Prince Rupert is a port city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is the land, air, and water transportation hub of British Columbia's North Coast, and has a population of 12,508 people.
Prince Rupert was founded by Charles Melville Hays, the general manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTP) and was incorporated on March 10, 1910. It was named for Prince Rupert of the Rhine, who was first Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, as the result of an open competition held by the railway, the prize for which was $250. Prior to the opening of the GTP, the business centre on the North Coast was Port Essington on the Skeena River. After the founding of Prince Rupert at the western terminus for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, Port Essington returned to being a fishing community and is now a ghost town.
Charles Hays had many grand ideas for Prince Rupert including berthing facilities for large passenger ships and the development of a major tourism industry. These plans fell through when Charles Hays perished April 15, 1912 on the RMS Titanic. Mount Hays, the larger of two mountains on Kaien Island, is named in his honour, as is a local high school, Charles Hays Secondary School.