West Kelowna

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West Kelowna
City of West Kelowna[1]
West Kelowna as seen from Mount Boucherie
West Kelowna as seen from Mount Boucherie
West Kelowna is located in British Columbia
West Kelowna
West Kelowna
Location of West Kelowna in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°51′45″N 119°35′00″W / 49.86250°N 119.58333°W / 49.86250; -119.58333
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional districtCentral Okanagan
(district municipality)
December 6, 2007
Name changeJanuary 30, 2009
Incorporated (city)[3]June 26, 2015
 • MayorGord Milsom
 • Total123.53 km2 (47.70 sq mi)
 • Land122.09 km2 (47.14 sq mi)
484 m (1,588 ft)
 • Total36,078[2]
 • Density296/km2 (770/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−08:00 (PST)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s)250, 778, 236, 672
Highways97, 97C
WaterwaysOkanagan Lake
Websitewww.westkelownacity.ca Edit this at Wikidata

West Kelowna, formerly known as Westbank and colloquially known as Westside, is a city in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. The city encompasses several distinct neighbourhoods, including Casa Loma, Gellatly, Glenrosa, Lakeview Heights, Shannon Lake, Smith Creek, Rose Valley, Westbank, and West Kelowna Estates. West Kelowna had an estimated population of 34,883 (BC Statistics)[5] as of December 31, 2018.

West Kelowna incorporated December 6, 2007, as Westside District Municipality, so chosen to reflect the name of a former Central Okanagan Regional District rural electoral area. On January 30, 2009, the municipality was renamed West Kelowna. The municipality was reclassified as the City of West Kelowna on June 26, 2015.[3] The general area is also sometimes referred to as Greater Westside, Westbank,[6] and Westside.


Westside District Municipality was established December 6, 2007, following a referendum on June 16, 2007, in which Westside residents voted to incorporate by a margin of 5,924 votes to 5,582.[7] The other choice was amalgamation with the City of Kelowna, with a previous ballot question offering the option of remaining unincorporated within the Regional District of Central Okanagan's former Westside Electoral Area.[8] The vote was strongly split along geographical lines, with voters from Westbank, Glenrosa, and other areas farther from the City of Kelowna voting to incorporate in larger numbers and voters living closer to Kelowna typically choosing amalgamation.

Rosalind Neis was elected as the first mayor of the newly incorporated area for a term of one year. On November 15, 2008, Doug Findlater was elected the second mayor of West Kelowna.[9] Findlater served for three terms as mayor. On October 20, 2018, Gord Milsom was elected as the third person to serve as municipality's mayor.

During the November 2008 civic election, Westside residents were also asked in a "Community Opinion Poll" to select a permanent name for the fledgling municipality.[10] The new name "West Kelowna", with 3,841 votes, was selected by a narrow margin over the closest contender, "Westbank", with 3,675 votes. The West Kelowna name was subsequently confirmed by the municipal council on December 9, 2008. The new name became official January 30, 2009, after the Government of British Columbia approved the change to the Letters Patent.[11]

Winter sun sets over Rose Valley


The City of West Kelowna is located on the central western shores and hillsides of Okanagan Lake and is the primary gateway to the Central Okanagan from the west via Highway 97C, the Okanagan Connector.

Neighbourhoods within the city's jurisdiction include Gellatly/Goats Peak, Glenrosa, Shannon Lake, Smith Creek and Westbank in the south, which comprise approximately half of the total population, and Bear Creek, Casa Loma, Green Bay, Lakeview Heights, Pritchard/Sunnyside, Raymer, Rose Valley, South Boucherie and West Kelowna Estates in the north. Many of these neighbourhoods, including Glenrosa, Gellatly, Lakeview Heights, Sunnyside, and Westbank have rich histories, some dating to the early to mid-19th century.

Bordering the City of West Kelowna are the District of Peachland, Central Okanagan West Electoral Area, and two self-governing reserves of the Westbank First Nation,[12] Tsinstikeptum 9 and Tsinstikeptum 10. Approximately 10,000 non-band members, including 800 First Nation Westbank band members live on the reserves.[13]


Federal census
population history
2006 27,214—    
2011 30,892+13.5%
2016 32,655+5.7%
2021 36,078+10.5%
Source: Statistics Canada[14][4]

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, West Kelowna had a population of 36,078 living in 13,974 of its 14,746 total private dwellings, a change of 10.5% from its 2016 population of 32,655. With a land area of 122.09 km2 (47.14 sq mi), it had a population density of 295.5/km2 (765.4/sq mi) in 2021.[15]


Panethnic groups in the City of West Kelowna (2001−2021)
2021[16] 2016[17] 2011[18] 2006[19] 2001[20]
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
European[a] 30,960 86.6% 28,405 88.56% 28,045 91.8% 26,665 92.43% 14,850 93.75%
Indigenous 2,170 6.07% 1,835 5.72% 1,455 4.76% 1,095 3.8% 445 2.81%
East Asian[b] 665 1.86% 610 1.9% 255 0.83% 420 1.46% 270 1.7%
South Asian 590 1.65% 345 1.08% 315 1.03% 280 0.97% 110 0.69%
Southeast Asian[c] 520 1.45% 405 1.26% 185 0.61% 95 0.33% 90 0.57%
African 320 0.9% 130 0.41% 45 0.15% 95 0.33% 35 0.22%
Latin American 265 0.74% 185 0.58% 130 0.43% 55 0.19% 15 0.09%
Middle Eastern[d] 125 0.35% 80 0.25% 20 0.07% 25 0.09% 10 0.06%
Other[e] 145 0.41% 70 0.22% 105 0.34% 115 0.4% 20 0.13%
Total responses 35,750 99.09% 32,075 98.22% 30,550 98.89% 28,850 99.58% 15,840 99.4%
Total population 36,078 100% 32,655 100% 30,892 100% 28,972 100% 15,935 100%
  • Note: Totals greater than 100% due to multiple origin responses.


According to the 2021 census, religious groups in West Kelowna included:[16]


West Kelowna has a diverse economy, which includes agriculture, construction, finance, food and retail services, light industry, lumber manufacturing, technology, tourism and world renowned wineries. More than 2,200 business licences are issued annually.

The Greater Westside economic region has a population of more than 52,000 people, with 34,883 living in the City of West Kelowna, an estimated 10,000 residing in Westbank First Nation (based on projections since the 2016 national census), over 5,671 in Peachland (BC Stats, 2018) and approximately 2,000 in the surrounding rural areas.

The Greater Westside is part of the larger Central Okanagan Regional District and economic region with a population of 208,852 (BC Stats, 2018) residents.

Traditional shopping areas in West Kelowna are Boucherie Centre, Lakeview Heights Shopping Centre, Westbank Centre and the West Kelowna Business Park, which offer a variety of retail outlets, cafes and restaurants, and tourist accommodations and attractions. The City of West Kelowna boasts a scenic wine trail; a dozen wineries, with world renowned wines, line the route. Visitors also enjoy the a farm loop, featuring varied local agricultural products, seasonal farmers' market and the Gellatly Bay multi-use corridor, which includes the CNR Wharf Aquatic Park.[21]

Major private employers include Gorman Bros. Lumber and Mission Hill Family Estate Winery. Major public employers include Interior Health and Central Okanagan Public Schools (School District 23).

West Kelowna's business areas are also complemented by those in the Westbank First Nation, which include various big box stores, cafes and restaurants, retail outlets, services, theatres and tourist accommodations and attractions.


West Kelowna is located within School District 23 Central Okanagan. Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary School serves grades 9 through 12, and is the only high school in the municipality.[22] West Kelowna has two middle schools, serving grades 6 through 8: Constable Neil Bruce Middle School[23] and Glenrosa Middle School.[24] Nine public elementary schools are located in the municipality: Chief Tomat,[25] George Pringle (includes French immersion programming),[26] Glenrosa Elementary School,[27] Helen Gorman,[28] Hudson Road,[29] Mar Jok,[30] Rose Valley,[31] and Shannon Lake.[32] Private elementary schools are Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School and Sensisyusten House of Learning, which is located in the neighbouring Westbank First Nation Tsinstikeptum 9[33] community. Post-secondary educational opportunities are available in the nearby City of Kelowna, including two major public institutions: UBC Okanagan[34] and Okanagan College.[35]

Recreation and culture[edit]

The Mount Boucherie Community Centre includes Royal LePage Place arena, home to the BCHL team the West Kelowna Warriors, and Jim Lind Arena for ice sport clubs such as hockey, figure skating, and ringette.

The city has a lakefront walking trail alongside Gellatly Road and several swimming areas along Okanagan Lake, including Willow Beach.

Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre, in downtown Westbank, offers indoor public swimming and recreational programs.

Several community and regional parks are scattered throughout the municipality, offering soccer pitches, ball fields, children's play areas, and hiking trails. The award-winning Constable Neil Bruce Soccer Fields are a popular recreational destination as are the Mount Boucherie Ball Diamonds (lighted), the Mount Boucherie Pickleball Courts, Lakeview Heights Tennis Courts (lighted) and Rosewood Sports Field (lighted). A community garden, pergola, two off-leash dog parks and a popular children's water park are located in the Westbank Town Centre Park, off Hebert Road.

Free Friday night concerts are held in July and August at Annette Beaudreau Amphitheatre in Memorial Park in Westbank Centre at the south end of Old Okanagan Highway. The amphitheatre and park are also home to a large number of events and concerts during the annual Westside Daze celebration[36] which includes a popular parade and midway. Memorial Park also features a skateboard park.

Popular trails are located in Eain Lamont and Mount Boucherie Parks and in Glen Canyon, Goats Peak, Kalamoir and Rose Valley Regional Parks.

Shannon Lake Golf Course[37] is the only 18-hole golf course in the City of West Kelowna; however, Two Eagles Golf Course[38] in the neighbouring Westbank First Nation also offers 18-holes, a putting course and a driving range.

The Westbank Museum offers pioneer exhibits, artefacts and archives. Smaller galleries sell works by local artists and potters. Neighbouring Westbank First Nation operates an indigenous museum.

The municipality funds youth and seniors' centres in downtown Westbank.

Telemark is a popular winter recreational area offering snowshoeing and cross country skiing opportunities.[39]


  1. ^ Statistic includes all persons that did not make up part of a visible minority or an indigenous identity.
  2. ^ Statistic includes total responses of "Chinese", "Korean", and "Japanese" under visible minority section on census.
  3. ^ Statistic includes total responses of "Filipino" and "Southeast Asian" under visible minority section on census.
  4. ^ Statistic includes total responses of "West Asian" and "Arab" under visible minority section on census.
  5. ^ Statistic includes total responses of "Visible minority, n.i.e." and "Multiple visible minorities" under visible minority section on census.


  1. ^ "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Data table, Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population - West Kelowna, City (CY) [Census subdivision], British Columbia". February 9, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Order in Council No. 357". Province of British Columbia. June 26, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (British Columbia)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  5. ^ "Population Estimates - Province of British". gov.bc.ca. Ministry of Citizens. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "West Kelowna Name Approved" (PDF). District of West Kelowna. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 20, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  7. ^ D. Brotherton (June 16, 2007). "Westsiders choose incorporation". Kelowna Daily Courier. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  8. ^ "Westside Governance Referendum" (PDF). BC Ministry of Community Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 15, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  9. ^ "Local Government 2008 Elections". CivicInfo BC. Retrieved February 17, 2009.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Local Government 2008 Elections (Referendum Question)". CivicInfo BC. Archived from the original on December 23, 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  11. ^ R. Seymour (January 31, 2009). "Westside reborn as West Kelowna". Kelowna Daily Courier. Archived from the original on May 27, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  12. ^ "Westbank First Nation website". Wfn.ca. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  13. ^ "2008 WFN Economic Profile" (PDF). Westbank First Nation.
  14. ^ "Census subdivision of West Kelowna, DM - British Columbia". Statistics Canada. April 1, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  15. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), British Columbia". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  16. ^ a b Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (October 26, 2022). "Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  17. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (October 27, 2021). "Census Profile, 2016 Census". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved January 3, 2023.
  18. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (November 27, 2015). "NHS Profile". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved January 3, 2023.
  19. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (August 20, 2019). "2006 Community Profiles". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved January 3, 2023.
  20. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (July 2, 2019). "2001 Community Profiles". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved January 3, 2023.
  21. ^ "West Kelowna Top 10 - Visit Westside". Visit Westside. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  22. ^ "Mount Boucherie School website". Mbs.sd23.bc.ca. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  23. ^ "Constable Neil Bruce Middle School". Cnb.sd23.bc.ca. December 19, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  24. ^ Glenrosa Middle School.
  25. ^ Chief Tomat Elementary School,
  26. ^ "George Pringle Elementary School". Gpe.sd23.bc.ca. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  27. ^ "Glenrosa Elementary School". Gre.sd23.bc.ca. December 7, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  28. ^ "Home - Helen Gorman Elementary". www.hge.sd23.bc.ca. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  29. ^ Hudson Road Elementary School,
  30. ^ "Home - Mar Jok Elementary". www.mje.sd23.bc.ca. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  31. ^ Rose Valley School,
  32. ^ "Shannon Lake Elementary School MarJok Elementary". Sle.sd23.bc.ca. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  33. ^ "Helen Gorman Elementary School". Hge.sd23.bc.ca. December 9, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  34. ^ "UBC Okanagan". Web.ubc.ca. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  35. ^ "Okanagan College". Okanagan.bc.ca. August 19, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  36. ^ "Westside Daze | Voted the Best Annual Community Event in the Central Okanagan". Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  37. ^ Design by: Orion's Web Design. "Shannon Lake Golf Course website". Shannonlakegolf.com. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  38. ^ "Two Eagles Golf Course website". Twoeaglesgolf.com. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  39. ^ "Telemark Cross Country Ski Club website". Telemarkx-c.com. Retrieved January 1, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°51′45″N 119°35′00″W / 49.86250°N 119.58333°W / 49.86250; -119.58333