The Kelowna Story: An Okanagan History

The Kelowna Story

Harbour Publishing, $36.95
Sharron J. Simpson, BA’60, BSW’61

Kelowna is BC’s second largest metropolitan area outside the Lower Mainland. However, it hasn’t always been the provincial hub it is today. In The Kelowna Story, former city councilor and historian, Sharron Simpson, takes us on a fascinating trip through the city’s history.

Every city is full of stories and Kelowna is no different. This hardcover volume, filled with archival photos from throughout Kelowna’s history, touches briefly on the stories of the First Nations’ people in the Okanagan Valley, before moving on to tell how the earliest explorers, missionaries and settlers moved into the region. By the start of the 20th century, cattle ranchers and orchardists were getting a foothold in the valley and the city started to grow. However, it wasn’t until the post-WWII period, when the province began to invest in regional infrastructure like highways and bridges, that Kelowna became an important Interior city. After the Coquihalla Connector opened in 1990, Kelowna experienced a significant economic and construction boom that has led to the city we know today. These periods are all covered in depth, with stories of specific individuals, companies and incidents illustrating the changing times.

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