Kelowna is number two, Kamloops 18th among Canada's best small cities | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna is number two, Kamloops 18th among Canada's best small cities

The city of Kelowna.
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Kelowna has been ranked one of Canada’s best small cities, second only to Victoria.

It ranked number two among Canadian cities with a population less than 200,000 by Resonance Consultancy from Vancouver.

The 2022 Canada’s Best Cities Report attributes much of Kelowna’s high score to the influx of new residents.

“While it was growing quickly before the pandemic, powered by a carousel of cashing-out downsizers and retirees from Vancouver and Toronto, Alberta investors riding long oil spikes and outdoor lovers not afraid of commitment, its population has popped over the past two-and-a-half years,” the report says.

There’s a running joke in Kelowna that all locals were new arrivals at some point, according to the report. And all new residents “are coaxed by a lifestyle that seems algorithmically optimized.”

READ MORE: Kelowna and Penticton ranked among top most livable cities in Canada

The city’s cycling options were given a special mention.

“Even the most egregiously sized trucks (and there are plenty here) tend to respect bike lanes and the city’s growing cycling infrastructure.”

The city's fresh air was factored into the equation, with one caveat.

“As long as the forest fires are kept at bay, Kelowna gets all this done while deeply breathing top 10 air quality among Canada’s small cities.”

Kelowna was also given credit for its golfing, skiing, theatres, restaurants, nightlife, and shopping.

“Increasingly, people are coming to a hometown knowing that they won’t just be able to buy anything they need, they’ll also have plenty of new finds to explore, in hot retail clusters like Bernard Avenue, Pandosy Village and Tutt Street, lined with indie shops and boutiques.”

READ MORE: Developer has tight timeline if Kelowna’s 'worst place in town' is going to be transformed

Kamloops was also named on the list of Canada's best small cities, finishing at 18.

“What used to be a secret outdoor playground for locals and enlightened tourists is today a thriving hometown of wineries, luxury guest ranches, fly-fishing retreats (more than 100 lakes stocked with rainbow trout lakes are within an hour’s drive) and the most golf courses per capita in Canada,” the report says.

Kamloops is where some scenes were filmed for the X-Files and Lost in Space, the report points out.

Also highlighted was the city’s population growth, healthcare, landscape and Thompson Rivers University.

Victoria was declared number one.

"With its mild year-round climate and an artisanal, independent spirit at play among rainforests and Pacific beaches, Victoria is the hometown you never knew you coveted,” the report says.

“But you’d better bring cash. And (please!) some young kids.”

Other B.C. cities to make the top 25 were Nanaimo at 20 and Saanich at 23.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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