Rossland | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Rossland, BC, incorporated as a city in 1897, population 4,140 (2021 census), 3,729 (2016 census). The City of Rossland is located 10 km southwest of Trail in the eroded crater of a long-extinct volcano of the Monashee Mountains.


The short-lived Dewdney Trail was built through the Rossland area in 1865. Copper-gold deposits were first discovered on Red Mountain in 1887, but the richest strike was made by Joe Bourgeois and Joe Moris in 1890. Ross Thompson, an early settler, pre-empted a townsite in 1892, naming it Thompson, after himself. The name was changed from Thompson to Rossland in 1894 by postal authorities. The city had 7,000 inhabitants at incorporation, mainly miners attracted by more-promising ore strikes, the opening of the Le Roi Mine and a newly built smelter in nearby Trail. Mining boomed until 1916, then continued sporadically until 1929 when the Le Roi mine closed. Molybdenum was mined briefly from 1966–72.


Today, Rossland is a recreational tourism destination known for golfing, skiing and trails for cross-country skiing, mountain biking and hiking.

Rossland has a long history associated with alpine skiing. Red Mountain was the site of the first Dominion Ski Championships in 1900 and hosted the first World Cup ski races in Canada in 1968. Two Olympic champions, Nancy Greene and Kerrin Lee-Gartner, are from Rossland.