The City of Williams Lake and area have four major industries that have made our communities thrive and prosper: mining, forestry, tourism and agriculture.
Mining plays a significant role in the region's economy. The Cariboo is home to two major mines, Taseko Mines Ltd. >Gibraltar and Imperial Metals Corporation's Mount Polley Mine. Gibraltar produces copper and molybdenum and is also the second largest open pit mine in British Columbia. Mount Polley produces copper and gold and is also an open pit mine. Gibraltar is north of Williams Lake and Mount Polley is east of Williams Lake near Likely. Spanish Mountain Gold is a new project on the horizon and is waiting for the approval process to be completed before beginning mining in the area.
Forestry continues to be a very important part to the economy and has had many changes in the last few years. Many people are employed in this area which has been around for over six decades. Williams Lake has two major lumber manufacturing companies, Tolko Industries and West Fraser Mills and numerous smaller producers, all located in the industrial area of the City of Williams Lake.
Tourism in the Cariboo has grown a huge amount over the past few years. We are the gateway to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast through Highway 20. Home of the stunning Tourism Discover Centre, Williams Lake has the perfect place for visitors to obtain information for all over British Columbia. The Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce operates the facility which houses the Visitor Centre. Be sure to experience every kind of adventure in the Cariboo, we have everything from extreme mountain biking and white water rafting to scenic walks by the river. We are fortunate to have several varieties of accomodation available in the area such as guest ranches, B&B's, resorts, lodges, motels and hotels. Camping choices throughout the region are wide-ranging from dry to properties with full amenities. Many small and large events take place every weekend throughout the year with the largest being the Famous Williams Lake Stampede annually on the July 1st weekend. Our great outdoors offers mountain biking, hiking, fishing and just about anything you could want for fun and adventure.
Agriculture in the Cariboo dates back to when the Cariboo Gold Rush started so out roots are based in this industry and it is still as vital as it was back then. The Cariboo produces everything from beef and pork to a variety of vegetables and fruit. The beef sector is the primary agriculture industry in the region. The Cariboo Cattlemen's Association host weekly cattle auctions at the stock yards located on Cattle Drive throughout the fall.