Why Young Professionals are Making the Move to Kelowna
Kelowna is one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities with thousands of new arrivals flocking to this lakeside locale every year. Many are young professionals looking to set down roots.
Kelowna is fast becoming one of the most sought-after places in Canada for young professionals to relocate. In fact, Kelowna is BC’s fastest growing urban area, according to recent StatCan data — and for good reason. Every year, this scenic city welcomes thousands of newcomers who come to enjoy a lifestyle they just can’t get in another city. There are many reasons why Kelowna is so attractive to young professionals and why many have decided to settle in the city for the long term.
Once a sleepy lakeside city that depended on seasonal tourism to fuel its economy, Kelowna is now home to a thriving tech sector. Many of these tech companies are constantly on the lookout for fresh talent to help spur innovation. The influx of tech companies has also fuelled growth in other areas, creating more job opportunities in healthcare, development, agriculture, and the hospitality industry.
The evolution of the downtown core is responsible for much of this growth — as residential condos have breathed new life into the area, businesses have followed in droves. From UBC’s newly-announced downtown campus expansion to tech incubators like Accelerate Okanagan, forward-thinking brands are lining up to put their business in the heart of Kelowna.
“With Gen X and Millennial homebuyers driving much of Kelowna’s real estate market, we’ve watched the average age of residents living in the downtown core drop pretty significantly over a short amount of time,” notes Luke Turri, Mission Group’s Executive Vice President. “This brings a new energy to downtown that we’re all really excited about, it’s one of the reasons we chose to build The Block on such a prominent downtown corner.”
Referring to the Class A office tower in the master-planned Bernard Block community (downtown Kelowna’s first — and only, so far — office tower of that caliber), Turri feels that the idea of a commute-free lifestyle has a unique appeal to the younger workforce of today. “In comparison to larger cities like Calgary or Vancouver,” he says, “Kelowna still presents an opportunity for young people to live and work right in the same area, allowing them to take full advantage of the work-life balance the Okanagan is so famous for.”
It’s no secret that housing prices in cities like Vancouver and Toronto can be astronomical. While prices are on the rise across the country, Kelowna is still relatively affordable. Many young professionals find that they can get almost double the living space for the same amount of money they would pay in a larger city. Plus, there are plenty of affordable homes in the downtown Kelowna core, meaning less commuting time and easy access to everything the city has to offer.
Thriving Food Scene
Over the past decade, Kelowna has transformed into a haven for foodies with an array of gourmet restaurants, craft breweries, and chic wine bars scattered throughout the city. Diners will find everything from farm-to-table fare made with locally sourced ingredients, exotic dishes inspired by global cuisines, and vibrant wines made with grapes grown in the Okanagan Valley’s famed vineyards.
Nestled on the banks of Okanagan Lake and surrounded by forests and mountains, Kelowna offers an abundance of opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy an active lifestyle. The city itself has an extensive network of bicycle lanes, as well as a waterfront boardwalk and a marina where you can rent boats, wakeboards, and paddleboards. Just a short drive away, there are networks of hiking trails and world-class ski resorts.
As noted above, Kelowna’s business district is undergoing a transformation. Innovative new buildings encourage work-life balance, socializing, wellness, and play. At The Block, wellness-inspired design takes centre stage and enables young professionals to take advantage of everything the Okanagan has to offer — its forward-thinking suite of amenities features a rooftop patio overlooking the lake, bicycle storage, smart technology, on-site restaurants, and retail shops.
With a great mix of modern amenities and pristine nature, as well as a booming economy and reasonable cost of living, it’s easy to see why so many businesses, employees, and entrepreneurs are making the move to Kelowna. When compared to other urban centres in Canada, Kelowna offers a quality of life that’s pretty hard to beat.
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