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Kelowna, Land of Orchards

Whilst Leigh has been reading the latest gossip in the National Enquirer of all things, and the kids are at school, I started reading about the history of the area we are in, with it’s 100th birthday this year. Thought I’d put some more of it on here.

In the begining….

Kelowna, meaning “Grizzly Bear” in the language of the Interior Salish people of the area, was incorporated in 1905, just 13 years after being surveyed and named by Leon Lequime, but in it’s 100 years has grown to be the largest city in the interior British Columbia.

At the time of incorporation, the not only was the city on the brink of a mew and major economic changes, but the entire Okanagan Valley was in the process of shifting from cattle ranching and grain growing to orcharding. Large, expensive irrigation systems were laid out across the benchlands and valley bottoms helping turn the brown, arid, and desert like landscape to a lush green.

Land of Orchards!

Through the First World War, and into 20’s and 30’s the orchards continued their expansion, and accompanying this growth was an equaly impressive expansion of packinghouses, canneries, box factories and cold storage builidings. In the 1920’s a new rail system cnnected Kelowna to the C.P.R mainline, folowed in the 1930’s by new fruit tree marketing systems being put into place. ALl these developments secured Kelowna’s place as the “Orchard City”.

In the 40’s and 50’s the development of tourism was supported by new highways and with the consruction of the Okanagan Floating Bridge, in 1958, the city became ever more conected.

The city received the welcome atentions of both the federal and provincial government programs, in the 60’s and 70’s, enabling further speed in the industrial area’s growth.

In less than a decade tens of millions of dollars had been invested in manufacturing, and with that expansion came people resulting in the residential population growth in surrounding areas.

The city has continued to grow and diversify, as well as strengthening it’s cultural, sporting and leisure services as it ensures residents enjoy a lifestyle not found elsewhere in Canada.

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