|Kelowna is the largest city in the Okanagan Valley boasting all the amenities of a major city - fine dining, unique shops and a vibrant cultural life - 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, or you may wish to visit one of several championship golf courses in the area.
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. There are three major ski hills within a one hour drive - Big White, Silver Star and Apex.
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, 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 airport is the 11th busiest in Canada with over 30 flights a day, it's also one of the fastest growing in North America. Passenger activity has more than doubled since 1995 and traffic is expected to continue to grow. This is indeed impressive for an airport that sprang from humble beginnings in 1946 when pilots used a 3,000-foot grass airstrip with no terminal facility whatsoever. Today passengers enjoy a spacious, modern 76,000 square foot terminal and Kelowna handles 30 scheduled flights a day, from the turbo-prop Beech 1900 to the Airbus A320. Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz, Central Mountain Air, Horizon Air, Regional 1 and WestJet all operate from the 7,300-foot-long 200-foot-wide runway.
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.
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.
- Kelowna is home to 105,000 people.
- The Central Okanagan Regional District has a population of 147,000.
- Kelowna is well known for its hot summers and temperate winters.
- The average daytime high during July and August is 27.40 C.
- The average daytime high during December and January is -0.30 C. The average low is -7.70 C.
- Kelowna receives over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually and 28 cm. (11 inches) of rain.
- Total annual precipitation is 366.4 mm. (280.7 mm. of rain and 105.5 cm. of snow).
- Okanagan Lake is 110 km. (68 miles) long.
- Okanagan Lake Bridge (built in 1958) is the only floating bridge in Canada, with a floating section of 640 m. (2100 feet)
- A new five-lane bridge is now in full operation.
- Kelowna encompasses 262 square km. (101 square miles)
- Kelowna is 344 m. (1,129 feet) above sea level.
- 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, a museum and numerous art galleries.
- Okanagan College offers university and transfer programs, as well as a wide range of adult education and trades courses.
- UBC Okanagan is now open.