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Town of Creston
—  Town  —
Location of Creston in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°05′43″N 116°30′47″W / 49.09528°N 116.51306°W / 49.09528; -116.51306
Country  Canada
Province  British Columbia
Region Kootenays
Regional district Central Kootenay
Incorporated 1924
 - Governing body Creston Town Council –Mayor Ron Toyota
 - Total 8.48 km2 (3.3 sq mi)
Elevation 620 m (2,034 ft)
Population (2006)
 - Total 4,826
Time zone MST, PST (UTC-7)
V0B 1G0
Highways 3
Waterways Kootenay River

Creston is a town of 4,826 people in the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia, Canada. The town is located just a few kilometers north of the Porthill, Idaho border crossing into the United States and about a three-hour drive north from Spokane, Washington. It is about a one-hour drive southwest from Cranbrook, British Columbia along the Crowsnest Highway. Due to its proximity to the U.S. border, many businesses in the town accept American currency.

Creston is the eastern terminus of the Salmo-Creston highway constructed in the late 1950s (now Highway 3) as a shortcut to avoid the long route north to Nelson and crossing Kootenay Lake by ferry between Balfour and Kootenay Bay.



The Creston Valley's economy is largely resource-based with agriculture and forestry most important. Many are employed in the service sector, and tourism is increasingly prominent, while government services and education[1] comprise a large portion of the labour force. Since 1959, Kokanee beer has been brewed in Creston at the Columbia Brewery. The town is also home to two grain elevators. Many apple, cherry, pear, and plum orchards grow around the town, and the valley is also an important dairy centre. The Skimmerhorn Winery [1] is now producing award-winning wines, and the valley shows great promise as a wine region, with other growers cultivating vines. Creston is home to CIDO-FM, a volunteer-run, locally-based Community Radio station, which broadcasts in town, and in the Creston Valley at 97.7 FM.


Creston has a continental climate which is often modified by air masses of Pacific Ocean origin, especially in winter. Daily maximum temperatures are usually above freezing even in January except when air masses of Arctic origin move over the area. The worst cold outbreaks may send temperatures below -30°C (-22°F) on very rare occasions. Spring comes early by Canadian standards; trees usually start to leaf out before the end of April. A clear summer day is likely to have a daily maximum near or above 25°C (77°F); the record maximum is 39.4°C (102.4°F). The first fall frost usually holds off until October where air drainage is good. The mean annual precipitation is 631.1 millimeters (24.85 inches) in mid-town, but the area has a rather steep precipitation gradient which is reflected in regional ecosystems.

Flora and fauna

The moisture-loving western hemlock grows near the town's northern boundary; another wet-belt indicator, the western red cedar, is common in town. The sun-loving ponderosa pine forms a larger proportion of the vegetation near Creston's southern boundary. Douglas-fir is the most common native tree throughout; other large conifers include grand fir, western larch, western white pine and lodgepole pine. Large pines other than the ponderosa are seldom seen in town, but are common in some of the woods nearby. The only native deciduous tree which matches the conifers in size is the black cottonwood. White birch and trembling aspen grow to medium size; smaller trees include the Rocky Mountain maple and bitter cherry. Prominent among the non-native trees are horsechestnut, Norway maple, silver maple and several species of walnut, including the butternut. There also are occasional examples of catalpa, chestnut, London plane, and tulip tree.

Large mammals at Creston include beaver, coyote, deer, elk, moose, muskrat and river otter[2]. More than 265 bird species occur in the Creston Valley, which is in a migration corridor for waterfowl such as goose and swan; the valley is also a wintering area for birds of prey[3]. The Creston area hosts British Columbia's only remaining population of northern leopard frog[4]. The mountain pine beetle is a threat to all local pine trees.

Physiography and soils

Skimmerhorn Mountains in Creston

Creston is built on rolling benchland immediately to the east of the Kootenay River floodplain. Beyond the benchland to the east are the Purcell Mountains; their steep west-facing scarps are called the Skimmerhorns. The Selkirk Mountains rise west of the floodplain.

Silt loam is the most common soil texture at Creston. The floodplain soils are dark and poorly drained for the most part; they are excellent for pasture and grains where drainage is improved. Some of the benchland soils are brown and of good tilth; others are gray, deficient in organic matter, and have rather heavy calcareous subsoils. The best orchard soils are on the more freely drained benchlands.

Notable current and former residents


  • Creston Curling Club
  • Creston Ospreys Rowing Club
  • Creston Valley Chargers minor football team
  • Creston Valley Thundercats junior 'B' hockey team
  • Creston Waves Swim club


External links

Coordinates: 49°04′N 116°19′W / 49.06°N 116.31°W / 49.06; -116.31



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