People keep asking me why I chose to live in Salmon Arm by Ken Stengler

There are many reasons why I chose Salmon Arm.

I finally wrote it down.

  • The population is 17,000. There are only 6 traffic lights, all of them on the TCH. Driving is non-aggressive, friendly even.
  • The folks here are very involved in the community. There are many events, organizations… lots of volunteers.
  • Recognition and friendliness- there are at least 6 coffee shops. You will soon know lots of folks here.
  • Musical events – during the summer Wednesday on the Wharf (WOW). During the winter there is a monthly jazz concert at the art gallery. During the fall until late spring there is a coffee house at one of the communities around here every weekend. There is folk, blue grass, world music… at each of them. There are so many musicians that often each individual / group can only play two songs so that everyone gets a turn.
  • Roots and Blues – 3 day music event in August. CBC radio says this is one of the best events in Canada. Because of the TCH, many music groups pass thru. Tickets are inexpensive.
  • Art – the town has many artists
  • Writers – ditto the above
  • We are surrounded by water and mountains.
  • Skiing – 30 minutes to the Larch Hills ski area. It is a premier cross country area. Silverstar downhill is about 1 1/2 hours. Big White isn’t all that far either.
  • Long falls, early springs but it can be cloudy in winter. Sarah and I didn’t mind the winter. Lots of skiing and music. This was the first winter for me in Canada in many years. The winter temperatures are warmer than most places in Canada.
  • Real Estate is at a good price here.
  • Long growing season, great climate for vegetation and trees. There is local fruit and vegetables year round.
  • Downside – not much employment. Many younger folks head for Alberta.
  • We are 6 3/4 hours from Calgary and about 5 1/2 hours from Vancouver so the big cities are within reach. Airport – 1 3/4 hours to both Kelowna and Kamloops.
  • Where not to live – Kelowna and surrounding areas, big city with all types of problems!! The east Kootenays? I like the area but it is not somewhere that I would like to live. The coast – expensive, on an island (always expensive and inconvenient), and lots of rain.
  • There are big box stores in Vernon, only an hour away.
  • Hospital and health services – the hospital here has seen investment and expansion. We have great doctors. Dentists and other holistic services are plentiful.
  • Dance and yoga studios – many of them.
  • Wildlife viewing in the marsh and foreshore is world classs. There are elevated walks over the marsh. People from all over the world come to see unique birds such as the Western Grebe and their unique dance. It is a delight to watch the Osprey fishing as well as the dozens of other species that are habitants or migrating thru the Shuswap.

12 thoughts on “People keep asking me why I chose to live in Salmon Arm by Ken Stengler”

    1. Housing in Chase is less expensive, but there’s no hospital, and you have to drive at least 45 minutes to get anywhere for shopping, concerts, etc.

  1. I love finding comments like these – especially since we have fallen in love with Salmon Arm and area. We are very close to making our dream come true from moving from Calgary AB to Salmon Arm. Thank you for your input!

  2. You forgot no jobs and insanely high rents!
    LLLOOONNGGG wait lists to get anything from a doctors appointment to a much needed test because all of the important medical stuff we have to LEAVE SA to get.
    Having no box stores is not good if you do not have a car.
    We do FINALLY have a Walmart though!
    SA is beautiful and has a lot going for it but it has become the home for the rich and elite.
    Hard working families are packing up in droves and leaving to find jobs because rich people are moving here and buying up everything to build their dream home and open their dream business.
    I am 43 and I was born here along with my mother 3 of my great grandmothers. I had hoped to stay here now that my kids are almost ready to leave home but no we are leaving too.
    You need a 70,000 to 100,000 income to live in SA comfortably as in make all your bills, not get rich or anything if you are a family of 4 or more.
    SA is beautiful but looks are NOT everything in life.
    LOTS or rain in SA so the climate is NOT that good. Every year we have to conserve water though??????
    There is a nasty STINK coming from the SA sewer treatment facility most of the year. No one talks about it but some days its enough to make you gag!
    It magically disappears around June only to re-appear in Sept.
    One would think that they work especially hard to mask it for tourist season? Not to mention the gross chicken parts that the local farmers put down on their fields every spring. That smells about as good as you can imagine.
    SA is geared totally for tourists. There is nothing much for us people who live here all year around.
    Prepare for NO parking anywhere, congested everything and nothing on the shelves from June to Sept.
    Families with little kids and seniors have a sorts of things to do, free clubs and recreation but if you are 30 to 60 there is NOTHING to do.
    Forget about night-life or even a club for all of us to meet that is not for singles or widows. Lots of nursing homes though.
    We also have the highest gas prices in BC!
    We are the gem of the Shuswap. A VERY expensive gem that is wrapped in several layers of boredom and stink, but hey if you are rich, have no sense of smell and like birds it the place for you 🙂
    Oh and there ARE aggressive drivers and people here! Good grief! LOL!
    * and don’t get your panties in a twist over my post. Freedom of speech and all that. Its meant to be a funny way of telling it how it really is 😉

  3. You’re describing the Okanagan in general…not bad for rich retired people (although some might argue that too – Okanagan is not a welcoming place and if you’re new, you’ll have a heck of a time meeting people). And it is terrible if you are a working person with family…in the end, and all the kids have to leave to find jobs elsewhere…

  4. But don’t kids ALWAYS leave home to find a new place for themselves? Or so often as to be unremarkable whether they are leaving a small community or a big one?

  5. I grew up in Salmon Arm, and even if I no longer live there, it is my home! Sure, it changes, and some things are not as cheap as they used to be, but tell me where any place is still a bargain?? And unlike the “city dwellers” who need to drive, book and pay for holidays to escape, there’s one advantage to being where the holidays are…and that remains cheaper!

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