Fun Facts about Kelowna

City of Kelowna

William R. Bennett Bridge

•    ‘The Orchard City’
•    Incorporated in 1905
•    Largest city in the Okanagan Valley
•    150 km north of the U.S. border
•    Kelowna City Motto: Fruitful in Unity
•    Official flower: Arrowroot Balsam/Okanagan Sunflower
•    Elevation: 344 metres/1129 feet
•    Area: 101.2 square miles
•    Longitude: 49N
•    Latitude: 119W
•    Mean Annual hours of Sunshine: 2047 hours
•    Average Annual Rainfall: 280.70 millilitres per year / 10.6 in
•    Average Annual Snowfall: 105.5 centimetres / 34 inches
•    Average number of frost-free days: 214
•    Area code: 250 & 780
•    Electrical Current: 110 volts at 60Hz
•    Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time Zone
•    Previous Kelowna population numbers:
1961: 13,188
1966: 17,006
1971: 19,415
1976: 51,955 (Glenmore, Okanagan Mission, Rutland amalgamated)
1981: 59,196
1986: 61,213
1991: 75,950
1996: 89,442
2001: 96,288
2004: 106,000
2006: Estimated – 110,000
2011: Kelowna – 117 312
2011: Kelowna & West Kelowna – 179,839
2015: Kelowna – 123,500

Other Populations
•    Westside: 39,000
•    Peachland: 5, 200
•    Lake Country: 12,300

Lake Okanagan
•    Runs from Penticton (south) to Vernon (north)
•    Length: 128 metres / 80 miles
•    Depth: 250 metres / 760 feet
•    Width: 2.5 miles (widest) -1 mile (narrowest)
•    101.2 square miles; 85,000 acres of water

Ogopogo
•    The name comes from a music hall song in the 1920’s
•    First Nations name: N’Ha-a-itk
•    Other names: Demon Fish, Sea Serpent, Big Lake Devil

Miscellaneous
•    Kelowna: ‘grizzly bear’ in the language of the Interior Salish people
•    Okanagan: Okanagan First Nations word S-Ookanhkchinx meaning “Transport toward the head or top end”; big head as it refers to the head of the river or head chief
•    K.L.O. Road: named after the Kelowna Land and Orchard Company
•    Calona Wines: BC’s original winery (1932) now under Vineyards Estate Wines
•    Coquihalla: Stalo Indian Band name meaning ‘stingy container’.  According to legend, stingy water pygmies inhabited pools along the Coquihalla River, confounded fishermen and did not give up their fish easily.
•    Coquihalla Connector Elevation: 1728metres / 5669 feet
•    Number of wineries in the Kelowna area: 11
•    Number of wineries in the Okanagan Valley: 100
•    Number of golf courses in the Kelowna area: 14
•    Number of golf courses in the Okanagan Valley: 60

Distances from Kelowna City Centre
•    Airport    12k
•    Big White    55k
•    Hwy 33     3.2k
•    Knox Mountain     3k
•    Orchard Park Mall    2.5k
•    West kelowna    23k

Big White Ski Hill
•    Village elevation    1755 metres / 5757 feet
•    Top peak elevation    2319 metres / 7606 feet
•    Average temperature   -4° C / 23°F
•    Annual snowfall  750 centimetres / 24.5 ft.
•    118 runs
•    16 lifts
•    Vertical drop 777 metres / 2550 feet
•    7000 acres skiable terrain
•    Nordic trails 25 kilometres / 15.5 miles
William R Bennett Bridge: June 4, 2008
1.    The bridge is named in honour of William R Bennett, the 27th Premier of British Columbia who served from 1975 to 1986.

2.    The official opening of the new W. R. Bennett Bridge took place Sunday, May 25, 2008.

3.    The overall length of structure from shore to shore is a kilometre long, with the floating portion extending for .7 kilometres.

3.  The William R Bennett Bridge is five-lanes wide, with 3 lanes outbound and   2 lanes inbound.  There is a 3 metre wide sidewalk on the south side to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists.

4.    There are nine concrete pontoons 25 metres wide and 60 to 90 metres in length. There are six floating pontoons, weighing up to 6,000 tonnes each and three smaller pontoons, weighing 3,000 to 4,000 tonnes each.

5.    Pontoons are held in place by the existing bridge’s underwater anchors and four more have been added.  There are 24 anchors, weighing 75 tonnes, to hold pontoons in place.

6.    The pontoons are equipped with watertight walls to ensure the bridge will remain in service for its life expectancy of 75 years. Each pontoon is made up of watertight compartments so if one cell should fill, the other cells will remain dry.

7.    The structure is one of only eight floating bridges in the world and serves one of the heaviest traffic loads in the province of British Columbia.

8.    Steel pipe, some measuring up to 50 metres, is in place as support for five piers forming the west entrance of the bridge.

9.    Steel has been used to fabricate the 18-metre high, elevated span of the bridge, which will eliminate any need to swing-gate for marine traffic.

10.    The elevated roadway span is 277 metres long and over 20 metres above the water.  It provides a 44 metre wide by 18 meter high opening for watercraft.

11.     2,200 tonnes of structural steelwork and 25,000 cubic metres of concrete were used to build the bridge.  15,000 cubic metres of Styrofoam fill are at the west end of project.

12.    An average of 46,000 vehicles per day use the bridge, which is a part of Highway 97.

By: Laura Appleby, Tourism Kelowna.

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