Kelowna, British Columbia has a population of 194,882 and is the third largest metropolitan area in the province. It is the twenty-second largest city in Canada and the largest city in British Columbia that is located inland.
In the early day’s the Hudson’s Bay Company established a small trading post around 1861 and in 1871 a grain mill was set up. The town site was laid out in 1892 and the name Kelowna was chosen.
Kelowna is the Okanagan First Nation word for “grizzly bear”. Legend says a group of Okanagan First Nation once stumbled across a fur-clad, whiskered settler emerging from his underground home. The hunters saw him as a “Kim-ach-Touch” or brown bear. The story quickly passed through the community and in 1892 town planners, looking for a name for the settlement, decided on “Kelowna”.
At incorporation the population was six hundred and the town was made up of eleven sawmills, three fruit packing plants, and two canneries. By 1910 Kelowna was gaining fame as “The Orchard City”. In 1925 the Canadian National Railway arrived.
Today Kelowna is the main marketing, distribution, and health care center of the central Okanagan Valley. The city contains many orchards, vineyards, and award winning wineries. Other sectors of the economy are forestry, light manufacturing, tourism, and more recently the tech industry has began to grow.
With many beaches along Okanagan Lake, the sunny warm climate, and safe harbors for hundreds of boat owners, the city is a popular tourist center in the summer. The winter also brings in many tourists to the areas fantastic ski hills.
Until next time …