Tom Ellis, the first non-
Smith Street was named after C.S. Smith, who owned a sawmill and supplied much of the lumber used to construct the original buildings. This was home to many buildings that no longer exist, but which then housed the businesses of the day: livery barns, blacksmiths, barbershops, bakeshops, hotels, etc. A strange, little known fact, was that some of the older, wooden buildings were built on skids and could be moved to a new location by simply hitching them up to a team of horses and dragging them away.
By 1907, Penticton had grown to the bountiful size of 600 residents, and was officially recognized by the British Columbia Government as a municipal district. In the teens, the building of the Kettle Valley Railroad increased the population to around 1500 people. By 1921 the city was 4,000 strong, but it took until 1948 for Penticton to gain City Status.
The early days were difficult for road travel, but with the proliferation of the
automobile and the constant increase in population, road-
There have been many historic moments throughout the years. In 1911, Wade's General
Store, owned and built by founder Tom Ellis' brother-
Many changes have come to Penticton. The city now has a population of approximately 33,000 and continues to grow. Still, if you listen hard on a quiet night, you can almost hear the horn of one of the old sternwheeler, announcing its arrival on the beach.
Penticton is located 63 km (39 mi) north of Osoyoos and 72 km (45 mi) south of Kelowna on a part of Hwy 97 designated as the "Wine Route".
Penticton Regional Airport is serviced by Air Canada Jazz which offers daily scheduled flights, with connecting flights to Canadian and international destinations. Helicopter charters are also available. The Kelowna International Airport (60 minutes away from Penticton) is serviced by additional national airlines, including WestJet, and offers direct flights from major Canadian and American destinations.
Penticton is serviced by Greyhound Bus Lines.
Places to See
The Art Gallery of the South Okanagan
The handsome cedar structure standing on the shores of Lake Okanagan, in Penticton,
is the result of the hard work of many volunteers. Over the years, the Gallery has
developed from a one-
Walk onboard this restored paddlewheel vessel on the shores of Okanagan Lake. Built in 1914 for the Canadian Pacific Railway and British Columbia Lake and River Service, the S.S. Sicamous was in operation until 1936.
Okanagan Lake Provincial Park
Beautiful, sandy/pebbly beaches surrounded by ponderosa pine and sagebrush make this park the perfect spot for swimming and water activities. The landscape across the lake, from beach to skyline, is part of Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park, accessible by boat or by driving back through Kelowna.
Penticton Museum and Archives
Experience the tumultuous lives of the gold seekers and railway men and envision the sternwheeler's that ran up and down the waterways of the Okanagan. Explore the fine displays of pioneer life, natural history, military artifacts, and First Nations collections. The extensive archives are available for researchers of local and regional history.
Apex Mountain Resort
It requires equal amounts of action and ambience for a mountain to become a world-
Things to Do
Kettle Valley Railway Trail
Stretching along 500 km (310 mi) of scenic gravel track, the gentle 2.2% grade into
Penticton travels through vineyards, orchards, and wineries, and offers unparalleled
views of Okanagan Lake. This historic former railway is shared by the Trans-
You don't have to be a climber to appreciate Penticton's Skaha Bluffs. What's not
to like? The eighty-
Whether you prefer a challenging technical ride to a leisurely spin on the Kettle Valley Railway or a gnarly downhill descent to the paved Channel Park pathway, you're sure to find trails to satisfy your skill and comfort level in and around Penticton. Visit the Wine Country Visitor Centre for trail maps and information about bike rentals.
Visit Penticton's Wineries
Featuring unique architectural styles, there are some 60 wineries surrounded by more
than 2,000 hectares of vineyards within the valley's picturesque landscape. Drive
north of Penticton along the east side of Lake Okanagan to Naramata and sample award
wines while taking in the breathtaking scenery of the vines as they stretch down
to the lakeshore below. Stay a while and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared from local
foods by one of the many well-
Gently rolling golden hills, punctuated by the rich green hues of scrub and Ponderosa
pines; dramatic cliffs and dry gulches; gentle streams running through meadows; stately
willows bending low near the water's edge; cacti and tumbleweeds defining the desert's
reach are all simply part of the golf experience here in Canada's sunniest climate.
From challenging, full-
Okanagan Spring Wine Festival
The Okanagan Spring Wine Festival is a perfect marriage of wine and culinary tourism.
For the first ten days in May each year, it offers a tantalizing experience for anyone
who loves amazing wine accompanied by fine cuisine. Visitors can choose an incredible
100+ events throughout Okanagan Wine Country at a time of year when it is absolutely
delightful to savour Spring in the warm sunshine and appreciate stunning views. The
Okanagan Spring Wine Festival has been described as "one of Canada's best small festivals"
and it is no wonder that its success continues to grow. Four wine festivals are held
throughout the Okanagan Valley each year -
Penticton hosts the "best jazz festival in the northwest" at the annual Pentastic Jazz Festival. Held over three days in September the festival showcases world class jazz to entertain and excite music lovers of all ages. Top bands from Canada and the USA play Acoustic Swing, Big Band Era, Bad Boys of Dixieland, Traditional Cajun, & Zydeco.