In honour of the nation-wide celebration of Culture Days, On This Spot is featuring content in a different town or city across Canada each day this month. Today, we turn towards the vibrant British Columbian town of Salmon Arm. Located on scenic Shuswap Lake, Salmon Arm sits nestled in a fertile valley between a set of low mountains. Available free online and through the On This Spot app, our self-guided historic walking tour of Salmon Arm includes 16 stops and focuses on the town’s early history.
Before Europeans set eyes upon the Shuswap Lake, dense forests framed its shores, rich wildlife drank from its waters, and salmon spawned in the rivers that fed it. Then, much like today, the lake was the heart of the area and gifted Salmon Arm and all the surrounding communities with stunning beauty and innumerable opportunities for recreational activities. It was the bounty of the lake that fed and cared for the Secwépemc people for thousands of years and provided a waterway for early European explorers in canoes.
Later, the area’s potential drew the attention of railway executives, who decided to carve a path along the shore of the lake. Settlers followed in the path of the railway. Salmon Arm has continued to be noticed for its natural beauty and bounty, and the city has supported a small community of driven, caring individuals who always pull together in times of hardship. From multiple fires, floods, bad winters, and wars, this small city knows the power of community and understands the value of one’s neighbours.