Summerland, British Columbia
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|District of Summerland|
|Nickname(s): Town of Festivals|
|• Mayor||Janice Perrino|
|• Total||73.88 km2 (28.53 sq mi)|
|Elevation||454 m (1,490 ft)|
|• Density||150/km2 (400/sq mi)|
|Sources: Statistics Canada|
Summerland (2011 population 11,280) is a town on the west side of Okanagan Lake in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. The district is between Peachland to the north and Penticton to the south. The largest centre in the region is Kelowna, approximately 50 km to the north (via Highway 97), and Vancouver is approximately 425 km (264 mi) away to the west. Summerland is largely a retirement community, with a large percent of the population being elderly. The district is famous for "Bottleneck drive", a system of roads connecting a large number of wineries.
In 2006, the District of Summerland celebrated its centennial as an incorporated municipality in 1906, yet the history of settlement in the Summerland area extends beyond that time. Summerland's first inhabitants were the Okanagan Salish with the Nation's boundaries extending from Kamloops to southern Washington State. The area known as "Nicola Prairie" was notably named after the Grand Chief Nicola.
A published map of the Okanagan Valley in 1827 includes only three sites for the entire Okanagan Valley; Nicola Prairie; Lone Tree (north end of Summerland); and Sandy Cove (across the lake from present day Kelowna). Summerland's proud and diverse past includes hunting and fur trading, ranching, orchards and fruit industries, transportation hubs and more recently, tourism. Immigration to the Summerland area commenced in the late 1880s when the first settlers arrived and began diverting water to irrigate orchards. The first commercial orchard was planted in the 1890s in Trout Creek, where a water license was issued to irrigate 1,000 acres.
The first settlement identified on maps of the Okanagan Valley was Priest Encampment located on the shores of Garnett Lake. Later development began on the shores of Okanagan Lake. The upper benches continued to be an important transportation route and a number of small communities were constructed or were planned for development. They included Upper Trout Creek, Balcomo, the Prairie Valley Townsite, Mineola and Appledale. In 1892 Upper Trout Creek was established.
Summerland's former name was Trout Creek. In the 1890s George Barclay operated the largest cattle ranch in Trout Creek. In 1902 Sir Thomas Shaughnessy bought the Barclay Ranch and formed Summerland; incorporation was not completed until 1906. By the 1920s the present location of downtown Summerland was developed and the earlier areas on the upper benches were not utilized or forgotten. Downtown Summerland (Siwash Flat) was originally part of the Penticton Indian Reserve No. 3 (exchanged between 1904-06 following a mutually agreeable land deal). The subject lands eventually became known as West Summerland.
Present day Lower Town was the original town site of Summerland. In the early 1900s the Summerland Development Company with Sir Thomas Shaughnessy (President) and J.M. Robinson (Manager) primarily responsible for the initial decisions on its development. From the Company, the community received water, septic tanks, electricity, a post office, a school and a sawmill. Settlers from across the prairies, eastern Canada and England were drawn to the Summerland area.
By 1907, Summerland had access to Peachland and Penticton with a well-established road system, and a ferry service connecting the community with the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake (Naramata). West Summerland (present day Downtown Summerland) experienced increased importance also in part due to a 1922 fire which destroyed many of the lakeside buildings in Lower Town.
Summerland has few non-minor sports teams. The Summerland Steam is the most popular of Summerland's sports team. Minor Ice hockey side Summerland Jets are a serious hit in the town, as well as the minor baseball team, the Grays.
Summerland is located within the Thompson-Okanagan Plateau ecoregion. This is one of the warmest and driest ecoregions in Canada. It is characterized by rolling plateaus and major valley systems of the Okanagan, Thompson and Nicola rivers. The mean annual temperature of the major valleys is approximately 10°C with a summer mean of 21°C and a winter mean of -3.5°C; however, winter months are often very temperate and cold weather usually lasts no more than a few weeks, while summer months often see drought with high daytime and cool nighttime temperatures. In the summer of 2003, a severe drought nearly rendered the town's reservoir incapable of ensuring a water supply through to the beginning of the next annual replenishment cycle. Since then, awareness of the real need for water conservation measures has begun to be taken seriously, and permanent water use restrictions are now in place.
The immediate ecosystem consists of grasslands in a matrix of bluebunch wheat grass and sagebrush amongst scattered Ponderosa pines. The region has a gently rolling surface covered mainly by glacial deposits. Summerland is home to an extinct volcano, known locally as Giant's Head Mountain - so-named for its gigantic facial profile as viewed from the southeast. This "hill" dominates the town's land features and provides an hour's hike to the top for an expansive view up and down the Okanagan Valley.
The range of representative wildlife around Summerland includes mule deer, Canada geese, California quail, ravens, coyotes, blue grouse, bald eagles, and black widow spiders. Back into the hills surrounding Summerland is natural habitat for black bear, white-tailed deer, moose, cougars and bobcats, California big-horn sheep, mountain goats, and rattlesnakes.
|Canada 2006 Census||Population||% of Total Population|
|Visible minority group
|Other visible minority||10||0.1%|
|Mixed visible minority||0||0%|
|Total visible minority population||375||3.5%|
|Total Aboriginal population||290||2.7%|
Summerland's public school system is operated by School District 67 Okanagan Skaha which operates two elementary schools (Giants Head and Trout Creek), one middle school (Summerland Middle), and one secondary school (Summerland Secondary). Summerland has one private school (a Montessori school), after The Glenfir School shut down in March 2011.
Summerland is popular because of its idyllic situation on Okanagan Lake and sandy beaches, a playground for three major Canadian population centres (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton). Both tourism and tourist attractions were once a major industry, but are quickly disappearing under pressure from residential subdivision developers. Agriculture, featuring fresh tree fruits (peaches, cherries, apples and pears), and canneries, were the economic engine of the region until the late 20th Century, when focus shifted away from tree fruits and over to grape production in support of the wine industry. Now, Summerland finds itself home to several world renowned wineries, and despite being in an arid desert climate, has several golf courses. Summerland is also home to the historic Kettle Valley Steam Railway.
|Climate data for Summerland|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.5
|Average high °C (°F)||0.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−30.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||29.7
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||47.0||89.8||157.1||203.9||248.4||262.8||311.6||281.4||219.4||155.3||64.6||43.8||2,085|
|Source: Environment Canada|
- "Historical Municipal Census Data: 1921–2011". BC Stats. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- "Official Community Plan".
- "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision". 2.statcan.gc.ca. 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- "Aboriginal Peoples - Data table". 2.statcan.ca. 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- Kidd, Steve. "Final Bell Sounds for Summerland's Glenfir School". Penticton Western. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Environment Canada—Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000, accessed 24 July 2012
- "Washington's 'Sister' Relationships". Lieutenant Governor of Washington. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- "Toyokoro – Our Sister City". District of Summerland. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- The District of Summerland
- Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism
- The Summerland Review
- The Kettle Valley Steam Railway
- Environment Canada Ecosystem information