Life in Kelowna for Immigrants – Guide for Newcomers

This article contains everything you need to know about moving to Kelowna, BC.

Life in Kelowna for immigrants, tourists, students comes with many benefits, with great beaches and access to nature.

There is no shortage of golf courses, wineries, and hiking trails. It is a fantastic place for first-time homebuyers, families, and retirees alike to settle down.

Whether you’ve already decided on a move to Kelowna or are still considering it, it’s undeniable that it’s a great place to live, work, and play.

More so, there is no shortage of things to do and it’s like being on vacation all the time with the weather, restaurants, people, and tourists.

In addition, living somewhere like Kelowna is much more affordable relative to other major Canadian cities like Vancouver or Toronto.

If you are thinking of making the move to Kelowna but you are not sure if it’s the right fit for you, then this article will tell you everything you need to know.

In this article

Where is Kelowna located?

Kelowna is located along Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley in the south central region of British Columbia Canada.

The largest and most bustling city in the region, Kelowna is about 4 hours’ drive from Vancouver.

Furthermore, the city’s lakefront location has given rise to its tourist industry while making it one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada.

Population of Kelowna

The population of Kelowna was recorded at 194,882 in the 2016 Canadian Census, a rise of 8.4% from 2011.

Kelowna is the province’s third-largest metropolitan area after Vancouver and Victoria.

More so, its seventh-largest city overall, and the largest in the Interior and the 20th-largest metropolitan area in Canada.

Cost of living in Kelowna

Cost of living in Kelowna, Canada is $1,891 and it seems affordable according to the average monthly salary, which is $2,619.

In addition, Kelowna is relatively affordable in British Columbia when compared to the price of housing in the rest of the province.

More so, if you are visitor in Kelowna, you may need extra funds for all your basic needs in Canada.

Such basic need includes Feeding, clothing, health insurance, among others.

How to immigrate to Kelowna

Absolutely, it is possible to immigrate to Kelowna by applying through British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

More so, you need a nomination from the province of British Columbia before applying for permanent residency.

Furthermore, it is essential for you to live and work in British Columbia for a minimum of 2 years.

Thus, here are appropriate steps to follow when planning to immigrate to Kelowna through British Columbia PNP.

Step 1:  Request and Complete a Provincial Nominee Program application

You can request for nomination from British Columbia and submit your application after completing the form.

Step 2: Receive your Provincial Nomination certificate

After you submit the application, you will receive an official Provincial Nomination certificate, allowing you to continue to the next step.

Step 3: Create an Express Entry profile

At this stage, it is mandatory for you to create an Express Entry profile for yourself via the internet.

You can create one by filling out the form on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s website.

Step 4: Submit your permanent residence application

When you have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you are expected to submit your application for permanent residency on time.

Therefore, you must submit your PR application within 60 days including the necessary documents.

Schools in Kelowna

Undeniably, some renowned universities and colleges in Canada have set up campuses in Kelowna in order to meet the educational needs of students within the city.

Kelowna schools fall under The Central Okanagan School District No. 23, along with schools throughout the District Municipalities of West Kelowna, Lake Country, and Peachland.

Furthermore, there are more than 40 public schools, 10 private schools, and 1 French school in Kelowna.

There are also a number of private schools including Catholic schools in Kelowna and West Kelowna.

Universities and colleges in Kelowna

Are you planning to learn and study in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in Canada?

The following are lists of post-secondary institutions, trade school, technical institute, and post-secondary vocational school in Kelowna, BC Canada.

  • Universities in Kelowna, BC
  • Okanagan College
  • Kelowna Colleges
  • Okanagan School of Business
  • VanWest College
  • First College
  • Career City College
  • CanScribe Career College
  • Sprott Shaw College, Kelowna BC
  • Centre for Arts and Technology (CATO) etc

Weather in Kelowna

While Kelowna is home to all four seasons, they all offer beautiful weather residents can’t complain about.

More so, the autumns are colourful, the winters are incredibly mild, and the spring and summer months are warm and welcoming.

In addition, the warmer months is the time of the year tourist’s love visiting the area to enjoy everything Okanagan Lake has to offer.

More so, Kelowna receives over 2,000 hours of sunshine each year and the average summer temperature hovers around 30 degrees Celsius.

Life in Kelowna for immigrants as regards to transit

The City of Kelowna is serviced by BC Transit and the public transit throughout the city is excellent.

Buses frequently run from downtown to the mall, east Kelowna and down Lakeshore where transfers are available to connect you to your final destination.

Furthermore, all of BC Transit’s accessible buses carry wheelchairs, scooters and bicycles.

It is available to all immigrants, students, workers, as well as to visitors in the city of Kelowna, BC Canada.

More so, having a car isn’t necessary for you to get around and explore some great places in Kelowna.

Therefore, this enables life in Kelowna for immigrants, workers, tourist and students to be stress-free at a very low cost.

However, Kelowna offers many different transits routes and with a new app called Transit. This makes it easy to track the buses in real-time so you can make the most of your day.

Life in Burlington for Immigrants

Dining out in Kelowna

Kelowna’s downtown core is home to a number of fantastic restaurants, cafes, pubs, and patios.

Additionally, the city is full of your favourite chains and local hotspots serving up food made with locally sourced ingredients.

You can try Bluetail Sushi or Salt & Brick. There is an array of shopping options in the area as well.

From large department stores perfect for families including Costco, Walmart, Winners, Home Depot, and Superstore chains, to boutique shops, you will find it all here.

The Wine

We cant put together a list about life in Kelowna for immigrants, tourists and students without mentioning the wine produced in the area.

Furthermore, the city is the heart of British Columbia’s wine country and is the second largest wine producing area in Canada.

Approximately 9,900 acres of vineyards account for more than 90% of all wine produced in British Columbia.

Indeed, there are over 200 wineries in the Okanagan region, meaning you can continuously try new varieties and attend unique tours.

More so, locals enjoy spending time visiting wineries and bringing home bottles to share with friends and family.

Nightclubs in Kelowna

Kelowna has many nightlife options that are sure to make life in Kelowna for immigrants interesting.

Live music, DJs, comedy, dance clubs & karaoke – the night scene in Kelowna is a thriving mix of ultra-hip discos, sports bars and energetic live theatre and music venues.

Below lists some of the nightlife options in Kelowna.

  • Tiki Time Tours
  • Kitsch
  • Upper End Wine Tours
  • kelowna Comedy
  • Blue Gator Bar & Grill
  • Docs
  • Ricco Bambino
  • Friends Pub & Liquor Store
  • Tonics Pub & Grill
  • Mickie’s Pu
  • The OK Corral & Cabaret
  • Snowshoe Sam’s
  • Rusty’s Steakhouse and Sports Lounge
  • Creekside Pub and Grill

Movie theatres in Kelowna

The following are certainly names of some movie theatres in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

  • Landmark Cinemas Grand 10
  • Cineplex Orchard Plaza
  • Landmark Cinemas Xtreme
  • Vernon Towne Cinema
  • Landmark Cinemas Encore
  • Cineplex Galaxy Cinemas
  • Oliver Theater
  • Okanagan Screen Arts
  • Galaxy Cinemas Vernon
  • Famous Players Orchard Plaza

Fun things to do in Kelowna

Indeed, the best things to do in Kelowna, BC are all about indulging.

Every year thousands of visitors travel from across Canada and across the globe to see what the Okanagan has to offer.

Furthermore, life in Kelowna for immigrants has so much benefits to foreign nationals who want to have a very relaxing holiday full of food and booze.

During the winter in Kelowna, they hit the slopes, and in the summer, it is all about the mountains and lakes.

You can keep yourself busy in Kelowna and discover a ton of fun and amazing things to do in Kelowna, BC. Some of the activities includes:

1. Riding the Kettle Valley Trail at Myra Canyon

One of the most popular activities in Kelowna, BC is bike riding the Kettle Valley Trail around the Myra Canyon.

The trail starts up in Myra Canyon Provincial Park only a 40-minute drive from Kelowna.

However, the entire ride is a 22km round trip, as it is completely flat and easy to ride.

Along the way, you will cross lots of wooden bridges and even pass through some old tunnels

More so, if you do not have your own bike then you will need to rent one, and luckily, this can be done at the start of the trail.

Myra Canyon Bike Rental rents bikes from the start of the trail for $39 CAD for a half-day.

2. Get tipsy on a wine tour In Kelowna

There are literally dozens of companies that offer different wine tours.

Of course, you don’t have to do a tour to enjoy the best wineries in Kelowna, and as long as you have a designated driver, can visit cellar doors on your own.

In fact, some Kelowna wineries are even perfect for a picnic lunch.

Wineries in and around Kelowna include:

  • Quail’s Gate
  • Mission Hill
  • Sandhill Wines
  • Vibrant Vines
  • Ciao Bella
  • Tantalus Vineyards

3. Explore the local cuisine on a food tour

The Okanagan Valley is all about fresh produce and all of the treats made with it.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise a food tour is one of the best things to do in Kelowna.

4. Hit the slopes

If you’re in Kelowna in winter then be sure to head up for some skiing and snowboarding at their local ski field called Big White Ski Resort.

There is plenty of runs for all levels and the views from there are epic. Alternatively, you could drive a little further and hit up Silver Star Mountain Resort instead.

Hitting the slopes at Silver Star is easily one of the best things to do in Vernon, Which is only an hour away from Kelowna.

5. Test your skills at axe throwing

An hour of axe throwing costs $25 (they have discounts for technicians, and women, and kids) in Kelowna.

Honestly, it’s not something you think you’d like until you try it, so give it a go!

In addition, it is also one of the fun things to do in Kelowna on a rainy or cold day since it is indoors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kelowna a good place to live?

Kelowna is well-known as one of Canada’s top vacation destinations – but it’s also a really great place to live year-round.

When is the best time to visit Kelowna?

The best time of year to visit Kelowna for warm-weather activities is from early July to mid-August.


With this article, we hope you’ve learned what life in Kelowna looks like and also what to expect when you move or relocate to Kelowna.