The Execs and Cons of Residing in Kelowna, BC: A Native’s Information

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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 reside right here?

As Kelowna residents for practically a decade, we’ve referred to as Kelowna house 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.

Pros and Cons of Living in Kelowna, BC

From beautiful sunny days testing 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 house, we’ve skilled all of it.

Whereas residing within the Okanagan Valley has tons of positives, like several 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 around the globe now calling Kelowna house like us, let’s dive in and discover the professionals and cons of residing in Kelowna as we provide you with an area’s information to the town.

The Barefoot Nomad family walking in Kelowna with downtown in the background
Our household on a stroll with downtown Kelowna within the background

Execs of Residing in Kelowna

Pondering 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 wherever on the earth. With nature actually on most individuals’s doorsteps, it’s simple 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. In case you’re trying to transfer right here or simply enthusiastic about taking an prolonged work trip to the valley, there are many work alternatives plus tons of pleasant locals that will help you get located.

Not but satisfied? Listed here are a few of Kelowna’s greatest positives to assist make you contemplate making Kelowna your eternally house.

Pure Fantastic thing about the Okanagan

With its beautiful vistas of Okanagan Lake and the encircling mountains, Kelowna is a nature lover’s dream. From summer season days on the seaside to winter ski journeys at close by Huge 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 beautiful views of the close by hills, nature is a giant draw for anybody residing on this metropolis. Fact be instructed, there’s not too many areas within the 140K populated metro you can’t be away from folks after a couple of minutes drive. In case you’re sick of the crowds, there are tons of parks and native Kelowna hikes discovered all through this metropolis the place you may at the very least really feel such as you’re getting away from all of it.

View over Okanagan lake in Kelowna - natural beauty

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 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 house plus dozens of cideries, micro breweries and even small distilleries, you may go to a special place each day for a 12 months and by no means hit the identical place twice. That stated, we now have our personal native favorites and all the time benefit from the probability to take visiting family and friends to a brand new place when the chance knocks. We’ve learnt that in Kelowna, your favourite place may simply be down the road.

Terrace Restaurant and View Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
Kelowna’s beautiful Mission Hill Household Property Vineyard

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 reside performances, there’s all the time one thing occurring within the cultural district.

All year long, there are additionally dozens of festivals occurring round city and it’s uncommon to have a weekend go by in summer season with out one thing main occurring within the metropolis. Between Kelowna and close by Penticton, most giant musical acts that hit Vancouver will 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 simply a 3 hour drive away with loads of resorts to make your micro journey a enjoyable one.

Downtown Kelowna at Waterfront Park festival Great Okanagan Beer Fest

Shifting 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 trying to relocate right here. Whereas it didn’t make the record of finest locations for expats, it undoubtedly isn’t a foul place to grow to be 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 house. 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 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 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 simple 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 residing 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 simple to get out and meet new folks.

Entertainment at the GOBF Kelowna stage

Kelowna’s Gentle Local weather

In comparison with different elements of Canada, Kelowna has a comparatively delicate local weather and a few of the nicest general climate in Canada. In case you hate wind, it’s additionally one of many least windy main cities in Canada. Although it experiences all 4 seasons, you undoubtedly received’t should cope with the tough winters seen in different areas of Canada.

Lengthy scorching 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, in the event you desire, you may hike within the cool mornings after which bake on the seaside within the afternoon all summer season lengthy.

Cherry Picking in Kelowna at Arndt Orchards
Cherry Selecting in Kelowna at Arndt Orchards

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 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 could be minimize off from a few of the bigger facilities. Whereas that may be an enormous plus for some folks, others won’t like it.

On that observe, since we’ve already regarded 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 reside in. Housing costs have soared lately, 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 stated for many locations around the globe lately, it’s extra pronounced in Kelowna. Thought-about by many to be one of many costliest cities to reside in Canada, it means you may’t survive on this metropolis in the event you’re solely making minimal wage until you’re a giant group all chipping in for the month-to-month lease.

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 a few of the very points of interest that drew you to Kelowna within the first place.

This may be simply seen when visitors patterns over the course of the 12 months. 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 could be onerous to return by. Bonus to Kelowna is that parking downtown is simply round $1 an hour any time of the 12 months with loads of free parking outdoors of Monday 9 to five so there may be that shiny facet.

Kelowna City Park Hot Sands Beach
Sizzling Sands Seaside in Kelowna within the Summer time

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 nearly a necessity in the event 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 highschool every day by way of public transport buses, getting from one space of the town to a different could be robust in the event you’re not planning on going by downtown first.

Although Uber and Uride are actually accessible within the metropolis, each trip sharing platforms have been gradual to reach within the metropolis and are nonetheless missing so that you’ll typically have to order a cab throughout the busiest occasions of the day in the event you can’t discover a bus. You too can discover each ebike and scooter leases all through the town nonetheless these aren’t best 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 in the event you’re working in sectors like tourism. Whereas late spring, summer season and early fall could be busy, until you’re heading to Huge White for winter work, it is perhaps tougher to search out one thing that pays the payments. That stated, 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.

car in Kelowna in front of Okanagan lake

Kelowna’s Distance from Main Cities

Although it has lots 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 supplied 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 can be liable to loopy quantities of snow and even within the hotter months there are occasional rockslides to cope with. Both can severely hamper your capacity to get to your farther vacation spot simply or rapidly.

Driving through the Canadian Rockies from Kelowna to Calgary

Wildfires in Kelowna

Within the final decade, the dry, scorching summers include the next threat of wildfires, which could be a actual concern. Smoke from close by fires also can have an effect on air high quality throughout the summer season months and wreck 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 couple of years. We’ve gotten to some extent the place we now journey away extra typically in August simply because there’s a superb probability it is going to be smoky within the metropolis.


Residing in Kelowna affords a singular 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 price of residing and seasonal crowds. Whether or not or not Kelowna is best for you will depend upon what you’re on the lookout for in a house base.

That stated, we’ve cherished our time within the metropolis and each ourselves and our youngsters have made pals right here that can final our total lives. There’s no denying that this Canadian gem has lots to supply and if you will get previous it’ negatives, it’s nonetheless an awesome place to reside and work.


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