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Hamlets Across Canada

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About this City Journal

A snapshot of varying towns across Canada. Keep your bags packed, we won't stay in one place for long..

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Welcome back! Onwards now, into the British Columbian interior, where we visit the town of Pine Valley. Lets have a look!


Nestled deep in the Rocky Mountains, Pine Valley is a small town along the Yellowhead Highway (16), deep in the interior of British Columbia. Close to the center of the large Pine Valley, the town (who shares the name of the valley) certainly does not appear to be a "mountain town" from the angles we see, but make no mistake.. it's right in the center of the action.


Largely fueled by the trains that rumble through, the town is a stop on the way of hunters, campers and some adventurous skiers looking for more adventure than you find the more popular areas of the Rockies. This has in turn allowed the town to gain a niche of its own, building a resort near Pine Lake, further up the slopes of Mount Shunda. In recent years, development has picked up as the town gains recognition as a quiet, relatively undisturbed summer vacation locale.


With the increase in vacationers, Via Rail has expanded its train services to reach into the town, branching off a line west of Jasper. Although the line is currently operating with a deficit, Via Rail executives have confidence that it will be pulling in a profit by the end of the next decade.






Much of the development away from the main road has been completed within the past 10 years, during which time the town exploded from a population of 450 to over 1200. Most of the homes are used as summer cabins, but it is estimated that there is a year round population of somewhere around 670, with that number growing each year.

The town is also on the front lines in the war with the pine beetle, as you may have noticed the number of dead trees around the town. The destructive beetle has been working its way across the province, leaving a huge swath of dead trees in its wake. It is expected to jump the border into Alberta within the next year or two.

And that's all for now, folks! Be sure to check back next time, when we'll explore Canada's north!


Benalto, Alberta II

Welcome back! I know I promised a BC village today, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get it ready in time. I figured we could make a pitsop back in Benalto before we move onwards to BC. So, here we are!




The David Thompson Highway (Alberta Highway 11) is the road snaking through the mosaic.. Highway 11A, originally Highway 11 comes to an end near the center of the mosaic. You can see where 11A used to run straight through and onwards to the Rocky Mountains, the path now deeply overgrown by vegetation. The province opted to build a new route so travellers to the Rocky Mountains could bypass the hopping summer vacation town of Sylvan Lake. Plans are now in the works to twin Highway 11 from Red Deer, all the way to Rocky Mountain House. These are long term plans however, and will likely not be completed until near the beginning of the 2020's. The railway is still heavily used and connects with a rare grain elevator just east of this shot.

And that's all I've got today, folks.. just a quick mosaic. Check back later in the week when I should have our BC town up and running! Until then...


Braiwood, Nova Scotia


Hello again! As promised, here is our fishing village of Braiwood.

Welcome to Braiwood! Located on the Eastern shores of Nova Scotia, this newly bustling town has been recently revived from near death. A few entrepreneurial types saw the location on the Trans Canada as ideal to a bustling harbor village, and have turned the main industry from fishing, to tourism.

With the waters in the Atlantic being greatly overfished and boats returning with less each year, the towns economy was collapsing. After the refurbishing of the old docks, the town began to rebuild its image as a resort town.

Although many still lay vacant, the shops along the main avenue are slowly filling up again, providing much needed life to the town. The concrete you see to the right of the pier area have been left empty for a potential expansion to the docks. Plans were in the works a few years ago, but the recent downturn in the economy has former investors worried about the future life of this tourist town.

And that's all for Braiwood, folks! Hope you enjoyed the stop! Check back next time when we'll have a look at a Rocky Mountain village.. possibly with an attached snow resort. Until then...


Benalto, Alberta


Welcome to my latest! I've decided to create a spinoff from Sights Across Canada... Hamlets Across Canada! Rather than focusing on four small cities across the nation, this CJ will have a much more broad approach.. focusing on small towns that litter the country, never staying in a place more than once or twice. I think it should be interesting to hop around Canada more than we would in SAC, don't you? 9.gif Anyways, lets get started...

Welcome to the village of Benalto! Located in Central Alberta, nearly smack dab between Calgary and Edmonton. Only about half an hour west of Red Deer, it's still on a fairly main route in Alberta, the David Thompson Highway (Highway 11).

Founded in 1914, the village has stayed very stable in size, never growing much. The railway once served as a link for the community, but since the grain elevator was torn down, trains simply pass through on their journey to or from the Rockies.

The town hasn't grown much in its life, but recent developments may see that change. Plans are underway for a new subdivision and many in Alberta see the appeal of living in a secluded area, only an hour and a half drive from two cities of 1 000 000+ people and minutes from one of the provinces most popular lakes.


Deer and moose frequently visit the acreages just outside of the village itself. Sometimes, only the hum of the powerlines and the rumble of trucks as they pass by on the road can remind you that you're in civilization.

Hope you enjoyed the look at Benalto, Alberta! Be sure to check in next time, when we take in an east coast fishing village!

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