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New Denver is a village in southeastern British Columbia, Canada, along the shore of Slocan Lake. New Denver was founded as a mining town in 1891, and was initially named Eldorado City in the hope that its fortune would be found in gold. The next year, when it became clear that gold would not be the source of wealth for the community, at a public meeting, Thomas Latheen, a former resident of Denver, Colorado persuaded the meeting that New Denver should be the name for their settlement.[2]:187 It was incorporated as a village in 1929 and has approximately 500 residents.

New Denver
The Corporation of the Village of New Denver[1]
New Denver is located in British Columbia
New Denver
New Denver
Location of New Denver in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°59′29″N 117°22′19″W / 49.99139°N 117.37194°W / 49.99139; -117.37194
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
RegionSlocan Valley, West Kootenay
Regional districtCentral Kootenay
 • Governing bodyNew Denver Village Council
 • MayorLeonard Casley
 • Total0.87 km2 (0.34 sq mi)
560 m (1,840 ft)
 • Total473
 • Density543.7/km2 (1,408/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
Area code(s)250 / 778 / 236
Highways Hwy 6
Hwy 31A
WaterwaysSlocan Lake


During World War II, New Denver became a Japanese Canadian internment camp. Not long after the outbreak of hostilities and Japan's attack on Canadian troops in Hong Kong in December 1941, men of Japanese descent between the ages of 18 to 45 were sent to labour camps in the Interior of British Columbia or farther into Eastern Canada. Also, approximately 1,500 women, children, and elderly men were sent to the "Orchard", a small section of New Denver set up to house them. New Denver's Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre is dedicated to the history of the 27,000 Japanese Canadians who were interned by the Canadian government and is a National Historic Site.[3]

In the 1950s, roughly 200 Doukhobor children, aged 7–15, of Freedomites, a Doukhobor extremist group, were removed from their parents and sent to residential school in New Denver. The Freedomites refused to send their children to school because of their religious beliefs.[4]


Ken Casley served as mayor from 1982 until 1989, and then stepped down for health reasons. He was succeeded by Gary Wright.[5] Wright continued in the position until his retirement in 2011, and was succeeded by Ann Bunka. Leonard Casley was elected as mayor in October 2018.[6]


The town is notable for its resistance to mobile phones. In a 2008 referendum, many citizens voted against the introduction of cellular telephone service.[7] Despite this, on 20 July 2010, Telus Canada began installation of a cell phone facility in the heart of the village with many citizens peacefully protesting the installation.[8]



  1. ^ "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  2. ^ Akrigg, G.P.V.; Akrigg, Helen B. (1986), British Columbia Place Names (3rd, 1997 ed.), Vancouver: UBC Press, ISBN 0-7748-0636-2
  3. ^ Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  4. ^ "New Denver, British Columbia Real Estate Information | Royal LePage Real Estate". Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  5. ^ Nesteroff, Greg (25 October 2012). "Former New Denver mayor publishes memoir". Nelson Star. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  6. ^ Nesteroff, Greg (17 October 2011). "Nelson: 3 for mayor, 8 for counci". Nelson Star. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  7. ^ Metcalfe, Bill. "Why a Little BC Town Wants to Banish Cell Phones", "The Tyee", 2008-03-13.
  8. ^ "TELUS going live with 3G+ network in New Denver, BC on September 7th". MobileSyrup. 3 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Calculation Information for 1981 to 2010 Canadian Normals Data". Environment Canada. Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013.

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