Summerland, British Columbia
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|The Corporation of the District of Summerland|
Town of Festivals
|• Mayor||Doug Holmes|
|• Total||74.08 km2 (28.60 sq mi)|
|• Population Centre||11.69 km2 (4.51 sq mi)|
|Elevation||454 m (1,490 ft)|
|• Density||156.8/km2 (406/sq mi)|
|• Population Centre||8,742|
|• Population Centre density||748.1/km2 (1,938/sq mi)|
|Sources: Statistics Canada|
Summerland (2016 population 11,615) 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 (31 mi) to the north (via Highway 97), and Vancouver is approximately 425 km (264 mi) away to the west. The district is famous for "Bottleneck drive", a system of roads connecting various wineries.
The current Mayor is Toni Boot. The district's (2016 federal) Member of Parliament is Dan Albas of the Conservative Party of Canada. Its member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is British Columbia Liberal Party member, Dan Ashton.
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 Syilx (Okanagan Salish), with the First Nations 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 (4.0 km2).
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.
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Summerland had a population of 12,042 living in 5,084 of its 5,426 total private dwellings, a change of 3.7% from its 2016 population of 11,615. With a land area of 74.04 km2 (28.59 sq mi), it had a population density of 162.6/km2 (421.2/sq mi) in 2021.
|Canada 2016 Census||Population||% of total population|
|Visible minority group
|Mixed visible minority||10||0.1%|
|Total visible minority population||435||3.9%|
|Total Indigenous population||735||6.6%|
- Irreligion (6,680 persons or 57.1%)
- Christianity (4,760 persons or 40.7%)
- Sikhism (125 persons or 1.1%)
- Buddhism (40 persons or 0.3%)
- Hinduism (40 persons or 0.3%)
- Judaism (10 persons or 0.1%)
- Other (50 persons or 0.4%)
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 School. Summerland has two private schools (a Montessori school) and Unisus, a day and full-time boarding school with students from the local Okanagan area and from countries around the world.
Summerland is popular because of its situation on Okanagan Lake and sandy beaches, a destination for three major Canadian population centres (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton). Both tourism and tourist attractions are a significant industry. Agriculture, featuring fresh tree fruits (peaches, cherries, apricots, apples and pears), and canneries, were the economic engine of the region until the late 20th century. Stone fruit and apples are now produced mainly for the fresh market (local and export). Over the past 20 years, Summerland has become home to several world-renowned wineries, and despite being in a semi-arid climate, has several golf courses. Summerland is also home to the historic Kettle Valley Steam Railway. The railway takes tourists on a trip around the Dale Meadows region of Summerland and further, eventually ending at the famous Trout Creek Trestle. Tourism Summerland guides visitors to Summerland attractions and events.
Summerland is home to one of Canada's largest wine industries. Many of Summerland's wineries are connected by the famed 'Bottleneck Drive.' Famed wineries include Giant Head, Thornhaven, Dirty Laundry, Sleeping Giant, SummerGate, Sumac Ridge, Heaven's Gate, SilkScarf, 8th Generation and Estate Thurn.
Summerland is the home of the Summerland Steam of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. The town also used to be the home of the Summerland Sting (2001–2009), and the Summerland Warriors (1999–2000), both of whom played in the same league. Previously the Summerland Buckaroos played in the British Columbia Hockey League from 1983–1988. Summerland is also home to the Summerland Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) known as the Summerland Jets.
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. 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 wheatgrass 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, red wolves (half coyote, half wolf), blue grouse, bald eagles, and black widow spiders. The hills surrounding Summerland is the natural habitat for black bear, white-tailed deer, moose, cougars and bobcats, California big-horn sheep, mountain goats, and rattlesnakes.
Summerland has a humid continental climate with hot, dry summers and cool winters. The mean annual temperature of the major valleys is approximately 10 °C (50 °F) with a summer mean of 21 °C (70 °F) and a winter mean of −3.5 °C (25.7 °F); 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 night time temperatures. Late fall and most of the winter see very little sunshine in Summerland, but Summerland gets more days with sunshine during the spring than any other place in Canada. The sun makes an appearance on average of 88.4 days each spring.
Because Summerland is located up on a natural bench, it stays relatively warm at night. By comparison, Penticton experiences colder nights as the cool air sinks down into the valley below. These warm nights in a dry climate means that Summerland has the lowest morning relative humidity in Canada from May through September.
|Climate data for Summerland|
|Record high °C (°F)||15.5
|Average high °C (°F)||1.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−4.1
|Record low °C (°F)||−30.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||25.6
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||10.2
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||16.1
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||10.3||9.3||9.1||11.2||11.5||11.2||9.7||8.6||5.9||7.3||12.6||12.1||118.8|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||5.1||6.3||8.6||11.2||11.5||11.2||9.7||8.6||5.9||7.2||10.8||4.6||100.8|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||5.8||3.3||0.9||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.1||2.5||8.1||20.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||40.8||93.9||160.0||195.2||248.1||256.3||302.2||283.2||223.2||148.9||64.2||42.0||2,057.9|
|Percent possible sunshine||15.2||33.1||43.5||47.4||52.2||52.7||61.6||63.3||58.8||44.4||23.4||16.5||42.7|
- George Ryga – playwright and novelist
- Nicole Dunsdon – Miss Canada 1992
- Cynthia Kereluk – Miss Canada 1984
- Justin Kripps – Bobsleigh
- Kristi Richards – Freestyle skier
- Dan O'Rourke – National Hockey League (NHL) referee
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- "Census Profile, 2016 Census Summerland, District municipality [Census subdivision], British Columbia and Okanagan-Similkameen, Regional district [Census division], British Columbia". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
- "Census Profile, 2016 Census Summerland [Population centre], British Columbia and British Columbia [Province]". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
- "Historical Municipal Census Data: 1921–2011". BC Stats. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "Official Community Plan".
- "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), British Columbia". Statistics Canada. 9 February 2022. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
- Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (26 October 2022). "Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
- Kidd, Steve. "Final Bell Sounds for Summerland's Glenfir School". Penticton Western. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Tourism Summerland
- "Environment Canada Climate Normals". Environment Canada. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- Canada, Environment and Climate Change (31 October 2011). "Daily Data Report for June 2021 - Climate - Environment and Climate Change Canada". climate.weather.gc.ca. Environment Canada. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
- "71768: Summerland Automatic Weather Reporting System (Canada)". ogimet.com. OGIMET. 1 December 2021. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
- "Washington's 'Sister' Relationships". Lieutenant Governor of Washington. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- "Toyokoro – Our Sister City". District of Summerland. Retrieved 23 February 2013.