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Bernard Avenue Revitalization

Bernard Ave in final stages

The first layer of paving is underway on the final phase of Bernard Avenue which marks the completion of utilities and the commencement of streetscaping and landscaping work.

This will be your last chance to walk in the middle of the road when walkways temporarily shift from next to the buildings onto the middle of the newly paved road for the final time.

Businesses are open as usual and accessible with corridors from the center of the road to each business entrance, minimizing disruption to pedestrians and business accesses while allowing for the removal and reconstruction of the sidewalks.

“The water main and storm systems are now complete and we are looking forward to the sidewalk construction and proceeding to the final steps of the project,” said Bill Berry, Design & Construction Services Director.

“New trees, benches and the installation of the last light standards will complete the consistent look of Bernard Avenue from the Sails to the Gateway at Richter Street.”

The $14-million improvements will see four lanes narrowed into two lanes and a centre turning lane, expanded outdoor retail and cafe space, wider sidewalks for pedestrians, street furniture, intersection plazas, landscaping and replacing of utilities.

Final paving, finishing work and permanent road markings of the previous phase between St. Paul and Ellis streets will occur this spring in conjunction with completion of the current phase between Ellis and Water streets, scheduled for June 2014.

“If you haven’t seen the construction downtown you’ve got to stop by, visit your favorite business and check out how things are constructed before it’s all done,” said Berry. “It’s really an attraction in itself.”

The Downtown Kelowna Association is running the Great-Big-Bernard-Giveaway Contest with a $500 prize drawn every three weeks. Visit for more details.



Bernard Ave - the final phase

The final phase of the $14-million revitalization project on Kelowna’s “Main Street” gets underway on Monday, March 3 from Ellis to Pandosy.

“This Bernard Avenue project has really led the way in the revitalization of our downtown,” says Bill Berry, Director of Design & Construction Services.

“We’re starting to see the beginning of a lot of really exciting developments and plans that will make downtown a hub for the community.”

During construction it will be business as usual for restaurants, retail outlets and the unique shops that give Bernard Avenue its distinct character. Walkways and access to businesses will be maintained.

“We’ve had successes as well as challenges in the delivery of this project but in the end hope we have met the expectation of residents and the business community,” says Berry.

“I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we can’t wait to see the finished product.”

The $14-million improvements will see four lanes narrowed into two lanes and a centre turning lane, expanded outdoor retail and cafe space, wider sidewalks for pedestrians, street furniture, intersection plazas, landscaping and replacement of utilities.

The existing trees were evaluated prior to the start of the project but removal was necessary because of their declining health and the need to improve sidewalk drainage and pedestrian circulation.

The new trees, which are Skyline Honey Locust, are a species more appropriate for urban settings. About 140 new trees will be planted along Bernard Avenue in total in all phases, while about 70 were removed.

Final paving, finishing work and permanent road markings of the previous phase between St. Paul and Ellis streets will occur this spring with completion of the revitalization scheduled for June 2014.

New gateway points to downtown

The final piece of the Gateway feature at the east end of Bernard Avenue was completed today (Tuesday) with the installation of banners designed by Westbank First Nation artist Janine Lott.

The theme of the banners is “The Land is Our Culture” and celebrates the Syilx/Okanagan people and their connection to the land. In a traditional First Nations practise Lott also mentored junior artist Jordan Coble through the process of creating the banners.

“Everyone shares the land, the water and the culture of the Okanagan and we need to be considerate of that,” says Lott.

This public art collaboration between the City of Kelowna and Westbank First Nation is a first for the two governments.

The banners continue the placemaking approach used throughout the new Bernard Avenue streetscape.

“The First Nation culture of this area is connected to the natural landscape,” says Patrick McCormick, Urban Design Planner.

“We’ve reflected that connection along the street by using the Syilx language on inlaid polished pavers describing local flora and fauna and on the Gateway poles where these banners are now displayed.”

Public art installations on the new Bernard Avenue streetscape are used to help create a distinctive sense of place and reinforce the design of the other elements along the street.

“Street features were chosen to be in keeping with the natural elements and history of the Okanagan, with benches and pavers made of natural stone, and light poles that, like the downtown library building, draw their inspiration from the heavy timbers used in the Kettle Valley Railway trestles,” says McCormick.

The design theme that emerged from the community consultation process was “landscape inspired” and the execution is contemporary rather than historical in form.

With the dramatic change in street configuration at Bernard Avenue and Richter Street, a gateway treatment offered an opportunity for public art to welcome visitors downtown and mark the transition from the residential to the commercial area.


Bernard Ave. reopening a month early

Phase 3a of the $14-million Bernard Avenue revitalization project is nearing completion.

It is anticipated Bernard Avenue will to reopen to motorists by 4 p.m. today (Thursday).

The section of Bernard was completed nearly a month ahead of schedule, likely due in part to the fact only one block was worked on, not two as was originally anticipated.

“We are happy to see another section of Bernard Avenue completed,” says Bill Berry, Director of Design & Construction Services.

“It was unfortunate to see Phase 3 split into two phases, but it has really just put the project back to the original schedule with completion for Summer 2014 and, as promised, active construction will not impact businesses during the holiday retail season.”

Remaining works may continue through November, including street furniture installation and plantings. Temporary ramps at crosswalks and along the parking pads are in place until top lift paving is completed next spring.

The truck route will be reinstated on Ellis Street until the planned improvements are made to Gordon Drive in 2014.

Motorists and bike riders will now encounter the new shared lane markings or “sharrows” on Bernard Avenue.

These markings indicate that a cyclist may ride in the traffic lane and assists them in correct positioning between moving vehicles and parallel parked cars.

Motorists are urged to drive carefully and be aware of all signage, particularly at St. Paul and Pandosy.

“This is actually a great time of year for residents to see and experience all the public and private investment that is happening in our downtown,” says Berry.

“Walk and shop along Bernard’s widened sidewalks, check out the new public pier and marina, skate at Stuart Park and watch the development of the new yacht clubhouse expansion.”

Construction of the final phase of the Bernard Avenue revitalization is scheduled for Spring 2014, when the street will be closed to traffic from Pandosy to Ellis streets and be completed in June 2014.

The Pandosy to Ellis portion was slated to be done this fall, however, the current lockout of FortisBC employees meant that section had to be delayed.

The City of Kelowna thanks residents, businesses and motorists for their patience while construction was taking place.

Visit for the most up-to-date information and to learn more about the many projects happening downtown.

7 month delay in Bernard completion

It's official.

The time frame for completion of the Bernard Avenue Revitalization project has been moved back seven months.

As first reported by Castanet News last week, the labour dispute at FortisBC has thrown a kibosh into plans to complete the project as scheduled at the end of November.

That dispute has forced the city to revise the schedule for the project.

Phase 3 (now 3a) began as scheduled Tuesday morning, however, only the area between St. Paul and Ellis streets, including the Ellis intersection will be completed because all electrical utility work was previously done.

"It's a regrettable situation, but to mitigate impact to businesses only the area where we know the work can be completed will be started," says Director of Design and Construction Services, Bill Berry.

Completion of Phase 3a is scheduled for the end of November with the remaining section from Pandosy to Ellis streets (3b) to begin in early spring.

The entire Bernard Avenue project is now expected to be complete by June of next year.

The $14M revitalization project began in September, 2012.

The city thanks residents, businesses and motorists for their patience.

Businesses are open during construction.

Read more Bernard Ave. Revitalization articles

Time Lapse Video: City of Kelowna
Bernard Avenue is still open for business during the construction. Businesses with websites will open in another window.
A.F.R. Sushi
Airwaves Music
Alexander Cutlery & Gifts
ALLEYCAT fashion outlet
American Apparel
Amni Athletica
Amy's Gifts
Anka's European Tailoring
Annegret's Fine European Chocolates
ARC Programs Ltd.
Arcade Audio Lounge
Articulate Creative Arts Connection
Astral Media
Asuka Japanese Restaurant
Aviva Studios
Bai Tong Thai Restaurant
Banka & Company Inc. (CGA)
BC Vital Statistics Agency
Bean Scene Coffee Works
Behind the Fly
Bernard Dental
Beside Myself
Bia Boro Boutique
Blackfish Apparel
Bliss Bridal
BMO - Harris Private Banking
Bohemian Cafe & Catering Company
Burnett's Florist
Business Development Bank Of Canada (BDC)
Cadence Footwear
Cafe Soleil
Calowna Costume
Canadian Gold & Silver
Canadian Jewelery Exchange
Canadorado Operating Company Ltd.
Cantalta Group
Carlos O'Bryans Pubs
Carlson Wagonlit Travel Travel Agent
Carson Photography
Casa Sasso Italian Food Bar
Change for Good Counselling
Christian Science Society
Codispoti Jewellery
Collective Apparel
Columbus Network Corp.
Cruzwear Unlimited
Diamond Gallery
Doc Willoughby's
Donahue & Associates
Downtown Eyewear
Downtown Kelowna Association
Downtown Marina
Downtown Safeway
Downtown Tan
Dynamic Studios Tattoo & Apparel
Earls On Top
Fernando's Pub
Festivals Kelowna
Footwear Emporium
Freelance Accounting Ltd.
Funktional Gifts
Gifts for Him
Grateful Fed, The
heART school kelowna
Heather Zais - Psychic/Astrologer/Medium
Heaven On Earth Spa
Hemp City
Home For Dinner
Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance & Financial
Inner Haven Decorating
Inspire Health Integrative Cancer Care
Interior Savings Credit Union
International Gateway Kelowna
International Gems
IQ Computers
ivivva athletica
James Haworth & Son Ltd.
Job Options BC - YMCA YWCA of Okanagan
Kelly O'Bryans Restaurant
Kelowna Gold Buyers - Northwest Diamonds Inc
Kelowna Website Design
Kmotion Apparel
Kochhar & Co. Chartered Accountant Inc.
La Belle Boutique
Lakehouse Home Store
Lavish Design
Le reve Boutique
Liquor Control & Licensing Branch
lululemon athletica
MacDermott's on Bernard
MacD's Lakeside
Mad Mango Cafe
Main Street Studio
Mary Claris Hair Extensions
Mavazi Apparel Apparel & Accessories
Meiklejohn Architects Inc.
Memphis Blues BBQ House
Mimi's Italian Grill
Ministry of Justice - Family Justice Services
Minnella Drycleaners
MKS Resources & Lexington Enterprises
Modern Accents
Molly's Garden Cafe
Momo Sushi
Moo-Lix Ice Cream
Mosaic Books
Moxy Apparel
National Bank Financial Wealth Management
Natural Rezources
Okanagan Diamond Gallery
Okanagan Lipo Laser & Spa
Okanagan Rug and Art
Okanagan Spirits
One Path Logistics
Paramount Theatre
Perpetual Blooms
Picture Perfect
Pita Pit
Raw Athletics
Royal Anne Hotel
rt Strategy Inc.
Rush Ihas Hardwick LLP Litigation Lawyers
Sai-Gon Restaurant
Salted Brick
Sawasadee Thai Yoga Massage
Service BC
Shapers Hair Salon & Spa
Shoppers Drug Mart
Sliderz Community House
Smokanagan Gift Shop
Smoke's Poutinerie Kelowna
Soban Korean Bistro
Societe De Developpment Economique (SDE)
SOUL eyewear
Sourvenirs Kelowna
SS Korean Restaurant
Starbucks Coffee Company
Style Boutique
SubCity Donair
Surf Culture Clothing
Sweet Cravings
Ten Fashions Bridal Boutique & Special Occasions
Tessmer Law Offices
The Lister Real Estate Co.
The Pear Workshop
The Bread Company
The Collective
The Downtown Shoe Store
The Grateful Fed
The Hot Box Yoga
The House of The Caribbean Food Supply
The Lodging Company
The Rotten Grape Wine & Espresso Bar
Ticketmaster Outlet
Tigerlily Fashion
Tobaccoland of Kelowna
Topline Selections
Towne Centre Mall
Towne Centre Postal Services & Card Shop
Tripke Bakery & Bistro
Twisted Tomato
Uniquity Creations and Consignments
Valley First Credit Union
WealthLINK Financial Services
Western Union Business Solutions
Wild Mountain
Woodcreek Cottage
X10sion 207 Clothing Company

Business List: Downtown Kelowna Association

Informative Links

City of Kelowna Multimedia Page
Project Photos
Getting Around
It's Happening
List: City of Kelowna


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