Homesteads on the Frontier

Index | Okanagan Valley | Fraser Valley

Agricultural Specialization

By the late 1800s, British Columbia was undergoing rapid change. The population was booming, technological advances were opening new resource opportunities, transportation developments were reducing the "friction of distance" and making goods cheaper and more readily available, and new regional landscapes were beginning to take form. In particular, two hearths of agricultural specialization began to emerge at this time - the Upper Fraser Valley and the Okanagan Valley.

Certainly, this was an era when governments and land companies were promoting farming throughout the Canadian west. But in few British Columbia locations would it survive the vagaries of the climate or the uncertainty of markets that were poor and distant. Here are the stories of how two agricultural hearths survived to mature into significant contributors to the provincial economy, society, and landscape.