On the third day of our trip in Northern BC we were on our way to Fort St. John (actually Charlie Lake just north of the city). It was a long day of driving, but I knew that the one stop I really wanted to make was at the WAC Bennett Dam. It was a bit of a detour and we even debated about going for a minute, but in the end I knew I’d regret it if we didn’t stop. We were all glad we did in the end!
In BC all of our power comes from water. We don’t talk about our electric bills up here, we talk about our Hydro bills, because our power company is called BC Hydro, after the fact that our power is hydro-electric. That of course means dams. The WAC Bennett Dam is the largest in BC, and was built in 1967. It is one of the largest earth-filled structures in the world. According to the info we saw at the Visitor’s Centre (one of the best I’ve been to), if you took the fill and started to build a wall 1m wide by 2m high, you could build a wall from Vancouver to Halifax. It took 12 years to complete. That’s a lot of dirt!! We had a lot of fun at the Visitor’s Centre, and even got to drive across the massive dam (no stopping though!) and back, to look down at the canyon below. This dam supplies 25% of the power in the province, which wasn’t hard to believe given its size!
A great stop on our trip, and an important part to understanding the development and history of this massive province.