The Okanagan Valley is a region in the south of the province of British Columbia; it is also called Okanagan Okanagan or Country.
Location and Outline
The Okanagan Valley stretches over a distance of about 175 kilometers from Osoyoos to Enderby.
The region is formed of three Regional Director Strict:
- Regional District of North Okanagan ( 7512.58 km ²) with headquarters in Coldstream
- Regional District of Central Okanagan ( 2904.00 km ²) with headquarters in Kelowna
- Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen - ( 10.413, 44 km ²) with headquarters in Penticton
On the area of 20,829 km ² live according to the census of 2001, about 298,000 people, the population density of 14,31 inhabitants per square km is well above average for the interior of the province.
The valley is home to the Okanagan Nation, a tribe of the Salish, which the Okanagan Valley along the Okanagan River to the Columbia River and the Similkameen Valley populated. This indigenous people lived as hunter-gatherers and traded with the peoples of the Northwest.
The first foreigners arrived in the valley in 1811, already 15 years later the Okanagan Trail was Fort Okanagan, a trading post of the Pacific Fur Company on the Columbia River, the valley of the Thompson River transport of goods to and from the Pacific Ocean. The compromise Oregon divided the valley in 1846 at the 49th parallel, which brought the exchange of goods across the Okanagan Trail ceased, as this is now done by the valleys of the Thompson River and the Fraser River to Vancouver.
It was not until 1859, when Father Charles Pandosy founded a mission of the Oblates in today's Kelowna, began the settlement of the region, also to supply them with food and operating in the Fraser Canyon and the Cariboo region prospectors. Prospectors who came on the Okanagan Trail from the United States of America, discovered in the south of the valley modest deposits of gold and copper, their exploitation led to a further increase in population.
The economic boom was initially closely tied to the commercial fruit growing in the 20th century, in 1892 the first apple orchard was created. This industry has led to an economic boom in the valley beyond was especially in Penticton the wood processing industry is important. Later followed Viticulture ( see also the article viticulture in Canada).
Natural environment and climate
The Okanagan Valley is the Canadian portion of the Okanagan valley of the River, a river which rises in the Okanagan Lake and empties into the Columbia River in Washington State. The North -South oriented, four to 19 kilometers wide valley of the Monashee Mountains ( with the Okanagan Highland ) and limited the Thompson Plateau.
For the formative region are the lakes, which occupy a large part of the valley:
- Okanagan Lake
- Swan Lake
- Goose Lake
- Kalamalka Lake
- Ellison Lake
- Skaha Lake
- Tuc -El - Nuit Lake
- Osoyoos Lake
The climate is unusually warm and dry summer temperatures above 30 ° C are common. The winter temperature is relatively mild, Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake does not freeze completely in normal years. As you count frost-free days on average about 150, the area for the cultivation of special crops is suitable.
The dryness increases from north to south, around Osoyoos are significantly less than the average reported for the valley 400 mm of rainfall per year reached.
The valley is called Ticino Canada, the hilly landscape is covered with loose forests in the north mainly of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. The arid region in the south near the border with Washington State wears desert -like traits, the stock of ponderosa pine is less dense and interspersed with planted with cacti and sagebrush areas. Despite the relatively high population density, larger predators, such as black bear and lynx are in peripheral areas still relatively common.
Fruit production is still important today, but loses in favor of the cultivation of wine on acreage. The harvest is also offered at stalls along the main thoroughfares:
- Cherries (late June to late July )
- Apricots ( mid-July to mid-August)
- Peaches ( late July to mid-September)
- Pears ( mid-August to mid-September)
- Apples ( mid-August to mid-October)
- Plums ( beginning of September to end of September)
- Grapes ( early September to early October)
Apart from the processing of agricultural products, tourism is an important economic factor. In addition, the area is very popular due to the climatic conditions at retirees as a retirement home.
Coming from Sicamous offers a jointly operated by Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railway line, the possibility of transporting goods to Vernon and Kelowna.
The main roads which are open to the field:
- Highway 3 ( Crowsnest Highway)
- Highway 6
- Highway 33
- Highway 97 ( Okanagan Highway)
- Highway 97A
- Highway 97C ( Okanagan Connector)
The following cities - arranged from north to south - are the region:
- Lake Country (consisting of Oyama, Winield, Carr 's Landing and Okanagan Centre)
- Westside (consisting of Lakeview Heights, West Kelowna and Westbank )
- Okanagan Falls
- Oliver (including Fairview )