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Enjoy Life and Studies in Fort St. John

Overview of the City

Fort St. John is a small city located in northeastern British Columbia. It is the most populous municipality in the Peace River Regional District. It’s also home to approximately 21,500 people and spans just over 22.69 km2. Despite these small numbers, the city is often referred to as one of the province’s “best-kept secrets.” Why? Well, let’s go back to the beginning. Fort St. John began as a trading post in 1794 and was established as a thriving community in 1928. During the construction of the Alaska Highway, the city’s population grew to 2,000. It became B.C.’s oil and gas capital when TransCanada Pipelines started operating in the area in 1957. Today, Fort St. John is known to be British Columbia’s oldest non-aboriginal settlement. 

Fort St. John also has a little bit of data to happily boast about. First, the city has the highest household income in B.C. and the fifth highest in Canada. Secondly, the city has, on average, 304 sunny days per year. This is roughly the same number of sunny days in Kelowna as well! Fort St. John has 11 elementary, middle and secondary schools. The median age is 31.4, so you’ll be meeting many young people when you’re out and about. Finally, the average price of a single-family home in 2020 was approximately $373,000. So if you’re looking to save some money, don’t forget to check out the real estate market in Fort St. John! 

Things to do in Fort St. John

  • Visit the Kiskatinaw Bridge
    • Located along the banks of the Kiskatinaw River on the original Alaska Highway
    • Take a stroll to the bridge and read about the unique history of the area
  • Enjoy some family recreation time at Pomeroy Sport Centre
    • One-of-a-kind sports venue with two NHL-sized hockey rinks
    • Olympic-sized 400m long track 
    • Speed-skating circuit 
    • A free 360m walking track suspended from the roof; gives a 360-degree view of the action happening 
    • Made for all ages and fitness levels
  • Get entertained at The Lido
    • A venue that has a retro and chic feel to it
    • Lots of food and drinks alongside live music
    • Concerts, comedy, weddings, meetings and fundraising events are hosted
  • Go swimming at North Peace Leisure Pool
    • A large indoor facility consisting of a leisure pool and a 25m lap pool
    • Zero beach at one end and a maximum depth of 1.5m
    • Waves, rapid channels, and spray features for children 
    • Other fun features include diving boards, two full-size water slides, a whirlpool, hot tubs, a sauna and cardio fitness rooms
  • Browse the Fort St. John North Peace Museum
    • A museum that tells the story of the North Peace through interactive exhibits 
    • Learn about tepee (tent), trapper’s cabins, general stores, post offices, schoolhouses, and newspaper offices from the early 1900s
    • Discover the different dinosaurs that roamed the area before the existence of civilization 
    • Take a guided tour or join an educational program
  • Have a picnic at Beatton Provincial Park
    • Year-round recreational facility located on the shores of Charlie Lake
    • A very popular summer destination for swimming, fishing, sailing and hiking
    • In the winter, opportunities include skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing

Studying in Peace River North (School District 60), Fort St. John

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Being a city filled with cultural and outdoor activities, Fort St. John is a fantastic place to stay at. But you might also be wondering about what the local school district and education system are like for international students. Despite being far from Vancouver, international students receive top-tier education from British Columbia government-certified teachers in the Peace River North School District. Under fully developed programs, international students can expect high academic standards while surrounded by a small, tighter-knit community of staff and peers. The School District is a “home away from home,” meaning that international students commonly feel their school and Fort St. John is a secondary home while staying with homestay families. 

Schools in the Peace River North School District also offer fun clubs, activities and exciting adventures for students. Past activities and events include: 

  • North Peace Secondary School’s Robotics Program
    • One of the top Robotics programs in the province
    • Won a gold medal at the Skills Canada Provincial Competition
  • International Student Youth Exchange in Jiangsu, China
    • Student ambassadors from the district visited Shanghai, Nanjing and Suzhou to learn about Chinese languages and culture
    • Enrolled in a local Chinese high school for three days to share stories and make friends
  • Camp Cameron Wilderness Adventure
    • Peace River North School District’s outdoor education centre
  • Christmas Band Concert at the Cultural Centre

Source: Fort St. John: Move Up Here, About Fort St. John, Things to Do in Fort St. John, International Education at SD60: Peace River North

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