Okanagan-Shuswap neighbourhoods: the City of Kamloops
Kamloops's name comes from Shuswap phrase "T'kumlups" for "the meeting of the waters." This city of 84,000 was founded in 1812 by the North West Company, later taken over by the Hudson's Bay Company. Kamloops is at the junction of the North and south branches of the Thompson River at Kamloops Lake. Today, the city sits where the Trans-Canada Highway (#1) meets the Coquihala (#5) and carry traffic of 10 million vehicles a year. The community is serviced by a regional airport as well.
Kamloops began as a fur trading post in 1812, and boomed during the 1860s Cariboo Gold Rush as "overlanders" rushed up to the North Thompson. Once the gold ran out, the area matured into cattle and sheep ranches. The transcontinental railroad arrived in 1886 giving Kamloops the confidence to lobby to become the provincial capital.
Kamloops saw significant changes in the 1960s and 70s. When the Trans Canada Highway was completed in 1962 running along the South Thompson River, with Columbia Street becoming a segment of the new highway. In 1967 when the Town of North Kamloops was amalgamated with the City of Kamloops. and that year the Yellowhead Bridge over the South Thompson River was built along with the control tower at Kamloops Airport. The Trans-Canada bypass around downtown was built in 1973.
The area around the city is rolling hills with forests, grasslands, and hoodoos. The area is blessed by lots of sunshine, great recreational infrustructure, and good health care, public transit, tourism, cultural, and educational facilities.
The lumber industry employs many people in logging and processing. There are several large copper mines to the south and the area has over a thousand ranches, including the famous Douglas Lake ranch.
Major Employers (and # of Employees)
- Royal Inland Hospital (2117)
- School District #73 (1784)
- Convergys (1200)
- Thompson Rivers University (1050)
- Highland Valley Copper Mine (950)
- Weyerhaeuser Canada (860)
- City of Kamloops (630)
- Overlander Extended Care Hospital (367)
- Wal-Mart (322)
- BC Lottery Corporation (310)
- NRI-Distribution (220)
Source: Kamloops Community Profile, 2006
Neighbourhoods within Kamloops include:
- North Side of Thomson (North Kamloops, Westsyde, Brocklehurst)
- The Hill, south of Downtown (Mt Dufferin, Aberdeen)
- Valleyview, east of Downtown (Juniper, Rose Hill, Knutsford)
Homes in the area average $262,000, a with average two bedroom rental reates running $670 per month (2005 stats). There is significant new home construction on Tranquille Road, at TRU (new dorms), Lorne Street, Pineview Valley, Aberdeen, Batchelor Heights, and Mt Dufferin.
School District #73 (Kamloops/Thompson) includes Kamloops and surrounding communities and has 15,423 students. The main campus of Thompson Rivers University (TRU) is located in Kamloops. Satellite campuses are located in Williams Lake and Burnaby. These have a total enrollment of 9,500 students plus another 5,500 in distance learning programs.
Kamloops is the regional geographic commercial centre for more than 127,000 people. Kamloops is served by all major retail chains, and has a vibrant downtown eating and shopping area enhanced by facilities such as the Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops Museum and the main public library.
Kamloops has public and private recreation facilities, including the 6,400 seat
Interior Savings Centre sports coliseum, six arenas, three
indoor pools, a waterslide park, 11 golf courses, 3 museums, 2 live theatre companies, and 82 parks (totalling 1350 ha).
The city bills itself as the "tournament capital of Canada" and hosted the Canada Summer Games in 1993.
There are an impressive 84 baseball fields, 73 soccer fields, five ice arenas, 10 gymnasiums, 53 tennis courts, 13 golf courses (open from mid-March well into October), and a 5000 seat stadium. 100+ lakes to fish nearby.
The community is also served by the International Mountain Bike Park, and the Sun Peaks Resort and Harper Mountain ski resorts.
The City of Kamloops and the Kamloops Indian Band are working together on the 100 km Rivers Trail to run throughout the river valley, passing through historical sites, nature trails. There are two hundred lakes, within a 40-mile radius of downtown Kamloops,