Okanagan Valley Communities
Okanagan Valley is a picturesque community situated at the banks of Okanagan Lake. The climate in the Okanagan Valley is very similar to that found in Southern British Columbia. Although located in the coastal region, the area is relatively drier compared to other parts of British Columbia. The valley is also home to Canada’s only desert – the Okanagan Desert. Summers are very hot; winters are moderately cold. The Okanagan Valley is made up of 14 municipalities and has a permanent population of around 297,601. Of these, the cities of Kelowna, Keremeos, Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton, Summerland and Vernon make for excellent places to reside. The Valley is home to four Indian reserves – the Okanagan Indian Band, the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Westbank First Nation and the Penticton Indian Band. In fact, Penticton was the first city in the Okanagan Valley to be officially settled in the year 1865. Since then, the rest of the region has been settled, and the Valley has become a thriving community of commerce and art.
Given its natural beauty and accessibility to nature, the primary source of recreation in the Okanagan Valley is fishing in Okanagan Lake. The region has over 30 beaches, including Hot Sands Beach, Sarsons Beach and Boyce-Gyro Beach. Residents can indulge in swimming, surfing and beach games/sports as well. There are numerous parks in each of the municipalities of the Valley. Many of them, like the North Glenmore Dog Park and Knox Mountain Park, is pet-friendly. You can take your little ones and your fur babies out for an adventure. Residents looking for a night out can visit some of Okanagan Valley’s best theatres, like Landmark Cinemas 7, Oliver Theater and Galaxy Cinemas Vernon, amongst others. Movies in various languages are screened here.
If your little ones are starting pre-school, there are many centers, like the Little Owl Academy and Luna Park Preschool Centre, where you can send your children. The Watson Road Elementary School in Kelowna, Peachland Elementary School in Peachland and Oyama Traditional School in Lake County are a few great schools to consider for older children. For higher education, there are many colleges, like the UBC Okanagan, the Sprott Shaw College and the Okanagan College, amongst others, which offer excellent courses in STEM, business and humanities.
The South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver, the Penticton Regional Hospital in Penticton, the Vernon Jubilee Hospital in Vernon and the Okanagan Health Surgical Centre in Kelowna are excellent facilities.