Kelowna making progress on its downtown goals

An update of the city's 2012 Downtown Plan shows the face of downtown Kelowna is changing.

The face of Kelowna’s downtown waterfront is going through a transformation.

Included in the changes this year will be the addition of a $5.1 million public pier and marina next to Kerry Park, a new Kelowna Yacht Club clubhouse, an expansion of  of Stuart Park and the completion of the $14 million Bernard Avenue revitalization project from the Sails culture to Richter Street.

On Monday, city council heard all about the initial successes of the Downtown Plan it approved last year for the improvement of the downtown core over the next 10 years.

City policy and planning planner Lauren Sanbrooks presented the first of what is expected to be a series of annual status status reports outlining how the plan has been executed during the previous year.

Sanbrooks’ report detailed the progress of 25 initiatives highlighting those that are complete or underway, including the Bernard Avenue revitalization work.

• Phase 1A – Bernard Avenue utilities from Ellis Street to just west of St. Paul St. is complete, with final streetscaping planned for this fall.

Phase 1B—Bernard Avenue from Richter Street to just west of St. Paul Street is also complete.

Phase 2, from Abbott Street to Pandosy Street is currently underway.

• Installation of public art components will be completed by this fall.

• The Bernard Avenue sidewalk program, endorsed by council in March, was changed to respond to opportunities offered by the wider sidewalks as a result of the revitalization of the street, including allowing more outdoor patios at area restaurants.

• The proposed centralization of Interior Health administration operations in a planned new highrise downtown which is expected to bring as many as 1000 more employees into the area. To compliment that building,the city is also planing to build a new parkade beside Memorial Arena and expand the existing Library parkade at a combined costs of $15 million.

Meanwhile, the city says response to its online call for public input about its planned redesign of City Park has netted more than 11,000 of page views from 1,500 visitors and 120 ideas from the public.

The city wants to hear what the public has to say about the future of Kelowna’s feature park downtown.

Ideas and design sketches are available on the city’s website to generate community discussion with the aim of helping develop a preferred direction for the park over the next few months.

Online comments will be received until April 26. An open house showing the preferred concept plan will take place later this spring.

You can have your say at



Kelowna Capital News