Kelowna (/kəˈlnə/) is a city on Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley in the southern interior of British Columbia, Canada. It serves as the head office of the Regional District of the Central Okanagan. The name Kelowna derives from an Okanagan language term for "grizzly bear".[5]

City of Kelowna
From top left: Downtown Kelowna and Cultural District from West Kelowna, statue of Ogopogo in downtown Kelowna, Mission Hill Winery and Bell Tower, the William R. Bennett Bridge on Okanagan Lake, view of Okanagan Lake from Knox Mountain Park


Coat of arms

Orchard City,[1] K-Town
"Fruitful in Unity"
Location of Kelowna in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°53′17″N 119°29′44″W
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional DistrictCentral Okanagan
Incorporated5 May 1905
  TypeElected city council
  BodyKelowna City Council
  MayorColin Basran
  MPTracy Gray (Conservative)
  MLAsSteve Thomson (BC Liberal)
Norm Letnick (BC Liberal)
  City211.82 km2 (81.78 sq mi)
2,904.86 km2 (1,121.57 sq mi)
344 m (1,129 ft)
  City127,380 (42nd)[2]
  Density601.3/km2 (1,557/sq mi)
194,882 (22nd)
Time zoneUTC−08:00 (PST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−07:00 (PDT)
Forward sortation area
V1P, V1V – V1Z, V4T
Area code(s)250, 778, 236
Highways Hwy 97 & Hwy 33
WebsiteOfficial website

The Kelowna metropolitan area has a population of 194,882; the third-largest metropolitan area in the province, behind only Vancouver and Victoria. Additionally, the City of Kelowna is the seventh-largest city in the province.[6] It ranks as the 22nd-largest in Canada and is the largest inland city in British Columbia. Kelowna's city proper contains 211.82[2] square kilometres (81.78 sq mi), and the census metropolitan area contains 2,904.86[2] square kilometres (1,121.57 sq mi). In 2016, the population of Kelowna consisted of 127,380 individuals occupying 53,903 private dwellings.[2]

Nearby communities include the City of West Kelowna (also referred to as Westbank, Westside) to the west across Okanagan Lake, Lake Country and Vernon to the north, and Peachland to the southwest, and further to the south, Summerland and Penticton.


Exact dates of first settlement are unknown, but a northern migration led to the habitation of this area some 9,000 years ago.[7] The Indigenous Syilx people were the first inhabitants of the region, and they continue to live in the region.

Father Pandosy, a French Roman Catholic Oblate missionary, became the first European to settle in Kelowna in 1859 at a place named "l'Anse au Sable" (Bay of Sand) in reference to the sandy shoreline. Kelowna was officially incorporated on 4 May 1905.[8]

In May 2005, Kelowna celebrated its centennial. In the same year, construction began on a new five-lane William R. Bennett Bridge to replace the three-lane Okanagan Lake Bridge. It was part of a plan to alleviate traffic problems experienced during the summer tourist season. The new bridge was completed in 2008.[9]

Stubbs House is a historic house in Kelowna.[10]

Events of significance

  • On 3 July 1877, George Mercer Dawson was the first geologist to visit Kelowna.[11]
  • On 6 August 1969, a sonic boom from a nearby air show produced an expensive broken glass bill of a quarter million dollars while at least six people were injured. The incident was caused by a member of America's Blue Angels during a practice routine for the Kelowna Regatta festival: he accidentally went through the sound barrier while flying too low.[12]
  • The last time the lake completely froze over was in the winter of 1969 and it may have frozen over in the winter of 1986.[13]
  • On 25 November 2005, the First Ministers and National Aboriginal Leaders signed the Kelowna Accord.[14]
  • 2009, Kelowna built the tallest building between Vancouver and Calgary: Skye at Waterscapes, which is a 27-story residential tower.

Area seasonal wildfires

  • On 7 May 1992, a forest fire consumed 60 hectares of forest on Mount Boucherie in West Kelowna across Okanagan Lake from Kelowna proper; no homes were damaged, however.
  • In August 2003, a nearby wildfire destroyed 239 homes and forced the temporary evacuation of about 30,000 residents.[15] During the 2003 fire, many trestles of the historic Kettle Valley Railway were destroyed. All the trestles have been rebuilt to look like the originals, but using smaller dimension beams.
  • In late August 2005, a 30-ha fire caused multiple evacuations in the Rose Valley subdivision across the lake in West Kelowna.
  • In July 2009, wildfires destroyed hundreds of hectares of forest and a number of buildings in West Kelowna; 17,000 residents were evacuated.[16]
  • In July 2009, a 100-ha fire near Rose Valley resulted in the evacuation of 7,000 people. No structures were lost.
  • In July 2009, a 9,200-ha fire behind Fintry resulted in the evacuation of 2,500 people. No structures were lost.
  • On 12 July 2010, a 30-ha fire in West Kelowna destroyed one home and caused multiple evacuations.
  • September 2011, a 40-ha fire in West Kelowna's Bear Creek Park caused the evacuation of over 500 people.
  • In July 2012, a 30-ha fire caused the evacuation of the small community of Wilson's Landing just north of West Kelowna.
  • In September 2012, a late-season, 200-ha fire destroyed seven buildings and resulted in the evacuation of 1,500 people in the community of Peachland.
  • In July 2014, a 340-ha fire behind the West Kelowna subdivision of Smith Creek caused the evacuation of 3,000 people.
  • In August 2014, a 40-ha fire above Peachland resulted in the evacuation of one home.
  • In July 2015, a 55-ha fire in the Joe Rich area caused the evacuation of over 100 properties.
  • In July 2015, a 560-ha fire near Shelter Cove caused the evacuation of 70 properties.
  • In August 2015, a 130-ha fire burned near Little White Mountain just south of Kelowna.
  • In August 2017, a 400-ha fire in the Joe Rich area caused the evacuation of over 474 properties.[17]



  • Mission Creek
  • Bellevue Canyon
  • Layer Cake Hill
  • Pinnacle Rock
  • Gallagher's Canyon
  • Crawford Falls
  • Knox Mountain
  • Myra Canyon
  • Mission Creek Falls
  • Black Knight Mountain
  • Maude-Roxby Wetlands
  • Okanagan Lake


Kelowna's official flower is Balsamorhiza sagittata, commonly known as arrowleaf balsamroot.[18]


Kelowna is classified as a humid continental climate per the Köppen climate classification system due to its coldest month having an average temperature slightly above −3.0 °C (26.6 °F),[19] with dry, hot, sunny summers and cool, cloudy winters, and four seasons.[20][21] The official climate station for Kelowna is at the Kelowna International Airport, which is at a higher altitude than the city core, with slightly higher precipitation and cooler nighttime temperatures. Kelowna has the second mildest winter of any non-coastal city in Canada, after neighboring Penticton.[22] This is caused by the moderating effects of Okanagan Lake combined with mountains separating most of BC from the prairies; however Arctic air masses do occasionally penetrate the valley during winter, usually for very short periods. The coldest recorded temperature in the city was −36.1 °C (−33.0 °F) recorded on 30 December 1968.

Weather conditions during December and January are the cloudiest in Canada outside of Newfoundland due to persistent valley cloud. As Okanagan Lake hardly ever freezes, warmer air rising from the lake climbs above colder atmospheric air, creating a temperature inversion which can cause the valley to be socked in by cloud. This valley cloud has a low ceiling, however, and often bright sunshine can be experienced by driving only 20 minutes or so up into the nearby mountains, above the cloud. Summers in Kelowna are hot (sometimes extremely hot) and sunny, with daytime temperatures often exceeding 32 °C (90 °F). The hottest recorded temperature at the airport was 39.5 °C (103.1 °F) on 24 July 1994, and the highest temperature ever recorded in the city was 41.0 °C (105.8 °F) in August 1998, near but not at the airport.[23] Not unusually, heat waves occur in July, August, and even June and September on occasion, where temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) persist for weeks. During summer, clear, dry air allows night-time temperatures to fall rapidly. The city averages about 380 mm (15 in) of precipitation per year, with about 1/5 of the precipitation falling as snow, the bulk in December and January; however, June is the wettest month of the year.

While some smaller communities such as Blue River and Golden get less wind, Kelowna has the greatest percentage of "calm" wind observations for any major city in Canada (39% of the time).[24][25] The four-year average wind measured at the airport has been less than 5 knots on average 10/12 months of the year between 2008 and 2011.[26] As shown in the climate chart below, Kelowna has an average high temperature that is above freezing every month of the year - an exceptionally rare phenomenon for an inland Canadian city. In fact, average high temperatures in January surpass those of St. John's, Newfoundland, which experiences heavy moderation from the warm Atlantic current. Kelowna's average year-round high temperature of about 14.3 °C (57.7 °F) is also one of the highest in Canada - largely due to the rare combination of high summer temperatures typical of continental climates, along with relatively mild winters - a very rare feature of a continental climate.

Climate data for Kelowna International Airport, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1899–present[lower-alpha 1]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high humidex 13.0 14.5 21.1 28.0 37.0 42.3 46.4 45.6 34.9 26.7 20.6 13.9 46.4
Record high °C (°F) 14.8
Average high °C (°F) 0.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.5
Average low °C (°F) −5.8
Record low °C (°F) −31.7
Record low wind chill −39.7 −33.0 −25.0 −9.8 −5.4 −0.6 0.0 0.0 −7.3 −18.2 −36.3 −37.6 −39.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 31.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 8.9
Average snowfall cm (inches) 26.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 13.9 10.3 10.5 10.9 12.9 12.0 9.2 8.5 8.7 11.3 14.4 14.1 136.6
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 5.6 6.2 8.8 10.7 12.2 12.0 9.2 8.5 8.3 11.3 11.0 4.2 107.8
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 10.0 5.6 2.4 0.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 4.7 11.0 34.5
Average relative humidity (%) 76.4 65.2 48.8 39.8 40.0 39.3 35.6 36.2 42.2 55.6 70.6 75.7 52.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 39.4 80.9 148.5 191.0 238.2 244.9 297.8 281.6 216.2 124.5 50.9 35.1 1,948.9
Percent possible sunshine 14.8 28.5 40.4 46.3 49.9 50.2 60.5 62.8 56.9 37.2 18.6 13.9 40.0
Source: Environment Canada[24][27][28][29][30]

Sectors and neighbourhoods

Kelowna consists of ten sectors[31] with multiple neighbourhoods within the sector boundaries.[32]

Neighbourhoods of Kelowna

Central City

Central City is a linear commercial sector extending along Harvey Avenue from the Downtown to Highway 33. Major commercial developments include the Capri Centre mall, the Landmark buildings, and the Orchard Park Shopping Centre. Commercial activity is particularly concentrated along or very near highway 97 (Harvey).

Dilworth Mountain

Dilworth Mountain is a relatively low and isolated mountain which is located near the geographic center of the city. It lies across from Knox Mountain to the east, and forms part of the eastern heights between which Glenmore Valley lies. While technically a mountain, it rises about one thousand feet or so above the rest of the Okanagan Valley (just over 2,000 feet elevation). It has been very extensively developed in recent years; decades of blasting and construction work have resulted in a scenic collection of neighborhoods with suburban character but located only minutes from Central City. Like many other Kelowna residential districts, Dilworth has gone from relative isolation and wilderness to hosting many residential roads with hundreds of homes, many of which are considered fairly expensive and high-end.


Downtown Kelowna is the centre of the city and is a tourist district. It is located alongside Okanagan Lake, and its area is officially defined as all land north of highway 97, south of Clement Avenue, east of Okanagan Lake, and west of Richter Street. There are two main routes through the downtown core along which various attractions and commerce are concentrated. These include several parks and beaches along the lake, boardwalks and other walking trails, Kelowna Marina and Yacht Club, Delta Grand hotel and casino, and Prospera Place arena. The other main route through downtown is Bernard Avenue from Richter street to the lake. It has more shops and restaurants designed both for locals and tourists. Although Bernard Avenue continues east well past the downtown area, it is not part of downtown and is zoned residential. The commercial segment lies within its downtown section between Richter and Abbott streets, the latter of which is lake-adjacent.[33]

Kelowna has declared a 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi) downtown area to be a "red-zone", an area of prolific drug trafficking, assaults, and robberies.[34] The red-zone extends from Okanagan Lake to the West, Lake Avenue, Rowcliffe to Ethel and Ethel to Stockwell, Doyle and back to the lake.[35] The red zone in Kelowna was put in place in 1992 to reduce street crime, and within it the RCMP conducts an annual "spring sweep", arresting low-level drug dealers.[36][37] Kelowna was the second British Columbia city to declare a red-zone.[35][38]


Glenmore is a relatively affluent suburb that lies mostly within Glenmore Valley - a subsection of the Okanagan Valley in the Kelowna area. It has experienced extremely rapid housing development within the past two decades, changing from a small suburb with a relatively rural character to extensive suburban neighborhoods, including several elementary schools and a rapidly growing commercial hub. While most of the homes in this part of town lie on the relatively flat valley bottom, there are several large and more recent neighborhoods being built into the adjacent mountains; the community of Wilden is an example of this.


The Midtown area bordered by Enterprise Way on the north and Springfield and Baron Road at the south is a popular shopping destination for the locals. The largest shopping mall in the interior, Orchard Park, is located in this area. Since most of the Midtown area consists of large, car-oriented big-box stores, Midtown is often criticized for its plainness, urban sprawl, and the decline of pedestrian-oriented Downtown. There is also a lack of green space, particularly since the whole area used to be a linear park and golf course.


This area is colloquially as "The Mission" or "Okanagan Mission" in order to differentiate itself from Mission, BC, a city in the Lower Mainland near Abbotsford. The Mission used to be a separate jurisdiction before being amalgamated with the City of Kelowna in the mid- to late-20th century. This has caused a fairly vibrant secondary commercial center to emerge which is entirely separate from Downtown, with low to moderate density residential areas in between. The northern border of Mission is K.L.O. Rd. It is often differentiated as the "Lower Mission" and "Upper Mission."

The Lower Mission contains most of the aforementioned commercial areas such as shopping malls, grocery stores, coffee shops, and boutiques. Lower Mission also has extensive recreational facilities, Mission Recreation Park has 6 softball diamonds as well as soccer fields, community gardens, playgrounds and trails, while neighboring H20 is Kelowna's largest indoor recreation facility with a 50m pool, water slides, diving boards and surfing wave. Gyro Beach and Rotary Beach, two of Kelowna’s most popular beaches, are also located in the Lower Mission.

The Upper Mission begins to extend into the foothills and higher terrain, and many parts of this area boast magnificent views of the city, mountains and Okanagan Lake. As a result, this part of town is widely regarded as luxurious and is indeed one of the most expensive neighborhoods of Kelowna. It is not unusual to see homes worth one million dollars or more, the most expensive of which can reach 5 million or even slightly above.


Rutland is Kelowna's largest neighborhood by far. Although the majority of the area sits on the valley bottom and is therefore relatively flat, the fringes continue up into the hills and are therefore built at higher elevations and possess more expansive views than the rest of the neighborhood; these homes are correspondingly more expensive. This is the exception, however, as the majority of Rutland is among the most affordable of Kelowna housing. There are also several low-rise apartment buildings which increase the population density relative to most other parts of town. Rutland was a town until it amalgamated with Kelowna in 1973,[39] and this union has resulted in Rutland having a distinct commercial center with many shops and restaurants. An improvement and gentrification effort has been ongoing for the past decade, with new parks, widened sidewalks, bike lanes, a renovated YMCA, a rebuilt high school, and many new shops and condo buildings being added.


The service industry employs the most people in Kelowna, the largest city in the tourist-oriented Okanagan Valley. In summer, boating, golf, hiking and biking are popular, and in winter, both Alpine skiing and Nordic skiing are favourite activities at the nearby Big White and Silver Star ski resorts. Tourism in the Greater Kelowna Area has now reached a $1 billion a year industry, as of 2016.[40]

Kelowna produces wines that have received international recognition.[41][42] Vineyards are common around and south of the city where the climate is ideal for the many wineries. At least two major wineries were damaged or destroyed (now rebuilt) in 2003 due to the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire. Kelowna is also the home of Sun-Rype, a popular manufacturer of fruit bars and juices.

Okanagan College and University of British Columbia are the predominant centres for post-secondary education. Over 8,745[43] students attend Okanagan College and 8,718 students attend the University of British Columbia. In addition to vocational training and adult basic education, the college offers a highly regarded university transfer program. University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus has a student population of over 8,000 full-time students enrolled in diverse undergraduate and graduate programs.[44]

Kelowna is the seat of the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, the third-largest metropolitan area in British Columbia after Vancouver and Victoria and the largest in the British Columbia Interior. With scenic lake vistas and a dry, mild climate, Kelowna has become one of the fastest growing cities in North America. The appropriate management of such rapid development (and its attendant consequences) is a source of significant debate within the community. Kelowna is the fourth least affordable housing market in Canada, currently maintaining the classification of "Severely Unaffordable".[45] Because of the Okanagan's climate and vineyard-filled scenery, it is often compared to Napa Valley, California.[46]

Kelowna's use as a film locale

The first state of the art soundstage and film studio in Kelowna was announced by Burnaby-owned Eagle Creek productions, with construction sometime in 2017.

Kelowna's use as a market trial location

Due to its moderate population, Kelowna is often used as a market trial area where national businesses and organizations can test a new product. Examples include:


Historical population
1901 261    
1911 1,661+536.4%
1921 2,520+51.7%
1931 4,655+84.7%
1941 5,118+9.9%
1951 8,517+66.4%
1956 9,181+7.8%
1961 13,188+43.6%
1966 17,006+29.0%
1971 19,412+14.1%
1976 51,955+167.6%
1981 59,196+13.9%
1986 61,213+3.4%
1991 75,950+24.1%
1996 89,442+17.8%
2001 96,288+7.7%
2006 106,707+10.8%
2011 117,312+9.9%
2016 127,380+8.6%

As Kelowna has one of the most rapidly growing populations in Canada, its population statistics generally become out-of-date quite rapidly. According to the Statistics Canada 2011 census,[51] the population estimates there were 117,312 people residing in Kelowna proper, and 147,739 people residing in the Greater Kelowna Area. 48.4% of residents were male and 51.6% were female. The predominant language spoken in Kelowna is English.[52] More recent population estimates (as of 2014) give the Greater Kelowna Area a population of just under 200,000.[53]

Children under five accounted for approximately 4.8% of the resident population of Kelowna. This compares with 5.2% in British Columbia, and 5.6% for Canada overall. In mid-2001, 18.4% of the resident population in Kelowna were of retirement age (65 and over for males and females) compared with 13.2% in Canada; the average age is 41.1 years of age, compared to an average age of 37.6 years in Canada.

In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of Kelowna grew by 7.7%, compared with an increase of 4.9% for British Columbia as a whole. Population density of Kelowna averaged 50.9 people per square kilometre, compared with Vancouver at 5,335 people per square kilometre, and with all of British Columbia with an average of 4.2 people/km2.

Visible minorities make up about 6.2% of the population of Kelowna. The largest group of visible minorities are, in order of size, South Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Southeast Asian, Filipino and other Asian, Black, Latin American, multiple/other, and Arab.[54]

In February 2016, Statistics Canada released their latest census, stating that Kelowna's population had grown by 8.4% from 2011 to 2016. The population of the city proper had risen to 127,380 while greater Kelowna had a 2016 population of 151,957. The Kelowna metropolitan area population in 2016 is now at 194,882 making it one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Canada.

Kelowna's population growth has been driven primarily by the movement of Canadians from BC and other provinces into this region, not by international immigration.[54] Only 15.1% of the population is foreign born.[54] On 10 February 2016, Statistics Canada declared the 3.1% Kelowna census metropolitan area growth rate as being the highest in Canada.[55]

Religious groups

Population% of total
Catholic 18,195 19.2
Protestant 38,215 40.3
Christian Orthodox 795 0.8
Christian, n.i.e. 5,735 6.1
Muslim 250 0.2
Jewish 215 0.2
Buddhist 505 0.5
Hindu 140 0.1
Sikh 855 0.9
Eastern religions 110 0.1
No religious affiliation 29,435 31.1
Total 94,760 100
Source: Statistics Canada 2001 Census[51]
Canada 2016 CensusPopulation% of total population
Visible minority group
South Asian3,2202.6%
Latin American7650.6%
Southeast Asian5350.4%
West Asian3450.3%
Other visible minority2350.2%
Mixed visible minority3800.3%
Total visible minority population11,7459.5%
Aboriginal group
First Nations4,4853.6%
Total Aboriginal Population 7,830 6.3%
White 104,560 84.2%
Total population124,135100%

Ethnic Chinese

Kelowna had a historic Chinatown in the area between Harvey Avenue and Leon Avenue, east of Abbott and west of Highway 97/Harvey Avenue.[58] Historically most residents of this Chinatown were males.[59] In 1909 15% of Kelowna's population was ethnic Chinese.[58] In 1911 the percentage was the same. That year Sun Yat-sen visited Kelowna for fundraising purposes.[60] In 1978 the final remaining traditional Chinese business ceased operations.[58] By 2010 less than 1% of Kelowna's population was ethnic Chinese.[60] A section of the façade of the rebuilt "Chinese Store" that was in Chinatown is now housed at the Kelowna Museum.[61]


Women make up nearly half of Kelowna’s homeless. In other Canadian cities, the overwhelming majority of homeless are males.[62]

On 12 May 2003, the Kelowna Homelessness Networking Group conducted a limited census, and enumerated 198 people: 54 individuals from the street and 144 individuals in shelters.[63]

On 24 February 2016, as part of the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy, the Central Okanagan Foundation conducted a coordinated Point-in-Time (PiT) Count of Kelowna's homeless population.[64] The survey found at least 233 people were homeless,[65] and another 273[66] were living in temporary housing.


Kelowna faces severe suburbanization and urban sprawl promoted by the popularity of low-density car-oriented developments. As of 2007, Kelowna has the highest car dependency rate in Canada and has the second highest per-capita road transportation carbon footprint in British Columbia.[67] Despite having a metro population of about 200,000,[68] the greater Kelowna area is slightly bigger than that of Metro Vancouver. Road transportation accounts for more than 65% of total greenhouse gas emission in the city.[69]

Roads and highways

The city is served by Highway 97 and Highway 33.[70]

Public transport

Kelowna Regional Transit System is operated by FirstGroup, providing public bus transportation services in Kelowna and its vicinity. Funding for the transit system is shared between the City of Kelowna, Central Okanagan Regional District, District of Lake Country and BC Transit.[71]

Air travel

Kelowna International Airport (IATA: YLW), north of the city core, is one of the busiest airports in Canada. There are regular flights to and from Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Cranbrook, Whitehorse, and Seattle, as well as seasonal service to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cuba and Mexico.

Local services

Emergency services are provided by the Kelowna General Hospital, the British Columbia Ambulance Service, Kelowna Fire Department, Central Okanagan Search and Rescue and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Venues and attractions

Culture and sport



Primary and secondary schools

Public schools in the Kelowna area are part of School District 23 Central Okanagan

The Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique operates one Francophone school: école de l'Anse-au-sable primary and secondary school.[73]

Private schools

Public libraries


In February 2009 an RCMP gang task unit was approved to help deal with gang violence.[75]

Most crime in Kelowna is non-violent property crime.[76] In 2012, Kelowna had the highest reported crime rate in Canada: 8,875 per 100,000.[77] Police focused on crime in 2014, and Kelowna moved into the number four position across the country.[78] In 2015, RCMP Supt. Nick Romanchuk stated, "I am absolutely convinced that as our drug enforcement numbers increase, our overall crime rate will decrease."[79] As of 2016, the crime rate had returned to second highest in Canada.[80] In 2017, the property crime in Kelowna rate went up six percent, once again the highest rate in Canada, while the drug crime rate fell two percent.[81]

In 2013, 446 victims of domestic violence were reported in Kelowna, earning the city the highest per-capita rate of domestic violence in British Columbia and the tenth-highest across Canada. This was a slight drop compared to 2011, when Kelowna reported the fourth-highest rate nationally and led the province in family violence.[82]

In 2014, Kelowna, there were 251 marijuana charges per 100,000 population, the highest per capita rate in Canada.[83]

In 2012, Kelowna had the highest crime rate of any metropolitan area in Canada, mainly because of its property crime.[84] This increase has, however, been attributed mainly to the actions of a relative few known, prolific offenders. Illicit Drug use is high in the region. Between 2012 and 2016, Kelowna lead the country in cannabis, cocaine, and heroin possession.[85] As of 2016, the crime rate has declined to second highest.[80] In 2017, Kelowna had the highest opioid overdose rate in Canada.[86]

Notable people







On November 4, 2015, The Canadian Institute of Planners announced winners of its fifth annual Great Places in Canada contest. A jury of seven professional planners named Stuart Park as the Great Public Space. "The jury was won over by the multiple strengths of the park — its everyday use, community focus, unique reflection of local character and natural environment, accessibility for multi-generational activities, and the significant role it already plays as a Great Space in Kelowna."[87]

Sister cities

Kelowna has "sister city" agreements with the following cities:[88]

See also


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  9. Ryan, Denise (26 May 2008). "Opening of William R. Bennett Bridge in Kelowna". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
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  13. Strachan, Brady, "It could be a lot colder: Kelowna historian remembers Okanagan Lake freezing over completely", CBC British Columbia, Retrieved on 2018-04-19.
  14. Archived 12 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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  16. Canadian wildfires force thousands to flee homes | Canada | Reuters. (19 July 2009). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  17. McElroy, Justin. "New wildfire east of Kelowna, B.C., forces more than 1,000 people from their homes". CBC British Columbia.
  18. "Kelowna's Official Flower: The Arrowleaf Balsamroot". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  19. "Canadian Climate Normals or Averages 1981-2010". Environment Canada. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  20. Kottek, M.; J. Grieser; C. Beck; B. Rudolf; F. Rubel (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated" (PDF). Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
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  34. Nichols, Trevor (9 August 2016). "The problem in Kelowna's 'red zone'". Retrieved 19 May 2017. It’s an area where many of the city’s most prolific criminal offenders hang out, and police constantly deal with drug trafficking, assaults and robberies there.
  35. Hayes, Kelly (8 June 2007). "Red Zone Working: Cops". castanet. Retrieved 19 May 2017. The red-zone extends from Lake Okanagan to the West, Lake Avenue, Rowcliffe to Ethel and Ethel to Stockwell, Doyle and back to the lake.
  36. McDonald, John (20 May 2016). "Red zone cleans up the streets but hinders recovery, addict says". Retrieved 7 July 2016. Reimer says he’s just an addict caught up in the spring sweep, an annual operation by police aimed at low-level street dealers and users where police make undercover buys and then arrest them.
  37. McDonald, John (20 May 2016). "City councillor wants to know if red zone really keeps criminals out of downtown Kelowna". Retrieved 19 May 2017. Hodge says his own research shows the red zone in Kelowna was put in place in 1992, the direct result of surging street crime in the downtown core and demands from downtown businesses to do something about it.
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  1. Extreme high and low temperatures were recorded near downtown Kelowna from March 1899 to September 1962, at Kelowna CDA from October 1962 to September 1968, at Kelowna International Airport from October 1968 to December 2013, and at University of British Columbia Okanagan from December 2013 to present.

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