Visitors to Terrace can discover a sense of its past and present, with family-friendly opportunities to experience the historical and cultural roots of the area, both from the Indigenous and European perspective, backdropped by beautiful mountainous scenery.
In 1905, Terrace’s founder, George Little, arrived here and started a homestead on what was to become the Terrace townsite. The city of Terrace restored Georg Little’s home to its original state and moved its location to the bottom of Kalum Street. The building that was once home to our city’s founder now welcomes tain passengers as the VIA Rail Station. Here you’ll also find First Nation Fine Art, jewellery, topographic maps and cultural artefacts. Founder’s day s celebrated every march in honour of George Little.
& Spirit Square
At the heart of the community is Terrace’s landmark park, preserved in the memory of the town’s founder, George Little. This central gathering place celebrates its 100th year in 2011.
With lots of room to move and play, you can throw a Frisbee or take in a workout at the Green Gym; the outdoor fitness training centre while the kids test their skills in the miniature skate park or frolic in the playground.
Majestic mountains envelop this park making it a welcoming spot for anything from small family picnics to large community gatherings centering around the newly constructed Spirit Square and outdoor stage. George Little Park is also the site of the Public Library, Art Gallery, as well as, the Farmer’s Market, which takes place on Saturdays from May to October.
Heritage Park Museum
Heritage Park is situated on 1.73 acres of land owned by the City of Terrace. The site features a number of interesting early buildings including eight authentic log structures, an artefact-storage shed (open to the public), a wagon garage, a miniature replica school house, a blacksmith shop and an organic Heritage Garden.
Together, they offer a rare glimpse into the social, industrial and economic life of Terrace in the early years of the last century. Trace the ecological history of the area in the organic heritage garden, watch a demonstration in the blacksmith’s shop during special events, or simply have picnic lunch in the park like setting.
The Old Skeena Bridge
The Old Bridge is an historical feat of engineering that once boasted the title of the longest single-lane wood decked, curved bridge in North America. Constructed to allow people and vehicles to easily cross the Skeena River, the rock outcroppings under the bridge became a formidable obstacle for the sternwheelers. As such, ringbolts were anchored in the rocks to help the riverboats navigate their way safely through the canyon on their journey upstream. These ringbolts are still visible in the rocks at the west end of the bridge.
Here rests many of our pioneer ancestors including George Little and his family. The Kitsumgallum Cemetary is located at the top of the first hill on Kalum Lake Drive. Next to the cemetery you’ll find an original trail that looks out across the valley.
& Grand Truck Pathway
Explore the only residential building of the Canadian National Railway known to survive the area.
The Kwinitsa Foreman’s Residence was home to a succession of foremen who worked at the Kwinitsa station (71.5 km west of Terrace) and supported the rail line between Terrace and Prince Rupert. In the summertime indulge in a cool treat while enjoying the mountain vista from the adjoining patio.
You can also take a stroll along The Grand Trunk Pathway, taken from the name of the first railroad to forge across the north. Ideal for walking, jogging, cycling or rollerblading, this 1.6 km paved walkway runs parallel to Hwy 16 and features a series of interpretive signs that provide interesting details on historical events and monuments. Locals call it ‘The Millennium Trail’ as it officially opened in 2000.
Approximately 22 km east of Terrace along Highway 16 stands the Usk Chapel, a charming little replica of a church that was destroyed in the great 1936 flood. While you’re there, be sure to take a ride on the Usk Ferry, a rare reaction powered ferry that travels across the Skeena River to the rural community of Usk. Its history dates back to 1912 with the building of the right-of-way for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
A must-see in Terrace is Big Bertha, a 50-ton portable spar pole holder designed to move logs on a logging site – one of only four that were built and used in North America. This massive bright yellow machine can be found on Highway 16, directly across from the Terrace Visitor Centre.
The spar pole was brought to Terrace by Twin Rivers Loggers in 1952 and was considered to be revolutionary in its approach to logging. Unfortunately, it was found to be impractical for this region – it had difficulty keeping the cables taut, struggled to manoeuvre in the bush, and famously got stuck in the mud. It sat in storage for years until finding its current home at the entry to the city.
A tree would be inserted into the iron tube at the base and then cables would be attached to the top to life the log. The tree would then insert into the iron tube at the base and cables would be attached to the top to lift the log for loading railroad cars or to life the log as a telephone or electric power pole. Terrace was once known as the cedar pole capital of the world – over 50,000 telephone and electric power poles were manufactured here to supply many parts of North America. The world’s tallest pole of 50 metres (162 feet)was cut in Terrace and is currently standing in New York City.