Norwegians probably consider Töckfors a shopping center across the border in Sweden. While for Swedes, this is the last stop before heading across the border to Norway. Töcksfors is a locality of around 1.300 inhabitants in Årjäng Municipality in Värmland County, just five kilometers from the border with Norway.
A Short History of Töcksfors
Töcksfors was added to the map in 1797 with the establishment of an ironworks at the local rapids. This was the beginning of the industrialization of Töcksfors and the development of the settlement in the surrounding area. The ironworks were up and running until 1871 when production was halted. Instead, the focus shifted towards forestry and the establishment of a sawmill in 1873. The local forestry industry survived two fires but the sawmill was eventually decommissioned in 1950.
The locality has suffered in the void of the large employers that existed prior to the 1950s. It has, however, seen the establishment of new companies. Töckfors Verkstads AB employed a lot of people during the second half of the 20th century, but their production was halted in 2008. The few manufacturing companies that still is in operation here include Hanza Wermech, Nokalux, and Norbag.
The manufacturing industry has, however, gotten company by other industries. The last decades have seen Töcksfors develop into a center for cross-border shopping with a lot of visitors from Norway crossing the border to access the many new stores and services.
Things to Do and See
There is a lot of industrial heritage to discover in Töcksfors and the canal is a famous landmark. In addition, this is a small locality with shopping possibilities equal to that of a medium size city.
Construction of the Dalsland Canal began in 1864 and was completed in 1868. It connects some of the lakes and rivers of the provinces of Dalsland and Värmland with Lake Vänern. Läke Vänern is the largest lake in Sweden and other canals connect it with the sea.
In addition to the famous aqueduct at Håverud, the canal also reaches Töcksfors. The canal has a total of 31 locks along its length of 253 kilometers. Two of these locks are in the center of Töcksfors. These lift (or lower) the vessels to a height of around 10 meters. This part of the larger canal is known as Töcksfors Canal and was completed in 1915.
Töcksfors Shoppingcenter is a large modern shopping mall with a few stores that are usually not found in Sweden. It is obvious that its market is Norwegian visitors, but that does also make it quite an interesting stop for anyone else. This is a mix of the shopping experience of Sweden and Norway.
Töcksfors Handelspark is a commercial center on the outskirts of the locality. This is where a few larger stores are located. It is not a mall. Instead, all stores have their own entrance towards the large parking lot.
Töcksmark Church was once the center of Töckmark Parish. It was completed in 1821 and is today a part of the Töcksmark Congregation within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden.
How to Get to Töcksfors
- Flights: The closest larger airport is Oslo Airport (OSL) 118 kilometers away across the border in Norway.
- Car: Töcksfors is located along road E18 a few kilometers from the border with Norway.
- Bus: Local buses from Värmlandstrafik connect Töcksfors with the surrounding region. There are also long-distance buses from Flixbus between Oslo and Stockholm that stop here.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 419 kilometers (4 h 56 min)
- Gothenburg – 241 kilometers (3 h 9 min)
- Malmö – 509 kilometers (5 h 53 min)
- Linköping – 333 kilometers (4 h 21 min)
- Kiruna – 1415 kilometers (18 h 19 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden