Ah, Kelowna! Nestled in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, this slice of Canadian paradise is greater than only a vacation vacation spot. However what’s it like to truly stay right here?
As Kelowna residents for almost a decade, we’ve known as Kelowna dwelling for some time now. Whereas it appears we’re nonetheless discovering new issues on a regular basis, we’ve had the possibility to expertise each the highs and the lows that this metropolis has to supply.
From attractive sunny days trying out vineyards within the morning and paddle boarding on the lake within the afternoon to getting ready a final minute go bag because the close by wildfires obtained a bit too near our dwelling, we’ve skilled all of it.
Whereas dwelling within the Okanagan Valley has tons of positives, like several place on the planet it additionally has a couple of negatives. So, whether or not you’re one of many few true locals who was born right here or one of many many nomads from around the globe now calling Kelowna dwelling like us, let’s dive in and discover the professionals and cons of dwelling in Kelowna as we provide you with a neighborhood’s information to the town.
Execs of Residing in Kelowna
Considering of shifting to Kelowna?
Kelowna has loads of positives. From among the nicest climate in Canada to among the nicest lakes and mountains discovered wherever on the planet. With nature actually on most individuals’s doorsteps, it’s straightforward to get exterior and benefit from the space’s pure magnificence.
Kelowna additionally has a vibrant arts scene plus lots of of wineries, cideries and orchards that to us beat any of its Canadian equivalents. In the event you’re trying to transfer right here or simply serious about taking an prolonged work trip to the valley, there are many work alternatives plus tons of pleasant locals that can assist you get located.
Not but satisfied? Listed here are a few of Kelowna’s largest positives to assist make you think about making Kelowna your perpetually dwelling.
Pure Great thing about the Okanagan
With its gorgeous vistas of Okanagan Lake and the encompassing mountains, Kelowna is a nature lover’s dream. From summer time days on the seaside to winter ski journeys at close by Massive White (a 30 minute drive), there’s no scarcity of out of doors actions right here.
Whether or not you’re staying on one the numerous hills on the town overlooking Okanagan Lake or staying within the valley with attractive views of the close by hills, nature is an enormous draw for anybody dwelling on this metropolis. Fact be instructed, there’s not too many areas within the 140K populated metro which you could’t be away from folks after a couple of minutes drive. In the event you’re sick of the crowds, there are tons of parks and native Kelowna hikes discovered all through this metropolis the place you possibly can no less than really feel such as you’re getting away from all of it.
Kelowna’s Wine Nation
Recognized for its award-winning vineyards, Kelowna is the right spot for wine aficionados. The local weather and soil mix to provide top-notch grapes. Spend your weekends touring native wineries, and don’t neglect the wine festivals!
With over 300 wineries calling the Okanagan Valley dwelling plus dozens of cideries, micro breweries and even small distilleries, you may go to a distinct place every single day for a 12 months and by no means hit the identical place twice. That mentioned, we have now our personal native favorites and all the time benefit from the likelihood to take visiting family and friends to a brand new place when the chance knocks. We’ve learnt that in Kelowna, your favourite place would possibly simply be down the road.
Kelowna’s Vibrant Arts and Musical Scene
Kelowna is a hub for tradition, providing artwork galleries, theaters, and even a symphony. Whether or not you’re into visible arts or stay performances, there’s all the time one thing taking place within the cultural district.
All year long, there are additionally dozens of festivals taking place round city and it’s uncommon to have a weekend go by in summer time with out one thing main taking place within the metropolis. Between Kelowna and close by Penticton, most massive musical acts that hit Vancouver can even cease on the town to carry out as they head east. If an act or present doesn’t make it to the valley, Vancouver is just a 3 hour drive away with loads of resorts to make your micro journey a enjoyable one.
Transferring to Kelowna? The Rising Job Market
With its booming tech trade and tourism sector, employment alternatives are on the rise in Kelowna. From startups to established corporations, there’s a variety of choices for these trying to relocate right here. Whereas it didn’t make the record of greatest locations for expats, it positively isn’t a foul place to turn into an expat in Canada.
Nicknamed the little Silicon Valley of the North, Kelowna is well-known for each its small startups in addition to large tech corporations who’ve chosen to name Kelowna dwelling. Whereas seasonal work brings in folks from around the globe, Kelowna additionally grew its fame as a pleasant retirement heart for these in Canada who opted to stay round slightly than head south within the winters. That unique assortment of younger hospitality staff who helped put Kelowna on the map taking good care of the retirees have now grown up and the town is booming on all fronts.
Pleasant Communities in Kelowna
One factor you’ll discover is the nice and cozy and welcoming ambiance in Kelowna. Neighborhood occasions, farmer’s markets, and neighborhood gatherings make it straightforward to fulfill folks and really feel a part of the group. It appears there’s all the time one thing to do in Kelowna.
Because the overwhelming majority of individuals now dwelling in Kelowna have moved right here from different places in Canada and overseas, there’s a welcoming feeling to the rising metropolis. With an enormous tourism trade, loads of nature to discover and nice climate, it’s straightforward to get out and meet new folks.
Kelowna’s Delicate Local weather
In comparison with different components of Canada, Kelowna has a comparatively gentle local weather and among the nicest total climate in Canada. In the event you hate wind, it’s additionally one of many least windy main cities in Canada. Although it experiences all 4 seasons, you positively gained’t should take care of the tough winters seen in different areas of Canada.
Lengthy scorching summers, gentle winters (compared to most different Canadian Cities) and loads of good days in between means extra alternatives to get out and discover the area. One of the best half is that with the mountains so shut, there are tons of small micro climates you possibly can expertise relying in your location and elevation. It signifies that in spring you possibly can ski within the morning and golf within the afternoon. Or, for those who want, you possibly can hike within the cool mornings after which bake on the seaside within the afternoon all summer time lengthy.
Cons of Residing in Kelowna
Whereas it all the time hurts to gripe about issues your metropolis is missing, the reality is that no metropolis on the planet is ideal on all fronts. Excessive dwelling prices, extreme tourism and Kelowna’s semi distant location (3.5 hours from Vancouver and 6 hours from Calgary) signifies that whereas issues are comparatively shut in Canadian requirements, the typical traveler will discover that Kelowna could be reduce off from among the bigger facilities. Whereas that may be an enormous plus for some folks, others may not like it.
On that notice, since we’ve already seemed into a few of Kelowna’s professionals, let’s now dive into a few of Kelowna’s cons.
Price of Residing in Kelowna
The reality of the matter is that Kelowna isn’t low-cost to stay in. Housing costs have soared in recent times, and day-to-day bills like groceries and fuel can be excessive. Be ready for a little bit of sticker shock.
Whereas this may be mentioned for many locations around the globe today, it’s extra pronounced in Kelowna. Thought-about by many to be one of many most costly cities to stay in Canada, it means you possibly can’t survive on this metropolis for those who’re solely making minimal wage until you’re a massive group all chipping in for the month-to-month hire.
Vacationer Crowds in Kelowna
Whereas tourism boosts the financial system, it additionally means crowds, particularly in the summertime. This may result in congestion, making it onerous to get pleasure from among the very sights that drew you to Kelowna within the first place.
This may be simply seen when site visitors patterns over the course of the 12 months. In summer time, by far the busiest vacationer season in Kelowna, any journey round city can simply be doubled and parking downtown or by one of many many seashores could be onerous to come back by. Bonus to Kelowna is that parking downtown is just round $1 an hour any time of the 12 months with loads of free parking exterior of Monday 9 to five so there may be that vivid aspect.
Kelowna’s Restricted Public Transport
Public transport choices are restricted in Kelowna, particularly in comparison with bigger cities within the nation. Proudly owning a automotive is sort of a necessity for those who plan on getting round with out trouble. Whereas loads of College of BC college students in addition to Okanagan Faculty college students get to high school every day by way of public transport buses, getting from one space of the town to a different could be powerful for those who’re not planning on going by downtown first.
Although Uber and Uride are actually accessible within the metropolis, each experience sharing platforms have been gradual to reach within the metropolis and are nonetheless missing so that you’ll usually have to order a cab through the busiest occasions of the day for those who can’t discover a bus. You too can discover each ebike and scooter leases all through the town nonetheless these aren’t excellent within the cooler winter months.
Seasonal Employment in Kelowna
Whereas there are many job alternatives, some industries in Kelowna are extremely seasonal. This implies job safety could be a concern for those who’re working in sectors like tourism. Whereas late spring, summer time and early fall could be busy, until you’re heading to Massive White for winter work, it is perhaps tougher to search out one thing that pays the payments. That mentioned, anybody working within the trades or for minimal wage ought to have zero issues discovering one thing as jobs in these areas are all the time in demand right here.
Kelowna’s Distance from Main Cities
Although it has a lot to supply together with a world airport, an honest assortment of enormous shops, a big shopping center, a effectively ranked hockey group within the WHL, plus a thriving artwork scene, Kelowna is considerably remoted from main cities like Vancouver or Calgary.
The drive to Vancouver takes round 3.5 hours and Calgary is pushing 6.5 hours offered the highways are open and clear. That’s one thing that isn’t all the time the case within the winter as each instructions take you over a few of Canada’s highest routes which might be susceptible to loopy quantities of snow and even within the hotter months there are occasional rockslides to take care of. Both can severely hamper your skill to get to your farther vacation spot simply or rapidly.
Wildfires in Kelowna
Within the final decade, the dry, scorching summers include the next danger of wildfires, which could be a actual concern. Smoke from close by fires can even have an effect on air high quality through the summer time months and destroy an in any other case good summer time day within the metropolis.
Whereas July and August have all the time been Kelowna’s greatest months when it comes to climate (with the highs within the decrease 30’s each single day and never a cloud in sight), the altering local weather panorama has made what had been as soon as idyllic summer time days into an unknown amount these previous few years. We’ve gotten to a degree the place we now journey away extra usually in August simply because there’s likelihood it will likely be smoky within the metropolis.
Residing in Kelowna presents a novel mix of pure magnificence, a rising job market, and a vibrant group. Nonetheless, it does include its personal set of challenges, just like the excessive value of dwelling and seasonal crowds. Whether or not or not Kelowna is best for you will rely on what you’re on the lookout for in a house base.
That mentioned, we’ve beloved our time within the metropolis and each ourselves and our kids have made pals right here that can final our whole lives. There’s no denying that this Canadian gem has a lot to supply and if you will get previous it’ negatives, it’s nonetheless an ideal place to stay and work.