Kelowna VS. West Kelowna
Kelowna VS. West Kelowna
West Kelowna is often misinterpreted for being a part of Kelowna since it is only separated by a quick drive over the William Bennett Bridge. However to the surprise of many the West Kelowna is actually its own municipality, in fact the fourth most populated municipality in the Okanagan Valley. West Kelowna has a population over 38,000- quite a difference compared to the 156,000 that reside in Kelowna.
West Kelowna is well known for being rich in agriculture and full of incredible wineries along the wine route, offering established neighborhoods with beautiful lake and mountain views, top rated schools, and a great amenity and business center.
When you find yourself in downtown Kelowna along Bernard Avenue, it's a short 5-minute drive via Highway 97 over the bridge to reach West Kelowna. However, it's essential to note that since there's only one bridge connecting these two areas, traffic congestion can be a significant issue depending on the time of day and the season. During the summer months, Kelowna's population nearly triples, leading to an influx in vehicles on this single highway route, resulting in consistent traffic woes. During the off-season, most congestion occurs during the typical commuter hours of the day. So if you're considering living in West Kelowna while working in Kelowna, this is an important factor to keep in mind.
However, living in Kelowna does not mean that you get to live traffic free, Kelowna being one of the fastest growing cities in Canada has put added pressure on our infrastructure and you will also find yourself sitting in traffic during the summers season and those peak commuter times depending on where you’re travelling.
West Kelowna and Kelowna each offer a variety of beautiful and distinctive neighborhoods, each providing access to exceptional educational opportunities, public transit, and a diverse range of real estate choices. One notable distinction that sets these two regions apart in terms of neighborhoods is the variety of flat, pedestrian-friendly areas in Kelowna. In contrast, the majority of homes in West Kelowna are nestled on mountainsides, sloping streets, and hills. While this leaves many West Kelowna communities with breathtaking lake and mountain views, it results in significantly lower walkability scores compared to many Kelowna neighborhoods.
Both Kelowna and West Kelowna feature outstanding communities to call home, whether you're in search of condominiums, townhouses, single-family residences, or lakefront properties.
Something that is unique to the housing market in West Kelowna is that there is a portion of the land that is owned by the West Bank First Nations. These properties are sold as leasehold ownership as opposed to freehold ownership. These leases vary in term length dependent on location and when the development began. If this is something you’re curious to learn more about feel free to reach out to our team.
The Okanagan region offers a ton of amenities for residents, and both Kelowna and West Kelowna are no exception. You'll find all your essential services, big box stores, and numerous grocery options on both sides. However, due to its larger population, Kelowna boasts a more extensive array of these conveniences, as well as various shopping districts. Kelowna also provides certain "big city luxuries" that West Kelowna doesn't have, such as Kelowna General Hospital, Costco, Orchard Park Mall, UBCO, and Kelowna International Airport.
Kelowna's vibrant downtown core is renowned, popular for its bustling streets lined with boutique shops, beaches, restaurants, coffee houses, bars, entertainment venues, and nightlife. Particularly in the summer months, downtown Kelowna becomes the focal point of the city. On the other hand, many individuals choose to live in West Kelowna to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life, distanced from the city's commotion. West Kelowna offers a rural, small-town lifestyle in contrast to Kelowna's urban vibrancy.
Kelowna and the Westside are both great options for Okanagan living. Each come with their own pros and cons. We would love to help you navigate which makes the most sense for you and your family!