Okanagan Valley Information

The Okanagan, also known as the Okanagan Valley and sometimes as Okanagan Country is a region located in the Canadian province of British Columbia defined by the basin of Okanagan Lake and the Canadian portion of the Okanagan River. As of 2009, the region's population is approximately 350,927.

The primary city is Kelowna. The name derives from the Okanagan language place name uk?naqín.[1] An alternate explanation from Washington proposes "People living where you can see the top", ostensibly of Chopaka Peak in the Lower Similkameen.

The region is known for its dry, sunny climate, dry landscapes and lakeshore communities and particular lifestyle. The economy is retirement and commercial-recreation based, with outdoor activities such as boating and watersports, snow skiing and hiking. Agriculture has been focused primarily on fruit orchards, with a recent shift in focus to vineyards and wine.

The valley stretches from Sicamous, (where it merges with the Shuswap), to the US Border, where it continues as Okanogan County. The Okanagan Region often includes the Boundary Country, Similkameen Country and Shuswap, as well as the Okanagan Valley itself.

Kelowna is a city on Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley, in the southern interior of British Columbia, Canada. Its name derives from a Okanagan language term for "grizzly bear". Kelowna ranks as the 22nd largest metropolitan area in Canada.

Nearby communities include the district of West Kelowna (a separate political entity from Kelowna) to the west across Okanagan Lake, Lake Country and Vernon to the north, as well as Peachland to the southwest and, further to the south, Summerland and Penticton.

According to the Statistics Canada 2001 census,[22] the population estimates there were 96,288 people residing in Kelowna and 147,739 people residing in the Greater Kelowna Area.

Vernon is a city in the south-central region of British Columbia, Canada. Named after Forbes George Vernon, a former MLA of British Columbia who helped found the famed Coldstream Ranch, the City of Vernon was incorporated on December 30, 1892. The City of Vernon has a population of 38,150 (2011), while its metropolitan region, Greater Vernon, has a population of 58,584 (2011).[1] With this population, Vernon is the largest city in the North Okanagan Regional District. A resident of Vernon is called a "Vernonite".  In 2005, on an episode of The Early Show, Vernon was ranked as one of the top six most desirable communities to retire to in North America by Consumer Reports.[2]

Each winter, Vernon plays host to the Vernon Winter Carnival. First held in 1961, it is now Western Canada's largest and North America's second largest Winter Carnival.[15][16][17]

Also, in summer, there is the Sunshine festival, held on the main street.

 

  • Kelowna is home to more than 118,500 people.
  • The Central Okanagan Regional District has a population of 167,000.
  • Kelowna encompasses 214 km2 of land and 48 km2 of water area
  • Kelowna is 344 metres (1,129 feet) above sea level.
  • Okanagan Lake is 110 km long.
  • The average daytime high during July and August is 27.4 C.
  • The average daytime high during December and January is -0.3 C. The average low is -7.7 C.
  • Kelowna receives over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually and 28 cm of rain.
  • Total annual precipitation is 366.4 mm. (280.7 mm. of rain and 105.5 cm. of snow).
  • The W.R. Bennett Bridge opened in May 2008, and has replaced the old Okanagan Lake Bridge (built in 1958) as the only vehicular crossing over Okanagan Lake. Named after former Premier William R. Bennett, the bridge is five lanes in width and almost 1063 meters in length. It remains the only floating bridge in Canada.
  • Kelowna General Hospital is the largest and most comprehensive in the southern interior of B.C. with a full treatment cancer clinic.
  • Kelowna is home to several local theatre groups, a symphony orchestra, museums and numerous art galleries.
  • UBC Okanagan opened in September 2005. 
  • Okanagan College offers university and transfer programs, as well as a wide range of adult education and trades courses.

History

Kelowna was incorporated in May 1905 when our population consisted of 600 people and farming was the economic mainstay of the region. Today more than 118,000 people call Kelowna home and we’re considered by many to be one of the most liveable cities in Canada. Visit our Heritage webpage for more information on how Kelowna is preserving our Historical buildings and culture.

Amenities

  • Prospera Place, a 6,000-seat multi-purpose facility that’s home to the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, attracts major entertainers and events to the heart of our Cultural District.
  • The new Rotary Centre for the Arts is a significant feature of the district, which was named a Cultural Capital of Canada in 2003.
  • Kelowna Community Theatre is a 853 seat theatre located in the heart of Kelowna's cultural district which showcases a wide assortment of live productions from concerts, comedians, dance performances to kids shows.  Home of Ballet Kelowna, Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and the Kelowna Community Concert Society.
  • Waterfront Park is a showcase of the area with lagoons, an outdoor amphitheatre and a wooden boardwalk that links Tugboat Beach and the residential area to the north with the Grand Okanagan Hotel and the downtown.
  • Stuart Park, located on the Waterfront Promenade across from City Hall on Water Street, will be developed over the next several years.

Regional District of Central Okanagan

The City of Kelowna is part of the Regional District of Central Okanagan which encompasses Peachland, Lake Country, the District of West Kelowna and unincorporated communities on both sides of Okanagan Lake. The City of Kelowna is the largest community in the Regional District.

 

Amanda Westrheim

Amanda Westrheim

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CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.
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