North Downtown: The Cultural District

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Downtown Kelowna is a vibrant and exciting place to live. Included in North Downton Kelowna is an area known as the Cultural District. It’s here where you’ll find an interesting mix of housing options, shopping, live theatre and music. A short walk is all it takes to get you to urban wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries. And yes, they are usually open for tastings Housing consists of small to large sized condos and single family homes.

For those who want a lifestyle that doesn’t involve driving everywhere, North Downtown is the place to be.

Location

North Downtown is located just north of HWY 97 and encompasses the area along the waterfront and back towards Ellis and Richter Streets. Getting to downtown, public parks, museums and the beach, is rarely more than a 10 minute walk.

History

The area that is now North Downtown and the Cultural District was once the center of the Okanagan’s historical Fruit Packing Industry. Today, the packing houses are gone; however, the pioneering spirit still lives on.

Back in 1905, Kelowna was a bustling town of 600 people. Today you can imagine what it was like in the early days by visiting the Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum at the Laurel Packing House on Ellis.  The packing house is now one of the hubs of activity in this area and is used for conferences, fundraisers, art shows and other social events.  Another historical building is the Old Cannery Building, now home to BNA Brewing and Eatery.

North Downtown Amenities

The list of amenities in North Downtown Kelowna is huge. Amazing restaurants, upscale boutiques, mom and pop stores, coffee shops, cafés, museums, two live theatres, opera and the symphony, as well as the marina are all right here.

Want to go bowling? No problem, BNA Brewing has a 6-lane alley on site. Prefer bird watching? Take a stroll down the boardwalk that connects Rotary Marsh Bird Sanctuary to City Park. Those who want to play a game of beach volleyball are minutes away from Hot Sands Beach in City park where you’ll find multiple courts. If you get too hot, simply jump into the lake for a swim.

When you’re looking for entertainment, this area is where you want to be. From the Kelowna Farmers’ Market satellite location to block parties, to live music in the park to outdoor and indoor big name concerts, it all happens here. For more information on happenings in this area visit Tourism Kelowna’s website. This truly is the best place to be a tourist in your home town.

Schools

Schools in this area consists mainly of colleges and trade schools. A short drive to the south side of HWY 97 is where you’ll find elementary, middle and secondary schools, including French Immersion and private schools. There’s also an elementary school a little further north. Camosun College is a 15-minute drive away, with the University of British Columbia Okanagan about a 30 minute drive. There are also several art and technical schools a short drive, bike or bus ride away.

Demographics

This area is a true melting pot of people and personalities.
North Downtown Kelowna average age: 55
North Downtown Kelowna average Income: $67,000
North Downtown Kelowna households with children: 20%

Home Values

Downtown Kelowna has some of the best options to choose from when you want to live the Okanagan lifestyle. Partial ownership can range from 1/12 to 1/4 of the property and ranges from $45,000 for 1/12 ownership to $200,000 for 1/4 ownership. Strata and Owner Association Fees are extra. Full ownership condos in this area start at around $260,000 and go up to $950,000 depending on size and view. Townhomes will run you anywhere from $525,000 to $1,100,000. There are some single family homes in the area, with an average price of $750,000.

Walkability

The Walkability score for North Downtown Kelowna is 76, meaning you can do most of your day to day errands on foot. It’s also rated 99/100 for a bikers paradise, with quick access to all amenities and several trails in the area. Transit in this area is highly accessible as well.

An area’s walkability score is based on the following:

90–100: Walker’s Paradise – Daily errands can be done on foot
70–89: Very Walkable – Most errands can be done on foot
50–69: Somewhat Walkable – Some errands can be done on foot
0–49: Car-Dependent – Most to all errands require a vehicle

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