From Kimberley, with Love: A Local’s Take on the Town
While there are many endearing ways to describe Kimberley, true understanding of our town comes from visiting, or better yet, living here. We arrived here over 16 years ago with an open mind to adventure, and the bravery needed to take a chance on a place far away from everything and everyone we knew.
Having moved from downtown Toronto, we arrived with lots of ideas and settled quickly into entrepreneurial roles. Since then, living in Kimberley has been a balancing act between raising a family, running two businesses, and weaving ourselves deep into the fabric of the community. We’ve seen a lot of change over the years here, and continue to watch as this little town slowly evolves into a place full of energy and possibility.
The transformation of Kimberley from a mining town to a tourist-based economy has come with a lot of ups and downs, much like the hills here in town. While the Sullivan Mine has long since closed, and the “Bavarian City of the Rockies” theme of the 80’s has since been retired, Kimberley's current economic boom can be credited to our abundance of recreational opportunities. From river rafting, fly fishing, golfing and paddling, to carving down the Kimberley Alpine Resort, gliding through the Nordic Centre, or hiking and biking in British Columbia’s largest municipal park, the vision and passion of locals in their development of multi-use trails have created a new future for Kimberley.
Routes designed, maintained and used by locals have become popular, annual race events. Challenges such as the Black Spur Ultra, Spartan Races and TransRockies Events fill our town with active visitors each summer. Outside of the trail systems, local businesses and numerous volunteer groups host annual events that celebrate arts, culture and heritage. Events such as Julyfest, Motor Mountain Nationals, Flannel Fest and First Saturdays are opportunities to enjoy live performances, view art exhibitions and participate in family-friendly fun like guided trail tours, parades and face painting. Other visitors might choose instead to quietly join the many locals hiking or skinning up the Mountain, pick huckleberries in our cool forests, or perch atop the Kimberley Alpine Resort for the “Symphony on the Mountain” concert each July.
With our abundant trail choices and short lift lines, it’s easy to feel far away from the bustle and comfortably off-the-beaten-path here. You can hike, run, bike, snowshoe, or ski your way to your happy place, and revel in the fact that our trails are enjoyed by everyone from young, old, fast, or slow. Though living here for nearly two decades has come with its challenges as the town grows, shifts, and evolves, our time here has demonstrated the tenacity and self-sufficiency that lies at the heart of the town and has provided us with enough adventures to last a lifetime. Ultimately, Kimberley is a good place to visit and come back to time and again, and a truly good place to hang your hat and call “home” at the end of the day.
About Julie: Julie is owner and operator of Tog’s Family Consignment Store and Julie’s Cook Shack food truck in Kimberley, BC. To learn a local’s take on foodie flavours and artisanal finds here in Kimberley, check out her Flavours of Kimberley and A Taste of the Town blogs.