Prince Rupert lies on the North Pacific coast of Canada just 25 miles south of the border with Alaska. This small port city of 13,000 people enjoys a moderate coastal climate and boasts the deepest year-round ice-free harbour in North America. The city was initially built by visionaries in the early 1900s as a freight railway terminus connecting to the huge natural harbour for shipments overseas. In past years this port primarily served the thriving commercial fishery and related processing industries. During WWII the port was a strategic military base for thousands of American and Canadian servicemen. Then came a pulp mill, British Columbia and Alaskan Ferry terminals, and tourism associated with the ocean and the rich local Tsimpsean culture. In recent years the building of bulk freight and container port facilities have revived the dream of a major railway freight terminus and shipping centre.