Balfour, British Columbia

Balfour, also known as Balfour Bay, is an unincorporated community in British Columbia, located about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of the city of Nelson and located at the juncture of Kootenay Lake with its West Arm.

unincorporated community
Balfour is located in British Columbia
Location of Balfour
Balfour is located in Canada
Balfour (Canada)
Coordinates: 49°38′N 116°58′W / 49.633°N 116.967°W / 49.633; -116.967Coordinates: 49°38′N 116°58′W / 49.633°N 116.967°W / 49.633; -116.967
ProvinceBritish Columbia
RegionWest Kootenay
Regional DistrictCentral Kootenay
 • Governing bodyNelson City Council
 • MPAlex Atamanenko (NDP)
 • MLACorky Evans (NDP)
 • Land3.72 km2 (1.44 sq mi)
571 m (1,873 ft)
 • Total459
 • Density123.4/km2 (320/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−08:00 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−07:00 (PDT)
Area code(s)250 / 778 / 236
Highways Hwy 3A
Hwy 31
CPR hotel at Balfour (1918)

It is the location of the Kootenay Lake Ferry, which, at 8 km (5.0 mi) to Kootenay Bay, is said to be the longest toll-free vehicle ferry in the world.[1] This marine link of the British Columbia highway system is made up of two vessels, MV Osprey 2000, the larger of the two ferries with an 80-car capacity operating year round, and MV Balfour, a 25-car ferry operating only in the summer.

Balfour was once the location of one of the Canadian Pacific's railway hotels, the Balfour Hotel,[2] which served the needs of passengers travelling the Southern Mainline of the CPR. Passengers and freight were carried across the lake by the CPR's Lake and River Service vessel, SS Moyie, other vessels serving Kootenay Lake and also south up the Kootenay River (Kootenai in the US) to Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and up to Kaslo and other points northward on Kootenay Lake.


  1. ^ Kootenay Lake Ferry
  2. ^ Balfour Hotel (linked image is c.1918)

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