Vernon, British Columbia Canada

Discover Vernon, British Columbia: A Blend of History, Culture, and Natural Beauty

Vernon, a city nestled in the Okanagan region of the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada, is a gem waiting to be discovered. Located 440 km northeast of Vancouver, Vernon is named after Forbes George Vernon, a former MLA of British Columbia who played a significant role in establishing the Coldstream Ranch in nearby Coldstream. The city was incorporated on December 30, 1892, and has since grown into a vibrant community with a population of 40,000 as of 2013. The metropolitan region, Greater Vernon, boasts a population of 58,584 according to the Canada 2011 Census. As the largest city in the North Okanagan Regional District, Vernon is a bustling hub of activity, and its residents are affectionately known as "Vernonites".

The Rich History of Vernon, British Columbia

The city of Vernon has a rich history that dates back to its discovery by the Okanagan people, a tribe of the Interior Salish people. They initially named the community Nintle Moos Chin, meaning "jumping over place where the creek narrows", referring to a section of the Swan Lake that passes through Downtown Vernon, the community's central business district. The Okanagan people settled around the city's two lakes, Okanagan Lake and Swan Lake, obtaining seasonal sources of food.

In 1811, fur traders began travelling around the area, and Vernon started to develop in 1863, following a gold discovery at the Cherry Creek, Monashee Mountains, Mission Creek, and the east side of Okanagan Lake. The city's growth accelerated in 1891, after the Canadian Pacific Railway was opened in the Okanagan and Shuswap regions of the British Columbia Interior. Vernon was incorporated as a city on December 30, 1892, and it was declared the largest municipality in the Okanagan the following year.

Transportation in Vernon, British Columbia

Vernon is well-connected with three provincial highways: Highway 97, Highway 97A, and Highway 6. The city, in conjunction with the District of Coldstream and the North Okanagan Regional District, operates Vernon Regional Transit through BC Transit. Vernon is also served by the Vernon Regional Airport in the Okanagan Landing area, and the Greater Vernon area is served by Kelowna International Airport, located approximately 40 kilometres south on Hwy 97.

Climate and Demographics of Vernon, British Columbia

Vernon has a humid continental climate with warm, sometimes hot summers and cold winters. According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Vernon had a population of 44,519 living in 19,776 of its 21,287 total private dwellings, a change of 11% from its 2016 population of 40,116.

Ethnicity and Language in Vernon, British Columbia

According to the 2021 census, 84.7% of Vernon residents are white, 8.0% are visible minorities, and 7.3% are Indigenous. The 2021 census reported that 87.2% of residents claim English as their mother tongue.

Arts and Culture in Vernon, British Columbia

Vernon is a hub of arts and culture, hosting the Vernon Winter Carnival, Sunshine festival, and the Vernon and District Performing Arts Center. The city is also home to the 60-year-old Powerhouse Theatre and the Vernon Community Arts Centre (VCAC). Every summer, Vernon hosts Creative Chaos, the largest craft show in western Canada.

Sports and Recreation in Vernon, British Columbia

Vernon is known for its lakes and beaches in the summer, and skiing and hockey in the winter. The city is home to several golf courses, including the prestigious Predator Ridge Resort. One of the most popular winter sports in Vernon is skiing, with two major ski locations nearby, Silver Star Mountain Resort and Sovereign Lake Nordic Club.

Flag and Sister Cities of Vernon, British Columbia

The flag of Vernon was adopted in November 2010 and represents the city itself and its region, the Okanagan. Vernon has "sister city" agreements with Anandpur Sahib, India; Frankenburg am Hausruck, Austria; Modesto, United States; Saint-Lambert, Canada; Tavullia, Italy; and Tome, Japan.

Freedom of the City in Vernon, British Columbia

The Freedom of the City of Vernon has been granted to individuals and military units in recognition of their significant contributions. Among the recipients are Kenneth Mark Holland, Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre, and British Columbia Dragoons.