PHOTO CREDIT: JEFF GIFFORD

Resident Guide

Are you a new resident or someone who is considering making the move to Elkford? Here is everything you need to know about day-to-day living in the Wilderness Capital of B.C.

New to Elkford or considering making the move to our mountain paradise? Here is everything you need to know about day-to-day living in the Wilderness Capital of B.C.

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Home Owner

 

How do I set up my utilities?

The only utilities that you need to set up are hydro and natural gas (BC Hydro & FortisBC). Your taxes and utilities will switch over once we have received a notification from Land Titles that the property has switched owners. Please ensure that you have the correct address on title. 

Who offers phone/internet services?

In Elkford, Shaw and Telus are our primary internet/phone providers. Xplornet is another option for internet services.

How do I find out/dispute the assessment value of my home?

Search your property address at online at bcassessment.ca

The District of Elkford does not determine your property assessment value, so if you wish to discuss/dispute your assessment, change your address with BC Assessment or file an appeal, you must contact BC Assessment directly.

Where do I pay property taxes?

For your convenience, we offer several ways to pay. You can pay by visiting the District Office at 744 Fording Drive and paying by debit, cash, cheque or post-dated cheque. Please note that we do not accept credit cards as a payment method at the District Office. If you must pay by credit card, we will accept online payments through the Paytm Canada app.

You can also pay through your financial institution’s online banking system. Simply search for “District of Elkford” and register us as a payee in your online bill payments.

  • To register your property taxes, you will require your property’s roll number (beginning with 517)
  • To register your utilities, you will require your utility account number (this number begins with 000 for quarterly business utilities or 001 for annual residential utilities).

Finally, you can also arrange with your mortgage provider to have your property taxes added to your mortgage payment and debited from your bank account with your mortgage payments.

How do I claim my homeowner grant?

Claim your homeowner grant by calling the Province of British Columbia’s toll-free line at 1.888.355.2700, or you claim it online at gov.bc.ca/homeownergrant and click the apply for your grant. You can also claim a retro grant (if applicable).

I want to put up a fence. Do I need a permit for that?

No building permit is required to build a fence as long as the fence is in compliance with all Zoning Bylaws and fence height regulations. Always ensure that you are constructing your fence on your own property and not on your neighbouring properties, right-of-ways or easements.

Who do I call when I need to turn my property’s water off/on?

Visit the District Office, at 744 Fording Drive, to request and pay for a water shut off/water on. You also need to make sure that your curb stop is visible. If you have questions, please contact us at 250.865.4000.

Where are my property lines?

Visit the District of Elkford Map Hub and locate your property. Need more help? Contact us at the District Office by calling 250.865.4000 and requesting the Planning Technician or visit us at 744 Fording Drive to request a map showing your property lines. 

How do I obtain an application form for a Development Variance Permit (DVP)?

First, we recommend visiting our Zoning Bylaw page to learn more about Zoning Bylaw regulations and DVPs in Elkford.

Ready to move forward? Download a printable version of the application form. You can also contact the District Office at 250.865.4000 or email planning@elkford.ca to obtain an application form for a Development Variance. If you have questions, our knowledgeable staff in the Planning and Development Services Department will be happy to assist you!

Who do I call to request a building inspection? 

Building in Elkford? So exciting! Check out Building Permits & Inspections for the downlow on all things building.

To request a building inspection, contact our Building Official at 250.865.4003 or building@elkford.ca

How do I file a complaint about a noisy neighbour/barking dog/overflowing garbage can/illegal parking?

Contact Bylaw Enforcement directly at 250.865.4024 or bylaw@elkford.ca; or alternatively, you may call the District Office at 250.865.4000 and request to file a formal record of concern. 

Is there a locksmith in town?

Locked out? Don’t panic—our local locksmith is called Lundrigan’s Lock & Key, and you can access their contact information in our Business Directory.

Are there any tradespeople (plumbers/HVAC/electricians, etc.) in Elkford? 

Yes, quite a few! Visit our Business Directory for a complete listing of skilled local tradespeople in Elkford who can help you with repairs.

Are there mechanics in Elkford?

Yes, a few! Visit our Business Directory for a complete listing of mechanics in Elkford.

What is a bleeder valve? And when do I need to turn mine on/off?

Bleeder valves are located on a shut-off valve, and they allow water or air drain from a water pipe. Bleeder valves are essential for winterizing your home--so essential, in fact, that Elkford has a bylaw in place that outlines when yours needs to be turned on and off. Following this important bylaw helps you to prevent your home's pipes from freezing and cracking in colder temperatures.

Although not all shut-off valves have bleeders, you'll probably find yours if you follow water pipes leading to outdoor hose bibs. New homeowners will often be shown their home's bleeder valve during walk-throughs of their new purchase or build. If you have just purchased an older home and cannot find yours, we recommend contacting the previous owners.

A friendly reminder that all Elkford residents are required to turn ON the bleeder valves in your residences from October 31 to May 1.

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Scroll to #pets--wildlife

Pets & Wildlife

 

Where Do I Get A Wildlife-Resistant Garbage Container?

Call the Public Works Department at 250.865.4025 or the District of Elkford Office at 250.865.4000 to request one at no charge. Note that we receive a limited supply of wild-life resistant garbage bins each year, so these are offered as long as supplies last.

Do I need a licence for my cat or dog in Elkford?

Yes, you do! As per our Animal Responsibility Bylaw in Elkford, dogs and cats need to be licensed annually and be wearing the tag for the current year. The main purpose of registration is to help us quickly reunite lost pets with owners, and failure to comply with this bylaw will result in fines of $50 or more.

The annual fee for a sterilized dog or cat is $20 or $50 for an unsterilized dog or cat licence. Please provide a certificate of spay or neuter at the time of first registration and be sure to register your pet by the last business day of February each year, or a late fee of an additional $20 per pet licence will apply.

Where is the nearest veterinary clinic?

The closest veterinary clinic is Tanglefoot Fernie Veterinary Services, located in Fernie, approximately 45 minutes from Elkford. Please note that after-hour veterinary emergency services are not currently available in Fernie. There are also nearby veterinary clinics in Blairmore and Pincher Creek, Alberta, as well as Cranbrook, British Columbia that Elkford residents take their animals to.

I can’t keep/afford my pet and need to rehome them—who do I call?

If you are unable to care for a pet, please contact a local animal rescue or the East Kootenay branch of the B.C. SPCA for assistance.

Several registered animal rescue organizations operate in the Elk Valley—including Twin Meadows Animal Rescue Society, a foster-based animal rescue that operates in Fernie/Sparwood/Elkford—and they can assist you (or connect you with someone who can). Abandoning or dumping a domestic animal to fend for itself is not only unethical, but it is illegal in British Columbia as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Does Elkford have a dog park or off-leash areas?

The District of Elkford currently has no designated off-leash areas for pets, meaning that dogs and cats must always be kept on leash and under control. Unless on private property, unleashed pets will be considered “at-large,” and owners will be fined $50 or more. 

Many people feel that this bylaw does not apply to them because their dog is friendly, or their cat is accustomed to living indoors/outdoors, but it is in place to keep you, your pet, other humans, local wildlife and other pets in your neighbourhood safe.

The closest off-leash dog parks to Elkford include those in Sparwood, Fernie and Lethbridge. 

Where is the nearest dog kennel?

The nearest dog boarding kennel to Elkford is Karen’s Pet Inn located on Highway 43, just south of Elkford. You can access their contact information in our Business Directory.

Who do I call if I’ve found a lost dog/cat/rabbit/bird?

Please contact Bylaw Enforcement at 250.865.4024 or 250.910.4024.

Outside of operating hours, please leave a detailed voicemail for Bylaw Enforcement about the animal you have found—and include your contact information—and then contact the East Kootenay branch of the B.C. SPCA or Twin Meadows Animal Rescue Society, a foster-based animal rescue that operates in Fernie/Sparwood/Elkford for assistance. If they are unable to assist you, they will provide direction and/or connect you with someone who can. 

Someone is feeding/hurting/harassing wildlife—who do I call?

The RAPP Hotline is a confidential, toll-free, 24/7 tip-line manned by B.C. Conservation Officer Service. Always report all conflict with wildlife, suspected poaching and violations of fisheries, wildlife and environmental protection laws to the RAPP Hotline at 1.877.952.7277 or by completing their online form.

Please contact the RAPP Hotline at 1.877.952.7277 IMMEDIATELY to report:
    •    Dangerous wildlife in Elkford
    •    Someone harassing, feeding or deliberately injuring wildlife
    •    Injured or dead wildlife in Elkford

After reporting this to the BC Conservation Officer Service, you may also contact Bylaw Enforcement at 250.865.4024 to see if additional local action can be taken.

Who do I report a dangerous animal sighting to?

Please report dangerous animal sightings in Elkford to the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line, operated by the BC Conservation Officer Service by completing their form here or by calling their toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1.877.952.7277. 

After reporting this to the BC Conservation Officer Service, you may also contact Bylaw Enforcement at 250.865.4024 to see if additional local action can be taken.

I found a dead wild animal—what do I do now?

First thing’s first: call the RAPP Hotline at 1.877.952.7277.

The RAPP Hotline is always your first point of contact when reporting a dead or injured wild animal in Elkford. This number is a confidential, toll-free, 24/7 tip-line run by the BC Conservation Service that will collect information about the wildlife you are reporting (for research and statistical purposes) and connect you with the appropriate official to help. 

Once you have called and reported the injured/deceased animal, the next step you will take is dependent on a couple of different factors:
    •    If the animal is injured, you will speak directly to a B.C. Conservation Officer through the RAPP Hotline. They will be able to advise you and inform you of what (if anything) you should do next.
    •    If the animal has died on your private property, in a park, greenspace or a municipal road within the boundaries of the District of Elkford, you should contact Bylaw Enforcement at 250.865.4024 or the Public Works Department at 250.865.4025 to request removal. Note that dead animals or rotting carcasses are a wildlife attractant and can become a threat to public safety, so we appreciate you calling these in!
    •    If the animal has died on the highway (even on the highway in town), you must call Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting LP at 1.800.665.4929 for removal. The District of Elkford does not have jurisdiction over wildlife killed on the highway, and we encourage you to contact Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting LP immediately if this animal could interfere with traffic or endanger other drivers.

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Community & Other

 

When is garbage day?

Residential garbage day is on Thursdays. If a statutory holiday falls on a garbage day, garbage is typically moved to the business day prior (usually a Wednesday). Commercial garbage pickup is on Tuesdays and Fridays (except for statutory holidays). 

Outside of pickup hours, garbage must be kept secured in bear-resistant garbage bin, secured inside an indoor structure (e.g., a garage) or in a wildlife-proof garbage enclosure. Never place your garbage bin out the night before: garbage containers must be placed by the curb between the hours of 5 and 7 a.m. on collection days only and remain at the curb until 3:30 p.m. (or until collected)

How do I recycle?

The Elkford Transfer Station, operated by the Regional District of East Kootenay, handles all recycling in Elkford at 6 Inkaneep Road in the Industrial Park. Currently, the Elkford Transfer station is open six days per week, from Monday to Saturday, excluding statutory holidays. Note that Elkford is not a large enough municipality to be eligible for a pick-up recycling program.

They offer free recycling of most recyclable items. For more information about recycling, charges, or hours of operation, contact the Transfer Station directly at 250.865.4644.

Who do I call if I see someone illegally dumping garbage/waste/electronics?

Please report these types of violations to the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line, operated by the BC Conservation Officer Service. You may report violations of fisheries, wildlife or environmental protection laws by completing their form or by calling their toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1.877.952.7277. Note that through the RAPP line, you may choose to remain anonymous. 

After reporting this to the BC Conservation Officer Service, you may also contact Bylaw Enforcement at 250.865.4024 to see if additional local action can be taken.

Can I buy groceries in town?

You bet! In addition to several gas stations and a convenience store, we have a fantastic grocery store in town: The Kootenay Market. In addition to produce, meat, a bakery, deli and groceries, you can also pickup other essentials like toiletries, pet food, greeting cards, books, household items, yard maintenance supplies, hardware and tools.

What are my options for financial institutions/banks in Elkford?

The East Kootenay Community Credit Union operates a branch in Elkford. In Sparwood, the banks are Royal Bank, CIBC and East Kootenay Credit Union. Fernie has ScotiaBank, TD Bank, CIBC, and East Kootenay Credit Union. 

Who does snow clearing in Elkford? How do I get a hold of them?

The District of Elkford’s Public Works Department is responsible for District snow removal operations (roadways, streets and public areas). Have questions about snow clearing? Contact them at 250.865.4025 or publicworks@elkford.ca

Looking for help with snow removal from your private property? Elkford has several licensed contractors in town that perform residential and commercial snow removal. Please visit our Business Directory to find them.

Can I park on the street?

Only during certain times of the year. Per the District of Elkford Traffic and Streets Amendment Bylaw, parking is prohibited on any roadway, street, highway or lane between the hours of 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. from November 1 to March 31 (inclusive). This bylaw is in place so that Public Works can safely perform efficient and effective snow removal.

Can I ride my ATV/ORV/snowmobile/quad/dirt bike on the street?

In previous years, the RCMP has issued permits allowing ATV/ORV/snowmobilers to ride down the street to access the nearest trailhead from their residence. Be advised that the RCMP has indicated that they are NO LONGER issuing permits in Elkford that would allow snowmobilers to ride on/down residential streets and highways.

The only condition in which you can legally traverse a road on your ATV/ORV/snowmobile is to dismount and cross the road directly to the trailhead on the other side (e.g., if the trail you are riding is intersected by a road, you may cross it to get to the other side; additionally, you may also cross at a controlled intersection, such as a stop sign or at traffic lights). Within the boundaries of the District of Elkford, you must carry a minimum of one million dollars in third-party liability insurance, carry a valid driver’s licence, wear a helmet and take care to ensure that the crossing is safe.

Riding your ATV/ORV/snowmobile on/down a street, highway, ploughed logging road or a sidewalk is not just a bylaw infraction—it’s illegal, as per the Motor Vehicle (All Terrain) Act. Riders who do not abide by the regulations governing off-road vehicles risk facing penalties and fines from the District of Elkford, the Province of British Columbia and the RCMP. Fines will also be incurred if you do not wear your helmet, carry your insurance and annual licence or properly display your plate.

Our pristine wilderness and epic mountain views provide some of the best riding conditions in Canada; however, along with this privilege comes certain responsibilities. Please play by the rules and ride responsibly so we can all continue enjoying the trails!

For more information, contact the Elkford ATV Club and the Elkford Snowmobile Association.

What is the speed limit in Elkford?

Unless otherwise marked, the speed limit in Elkford is 40 kilometres per hour. We are living in the mountains, and at very high elevation, so please drive to the conditions and always abide by the posted speed limits.
 

Who do I call to report an abandoned vehicle/camper? 

Contact Bylaw Enforcement directly at 250.865.4024 or bylaw@elkford.ca; or alternatively, you may call the RCMP. 

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Public Services & Facilities

 

Where can my kids attend school?

Elkford belongs to School District 5 and has both an elementary school and a high school. The elementary school is Rocky Mountain Elementary, which enrols students from grades K to grade six. Elkford Secondary School enrols students from grades seven to 12. 

Does Elkford have daycare or childcare centres?

We do! We are very fortunate to have a licensed daycare/childcare facility in Elkford called Elkford Child Development Society. We also have two more daycare/childcare facilities on the way!
 

What kind of recreational amenities does Elkford have?

For a community of its size, Elkford has incredible recreational amenities. We recommend that you check out the Clubs and Associations directory, check out Things to do, Parks & Trails and Community & Facility Services to see what Elkford has to offer! 

Where are the parks?

There are many beautiful parks and greenspaces in Elkford, the most prominent being the Devonian Park, located by the ball diamonds and Boivin Creek. For a list of Elkford’s parks and trails, please visit Parks & Trails

Our wonderful staff at the Visitor Centre in the Community Conference Centre, located at 750 Fording Drive, can also provide you with a map of all Elkford’s parks.

What kind of leisure programming is there in Elkford, and where do I register?

Elkford offers a wide variety of recreational programming, from fitness classes to team sports and lifestyle, arts and culture programs. Visit Recreational Programming for current programming.

We recommend that you check out the Clubs and Associations directory, check out Things to do, Parks & Trails and Community & Facility Services to see what Elkford has to offer!  

Each September, the District of Elkford’s Community & Facility Services organizes a Community Info & Registration Night, where residents, community groups, non-profit organizations, clubs and sports teams alike are all invited to attend and take registrations. 

Throughout the year, the District of Elkford also offers many different recreational programs—for all ages, interests and abilities—through our Community & Facility Services Department and recreational facilities, such as the Aquatic Centre. For more information about current and upcoming programming, as well as to register, contact recreation@elkford.ca or 250.865.4010. 

Where are the nearest airports?

The closest airport to Elkford is the Cranbrook International Airport (YXC), approximately a two-hour drive from Elkford. Travelling east, into Alberta, is the Calgary International Airport (YYC), approximately a three-hour drive from Elkford. Travelling south, into the United States, the nearest major airport is Kalispell City Airport in Kalispell, Montana, also approximately three-hours from Elkford.
 

Where can I keep up to date on what is going on in town?

Is there a doctor’s office in Elkford? What about a pharmacy?

We have both! The Elkford Health Centre is operated by Interior Health and offers a physician’s clinic, nursing staff, lab and x-ray services. They can be reached at 250.865.2247.

Elkford also has a full-service pharmacy in town. The Elkford IDA Pharmacy can be reached at 778.521.5181

I need emergency services. Where is the nearest hospital/fire hall/police station? 

In the event of an emergency, please dial 9-1-1. At this time, to access an emergency room or facility with emergency services directly, you must visit the hospital in Sparwood or in Fernie. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately for an ambulance, RCMP officer or the fire department. 

Elkford also has a BC Ambulance service, a fully staffed fire department through the District of Elkford and an RCMP detachment. Our Fire Hall and ambulance bay are located at 2300 Balmer Drive and the RCMP detachment in Elkford is located next door at 2000 Balmer Drive. The RCMP Detachment can be reached at 250.865.2232. 

Is there a local foodbank or homeless shelter?

Elkford does have a foodbank! Please call 250.910.7088, leave a voicemail and they will get back to you.

Elkford does not have a homeless shelter. The closest shelters are in Cranbrook, British Columbia, as well as Lethbridge, Alberta in the other direction.

Where can I go to access a public computer?

The Community Conference Centre, as well as the Elkford Public Library, both offer public computers for their patrons (with certain regulations). Contact them for more information.

Can I have something notarized at the District of Elkford office (town hall)?

Unfortunately not! The District of Elkford does not provide this service, and residents inquiring will be encouraged to contact the closest lawyer and/or notary.

The closest law offices and notaries are located in Sparwood and Fernie, B.C.