The Story Of Anyox

By Michaela Ludwig

Located in northern British Columbia, on the shores of Granby Bay in Observatory Inlet, lies the province’s largest ghost town – Anyox. This remote area is about 145 kilometres north of Prince Rupert and is only approachable by boat.

Pictured, the main hydroelectric power plant in Anyox, British Columbia.
Photo from iStock

Around 1910, Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting and Power Company (known as Granby Consolidated) started buying up land in this area and began constructing the town in 1912. Anyox was a booming town until 1936, best known for its mining operations of copper and other precious metals. The town was built to accommodate mine workers and their families and the town’s population reached about 3,000 in its heyday.



There were no roads or railways linking Anyox to the rest of BC, and all connections were made by ocean steamers travelling to Prince Rupert or Vancouver. This lack of connection to the outside world meant Anyox was self-sufficient and the town boasted amenities such as machine shops, a curling rink, a tennis court, a golf course and a hospital.


In 1918, an incoming ship brought the Spanish flu to Anyox. Dozens of residents died in the epidemic.



In the early 1920s, John Eastwood, a dam engineer, designed a hydroelectric dam for the area. Once constructed, it reached 156 feet high and was the tallest dam in Canada at the time.

The hydroelectric dam in Anyox, British Columbia.
Photo from iStock

The Great Depression was the beginning of the end for Anyox, when the demand for copper went down. The mine shut down in 1935 and the town was eventually abandoned. Salvage operations in the 1940s removed most of the machinery and steel from the town and then two forest fires, in 1942 and 1943, wiped out most of the wooden structures.


Famous residents of Anyox

  • Former Vancouver Mayor Jack Volrich
  • Thomas Waterland, MLA for Yale-Lillooet from 1975 to 1986
  • Reid Mitchell, who played basketball for Canada in the 1948 Olympics
Coke-Coal processing plant in Anyox, British Columbia.
Photo from iStock

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