For a comprehensive overview of Nelson’s economy, demographics & statistics, download our economic development handout: 2023 Economic Development, Investment & Relocation Package.
Incorporated in 1897, Nelson has a population of 10,230 and a trading area of over 60,000 people. Within its municipal boundaries, the City’s total area is 913.6 ha (2257.53 acres, or 7.2 sq. kms) It is located in the Southern Interior of British Columbia in a region called the West Kootenay. Nelson is in the Central Kootenay Regional District, one of 27 Regional Districts in the Province of BC and is most closely bordered by RDCK Areas E & F. The regional districts and municipalities function as a partnership to provide and co-ordinate services in both urban and rural areas.
By highway Nelson is 663 kms (412 miles) from Vancouver, 624 kms (387 miles) from Calgary, and 237 kms (148 miles) from Spokane Washington.
Nelson is situated on the junction of provincial Highway 3A and Highway 6, and sits on the shores of Kootenay Lake, one of the largest lakes in British Columbia. Traditionally, the economy of Nelson and area has been primarily resource based (forestry and mining) and while this sector still represents a vital component of this area’s employment, Nelson is also the provincial administrative center for the Kootenays. Traditionally, many regional and district offices of the provincial government have been centralized here, as well as some Federal offices. Tourism is an up and coming sector of the local economy and is fostered by breathtaking scenery within the area and at the City’s doorstep.
For a more details on our location and how to get here, visit our Travelling to Nelson BC page.
Four very distinct seasons characterize Nelson’s climate. Average minimum and maximum temperatures vary from -5C to 5C (12F to 41F) in winter, 15C to 27C (59F to 80F) in the summer. Rainfall averages around 25 mm (.98 in) a month March through October. Snowfall occurs November through March with December and January averaging 70 cm (27.5 in) each. Statistics shown below are regional averages. Actual temperatures may vary.
Business and Investment Assistance
Engage with the dynamic tools below to access key indicators, and maps, that provide insights into our economy, consumers, dwellings, businesses and more! Non-experts can get the guidance they need in the HOW TO section and access local contacts in the CONNECT section.