in 2001, runner-up was Grant Mitton ( Social Credit Party ) with 530 votes. 2005 fault leak was 2,167 votes ( 56.74 % in the city, 57.74 % in the constituency ), the most successful opposition candidate was Pat Shaw ( NDP) with 1,314 votes.

Before fault leak Jack Weisgerber was the local MP. Weisgerber was originally elected as a member of the British Columbia Social Credit Party in 1986 provincial parliament. In the late 1980s he was the energy, mining and petroleum Minister and Minister for Indigenous Affairs. Weisgerber was re-elected despite the general loss of votes for his party in 1991 and was chairman from 1992 to 1993 his party. In 1996 he was re-elected again, but this time for the Reform Party of British Columbia, although he had lain in the polls behind the candidate of the BC Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party.

In national elections Dawson Creek is part of the constituency of Prince George - Peace River. In the House of Commons constituency of Jay Hill ( Conservative Party ) is represented. Before Hill, who was first elected to the House in 1993, had Frank Oberle of the Progressive Conservative Party the seat for 20 years, from 1972 to 1993, held. Voters in Dawson Creek give as those of most districts of the constituency in federal elections overwhelmingly voice their conservative candidate. At the general election in 2004 Hill was in Dawson Creek 60.53 % of the votes ( 58.71 % in the constituency ), in 2000 he had even 69.58 % of the vote ( 69.61 % in the constituency ).