History of Kelowna

The History of Kelowna starts in 1859 with Father Pandosy. Kelowna is located on Okanagan Lake which is 90 miles long. Kelowna is surrounded by mountains and has some of the best weather conditions in Canada. There are long days of sunshine and very few days of precipitation.


 is situated in a valley with many green parks, golf courses and orchards. The population of the Central Okanagan as of 2016 was 197,287 and in the city of Kelowna was approximately 127.4000.

1859: Father Pandosy started settlement with one of the first missions. It can still be viewed today at the Mission Heritage Park on Benvoulin Road.

1905: Kelowna incorporated with a population of 600 people.

1925: Railway lines were brought in to aid transportation.

1945-1946: Housing was offered to veterans returning from World War II through the War Veteran’s Resettlement Committee.

1958: Canada’s first floating bridge was opened by WAC Bennett and Princess Margaret connecting Kelowna to the Westside. The bridge is 7/8 of a mile long.The lift span is 265 feet long and can be raised to provide 60 feet of vertical clearance. The Kelowna population increased to 10,000 after the bridge opened.

1960: The airport was opened with local flights and is continually expanding. In 2005 over 1 million passengers passed through the airport.

2005: Direct flights to Toronto and Montreal and international flights to Seattle were introduced.

2005: UBC opened the North Campus with university programs.

2008: A new bridge is built between Kelowna and West Kelowna. It has eliminated the need for the old bridge to stop traffic for sail boats passing underneath and helps with traffic flow
The population as of 2013 is 125,000 and increasing daily because Kelowna is a great place to to raise a family or to retire.
2011: Direct flights to Germany introduced


  1. A first class museum
  2. A live professional theatre
  3. Okanagan Symphony Orchestra OSO
  4. A new art gallery
  5. Facilities for sporting events and conventions
  6. H20 Kelowna 50 meter pool
  7. Kelowna airport with direct flights to Montreal & Toronto, international flights to USA, Mexico,and Europe.
  8. Okanagan College OCC
  9. University of British Columbia Okanagan UBCO
  10. Wine industry
  11. Kelowna General Hospital
  12. Cancer clinic
  13. 78,500 acres of farm land