Vanderhoof is the 'Geographical Centre of BC' or as we like to say 'The Heart of BC'. Vanderhoof is also home to one of the major migratory stopping grounds for Canada Geese going to and from their breeding grounds in the north. That is why the symbol of Vanderhoof is the Canada Goose, and we pride that in our logo and throughout our community.
Vanderhoof is a diverse community of roughly 4000 residents in town, yet services a much larger popluation from the surrounding areas. The major industries in Vanderhoof are forests and agriculture. There are several lumber mills, both large scale and home-based. Forage crops is the major agricultural product of the area, followed by cattle. There are also dairy farms, and small scale livestock enterprises; sheep, pig, chicken, and others. To learn more about food resources in Vanderhoof, please contact us or visit the Nechako Valley Food Network.
The downtown core of Vanderhoof has a rich diversity of retail and service businesses. The Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce (part of the Visitor Centre) is a strong supporter and voice for the communities' business sector. Visit the Chamber of Commerce area of this website for more information on all things related to business in Vanderhoof.
For a complete list of resources, groups, churches, clubs and health services, please download our Community Resource Guide.
The Carrier Indians pioneered the land in this area long before the first white man arrived, in what is now known as Vanderhoof. An ancient Indian village known as Chinlac lies just a few miles east of Vanderhoof on the junction of the Nechako and Stuart rivers. Simon Fraser's diary relates that he was the first white man to trade with the people of the Chinlac.
After the fur traders, came the packers, miners, telegraph operators, surveyors, and finally, settlers looking for the free land of the frontier.
In 1906, the Village of Vanderhoof was only a survey line in the wilderness to mark the location of the marked railway. When the last spike was driven on April 7th, 1914, it started a race for the land. The Grand Trunk Pacific Development Company offered cheap land and had one of their employees, Mr. Herbert Vanderhoof lay out the townsite. Vanderhoof is Dutch for "of the farm" which was very appropriate, since it was the first agricultural settlement in the province.
The town grew, and in 1926, the Village of Vanderhoof was born.
With the arrival of World War II, many young men left, and Vanderhoof came to a standstill. But with the rise in lumber prices, and the arrival of new people, including Rich Hobson, in the late 1940's, it started to grow again.
The next boost to the population and the economy came with the construction of Kenney Dam in the early 1950's. At the peak of its construction it employed 1,500 men and a number of them stayed in the area after the dam was built.
The next expansion period came with a large influx of American immigrants in the 1960's and since that time Vanderhoof has enjoyed steady growth.
Visit the Vanderhoof Community Museum for more information about the history of Vanderhoof and the people of the area.