The William R. Bennett Bridge was constructed in 2007 and 2008 to replace the old floating bridge between downtown Kelowna and West Kelowna across the lake. Lanes increases from 3 to five lanes has reduced congestion, and a tall boat underpass no longer requires the old drawbridge to stop traffic.
Kelowna's Cultural District and it's relation to Downtown Kelowna, is setting the pace for Central Okanagan development. Take a self-guided walking tour, or meet some friends at one of the area's festivals or arts venues. January's chilly temperatures bring the famous Icewine Festival and other noteable events include the Okanagan Film Festival, BC Interior Jazz Festival, Parks Alive! outdoor concerts, the Kelowna International Dragonboat Festival, and the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival. Among the new Kelowna condo developments are a plethora of galleries along Ellis and Pandosy Streets also circling Prospera Place. The Kelowna Art Gallery is in the Cultural District, and the nearby Waterfront Park on Okanagan Lake make this a wonderful place to spend some time.
Loft-style Kelowna condos and apartments are springing up right where the arts and culture are evolving in the heart of the Okanagan Valley and Kelowna condos are becoming the preferred real estate acquisition. The reasons are many, with some investors and travelers purchasing Kelowna condos as investments for the future. In our global society travel is becoming more common and low-maintenance residences like apartments and secured condos fit well into a modern lifestyle.
Kelowna houses and acreages remain a strong part of the real estate market also. Okanagan builders and developers each year open up the newest streets on the outskirts and incorporate more geographical area to build new West Kelowna houses and Westbank houses and communities. Lake Country and Peachland are also desireable places to relocate, since the City of Kelowna and it's metro-style amenities are very much nearby. One can still buy a nice Okanagan acreage to build or with an existing house in areas such as Peachland or Winfield. Lakeview houses are at a premium, but many non-lakeview acreages a few minutes away from the lakes are modestly priced for today's economy. For a house right in Kelowna and minutes from downtown expect to pay upwards of $325,000 for a starter.
Ogopogo caused quite a stir in the 1990's with film crews searching for the fabled lake monster in the dark waters of Okanagan Lake.
The Kelowna Rockets are Kelowna's WHL hockey club, providing on ice entertainment. Other winter entertainment includes the Okanagan Skate-of-Mind amateur figure skating club, and nearby Big White Mountain is a thriving alpine ski resort and village.
Educational Opportunities in the Central Okanagan have grown tremendously in recent years. The University of British Columbia opened a new UBC Okanagan (UBCO) campus in 2005 to offer degree programs in sciences, arts, and fine arts. Technology schools and accredited trade certificate programs are helping make Kelowna and the Central Okanagan a vital community with skilled graduates and professionals.
Big White Ski Resort is a thriving alpine ski resort and village, with downhill runs that will knock your socks off! Plenty of ski-in ski-out accomodation and real estate properties are available for visitors and local skiers.