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Canal Flats

Canal Flats is a village located at the southern end of Columbia Lake, the source of the Columbia River in British Columbia, Canada. In 2006, it had a population of 700.LocationCanal Flats is on Highway 95, in the Kootenay River Valley, part of the Rocky Mountain Trench, between Skookumchuck and Fairmont Hot Springs. The population was 700 in 2006. Timber is the main industry in the village with a sawmill located in the village. Canal Flats is the gateway to several backcountry provincial parks, including Whiteswan and Top of the World, and is an entrance to the Kootenay River Road.Canal Flats sits 1 kilometre from the southern end of the 16-kilometre long Columbia Lake, the source of the Columbia River that flows north to Kinbasket Lake before turning south to finally empty into the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Oregon, a journey of 1,225 miles (1,960 km). Columbia Lake lies squeezed between two walls of rock; the Purcell Mountains to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east. The Kootenay Valley area was a major transportation corridor in pre-Contact native America and the early years of western exploration.A low, 1.2-mile (2-km) wide berm of land called Canal Flats separates the headwaters of the Columbia, which flows north at its beginning, from the south-flowing Kootenay River. The Kootenay meanders down into the US before flowing back north into Canada to join the Columbia River at Castlegar, BC.Canal Flats was originally named McGillivray's Portage by David Thompson, who passed through the area in 1808. Not far from the Canal Flats Provincial Park are the remains of a canal, completed in 1889, which connected Columbia Lake with the nearby Kootenay River, hence the name Canal Flats given to the post office in 1913.
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