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About Kelowna

Attractions | Business Opportunities | Industry | Amenities | History | Quick Facts

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With a population of approximately 122,000, Kelowna is the largest city in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Bordering Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is well known for its hot summers and temperate winters.
 
Kelowna is one of the most liveable cities in Canada. In the recent Canada Pulse survey, 90% of residents reported "My city is a great place to live." 

Attractions

Kelowna boasts all the amenities of a major city: fine dining, unique shops and vibrant culture yet orchards and vineyards thrive within a 10-minute drive of the downtown core. Spectacular vistas await those ready to explore. A delightful day can be spent sampling the award-winning wares of our numerous internationally-acclaimed wineries, while several championship golf courses draw enthusiasts from all parts of the globe.

Situated on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake mid-way between Penticton in the south and Vernon in the north, Kelowna residents and tourists alike find the lake offers wonderful opportunities for boating, swimming or fishing. The nearby mountains attract hikers, skiers and outdoor enthusiasts of all descriptions. Three major ski hills are within a one-hour drive.

Business Opportunities

Kelowna has been rated among the most cost competitive places to do business in the Pacific Region of North America. To learn more about the Kelowna's excellent business climate, visit Invest Kelowna.

Industry

Kelowna has become the main marketing and distribution centre of the Okanagan Valley, with a flourishing tree fruit industry and a growing light industrial sector that competes on a world scale. Best known for forestry and the manufacture of boats, plastics, fibreglass, body armour and oil field equipment, Kelowna also has a growing high technology sector that includes aerospace development and service.

Kelowna's international airport is one of the top ten airports in Canada, serving over one million passengers annually.

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.

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.

Quick Facts

  • 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.

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