New Denver is a village of about 500 people (2011) in the West Kootenays of British Columbia on the east shore of Slocan Lake. It hosted an internment camp for people with ancestry in enemy nations during World War II; some attractions in the town relate to that time.
New Denver was founded as a mining town in 1892, and briefly known as Eldorado City before being renamed after Denver, Colorado.
During World War II, New Denver became a Japanese Canadian internment camp. Not long after the outbreak of hostilities and Japan's attack on Canadian troops in Hong Kong in December 1941, men of Japanese descent between the ages of 18 to 45 were sent to labour camps in the Interior of British Columbia or farther into Eastern Canada. Also, approximately 1,500 women, children, and elderly men were sent to the "Orchard", a small section of New Denver set up to house them. New Denver's Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre is dedicated to the history of the 27,000 Japanese Canadians who were interned by the Canadian government and is a National Historic Site.
In the 1950s, children of Freedomites, a Doukhobor extremist group, were removed from their parents and sent to residential school in New Denver. The Freedomites refused to send their children to school because of their religious beliefs.
The only really practical way of getting to New Denver (and most other places in the West Kootenays) is by private vehicle of some kind. There is very limited public transit in the region and only one major airport, which is in Castlegar.
- By car: it's about a 2-hour drive south of Revelstoke which includes a free ferry ride across Arrow Lake (Columbia River) between Shelter Bay on the north shore and Galena Bay on the south. Take Hwy 23 south to the ferry and on to Nakusp where it's Hwy 6 to New Denver.
Since New Denver is a small village, there is no need to drive anywhere. Park your vehicle somewhere and wander around. The village is divided by Carpenter Creek with most of the business district on the north side and some of the parks and gardens on the south. Other than adding to your pleasant walk, this shouldn't be a problem.
- Slocan Lake Boat Tours, ✉ email@example.com. Slocan Lake Boat Taxi will drop you off at a remote beach on Slocan Lake for the day or overnight: Bannock Point, Wragge Beach or other remote beaches. Rates depend on destination from $20 per person, or $75 per hour.
- Kohan Reflection Garden, commemorating the many Canadians of Japanese descent who were interned in the area during World War II. It's at the end of 1st Ave. No admission charge.
- Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre, 306 Josephine St, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. May to September, 9:30AM to 5PM. A National Historic Site dedicated to telling the story of over 22,000 Japanese Canadians who were forcibly relocated during World War II on the site of “The Orchard” internment camp. The centre contains original buildings, period artifacts, interpretive displays, and the Heiwa Teien Peace Garden, designed by the renowned Japanese Canadian gardener, Tomomichi (Roy) Sumi. $9/adult, $7/student or senior, $20/family.
- Hills Garlic Festival. Held the first Sunday after the Labour Day Weekend. It features live music, lots of garlic-related stuff to buy as well as food. You could probably spend most of the day wandering around. Several thousand people converge on the Festival each year. $5, children under 12 free.
- Slocan Lake Boat Tours, ✉ email@example.com. Two tours each lasting about two hours. The northern tour departs New Denver and follows the shoreline to Bigelow Bay on the north side of New Denver and then out to the Molly Hughes Mine, across the lake to the Valhalla Park looking for Osprey nests, the waterfall at Wee Sandy Creek and then Sharp Creek flowing from the New Denver Glacier. The southern tour departs New Denver and heads across to the Valhalla Park and the CPR Barge and pictographs, looking for Osprey and then across the lake to Bannock Point with beautiful steep cliffs and an awesome picnic spot. The return journey follows the remote shoreline until reaching Silverton and then Nelson.
Eat and drink
- The Apple Tree Sandwich Shop, 210 6th St, ☏ . M-F 7AM-3:30PM, Sa 11AM-4PM. Sandwiches, soup, bakery.
- Sanderella, 302 6th Avenue, ☏ . Tu-Su 10AM-4PM. Cafe and art studio with handmade gifts, souvenirs and jewellery. Fresh sandwiches.
- Nuru Coffee Bar, 513 6 Ave. M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa 8AM-4PM, Su 10AM-4PM.
- Valhalla Inn, 509 Slocan Avenue, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. On-site restaurant and bar. Free Wi-Fi, a coffee maker and a work desk is in each guest room. Non-smoking rooms are available. Free parking From $109.
- Glacier View Cabins, Corner of 8th Ave and Hwy 6, ☏ . All of the cabins are equipped with a full kitchen including all pots, pans and cutlery.
- [dead link] The Domes, 620 6th Ave, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Eco-friendly cottages in the village of New Denver a short walk from Slocan Lake. Dome cottage from $115 per night (1 or 2 persons), dome cottage with loft: from $135 per night (1 or 2 persons; extra adult $20; extra child $15).
- Centennial Park and Campground, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. All reservations must be for a minimum of 3 nights. Open May 1st to September 30th. $25-30 per site.
- Sweet Dreams Guesthouse, 702 Eldorado Street, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. $95 tax included.
- Rosebery Provincial Park - 5 km north of New Denver and 40 km south of Nakusp on Hwy 6.
There are also several B&Bs in New Denver and several cabins on Bigelow Bay.
The Galena Trail follows Carpenter Creek from New Denver to Three Forks (where Hwy 31A passes the road to Sandon. The trail is mostly on an old railbed and can be hiked or biked. One interesting option is to leave your bikes locked up at Three Forks, start hiking from New Denver and ride the bikes back to town on the highway. The ride will be mostly downhill and the 10 km will go by very quickly.
The old mining town of Sandon, about 15 minutes east of town on Hwy 31A.
Idaho Peak, accessed from Sandon, is the site of an old fire lookout with great views out over Slocan Lake and the Valhallas. The Forest Service Road to the peak starts in Sandon. The road is steep and a bit rough in places, but it seems most people can drive there in regular 2wd cars. In the right season, alpine flowers are well worth the visit.
|Routes through New Denver|
|Vernon / Revelstoke via ← Nakusp ←||N S||→ Castlegar via → Nelson|
|END ←||W E||→ Kaslo → Ainsworth Hot Springs-Balfour via|