Vernon is a city in the Okanagan region of British Columbia's southern Southern Interior. It's the hub of North Okanagan and the oldest incorporated city in the Okanagan Valley. Vernon is surrounded by several small communities, including Armstrong, Coldstream, Enderby, Lumby and Spallumcheen. These communities are part of the Regional District of North Okanagan.
Vernon is known for its pristine lakes and spectacular mountain views. Vernon is surrounded by three lakes: Okanagan Lake, Swan Lake and the turquoise waters of Kalamalka Lake.
Vernon has a population of 42,199 (2017), and the city has grown at a rate of 1.24% per year over the past 15 years. The Greater Vernon area has a population of 58,584 (2011 census). In 2005, on an episode of The Early Show, Consumer Reports rated Vernon as one of the top six most desirable communities to retire to in North America. Vernon has a median age of 49.5, reflecting its popularity with retirees. The median household income is $65,615.
Vernon offers a small-town feel with big-city amenities. The majority of the homes in Vernon were built between 1961 to 1980. While most of the homes are single-family residences, you can also find condos, townhomes, and acreage for farming, ranching or recreation. Plans are in place in Vernon to increase multi-family housing.
The City of Vernon was ranked in 2009, by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, as the most entrepreneurial city in the province of British Columbia. Vernon has experienced significant growth in the manufacturing and service industries over the past decade and is now focuses on expanding other sectors. The agri-food industry, composite manufacturing, professional services, aviation, health and wellness, and “green” businesses are on the rise.
Vernon is a city of neighbourhoods; each with its unique characteristics and appeal.
Located on the north end of Okanagan Lake, Adventure Bay is a subdivision that has remained true to its natural surroundings, with lake views and treed surroundings. Adventure Bay offers green space, hiking and biking trails and beaches, with Downtown Vernon only 15 minutes away. Most of the homes are single-family residences, but there are some strata developments. Students attend Okanagan Landing Elementary and Clarence Fulton Secondary School.
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Alexis Park is a neighbourhood close to Downtown that offers a wide range of properties. There are very affordable older homes, condo and townhouse developments, and luxury homes. The upper end of Alexis Park is near Wesbild Center and Vernon Square Shopping Centre, while the lower end is within walking distance of Downtown Vernon.
The newest residential neighbourhood in 'the Park' is Turtle Mountain, by developer Wesbild. Turtle Mountain is a community of luxury view homes. One side of the development offers spectacular views of the City of Vernon, while the other side has views of Okanagan Lake and the valley. Kal Tire Place is a multiplex that hosts the Vernon Farmers Market. Students attend Alexis Park Elementary School and W.L. Seaton Secondary School.
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Armstrong is a small farming community located in North Okanagan between Vernon and Enderby. It has an authentic Western theme, complemented by its shady streets, heritage buildings and country fairgrounds. The fairgrounds have been home to the Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede since 1899.
Armstrong is situated amidst the dairy and farmlands of the Spallumcheen Valley and its motto is "Heart of Country." Vernon is located just fifteen minutes south. Armstrong's real estate is typically more affordable than in the larger nearby communities. There are heritage buildings, single-family residences, country estates and acreages, and adult condominium communities. Students attend Highland Park Elementary School, Armstrong Elementary School, Len Wood Middle School and Pleasant Valley Secondary School.
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The community of Bella Vista is perched upon a scenic hillside above Okanagan Lake. It offers panoramic views of Okanagan Lake, rolling hillsides, fruit orchards and the valley, from its north side. Bella Vista Road is the main route for Vernon residents, connecting communities like Adventure Bay with Downtown. Most of the homes are single-family residences, but you'll also find quite a few condo and townhouse strata communities. There are no schools in Bella Vista so school children are currently bussed to Okanagan Landing Elementary School and Clarence Fulton Secondary School.
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North and South BX are large rural neighbourhoods situated on the north and east of the City of Vernon. BX Ranch was once a thriving ranch, during the Cariboo Gold Rush, but then subdivided into smaller orchard lots in the early 1900s. The area is popular with skiers because it's only minutes from Downtown and 15 to 20 minutes from the slopes of the Silver Star Mountain Resort. It's an area known for single-family homes on large lots, hobby farms and acreage.
South BX contains much of the Agricultural Land Reserve in the Greater Vernon area, so it should retain its rural charm. BX Falls and the many trails of both Provincial and regional parks make this a popular area for hiking and biking. Schools in BX are BX Elementary and Hillview Elementary. The older students catch the school bus into Downtown.
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The District of Coldstream is located just south of the City of Vernon. The community has a population of roughly 10,000 and wraps around the northern end of Kalamalka Lake. Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, the many hiking and biking trails, Kalamalka Beach, the beautiful turquoise waters of the lake, and Vernon Golf and Country Club, make Coldstream an outdoor recreation paradise. Coldstream is minutes from shopping, dining, and all the amenities of Downtown Vernon.
Housing in the Coldstream Valley consists primarily of single-family homes and several strata developments. Established neighbourhoods, with quiet tree-lined streets and older affordable homes, within easy walking distance of great schools, have made this a very popular area for young families. Students attend Coldstream Elementary School, Kidston Elementary School, Lavington Elementary School and Kalamalka Secondary School. Post-secondary students are also able to attend the Kalamalka Campus of Okanagan College.
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The neighbourhood of Commonage is situated on a ridge that runs between Okanagan Lake and Kalamalka Lake. The community is known for its large lots, acreage on rolling hills and views of the lakes and ranches. Commonage is minutes from Downtown Vernon. It's home to the world-class Predator Ridge Golf Course. The Commonage is Predator Ridge’s fastest-selling neighbourhood to date. Students attend Mission Hill Elementary School and W.L. Seaton Secondary School.
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East Hill is a family-oriented neighbourhood, overlooking the city, with shaded tree-lined streets, in easy walking distance of Downtown. This desirable neighbourhood has historically been the early 20th-century well-to-do residential neighbourhood of Vernon's gentry and business owners. You'll see this reflected in the many beautiful character homes and excellent amenities.
East Hill offers a nice mix of heritage homes, 50s through 80s construction and newer subdivisions and gated townhome communities; surrounded by parks, hills and ravines. Students attend Silver Star Elementary School and Vernon Secondary School.
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Located in the foothills of Silver Star Mountain, the Foothills neighbourhood offers excellent views of the City of Vernon and all three lakes: Swan Lake, Kalamalka Lake and Okanagan Lake. The Foothills is part of the City of Vernon, and enjoys all of the city's services, but is geographically located in the BX. The community is about 10 minutes from shopping and restaurants and about a 15-minute drive to Silver Star Mountain Resort.
Foothills is a newer subdivision that began in the 1990s, and development continues to the present. There are currently no schools fight in Foothills, so students attend BX Elementary School and Seaton Secondary School.
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Harwood is a community on Vernon's north end, close to the main shopping district. The Village Green Mall, Walmart, Real Canadian Super Store, Home Depot, Rona and more are within walking distance. Harwood is a flat area with a nice mix of old and newer single-family homes, condo developments and housing for seniors. Schools in the area are Harwood Elementary School and W.L. Seaton Secondary School.
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Located between Vernon and Kelowna, the District of Lake Country is about 20 minutes south of Vernon. The community is surrounded by three beautiful lakes: Okanagan Lake, Kalamalka Lake and Wood Lake. It's a region of wineries, orchards, farmland and world-class golf courses. Incorporated in 1995, Lake Country has become one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada, with a current population of roughly 12,000.
There are 4 neighbourhoods within Lake Country. Carr’s Landing is located on Okanagan Lake, with a boat launch at Coral Beach Park. The community offers excellent lake views and an abundance of properties. Located on the east shore of Okanagan Lake, the Okanagan Centre neighbourhood also provides lake access and great lake views. Here you'll find spacious residential lots, orchards and farmland. Oyama is a neighbourhood known for its lakes, large acreages and many rural orchards. It has a country feel and is about equidistant from Vernon and Kelowna. And at the southern point of Lake Country, Winfield is closest to Lake Country’s downtown, offering both a rural lifestyle, with all the shopping, dining and amenities just minutes away.
Lake Country has three elementary schools, one secondary school and is within public transit or driving distance of three major post-secondary schools. A middle school is in the planning stages. Lake Country is a short drive from two post-secondary schools: Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan.
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Lavington is an unincorporated community situated on the east end of the Coldstream Valley. It's a rural area made up of several residential areas, with spacious residential lots, acreages and numerous small industries. Lavington Park offers baseball, tennis courts, a peanut pool and a picnic area. Students attend Lavington Elementary School and Charles Bloom Secondary School.
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Lumby Village is a small hamlet located 20 minutes (25 km) east of Vernon. It's the gateway to Mabel Lake and many mountain fishing lakes in the Monashee Mountains. Many of the residents work in Vernon but have chosen to live in this quiet outdoor retreat. Residents enjoy the lake, swimming, fishing, hunting, and biking. Lumby students attend J.W. Inglis Elementary School and Charles Bloom Secondary School.
Mabel lake is a retirement paradise in a quiet mountain setting. The sandy beaches of and lush hemlock, red cedar and birch forests of Mabel Lake Provincial Park provide a comfortably warm summer environment, secluded from the heat of the Okanagan Valley. The lake is a popular place to fish for Rainbow Trout.
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Middleton Mountain is a master-planned community that spans the municipalities of Vernon and Coldstream. While technically a "hill", the community does provide excellent views of the Greater Vernon area and Kalamalka Lake. The community offers family homes and townhomes, adult communities, and executive homes.
Parks and trails in the area include Cosens Bay Park, Greater Vernon Athletics Park, Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, McKergow Meadow, Middleton Mountain Trails, the Mt Ida ‘stairs’, Sawicki Park and Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre. Residents also enjoy quick access to the Hillview Golf Course and Vernon Golf and Country Club, and the Silver Star Mountain Resort.
There are no schools right in the subdivisions. Students on the Vernon side attend Coldstream Elementary School, Hillview Elementary School, Kidston Elementary School, Kalamalka Secondary School and Vernon Secondary School. On the Coldstream side, they attend Coldstream Elementary School, Kidston Elementary School and Kalamalka Secondary School.
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Mission Hill is one of Vernon's original communities. Located next to Vernon's downtown core, the community is close to shopping, dining, schools, churches and other amenities. Most of the homes are single-family residences. Many of them have suites. Some of the subdivisions are on secluded cul-de-sacs. The area also has some duplexes and apartments. Students in Mission Hill attend Mission Hill Elementary School and Clarence Fulton Secondary School.
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The Okanagan Landing is a large historic neighbourhood on the banks of Okanagan Lake. The community was once the terminus for the railway and distribution centre for the steam paddle wheelers that serviced the communities further down the lake. The community has a lot of old-world charm, with beautiful tree-lined streets, lakeshore parks, a waterfront pub and marina, yacht club and community hall. 'The Landing' was annexed into the City of Vernon in 1993.
In addition to 3 large public beaches, visitors and residents enjoy several smaller lake accesses. Vernon Airport is a small airport near the head of Okanagan Lake. The prestigious Predator Ridge Golf Course is 15 minutes away.
The Landing offers homes in a wide range of price points. There are single-family homes, lakefront properties, lakeshore condos and townhomes, duplexes and mobile homes. Many of the properties on the water have tourist commercial zoning. New developments include The Strand, The Seasons and The Outback. Recreational attractions include Kin Beach, Paddlewheel Park, Ellison Provincial Park on the waterfront, and the Marshall Field’s Sports Center. Students attend Ellison Elementary School, Okanagan Landing Elementary School and Clarence Fulton Secondary School.
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Centred around the Predator Ridge's two 18 hole championship courses, the Predator Ridge neighbourhoods are located south of the City of Vernon. Predator Ridge is known as Canada's premier golf-influenced community. With over 700 homes sold, and 28 years of history, it's the most amenity-rich four-season community in the Okanagan.
Developed by Wesbuild Homes, the community offers a range of housing options, including condos, multi-family, and executive homes. There are kilometres of hiking trails to explore right from your doorstep. Predator Ridge is 25 minutes from the Kelowna International Airport (YLW). Students attend Mission Hill Elementary School and W.L. Seaton Secondary School.
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South Vernon is a compact neighbourhood in the City of Vernon, situated in the level area below Mission Hill and Okanagan Landing Road. Real estate includes single-family homes, multi-family homes, townhomes, and duplexes. Vernon's South End is close to shopping, the school and Kin Beach Provincial Park on Okanagan Lake. The Okanagan Landing Shopping Plaza is within walking distance. Students attend Ellison Elementary School and Clarence Fulton Secondary School.
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Swan Lake is a large rural neighbourhood at the north end of Vernon. It follows Old Kamloops Road along the west side of Swan Lake. There are several small single-family neighbourhoods on large mature lots, waterfront properties, small and large acreages, and orchards. Swan Lake is 10 minutes from Downtown Vernon.
Swan Lake is one of the Okanagan’s designated bird and wildlife wetland areas. Recreational options in the area include the Atlantis Waterslide, KalTire Place multiplex, Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre, Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club, Silver Star Mountain Resort and the Swan Lake Nature Reserve Trail. Students attend Alexis Park Elementary School, École Beairsto Elementary and W.L. Seaton Secondary School.
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Vernon's workforce continues to diversify, and therefore so does its workforce. There has been an influx of small businesses over the past five years, in response to a surge in service industries. There is an 8.4% unemployment rate, and the slightly higher rate is due largely to the seasonal nature of the wine, fruit, tourism and ski industries.
Vernon's rich agricultural history and excellent food provide many local opportunities at farmers' markets and in agri-tourism businesses. There are over 350 farms in Vernon, with a total farm area of 23,733 hectares. Leading agricultural sectors are cattle ranching, animal production and fruit farming. Vernon also has a diverse and thriving food-processing industry.
Manufacturing in Vernon is also characterized by diversity, with companies specializing in food and beverage, fabricated metal production, furniture, machinery manufacturing, paper manufacturing, sawmilling and wood processing.
Vernon's professional services sector is becoming an increasingly important component of the local economy, with over 230 professional services firms. In-demand services include legal services; accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and 4 payroll services; architectural, engineering and related services; specialized design services; computer systems design and related services; management, scientific, research and tech; consulting services; and advertising, public relations and related services.
Vernon’s population is growing, and this creates more demand for retail and wholesale services. The wholesale and retail sector now makes up over 18% of the total Vernon labour force. As a major tourism destination in the Okanagan Valley, the tourism sector in the Vernon area continues to attract new tourism products and investment to the area.
Vernon's high-tech sector includes motion picture production and post-production, telecommunication, engineering services, software publishing, and other computer and related services. One of the key strategic advantages Vernon offers, when attracting projects, is the availability of 250 symmetrical service. 250mbps download and upload speeds allow Vernon businesses to secure more business.
School District 22 provides education for children from kindergarten through grade 12. There are 11 elementary schools and 4 secondary schools. There is also an alternative programs school. Independent schools include Pleasant Valley Christian Academy, St James Catholic School, and Vernon Christian School.
In addition to the schools listed in their neighbourhoods, Vernon offers some excellent post-secondary options. Okanagan College - Vernon Campus provides applied degree, diploma and certificate programs in several fields of study, while the University of BC - Okanagan offers several degree programs for both graduate and undergraduate students. Other schools include Stenberg College, Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy and British Columbia College of Equine Therapy.
Downtown Vernon is made up mainly of locally owned and operated retail stores, restaurants and coffee shops, and professional services. There are about 250 retail and service shops and 50 restaurants.
Vernon shopping centres include Polson Place Mall, SmartCentres Vernon, Village Green Shopping Centre and Vernon Square Mall. Some of Vernon's notable restaurants include Intermezzo Restaurant and Wine Cellar, Phoenix Steakhouse, Range Lounge & Grill at Predator Ridge.
80.31% of Vernon's inhabitants are drivers. Vernon is strategically located next to major transportation routes. Highway 97 connects with Kamloops to the north and Kelowna to the south. Highway 97A begins in Vernon and travels north to Armstrong and Enderby. And Highway 6 connect residents with Lumby. The city is about 4 1/2 hours from Vancouver and the Paci!c Ocean, and 3 hours from the Canada/US border. Kelowna is 40 minutes to the south.
There are three galleries in Vernon: Gallery Vertigo NOAA, Vernon Community Arts Centre and Vernon Public Art Gallery (VPAG). VPAG is the largest public gallery in the North Okanagan area. They offer about 20 exhibitions each year for public viewing. There are two museums: the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Museum & Arts Society and the Vernon Museum and Archives. The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre is a state of the art performing arts centre. The performing arts centre presents three series of entertainment including dance, theatre, and child-oriented; and also hosts hundreds of touring musical acts, local talent and community-based events each year.
The Vernon Library offers an impressive library of books, magazines and media, Internet access services and children’s programs.
Vernon offers a wide range of recreational activities. Its four distinct seasons, three lakes and beaches, golf courses, recreational facilities, parks and trails, mountains and ski terrain assure there's something for everyone.
Kal Tire Place is a 3,006 seat multi-purpose arena that is home to the Vernon Vipers. The Kal Tire Place - North facility has a regulation-size 200’ x 85’ sheet of ice and seats 400 spectators. There's a strong curling following in Vernon. Over the past years, the Vernon Curling Club has hosted several national curling events.
Vernon golf courses include Hillview Golf Course, The Predator Course, Spallumcheen Golf & Country Club, The Rise Golf Course, Tower Ranch Golf Course and Vernon Golf & Country Club.
Just 25 minutes from Downtown Vernon, SilverStar Mountain Resort offers runs to suit every skill level. SilverStar was voted the number one Nordic Destination by the US National Ski Team in Forbes Travel Magazine.
Vernon is poised for fresh growth and development. The service sector has exploded over the past few years, attracting many new small businesses to the area. New opportunities are also available in the technology sector and the film industry. Vernon companies have access to a highly-skilled workforce. Okanagan College and University of British Columbia Okanagan offer post-secondary opportunities to both high school graduates and returning students upgrading their skills.
Vernon is a great place to raise a family, with many small neighbourhoods and excellent schools. The city offers some of the best recreational opportunities, with lakes and beaches, parks and trails, recreational facilities, golf courses and skiing close by. Employment opportunities are on the rise, and Vernon has two excellent post-secondary schools to train its workforce.
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