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Harrison Hot Springs

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Harrison Hot Springs

Harrison Hot Springs
Village of Harrison Hot Springs[1]
Location of Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia
Harrison Hot Springs' Location in British Columbia
Country  Canada
Province  British Columbia
Region Lower Mainland
Regional District Fraser Valley (FVRD)
Incorporated (village) 1949
Named for Benjamin Harrison, Deputy Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, 1835-39
 • Mayor Leo Facio
 • Land 5.57 km2 (2.15 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,468
 • Density 263.5/km2 (682/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Postal Code V0M 1K0
Area code(s) 604, 778
Website Village of Harrison Hot Springs

The Village of Harrison Hot Springs is a small community at the southern end of Harrison Lake in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. It is a member of the Fraser Valley Regional District; its immediate neighbour is the District of Kent and included in it, the town of Agassiz. It is a resort community known for its hot springs, and has a population of just over 1500 people. It is named after Benjamin Harrison, a former deputy governor for the Hudson's Bay Company.[2]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Megatsunami risk 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • Attractions 5
  • Government 6
  • Media 7
  • Archival photos 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


A view of downtown Harrison Hot Springs facing away from Harrison Lake (2012). Mount Cheam in background

The Village of Harrison Hot Springs has been a small resort community since 1886, when the opening of the Canadian Pacific Railway brought the lakeside springs within a short carriage ride of the transcontinental mainline. In its first promotion as a resort it was known as St. Alice's Well, although it had been discovered decades earlier when a party of goldfield-bound travellers on Harrison Lake capsized into what they thought was their doom, only to discover the lake at that spot was not freezing, but warm.

Although the resort flourished in a low-key fashion for years after this discovery was exploited by hoteliers, the Village of Harrison Hot Springs was not incorporated until 1949. Its namesake hot springs are a major attraction for tourists who come to stay at the village's spa-resort.

The hot springs themselves were originally used and revered by the Sts'Ailes (Chehalis) First Nations people who live along the Harrison River nearby. There are two hot springs, the "Potash", with a temperature of 40 °C, and the "Sulphur", with a temperature of 65 °C. According to Harrison Hot Springs Resort, the waters average 1300 ppm of dissolved mineral solids, one of the highest concentrations of any mineral spring. This hot spring is one of several lining the valley of the Lillooet River and Harrison Lake. The northernmost of the Lillooet River hot springs is at Meager Creek, north of Whistler, with another well-known one to the east of Whistler at Skookumchuck Hot Springs, midway between Pemberton and Port Douglas. One feature of this chain of hot springs is that the Harrison Hot Springs vent is the most sulfuric, and there is consistently less sulfur content as one goes northwards, with the springs at Meager Creek having almost no scent at all.


Megatsunami risk

Some geologists consider that an unstable rock face at Mount Breakenridge above the north end of the giant fresh-water fjord of Harrison Lake in the Lower Mainland of southwestern British Columbia, Canada, could collapse into the lake, generating a large wave that might destroy the town of Harrison Hot Springs (located at its south end).[3]


Canada 2006 Census[4]
Harrison Hot Spring British Columbia
Median age 49.8 years 40.8 years
Under 15 years old 14% 17%
Over 65 years old 21% 15%
Protestant (2001) 37% 31%
Catholic (2001) 16% 17%
Harrison Hot Springs's population trend, 1951–2006, BC Stats[5]

The population of Harrison Hot Springs has been steadily growing in recent years. The Canadian Census has reported 655 people in 1991, 898 in 1996, 1343 in 2001, and 1573 in 2006.[4][6][7]


Harrison Hot Springs' major economy is tourism in relation to the hot springs, with over half of employment found in service industries, with much of the rest found split through retail, government, construction and manufacturing are represented, as well as minor activity in other areas.[8]


Harrison Hot Springs' greatest attraction is its titular springs, of course, but it also has the Ranger Station Public Art Gallery, a marina with jet boat tours of the lake available, a nine hole golf course, and is the closest access to Sasquatch Provincial Park.[9] In July, Harrison Hot Springs hosts the Harrison Festival of the Arts, a ten-day celebration of world music and art. The annual Festival features free outdoor beach concerts, ticketed evening performances, a children's day, visual art exhibits, various workshops and two weekend art markets. The Harrison Festival also presents ten to twelve professional performing arts events between September and May each year.[10]


The Corporation of the Village of Harrison Hot Springs was incorporated as a municipality in 1949 under the initiative of Colonel Andy Naismith (ret). It has a mayor and four councillors.

Harrison Hot Springs is part of the Chilliwack-Hope provincial electoral district. Federally, Harrison Hot Springs is in the Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon riding, represented in the House of Commons of Canada.


Archival photos

  • St. Alice Hotel as seen from hot spring, 1912
  • Closeup of St. Alice Hotel, c.1905

See also


  1. ^ "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" ( 
  2. ^ Hamilton, William B. (1978), Macmillan book of Canadian place names, The, Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, p. 50,  
  3. ^ Evans, S.G.; Savigny, K.W. (1994). "Landslides in the Vancouver-Fraser Valley-Whistler region" (PDF). Geological Survey of Canada. Ministry of Forests, Province of British Columbia. pp. 36 p. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  4. ^ a b Statistics Canada. 2007. Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia (Code5909027) (table). 2006 Community Profiles. 2006 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 92-591-XWE. Ottawa. Released March 13, 2007. (accessed March 6, 2011).
  5. ^ BC Stats. March 2007. British Columbia Municipal Census Populations, 1921-2006. (accessed March 6, 2011).
  6. ^ Statistics Canada. 1997. Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia (Code5909027) (table). 1996 Community Profiles. 1996 Census. Ottawa. (accessed March 6, 2011).
  7. ^ Statistics Canada. 2002. Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia (table). 2001 Community Profiles. 2001 Census. Ottawa. (accessed March 6, 2011).
  8. ^ Village of Harrison Hot Springs. May 2010. Economic Development Action Plan. (accessed March 9, 2011). p. 7.
  9. ^ Tourism Harrison Hot Springs. (2011.) Harrison Hot Springs BC. (Accessed March 9, 2011.)
  10. ^ Harrison Festival Society (2013). "Harrison Festival Society". Harrison Hot Springs, BC. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 

External links

  • Village of Harrison Hot Springs
  • Harrison Hot Springs and surrounding area
  • Harrison Festival Society
  • Harrison Hot Springs Elementary School

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