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 bought a bit too near our dwelling, we’ve skilled all of it.
Whereas residing within the Okanagan Valley has tons of positives, like all place on the earth 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 world wide now calling Kelowna dwelling like us, let’s dive in and discover the professionals and cons of residing in Kelowna as we provide you with a neighborhood’s information to town.
Professionals of Dwelling in Kelowna
Considering of transferring to Kelowna?
Kelowna has loads of positives. From a few of the nicest climate in Canada to a few of the nicest lakes and mountains discovered anyplace on the earth. With nature actually on most individuals’s doorsteps, it’s straightforward to get outdoors and benefit from the space’s pure magnificence.
Kelowna additionally has a vibrant arts scene plus a whole bunch of wineries, cideries and orchards that to us beat any of its Canadian equivalents. Should you’re seeking to transfer right here or simply fascinated by 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 below are a few of Kelowna’s greatest positives to assist make you take into account making Kelowna your endlessly dwelling.
Pure Fantastic thing about the Okanagan
With its gorgeous vistas of Okanagan Lake and the encompassing mountains, Kelowna is a nature lover’s dream. From summer season days on the seashore to winter ski journeys at close by Large White (a 30 minute drive), there’s no scarcity of outside actions right here.
Whether or not you’re staying on one the various hills on the town overlooking Okanagan Lake or staying within the valley with attractive views of the close by hills, nature is a giant draw for anybody residing on this metropolis. Reality be instructed, there’s not too many areas within the 140K populated metro which you could’t be away from individuals after a couple of minutes drive. Should you’re sick of the crowds, there are tons of parks and local Kelowna hikes discovered all through this metropolis the place you may no less than really feel such as you’re getting away from all of it.
Kelowna’s Wine Nation
Identified for its award-winning vineyards, Kelowna is the right spot for wine aficionados. The local weather and soil mix to supply top-notch grapes. Spend your weekends touring native wineries, and don’t overlook the wine festivals!
With over 300 wineries calling the Okanagan Valley dwelling plus dozens of cideries, micro breweries and even small distilleries, you possibly can go to a unique place on daily basis for a yr and by no means hit the identical place twice. That mentioned, we now have 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 season with out one thing main taking place within the metropolis. Between Kelowna and close by Penticton, most massive musical acts that hit Vancouver may also 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 barely a 3 hour drive away with loads of lodges 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 firms, there’s a variety of choices for these seeking to relocate right here. Whereas it didn’t make the checklist of best places for expats, it positively isn’t a foul place to change 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 firms who’ve chosen to name Kelowna dwelling. Whereas seasonal work brings in individuals from world wide, Kelowna additionally grew its fame as a pleasant retirement heart for these in Canada who opted to stay round fairly than head south within the winters. That unique assortment of younger hospitality employees who helped put Kelowna on the map caring for the retirees have now grown up and 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. Group occasions, farmer’s markets, and neighborhood gatherings make it straightforward to fulfill individuals and really feel a part of the group. It appears there’s all the time something to do in Kelowna.
Because the overwhelming majority of individuals now residing in Kelowna have moved right here from different areas 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 individuals.
Kelowna’s Delicate Local weather
In comparison with different components of Canada, Kelowna has a comparatively delicate local weather and a few of the nicest general climate in Canada. Should 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 must take care of the tough winters seen in different areas of Canada.
Lengthy sizzling summers, delicate winters (compared to most different Canadian Cities) and loads of good days in between means extra alternatives to get out and discover the area. The perfect half is that with the mountains so shut, there are tons of small micro climates you may expertise relying in your location and elevation. It signifies that in spring you may ski within the morning and golf within the afternoon. Or, should you choose, you may hike within the cool mornings after which bake on the seashore within the afternoon all summer season lengthy.
Cons of Dwelling in Kelowna
Whereas it all the time hurts to gripe about issues your metropolis is missing, the reality is that no metropolis on the earth is ideal on all fronts. Excessive residing 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 common traveler will discover that Kelowna might be reduce off from a few of the bigger facilities. Whereas that may be an enormous plus for some individuals, others may not like it.
On that notice, since we’ve already appeared into a few of Kelowna’s execs, let’s now dive into a few of Kelowna’s cons.
Price of Dwelling 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 gasoline will also be excessive. Be ready for a little bit of sticker shock.
Whereas this may be mentioned for many locations world wide today, it’s extra pronounced in Kelowna. Thought-about by many to be one of many most expensive cities to live in Canada, it means you may’t survive on this metropolis should you’re solely making minimal wage except 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 could result in congestion, making it exhausting to take pleasure in a few of the very sights that drew you to Kelowna within the first place.
This may be simply seen when taking a look at visitors patterns over the course of the yr. In summer season, 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 might be exhausting to return by. Bonus to Kelowna is that parking downtown is barely round $1 an hour any time of the yr with loads of free parking outdoors of Monday 9 to five so there’s that shiny 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 automobile is nearly a necessity should you plan on getting round with out problem. Whereas loads of College of BC college students in addition to Okanagan Faculty college students get to high school day by day through public transport buses, getting from one space of town to a different might be powerful should you’re not planning on going by means of downtown first.
Although Uber and Uride are actually out there 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 in the course of the busiest occasions of the day should you can’t discover a bus. It’s also possible to discover each ebike and scooter leases all through town nonetheless these aren’t superb 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 is usually a concern should you’re working in sectors like tourism. Whereas late spring, summer season and early fall might be busy, except you’re heading to Large White for winter work, it is likely to be more durable 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, a good assortment of huge shops, a big shopping center, a nicely 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 are vulnerable to loopy quantities of snow and even within the hotter months there are occasional rockslides to deal with. Both can severely hamper your potential to get to your farther vacation spot simply or rapidly.
Wildfires in Kelowna
Within the final decade, the dry, sizzling summers include the next danger of wildfires, which is usually a actual concern. Smoke from close by fires also can have an effect on air high quality in the course of the summer season months and damage an in any other case good summer season day within the metropolis.
Whereas July and August have all the time been Kelowna’s finest months by way of 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 have been as soon as idyllic summer season days into an unknown amount these previous few years. We’ve gotten to some extent the place we now journey away extra usually in August simply because there’s likelihood it is going to be smoky within the metropolis.
Dwelling in Kelowna provides a singular mix of pure magnificence, a rising job market, and a vibrant group. Nevertheless, it does include its personal set of challenges, just like the excessive price of residing and seasonal crowds. Whether or not or not Kelowna is best for you will depend upon what you’re searching for in a house base.
That mentioned, we’ve liked our time within the metropolis and each ourselves and our kids have made buddies right here that may final our complete 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.