Discover Penticton, British Columbia: A Place to Stay Forever

Penticton, a city nestled in the Okanagan Valley of the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada, is a place of natural beauty and rich history. With a population of 33,761 according to the 2016 Canadian Census, Penticton is a vibrant community situated between Okanagan and Skaha lakes.

The Origin of Penticton's Name

The name Penticton is derived from a word in the Okanagan language. It is often translated as "a place to stay forever," but it actually refers to the year-round flow of Okanagan Lake through Penticton where it enters Skaha Lake. The name is a testament to the city's enduring appeal and the constant, steady flow of the Okanagan River.

The History of Penticton, British Columbia

The site of Penticton was first settled by the Syilx (Okanagan people), who named the community Phthauntac, meaning the "ideal meeting place." They settled around the city's two lakes: Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake. Their descendants form the Penticton Indian Band, a First Nations government part of the Okanagan Nation Alliance situated near Penticton.

In 1866, Irishman Thomas Ellis and his family became the first white settlers in Penticton. Ellis started to develop a community by building a cattle empire and planting fruit trees. The Penticton Hotel was established in 1892 by Ellis, who positioned it around the local government area, and its first road: Front Street.

Penticton was incorporated as a district municipality on December 31, 1908. Shortly after the district was incorporated, the fruit trees planted by Ellis, many of them apple trees, started to grow. Residents of the area packed fruit in boxes, so they could distribute it worldwide.

The Geography of Penticton, British Columbia

Penticton is located at the geographical coordinates of 49°29′28″N 119°35′19″W and covers an area of 42.10 km2 (16.25 sq mi). Its borders are formed by Skaha Lake Road to the south and west, which changes to Highway 97 after city limits, Naramata Road to the east, and to the west, Highway 97. Penticton has an elevation of 385 m (1,263 ft), and is situated five hours from Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia in another direction; and eight hours from Calgary, Alberta, by highway.

The Topography of Penticton, British Columbia

Penticton is the largest city by area and population in the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District. It is the 21st largest settlement in British Columbia itself by population, while its metropolitan area, including the city plus Okanagan-Similkameen Electoral Area D, serves as the 71st largest in Canada.

The Climate of Penticton, British Columbia

Penticton has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). Penticton has low precipitation, hot summer days with cool nights, and moderately cool, mostly cloudy winters. With 346.0 mm (13.62 in) of annual precipitation, Penticton is the fourth driest city in Canada.

The Demographics of Penticton, British Columbia

In the 2021 Canadian census conducted by Statistics Canada, Penticton had a population of 36,885 living in 17,361 of its 18,457 total private dwellings, a change of 9.3 per cent from its 2016 population of 33,761.

The Ethnicity and Language of Penticton, British Columbia

As of 2021, 84.3 per cent of residents are white, while 8.9 per cent are visible minorities, and 6.8 per cent are Indigenous. As of 2016, 86.4 per cent of residents spoke English as their first language.

The Architecture of Penticton, British Columbia

Penticton is home to eight notable buildings, the largest of which are the Lakeshore buildings, which are 15 floors, with the building's construction by concrete completing in 2008.

The Public Spaces of Penticton, British Columbia

Penticton is home to ten public parks, including Gyro Park, Lakawanna Park, Marina Way Park, Okanagan Lake Park, Penticton Youth Park, Rose Garden, Rotary Centennial Pavilion, Rotary Park, Skaha Lake Park, and Munson Mountain.

The Events of Penticton, British Columbia

Penticton hosts many events annually, among them the Super League Penticton Triathlon, the Valley First Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan, the Okanagan Wine Festival, the Okanagan Children's Festival, Meadowlark Nature Festival, and the Penticton Peach Festival.

The Recreation of Penticton, British Columbia

Penticton offers many kinds of recreation, including skiing at the Apex Mountain Resort ski area; boating and fishing on Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake, golfing on the area's many courses, hiking and biking the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, and rock climbing at Skaha Bluffs.

The Infrastructure of Penticton, British Columbia

Penticton is served by the Penticton Airport, a regional airport located 1.8 nautical miles (3.3 km; 2.1 mi) southwest of city centre. In 2018 a $6million upgrade to the facility was initiated to expand the departure and arrivals lounges as well as increase capacity for managing passenger flow.

The International Relations of Penticton, British Columbia

Since 1977, Penticton has served as a sister city of Ikeda, Hokkaido, a town in the Nakagawa regional district of Japan. The relationship is one of the oldest in Canada, with a number of residents having exchanged visits to the respective locations annually.