History of Prince George

Historical photograph of George Street in 1920s Prince George with City Hall and Connaught Hill in the background.
George Street in the 1920s (note the old City Hall at the foot of Connaught Hill).

The City of Prince George's origins can be traced to a fur trading post founded in 1807 by Simon Fraser on traditional Lheidli T'enneh territory. The agricultural settlement around the trading post - named Fort George - began in the early 1900s when the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (later CN Rail) entered the region. 

The railway arrived in 1914 and construction started on the town that would eventually become the city of Prince George on March 6, 1915.

Historical facts

History of City Hall

Prince George's first City Hall was constructed in 1918 at a cost of approximately $8,500 (nearly $121,000 today). The building's approach featured a wooden footbridge and had long steps that occasionally served as a staging area for bands and entertainment. A gully also ran in front of the old City Hall (where the Cenotaph now stands) that separated it from George Street. The first City Hall served the community for nearly five decades before it was demolished in 1966 to make room for its replacement.

The current City Hall opened in January 1967 in the same location and still features a public plaza, which was marked out in the Grand Trunk Railway's original town plan in 1913. The total cost for the then-two-storey building was $725,000 (almost $5.2 million today) and was designed with future expansion in mind (the main tower was, in fact, expanded by three stories in 1975).

City Hall is presently 4,152 square metres in size and is fully wheelchair accessible.

Mayors of Prince George

Prince George witnessed more than a century of events that not only shaped British Columbia but also Canada and the world. The town's - and later, city's - mayors shepherded PG through times of great strife like the First and Second World Wars and helped shape the city into what it is today during calmer moments.

The following biographies of Prince George's mayors were written by Kerri Reid, who was funded by the Prince George Public Library and the Young Canada Works in Heritage Institutions program.