CSRD Electoral Area E
Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Area E is located northeast of Salmon Arm, on the western edge of the Columbia Mountains. It surrounds the District of Sicamous, and includes Cambie, Craigellachie, Hyde Mountain, Malakwa, Solsqua, Swansea Point, and Three Valley Gap. Area E is accessible via the Trans-Canada Highway and Okanagan Highway 97A.
Area E is a popular tourist destination, thanks to its exceptional recreational opportunities and its historical significance as the site of the Last Spike of Canada’s national railway system, in Craigellachie. It was first inhabited by the Shuswap First Nation, followed by European explorers and fur traders in the 1860s, and later prospectors drawn by the Big Bend gold rush. Its topography is varied – with elevations over 2,000 metres above sea level in the North Monashee Range, and just 350 metres in the valleys – and it boasts extensive shorelines along the Salmon and Anstey arms of Shuswap Lake, Mara Lake, and numerous smaller lakes. Summers are warm and relatively dry, and winters tend to be cool and wet.
Area E’s main industries are tourism and agriculture, but manufacturing, trades, and the forestry industry also contribute to the local economy. A large amount of land within Area E belongs to BC’s Agricultural Land Reserve. Sicamous and Area E have the strongest winter tourism and recreation industry within the CSRD, with seven excellent sledding areas helping to attract sledders to the region . In the summer, visitors come to enjoy golf, camping, and lake-based recreation, as well as distinctive local attractions like Three Valley Gap, Sky-Trek Adventures, and The Enchanted Forest. There are high concentrations of vacation homes, particularly around Sicamous and Mara Lake. Most housing in the area consists of single-family homes, along with several mobile home parks and limited condominium development.
The most recent Official Community Plan, developed in 2009, reflects an interest in sustainable development, housing diversity, infrastructure and community services, recreation, and respect for the natural environment.