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Penticton, BC History

https://www.penticton.ca/, British Columbia: history from establishment to 21st century

Penticton is a town in the Okanagan Valley in southern British Columbia, Canada, located between Okanagan and Skaha Lakes. According to the 2016 Canadian Census, its population was 33,761 people.

The name Penticton comes from the Okanagan language. Conventionally, it translates as "a place where you can stay forever," but in fact, it is a reference to the year-round flow of Lake Okanagan through Penticton, where it flows into Lake Skaha.

Before Penticton and city's establishment

Initially, the town was called Phthauntac ("the perfect meeting place"), and later Pen-tak-Tin ("a place where you can stay forever"). This place was visited by David Stewart in 1811 and Alexander Ross in 1812, both were Scottish fur traders who worked for the Pacific Fur Company. The Brigade Trail passed by it between 1812 and 1948. The first orchards appeared in the 1890s; in 1905, the South Okanagan Land Company provided irrigation.

The city was founded in 1906. Transportation by rail to Okanagan Landing and by paddle steamers to Penticton has existed since 1892. The Kettle Valley Railroad connected the town to Crowsnest Pass and Hope by 1915. Tourism began with the opening of the Hope-Princeton Highway in 1949 and intensified after the completion of the Rogers Pass section in 1962. The opening of the Peach Bowl Convention Center in 1965 firmly established the year-round attractiveness of the city.

In 20th century

In 1905, the South Okanagan Land Company subdivided another large portion of Ellis' holdings. By 1908, when Penticton had a population of 600, it was incorporated as a city, and its growth accelerated.

Due to the difficult terrain, early transportation to and from Penticton was carried out mainly by water on Okanagan Lake, mainly by steamboats such as S.S. Sicamous. Known as the "Queen of the Lake", it was built in Port Harbor, Ontario, and assembled at Okanagan Landing for its maiden voyage on July 1, 1914. In 1949, the city of Penticton purchased the vessel from the Canadian Pacific Railway in order to preserve this important relic of the Lake steamship era.

In 1910, it was announced that Penticton would become the headquarters of the new Kettle Valley Railway, a rail line that would finally connect coast transportation with the Kootenay riches. This decision secured Penticton's economic future; with the advent of the railroad, many jobs were created, and the city's population had more than doubled by the time construction was completed.

The railway also provided fast and efficient transportation of local products, which greatly stimulated the booming orchard industry. it also allowed tourists to visit an area that had been isolated from the rest of the province for a long time, which allowed Penticton to become a tourist center.

After World War II

After the end of World War II, the flow of returning veterans led to a post-war demographic boom, and in 1948 Penticton was incorporated into the city. The 1950s and 1960s were busy decades of construction and major infrastructure projects. The canalization of the Okanagan River and numerous construction projects, including a new city hall, a building for public arts, and the first major shopping center in Penticton, changed the face of the young city.

In March 1955, the city achieved international fame when the Penticton Vees hockey team brought home the World Cup, defeating the Soviet Union 5-0.

Major events such as IRONMAN Canada, Peach Festival, and Peach City Beach Cruise have boosted the tourism industry by attracting guests from all over British Columbia. In 2008, the South Okanagan Event Center opened, where conventions, sporting events, and performances of all kinds come.

Penticton Today

More than 100 years have passed since the founding of the city, and Penticton continues to grow. It is recognized as one of the best wine regions in Canada and an idyllic place to visit, work, live and play. Its evolution continues and we are looking forward to what the future will bring.

There are eight notable buildings in Penticton, the largest of which are Lakeshore buildings, consisting of 15 floors, the construction of which was completed in 2008. To travel back in time, people can visit the ship S.S. Sicamous, which today is the largest surviving vessel of its type in Canada. There is a museum on it, and the decks have been completely restored.

From peaches and apples to vineyards, wine, and craft beer, the city has deep roots in agriculture and many attractive tourist attractions.