Kamloops' downtown core is home to 11,000 residents. Originally subdivided from John Peterson's ranch and settled in 1884. The land was properly surveyed with streets, blocks. Other development in the West End, west of 1st Avenue, was a jumble of streets, crooked lanes, and odd shaped lots.
Since the early to mid-1980s considerable commercial development took place to the southwest of downtown. The 1990s saw the City add the riverside Interior Savings Centre, build the Thompson Nicola Regional District/Library/Art Gallery complex, Rivers Trail trailhead, and the CN Station restoration. The downtown now includes government services, civic facilities, high density residential buildings, and transfer points for public transit & railway systems.
Over past few years, significant development has occurred along Lorne Street over the past 10 years including multiple family developments centered around Station Plaza. Tourist-commercial uses on Columbia Street from Third Avenue to Sixth Avenue.
The downtown of Kamloops has a variety of shops, services and restaurants, as well as grocery and chain stores in the downtown area. Commercial activity has also occurred, including significant additions along East Battle and Victoria Street between Third & Fifth Avenue.
The downtown has easy access to a a number of key recreational and cultural facilities. This area has access to the Thompson River, with its parklands, pathways, boat ramps and beaches. Downtown also hosts the annual Christmas parade, Victoria Street block parties, Canada Day celebrations, and the Rivers Family Festival.
The East End of downtown is mostly single family home and semi-detached, with multiple family
townhomes and small scale commercial activities. New construction in this area is either single-family infill units or four-plexes.
The city's West End is a character neighbourhood, with residential development including single family homes west of First Avenue, with single and mult-family residences east of First Avenue. Multi-family construction (up to 3 storeys) is integrated with existing housing stock along West Seymour Street and Columbia Street. The stock of homes in the West End are 45% from before 1980, 30% from the 80s, and 25% since 1990.
The downtown core is mostly single and childless couples, with 35% of homes dating prior to 1990, with most living in recently-built multi-family buildings and condos.
South of downtown, climbing a gentle slope is a character area with mostly single-family homes, many with heritage designations. Along traffic corridors multi-family townhouses or low-rise apartments can be found, or are being built.