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Kelowna, Canada

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Mar 10, 2023

Summary: The approximate population of Kelowna, Canada is approximately 130,000 people. People describe Kelowna as a beautiful city with a vibrant culture, stunning scenery, and plenty of outdoor activities. Expats love the mild climate, the friendly people, and the abundance of outdoor activities. The weather in Kelowna is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from an average high of 77°F (25°C) in the summer to an average low of 24°F (-4°C) in the winter. The average cost of living in Kelowna for an expat is approximately $2,000 USD per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is approximately $1,000 USD per month, and the cost of a two bedroom apartment is approximately $1,400 USD per month.

What do I need to know about living in Kelowna?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Kelowna, they said:

"Kelowna is a beautiful city located in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. It is known for its stunning scenery, mild climate, and abundance of outdoor activities. Before retiring in Kelowna, expats should research the cost of living, healthcare options, and the availability of public transportation. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the local culture and customs, as well as the language. Additionally, expats should consider the tax implications of retiring in Canada, as well as the availability of banking and financial services. Finally, expats should take the time to explore the city and its surrounding areas to ensure that it is the right fit for them," wrote one member in Kelowna.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Canada

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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What do I need to know before moving to Kelowna?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Kelowna, they said:

"Kelowna is a beautiful city located in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. It is known for its stunning scenery, outdoor activities, and vibrant culture. Expats should be aware that the cost of living in Kelowna is higher than the national average, so budgeting is important. The climate in Kelowna is mild, with warm summers and cold winters. Expats should also be aware that the city is quite spread out, so having a car is recommended. Additionally, the city has a strong job market, with many opportunities in the tech, tourism, and agriculture industries. Finally, expats should be aware that the city is quite multicultural, with a large population of immigrants from all over the world," remarked one expat who made the move to Kelowna.

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How do I find a place to live in Kelowna?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Kelowna is a great place to live with plenty of housing options. You can find a place to live by searching online for rental listings, checking out local newspapers, or asking friends and family for recommendations. You can also contact a real estate agent to help you find a place that meets your needs. Additionally, there are many websites that offer listings of available rental properties in the area. Once you have narrowed down your search, you can visit the properties in person to get a better feel for the area and decide if it is the right fit for you," remarked one expat living in Kelowna, Canada.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Kelowna?

"Expat homes and apartments in Kelowna are typically modern and spacious, with plenty of natural light and stunning views of the surrounding mountains and Okanagan Lake. Many expat homes and apartments come with amenities such as air conditioning, in-suite laundry, and private balconies or patios. Expats can also find a variety of housing options, from luxury condos to single-family homes. No matter what type of home or apartment you choose, you can be sure to find a comfortable and welcoming place to call home in Kelowna," explained one expat living in Kelowna, Canada.

"It was a small modular home on the banks of Okanagan Lake. It's not a typical home for the area although there are quite a few areas in Kelowna with this type of low cost housing," said one expat in Kelowna.

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What is the average cost of housing in Kelowna?

If you are thinking about moving to Kelowna, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The average cost of housing in Kelowna is relatively high compared to other cities in the country. The median price for a single-family home in Kelowna is around $700,000, while the median price for a condo is around $400,000. Renting is also an option, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment being around $1,400 per month," explained one expat living in Kelowna, Canada.

"What we got for our money made it worth every cent. We were paying $750.00 per month and had our own beach. Averages in the area vary depending on the type of homes. House prices range from around $150,00 to around $3 million," said one expat in Kelowna.

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How do I meet people in Kelowna?

When we asked people living in Kelowna about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Expats in Kelowna can join a variety of clubs and activities, such as the Kelowna International Network, the Kelowna Women's Network, and the Kelowna Expat Club. Expats can also meet people by attending local events, such as farmers markets, art shows, and music festivals. Additionally, expats can join local sports teams, volunteer with local organizations, or take classes at the local college or university. Finally, expats can also meet people by attending church services, joining a book club, or attending meetups organized by local expat groups," wrote one member in Kelowna.

"Most things happen in, on or around Okanagan Lake which divides Kelowna and West Kelowna. There are two waterfronts with walkways. Music in the park on Friday evenings during summer. Festivals, street parades, wine tasting, cherry picking, beaches, parks, bears, hiking, mountain biking," remarked one expat who made the move to Kelowna.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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What should I bring when moving to Kelowna?

People living in Kelowna were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"When moving to Kelowna, it is important to pack clothing suitable for the climate. Layering is key, as temperatures can vary greatly throughout the year. Rain gear is also essential, as Kelowna experiences a lot of precipitation. Additionally, it is important to bring any necessary medications, as well as any important documents. Finally, it is a good idea to bring some items to make your new home feel like home, such as pictures, books, and other personal items," wrote a member in Kelowna.

"I should have brought more summer clothes, a good moisturiser with a sunblock and more photographs. I can't think of anything I wish I left behind," commented one expat who made the move to Kelowna.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Kelowna?

We asked expats in Kelowna what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"Kelowna is a beautiful city located in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. It is known for its stunning scenery, mild climate, and abundance of outdoor activities. Before retiring in Kelowna, expats should research the cost of living, healthcare options, and the availability of public transportation. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the local culture and customs, as well as the language. Additionally, expats should consider the tax implications of retiring in Canada, as well as the availability of banking and financial services. Finally, expats should consider the availability of recreational activities and social networks in the area," said one expat in Kelowna.

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Will I be able to find a job in Kelowna?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Kelowna, they reponded:

"Foreigners often have jobs in the hospitality industry in Kelowna, such as working in hotels, restaurants, and bars. Other popular jobs for foreigners include working in the agricultural industry, such as fruit picking and winemaking. Additionally, many foreigners find work in the construction industry, as well as in retail and customer service," remarked one expat living in Kelowna, Canada.

"There are lots of shopping centres, restaurants and small businesses in the area which has a good transport system in place. There are numerous vineyards and orchards in the area and quite a few new housing developments. Glaziers and Chefs are in high demand," wrote one member in Kelowna.

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What is life like in Kelowna?

When we asked people living in Kelowna what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Kelowna is a great place for expats and digital nomads to live. The city offers a relaxed lifestyle with plenty of outdoor activities, such as skiing, hiking, and biking. The cost of living is relatively low compared to other cities in Canada, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. The city is also home to a large international community, making it easy to meet people from all over the world. Additionally, Kelowna is well-connected to the rest of Canada, with easy access to major cities like Vancouver and Calgary. All in all, Kelowna is an ideal destination for expats and digital nomads looking for a great place to live and work," wrote a member in Kelowna.

"There are many young families and lots of activity on the water in summer and in the snow during winter. Lifestyle - paradise in summer," commented one expat who made the move to Kelowna.

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What do expats in Kelowna appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expatriates in Kelowna appreciate the city's laid-back atmosphere and the friendly locals. They also enjoy the abundance of outdoor activities, such as skiing, hiking, and biking, that the area has to offer. The city's vibrant arts and culture scene is another draw, with a variety of galleries, theatres, and music venues. Expats also appreciate the city's proximity to the Okanagan Valley, which is known for its wineries and stunning scenery. Finally, the city's relatively low cost of living is another attractive feature for expats," commented one expat who made the move to Kelowna.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"One of the most challenging aspects of the local culture for expats in Kelowna is the weather. The city experiences four distinct seasons, with cold winters and hot summers. This can be difficult for those who are used to more temperate climates. Additionally, the city is quite spread out, making it difficult to get around without a car. This can be a challenge for those who are used to living in more densely populated areas. Finally, the local culture is quite conservative, which can be difficult for those who are used to more liberal environments," remarked one expat living in Kelowna, Canada.

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Is there a lot of crime in Kelowna?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Kelowna is generally considered to be a safe city, with crime rates that are lower than the national average. However, like any city, there are areas where crime is more prevalent. Property crime is the most common type of crime in Kelowna, with theft, vandalism, and break-ins being the most common offences. Violent crime is less common, but still occurs in the city," commented one expat who made the move to Kelowna.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Kelowna accepting of differences?

"Kelowna is a diverse city with people from many different backgrounds and cultures. The city is known for its acceptance of differences, and people of all backgrounds are welcomed and respected. The city is home to a variety of ethnic restaurants, cultural events, and festivals that celebrate the diversity of the community. People in Kelowna are generally open-minded and accepting of differences, and the city is a great place to live for people of all backgrounds," remarked one expat who made the move to Kelowna.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Canada

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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What are the schools in Kelowna like?

"Kelowna is home to a number of excellent international and bilingual schools. The International School of the Okanagan (ISOK) is a private, non-profit school that offers an international education to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. ISOK offers a rigorous academic program that is based on the British Columbia curriculum, and is taught in English with additional language instruction in French, Spanish, and Mandarin. The school also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports, music, and art. The Okanagan Chinese School is a private, non-profit school that offers a bilingual education in English and Mandarin. The school offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes language, math, science, social studies, and physical education. The school also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports, music, and art. The Okanagan Japanese School is a private, non-profit school that offers a bilingual education in English and Japanese. The school offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes language, math, science, social studies, and physical education. The school also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports, music, and art. The Okanagan French School is a private, non-profit school that offers a bilingual education in English and French. The school offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes language, math, science, social studies, and physical education. The school also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports, music, and art," commented one expat when asked about in Kelowna.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Kelowna?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Kelowna responded:

"Expats and digital nomads in Kelowna appreciate the city's stunning natural beauty, with its lush forests, crystal-clear lakes, and majestic mountains. They also enjoy the city's vibrant culture, with its many festivals, events, and activities. Additionally, the city's low cost of living and abundance of outdoor activities make it an attractive destination for those looking to live an active lifestyle. On the other hand, some expats and digital nomads may find the city's limited public transportation and lack of nightlife to be drawbacks," wrote one expat living in Kelowna.

Answer this Question

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Canada

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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What type of social life can someone expect in Kelowna?

When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in Kelowna, they replied:

"Expats, retirees and digital nomads living in Kelowna typically have an active social life. There are many opportunities to meet new people and make friends, such as joining local clubs and organizations, attending community events, and taking part in outdoor activities. The city also has a vibrant nightlife, with plenty of bars, restaurants, and live music venues to explore. Additionally, Kelowna is home to a large expat community, making it easy to connect with people from all over the world," wrote one expat living in Kelowna.

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"Kelowna is a vibrant city with a lively social scene. There are plenty of bars, pubs, and clubs to explore, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes. The city also hosts a number of festivals and events throughout the year, such as the annual Okanagan Wine Festival and the Interior Provincial Exhibition. There are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, biking, and skiing. With its stunning scenery and friendly locals, Kelowna is a great place to meet new people and make lasting memories," commented one expat living in Kelowna, Canada.

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What advice to expats in Kelowna have about housing?

"Expats in Kelowna recommend researching the area thoroughly before committing to a rental or purchase. It is important to consider the location, amenities, and cost of living when making a decision. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the local rental laws and regulations, as well as the availability of public transportation. Expats also suggest talking to locals to get a better understanding of the area and to find out about any hidden gems. Finally, it is important to budget carefully and to be aware of any additional costs such as utilities, taxes, and insurance," said an expat in Kelowna.

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What are medical services in Kelowna like?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Kelowna, they replied:

"Kelowna offers a wide range of medical services to its residents. The city is home to a number of hospitals, clinics, and medical centers that provide a variety of services, including primary care, emergency care, and specialized care. The city also has a number of walk-in clinics and pharmacies that provide convenient access to medical care. Additionally, Kelowna is home to a number of specialists, such as cardiologists, neurologists, and oncologists, who provide specialized care to those in need," said one expat living in Kelowna.

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Kelowna?

"Healthcare and health insurance in Kelowna can be expensive. The cost of health insurance depends on the type of coverage and the provider. Healthcare services such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription drugs are covered by the government, but there may be additional fees for certain services. Private health insurance can help cover the cost of services not covered by the government, such as dental care, vision care, and prescription drugs. Private health insurance can also help cover the cost of services that are not covered by the government, such as physiotherapy and massage therapy," mentioned an expat living in Kelowna.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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Is the cost of living in Kelowna high?

We asked people about the cost of living in Kelowna, they wrote:

"The cost of living in Kelowna is generally considered to be quite reasonable. The average rental price for a nice 1 bedroom apartment is around $1,000 USD per month, while a nice 2 bedroom apartment is around $1,400 USD per month. Eating dinner at a moderately priced restaurant in Kelowna typically costs around $20 USD per person," commented one expat living in Kelowna, Canada.

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What are the visa & residency requirements in Kelowna?

"In order to visit Kelowna, visitors must obtain a valid visa from the Canadian government. The process of applying for a visa involves submitting an application form, providing proof of identity, and paying the applicable fees. In order to become a permanent resident of Kelowna, Canada, applicants must apply for permanent residency through the Canadian government. The process of applying for permanent residency involves submitting an application form, providing proof of identity, providing proof of financial stability, and paying the applicable fees. Additionally, applicants must pass a medical exam and a security check," remarked one expat living in Kelowna.

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Why do people move to Kelowna?

When we asked people why foreigners move to Kelowna, they responded:

"Kelowna is a beautiful city with a lot to offer expats. The city is situated on the shores of Okanagan Lake, surrounded by stunning mountain views and lush forests. The climate is mild and sunny, with four distinct seasons. The city is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with plenty of galleries, museums, and festivals to explore. The cost of living is relatively low compared to other Canadian cities, making it an attractive option for expats. The city also offers a wide range of outdoor activities, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and biking in the summer. With its stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and affordable cost of living, Kelowna is an ideal destination for expats looking for a new home," said an expat in Kelowna.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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