Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In

Kelowna, Canada

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 26, 2022

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.

PassportCard
PassportCard
PassportCard
PassportCard

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:

"Before retiring in Kelowna you should research the local housing market and the retirement costs of different housing types. Consider the community size, facilities, and amenities that are most important to you, and find out what is available in the area. Investigate the different types of retirement options in Kelowna, such as full-time retirement, part-time retirement, or a combination of both. Research the climate and sun hours to determine what type of clothing and recreational activities you should plan for. Learn about the Senior’s programs available in the community and investigate local services for the aging population like assisted living and daycare. Be sure to explore the available healthcare resources to ensure your medical needs can be met. Additionally, investigate potential sources of income such as pensions, investments, and senior discounts. You may also want to consider whether to bring or buy a vehicle, given the area and your plans. Lastly, make sure to look into air quality data, noise levels, and other factors that could impact your health, comfort, and quality of life," explained one expat.

"Before retiring in Kelowna, it is important to understand the local climate, cost of living, and potential health care options. The climate in Kelowna is generally temperate, with cold winters and hot, dry summers. The cost of living in Kelowna is slightly below the Canadian average, and there are a variety of housing options available to retirees. Health care is provided by the BC Medical Service Plan, and Kelowna also has a variety of private and public healthcare options available. Additionally, retirees should research local amenities and activities to enjoy, such as farmers markets, hiking trails, beaches, and recreational facilities. It is also important to understand the local tax laws and consider pension planning to optimize retirement income," said another person in Kelowna.

Answer this Question

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 has a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. - The population of Kelowna is approximately 134,000 people. - The median household income in Kelowna is $76,400, and the average home price is $656,781. - Kelowna is located in the Okanagan Valley, and is known for its vineyards and wineries. - The city has many recreational activities to check out, including the local beaches, parks and trails, golf courses, and skiing. - Kelowna has a vibrant art and culture scene, with many events and festivals year-round. - The city is home to the University of British Columbia Okanagan, as well as Okanagan College. - Kelowna has a variety of shopping and dining options to explore. - The cost of living in Kelowna is slightly higher than the national average. - There is a large tourist population in the summer, so rental prices are typically higher during this season. - Before moving to Kelowna, be sure to research the different neighbourhoods to find one that best suits your lifestyle," replied an expat in Kelowna.

Answer this Question

Quickly and easily find trusted moving, insurance, relocation and other providers with Expat Exchange's Moving Planner. Select which of our trusted partners you would like to hear from and we'll do the rest.
Plan Your Move to Canada

Quickly and easily find trusted moving, insurance, relocation and other providers with Expat Exchange's Moving Planner. Select which of our trusted partners you would like to hear from and we'll do the rest.
Get Started Now

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:

"There are many options for finding a place to live in Kelowna, including renting through a property management company, using online real estate search websites, asking friends and family who live in the area, or browsing newspaper classifieds and local Kelowna-area rental magazines. You can also contact rental agencies to see what they have available. Additionally, you can look into student housing or homestay programs if you’re coming to Kelowna to study," added another person living in Kelowna.

Answer this Question

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

"Expat homes and apartments in Kelowna tend to have modern interiors with a bright, natural wood finish and open, airy floor plans. Expats usually have full access to the amenities of their complexes, such as a pool, gym, or hot tub. The apartments often have private balconies or patio spaces, allowing for outdoor entertaining and relaxation. Many homes and apartments also have spectacular lake views and mountain scenery, adding to their charm. Many expats also enjoy local restaurants, shopping centers, and activities nearby," said another person in Kelowna.

"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," remarked another expat in Kelowna.

Answer this Question

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 cost of housing in Kelowna varies depending on the type of property, its size, and location. Generally, the cost of a single family detached home is between $550,000 to over $1 Million, a condo averages between $350,000 to $450,000, and rent for an apartment ranges from around $1,200 to $1,600," explained one expat.

"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 another person in Kelowna.

Answer this Question

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:

"Kelowna has a rich social life with lots of ways to meet people. One of the best ways to meet people in the city is to join a club or activity group. Organizations such as the Kelowna Community Network or the Kelowna meetup group allow you to meet like-minded people with similar interests or a shared background. Attending live music events, joining an intramural sports league, exploring the Okanagan Valley's many trails or lakes and rivers, or sipping coffee in a downtown cafe are all excellent ways to become part of the lively young culture in Kelowna. Additionally, nearly all churches, universities, and colleges offer a range of social activities and groups open to the public, making it easy to meet new people. Volunteering is also a great opportunity to get to know people while giving back to the Kelowna community," said another person 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 another expat 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.
GET A QUOTE

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:

"Clothing appropriate to the changing seasons in Kelowna, bedding, kitchenware and cooking utensils, toiletries, sunscreen, sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellent if travelling in summer months, an umbrella, rain boots, and winter/rain gear, moving supplies for packing, any special items for hobbies or décor, computer and other electronic equipment, first aid kit, cleaning supplies, and other personal items," explained one expat.

"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," said another person in Kelowna.

Answer this Question

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.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

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:

"In Kelowna, there are several bank options to choose from that offer various types of financial services such as personal banking, business banking and investments. Some of the leading banks in Kelowna include Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, CIBC, RBC Royal Bank, BMO Bank of Montreal and Coast Capital Savings. Additionally, the Central Okanagan Credit Union and Encompass Credit Union are credit unions that offer banking services. All of these financial institutions have branches in Kelowna and can assist customers in setting up a bank account," remarked another in Kelowna.

"Kelowna has a variety of banks and financial institutions to suit your needs. Popular banking and financial institutions include RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, Valley First Credit Union, Vancity and Prospera Credit Union. Each of these institutions have branches located throughout the city, and there are also several smaller banks, including Canadian Western Bank, Libro Financial Group, and Interior Savings Credit Union. You can also open a Chequing account or Savings account at a Virtual bank like Tangerine or Simplii Financial, or even through your Digital wallet like PayPal or Questrade," explained one expat.

Answer this Question

Will I be able to find a job in Kelowna?

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

"Yes, you will be able to find a job in Kelowna. There are many opportunities for employment due to the growing economy. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, local businesses are opening and expanding, creating new job opportunities. Kelowna also has an increasingly diversified range of industries, including technology, finance, manufacturing, and more, providing a wide range of job openings and career options," remarked another in Kelowna.

"Yes, it is possible to find a job in Kelowna. The city is home to numerous industries and employers in a variety of industries such as tourism, agriculture, technology, construction, and manufacturing. Additionally, Kelowna is home to a large university and college which provides many employment opportunities and jobs. Furthermore, the city has a rich culture and is a great place to live with many recreational options, making it an attractive destination for employers looking to hire workers," explained one expat.

Answer Question & View More Answers

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:

"Living as an expat in the area can be exciting and rewarding. The area is large enough to provide a variety of activities and entertainment options to keep someone busy and engaged. Most of the people are very friendly and welcoming, making it easier to make friends and establish roots in the area. The cost of living is fairly low, making it an affordable option for expats, while the reliable public transportation system makes it easy to get around. Plus, the area is home to plenty of historical and cultural attractions, which provide excellent opportunities to discover and appreciate the local culture," replied an expat in Kelowna.

"Living as an expat in the area can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. There is a vast array of activities to take part in, from cultural to culinary, as well as a diverse and vibrant expat community that welcomes newcomers with open arms. There are plenty of international supermarkets and restaurants to shop in and enjoy, and many of the locals are equally hospitable and open-minded to expats. With an array of parks, gardens and beaches, this area is an ideal place to spend leisure time enjoying the outdoors. Additionally, the cost of living is quite reasonable and the area offers plenty of affordable housing available for rent. With a developed public transport system and access to world-class healthcare, traveling and living as an expat in this area is a safe and hassle-free experience," remarked another in Kelowna.

Answer Question & View More Answers

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

"Many expats in Kelowna appreciate the laid back atmosphere and friendly locals. The slow pace of life offers a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, as well as recharge in the midst of nature. Expats often appreciate the relaxed pace of life, ability to connect with nature, and the openness of locals. The temperate climate and abundance of lakes, parks, trails, and ski resorts, provide year-round activities for those who enjoy the outdoors. Additionally, the numerous boutique wineries and craft breweries, art and cultural festivals, local markets, and live music events create a vibrant cultural and social atmosphere," explained one expat.

Answer this Question

What do expats find most challenging?

"Expat life can present a lot of challenges, including dealing with language and cultural barriers, adapting to a new living environment, finding suitable employment and healthcare, as well as managing the logistics of moving and settling into another country. Expats may also find it difficult to make new friends, deal with different laws and regulations, understand different financial systems, and cope with homesickness and the feeling of being out of place," remarked another in Kelowna.

"Expats often find it challenging to adjust to a new culture, find employment, learn a new language, make friends, get used to the local climate, manage their finances, and deal with homesickness," explained one expat.

Answer this Question

Is there a lot of crime in Kelowna?

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

"No, Kelowna has a low crime rate compared to other cities of a similar size. The city also consistently ranks among Canada’s safest cities," said another expat in Kelowna.

Answer this Question

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

"Kelowna is a growing and diverse city, with almost a quarter of the population having a visible minority status. The city has seen a large influx of newcomers over the last decade, which has led to a multicultural atmosphere. The city also has a strong sense of community and has been very welcoming to newcomers. There is a wide range of religious, ethnic, and cultural groups that are welcomed and celebrated in the city. Overall, Kelowna is an accepting place where differences are celebrated and respected," remarked another in Kelowna.

"Kelowna has a very diverse population, with people from all different backgrounds and ethnicities living in the city and its neighbouring towns. The people of Kelowna are generally very welcoming and accepting of differences, showing respect for other cultures and approaches. There are a variety of multicultural events in the city and citizens of Kelowna are usually happy to embrace different experiences and customs," explained one expat.

Answer this Question

What are the schools in Kelowna like?

"Kelowna is home to a diverse selection of schools offering a range of options for both public and private education. Public education is provided by School District 23 Central Okanagan which includes 58 elementary schools, 15 middle schools and 9 secondary schools. The extensive school district also includes one virtual school and one traditional adult education centre. Private education is provided by a number of independent schools, Catholic schools, and Montessori schools. All of these educational institutions provide an excellent learning environment, with modern facilities, exciting curriculums and innovative teaching methods," added an expat with kids at in Kelowna.

"Kelowna schools offer a variety of educational experiences for students of all ages. Elementary schools are known for their high level of engaging teaching, critical thinking activities and diverse extracurricular activities. The middle and high schools offer a wide range of AP and dual-credit college courses, with an emphasis on the arts. Post-secondary education is available with Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan. Schools in the area also offer a variety of after school programs, workshops and tutoring opportunities, as well as summer camps for youth," commented one expat when asked about in Kelowna.

Answer this Question

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.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Contribute to Canada Network Contribute
Help others in Canada by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Canada.

PassportCard
PassportCard

Copyright 1997-2023 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal