BC Invermere The Hub of the Columbia Valley

The Upper Columbia Valley is known for its internationally famous resorts and resort villages, most with their own hot springs. The hub of the area is the town of Invermere. For a commercial center, it has a very laid back atmosphere; in fact some of it's picturesque shops are owned and operated by flower children of the 1960s and now their children.Tucked along the north shore of beautiful Lake Windermere and watched over by the dramatic Mt. Nelson, the town of Invermere has everything a traveler requires. It is the economic hub of the valley community, offering a wide variety of retail stores, professional services, restaurants and cafes of all variety, accommodations and more.

Originally called Copper City when it came into existence in 1890, its name was changed to Canterbury in 1900 and nine years later to Invermere when it was under the control of the Columbia Valley Irrigated Fruitlands. Historically mining, agriculture and lumber were the major industries in the area, but the valley's breathtaking beauty and favorable mild climate have made it a world-renowned destination. As a result, the tourism and real-estate industries are now flourishing in Invermere and throughout the Valley.

With two beautiful beaches, the town offers the most public access to Lake Windermere. All the recreational activities one can think of in a mountain resort town are available in Invermere, along with rental and specialty shops geared to the outdoor enthusiast.North of the town is one of the finest examples of a wetlands ecosystem in the world. The Upper Columbia River Wetlands are internationally recognized and are the stage of a special annual event, the Wings Over the Rockies Bird Festival. It is held from the beginning of May each year and it's a birdwatcher's paradise!.When entering the town in the summer months, be advised traffic can be slow, as visitors soak in the sights along the charming streets.

Municipally funded flower beds and hanging baskets splash color throughout the town, which has retained much of its turn-of-the-20th-century architecture and the town's small parks over quiet oases of peace and tranquillity.For art lover Invermere is a beehive of activity. The recently renovated Pynelogs Cultural Center displays the work of the vibrant arts community, as does the wonderful Village Arts store right on the main street. In addition there are several small private galleries.

Invermere is a great place to base yourself if you are planning to hit the many golf courses in the area, such as nearby Eagle Ranch or Copper Point, located at the entranceway to town. Besides watersports on Lake Windermere, hikers can enjoy exploring the backcountry, including the many drainages spilling down into the Columbia Valley from the Rockies and the Purcells.Just six kilometers northwest of Invermere is a quiet and charming village called Wilmer. It was originally the valley's first community, settled in 1896 with a handful of residents.

In three years it grown to 100, mostly miners from the nearby Paradise Mine. Nowadays, Wilmer is home to the beautiful Delphine Lodge, the last remaining hotel from the valley's heyday. It is now a country style bed and breakfast.More information about Invermere and environs can be found in the local weekly, The Valley Echo, or on the town's website at

If you have the opportunity to visit the Columbia Valley area, be sure to investigate the many charms of Invermere.

.Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Canada Vacation.

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By: Michael Russell

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