City of Merritt, BC
Located at the heart of the Coquihalla Highway System, Merritt is a dynamic community with a population of over 8,000. It serves both as the service centre for the Nicola Valley and as the strategic gateway to B.C.'s southwestern Interior.
With an economic base that combines the resource sector with an expanding service economy, Merritt has experienced rapid growth and economic diversification over the past several years. The catalyst for much of this development was the completion of the Coquihalla highway system - linking Merritt to the Lower Mainland, Kamloops and the Okanagan.
As a consequence of it's expansion, the city is emerging as a diversified service centre for a region with a population of 15,000. In addition to its location, Merritt's favourable climate, the community's attractive lifestyle, and the area's unlimited recreational opportunities have all contributed to its vibrancy.
The combination of Merritt's strategic location, its natural advantages, and its quality of life ensures that the community will continue to flourish into the future. While Merritt retains its strong ties to the resource economy, this is balanced with growth in knowledge and lifestyle based industries, small business, and recreation and tourism.
Merritt has made a strong commitment to embracing the changing economy, with internet access, fibre-optic links, and video conferencing available in the community. As a result of these changes the community has experienced an expansion in home-based businesses and telecommunting.
Despite the recent growth, Merritt in many respects retains links to its history and heritage. The city is committed to its traditional main street, lined with retail shops, many displaying a western theme, and to its historic buildings. Chief among the city's landmarks is the 90-year old Coldwater Hotel, which continues to dominate the downtown skyline.
New development has been in line with the commitment to a vibrant downtown, with the nearby Railyard Mall providing new retail amenities without detracting from the existing shops.
While the expansion of the city as a service an commercial centre has spurred much recent growth, it is lifestyle factors that attract many people to the area. In particular, families have been drawn to the small-town feel, the affordable housing, the recreational opportuniities and easy access to larger urban centres.
For more information on the City of Merritt:
Quick Facts on the City of Merritt (produced by BC Stats)
Detailed stats for Merritt (produced by Invest BC)
City of Merritt - The City of Merritt official Website
Community Futures Development Corporation of the Nicola Valley - Small Business Development and the local Economic Development Office.