Golden | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Golden, British Columbia, incorporated as a town in 1957, population 3,708 (2016 census), 3,701 (2011 census). The town of Golden is located on the Columbia River at its confluence with the Kicking Horse River. It is situated 260 km west of Calgary, Alberta, between the Purcell Mountain Range and Glacier National Park to the west, and the Rocky Mountains and Yoho National Park to the east. Golden is located on the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa and Secwepemc people (see Interior Salish).

Settlement and Development

In the 19th century the area was known as the Cache, or Kicking Horse Flats. However, in 1883, during construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the community was named Golden City as a counterpart to Silver City (Castle Mountain, Alberta).


The town owes its start to the railway, a continuing significant employer. A major rail car repair shop is located here. The region also supports value-added wood product producers, including a laminated-veneer lumber plant (a principal employer). Before construction of the Rogers Pass section of the Trans-Canada Highway in the early 1960s, Golden was the eastern end of the Big Bend Highway. The Big Bend Highway followed the “big bend” of the Columbia River between Revelstoke and Golden. Tourist traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway is also important to the economy. This sector is diversifying as Golden is recognized as a year-round tourist destination. Whitewater-rafting is popular through the Kicking Horse Canyon. A campus of College of the Rockies is located here.