A Pictorial History of Kelowna BC

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Henry William Raymer Colin Basran
Henry William Raymer - Mayor 1905
Colin Basran - Mayor 2014

Kelowna was incorporated into a city in May 1905. The new city had a population of 600. Its first mayor was Henry (Harry) William Raymer.

Population Estimates for 2011

Kelowna Male Female Total
All ages 56,280 61,030 117,310
0 - 14 8,505 8,350 16,860
15 - 24 7,950 7,730 15680
25 - 44 14,420 14,605 29025
45 - 64 15,675 17,645 33320
65 + 9,735 12,690 22425
Source: BC Stats

Many things contributed to this growth. The magnificent climate and scenery being one of the more obvious ones. After both world wars there was an upward surge. The opening of a link to the coast via the Hope Princeton Highway spelled the end to Kelowna's small town days especially when the Okanagan Lake Bridge was added. The Rogers Pass opened the road to the East, and people from the Prairie Provinces soon discovered the sunny Okanagan Valley. In 1973 the Government of B.C. decreed that Kelowna and its outlying regions should amalgamate making the city one of the largest area wise in B.C. and bringing the population up to approximately 50,000.

Originally Published by Kelowna Centennial Museum
Art: Gwen Lamont - Research, Compiling and Editing: Ursula Surtees
Compiling & Editing for the Internet by Marty van Mulder