Terrace, BC, incorporated as a city in 1987, population 11 486 (2011c), 11 320 (2006c).
Terrace, BC, incorporated as a city in 1987, population 11 486 (2011c), 11 320 (2006c). The City of Terrace is located at the junction of the Skeena and Kalum rivers, 62 km by road north of Kitimat and 147 km east of Prince Rupert. Because of the protection of the Coast Mountains and its proximity to the ocean, Terrace enjoys less than half the rainfall of the coast. Its name describes the terraces formed during the last Ice Age as part of the old river banks of the Skeena. It is the largest community in the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and is governed by a mayor and 6 councillors.
The site was originally the location of a Tsimshian village. George Little, considered the founder of Terrace, arrived in 1905. In anticipation of the arrival of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, Little laid out the present townsite in 1912. He chose the name because of the terraces of the Skeena Valley. Terrace grew from a sawmill town to serve as a distribution and commercial centre during construction of the new town of Kitimat in the 1950s.
Terrace is strategically located at the geographic centre of northwestern British Columbia and is a hub for highway, rail and air transportation. The forestry industry continues to be the primary economic engine for the local economy, supporting logging, sawmilling and pulp and paper manufacturing. Terrace also acts as the service centre for other northwest industries such as Alcan Aluminium Ltd.
Tourism growth has resulted from traffic using the highways to the Yukon, Alaska, Haida Gwaii and the "Inside Passage." Local attractions include fishing, hot springs, lava beds, fossil beds, petroglyphs and numerous provincial parks such as Kleanza Creek, Lakelse Lake, Exchamsiks River and Anhluut'ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga'asanskwhl Nisga'a (Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed). The region has become a showcase for wildlife viewing and ranks as a top destination for ecotourists, with world-class wilderness areas nearby such as Kitlope Valley. It contains some of the largest stands of intact coastal rainforest, some more than 800 years old. The local Kermodei bear, a white variety of the North America black bear, is protected by law.