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A-Second-Look

A second look from Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park

Kelowna then and now

Kelowna ... from the southeast corner of Knox Mountain Park in 1906 and 2019

In 1906 the population of the City of Kelowna was estimated at about 600. By 2019, the population had increased more than 200 times to in excess of 125,000 people.

Evidence of this can be readily seen in the (colour) 2019 photo from the vast increase in the number of private structures. One can also see transportation changes, with the steamship “Aberdeen” in 1906 (right in top photo) long since replaced by a modern highway and a bridge.

In the 2019 photo of Kelowna, some city streets, geographic locations and prominent structures have been identified and noted on the image. However, some roads, such as Highway 97 (Harvey Avenue), are difficult to precisely map out due to the high density of modern buildings and trees obscuring the road outline.

The annotations also show several distinctly shaped hills down the east side of the lake which can be identified in both images and used as reference points.

By matching the angle or separation distance between those reference points, as seen in the camera’s viewfinder, to the separation observed in the historical photo, it was possible to capture a modern digital image not far from where the original photographic plate was exposed.

Since the 2019 photo was taken, a number of changes have occurred. As a result, some features were not captured by this photo.

The mostly vacant space along the north side of Clement Avenue, from Richter Street to just west of the Sun Rype buildings, is today filled with a variety of more recent structures. Most notably missing from this shot is the new Canso “One Stop” convenience store, gas station and adjoining car wash.

This historical photo from the Kelowna Public Archives collection was taken by pioneer photographer G.H.E. Hudson. Support your local museums, archives and historical societies , which are preserving the local history and heritage we all share. Please email your comments and suggestions to Terry Robertson at [email protected].

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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About the Author

Terry W. Robertson received a bachelor of science degree in geology from UBC in 1970. His studies included physical geography, surveying and air-photo interpretation. Subsequently, he worked in petroleum exploration, initially based in Calgary and from 1978 to 1988 as an independent geological consultant working from his home the Okanagan.

In 1988, he left the oil industry and participated in the start-up and development of several small businesses in Lake Country, including a travel agency and a community newspaper which he edited and published from 1996 to 2003. With two children in local schools at the time and with a passion for politics, Terry was elected as the Lake Country trustee on the Central Okanagan School Board from 1990 to 2002.

He remains interested in politics and was an active supporter of the “Yes” side in the 2018 B.C. referendum on Proportional Representation. He enjoys getting outdoors, as well as travelling and exploring historic sites and museums. In addition, he likes to write about politics, history and geography.

Terry is interested in obtaining old (pre 1970)  photos of landscapes, street scenes or images of prominent structures from the Okanagan or Thompson region. If you possess any such images that you would permit him to copy and use in a future column, or have any comments about his column, please email him at [email protected].



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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