Kamloops is a city in south central British Columbia, Canada, at the confluence of the two branches of the Thompson River and near Kamloops Lake. It is the largest community in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the location of the regional district's offices. The surrounding region is more commonly referred to as the Thompson Country. It is ranked 37th on the list of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in Canada with 92,882 residents in 2006.
Geography and location
Kamloops is situated at 50°43'N 120°25'W, in the Thompson Valley (UTC-8) and the Mountain Cordillera Ecozone
. The central core of the city is located in the valley near the confluence of the North and South branches of the Thompson River. Suburbs stretch for more than a dozen kilometers along both North and South branches, as well as to the steep hillsides along the south portion of the city. Kamloops Indian Band
areas begin just to the northeast of the downtown core but are not located within the city limits. As a result of this placement, it is necessary to leave Kamloops' city limits and pass through the band lands before re-entering the city limits to access the communities of Rayleigh and Heffley Creek. Kamloops is surrounded by the smaller communities of Cherry Creek, Pritchard, Savona, Scotch Creek, Adams Lake, Chase, Paul lake, Pinantan and various others, many of which are included in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD)
The Kamloops area was exclusively inhabited by the Secwepemc
(Shuswap) nation (part of the Interior Salish
language group) prior to the arrival of European settlers. The first European explorers arrived in 1811, and David Stewart set up Fort Kamloops, a fur trading
post, on the south side of the river junction for the Pacific Fur Company
in 1812. The North West Company
quickly established Fort Thompson on the northeast side of the junction, and the following year the Pacific Fur Company left the area. In 1821, the Hudson's Bay Company
merged with the North West Company and took control of the fur trade at Fort Thompson. In 1842, a new Fort Kamloops was built on the northwest side of the junction.
The gold rush of the 1860s and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s brought further growth, resulting in the City of Kamloops being incorporated in 1893 with a population of about 500.
"Kamloops" is the anglicised version of the Shuswap word "Tk'emlups", meaning 'meeting of the waters'. Shuswap is still actively spoken in the area by members of the Kamloops Indian Band. Another possible origin of the name comes from the French "Camp des loups" meaning 'Camp of Wolves', likely spoken by fur traders.
Major Kamloops-area industries include primary resource processing such as Domtar
Kamloops' Pulp Mill, Tolko-Heffley Creek Plywood and Veneer, LaFarge Cement, Highland Valley Copper Mine (in Logan Lake
), and various other industries. There are tertiary services as well, such as the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and Pollard Banknote (which makes the lottery tickets) and NRI distribution, among many others. Kamloops is also a transportation hub for the region due to its connections to Highways 5
, the Trans-Canada
and Yellowhead Highways
. It is the first major city east of Abbotsford on the highway. Kamloops is home to Kamloops Airport
, which is a small international airport: however, there are constituent pressures to accommodate larger aircraft. Due to a persistent disagreement between the City's federal Liberal Party Mayor, Terry Lake, and the area's Conservative Member of Parliament, Betty Hinton, there is no federal funding available for the airport's expansion.
Update: the federal government has agreed to fund their share of the airport expansion. Update: Construction of the Kamloops airport expansion began in late July, 2008 There has also been speculation of an inland rail port.
The climate of Kamloops is a semi-arid steppe climate (Koppen climate classification BSk) due to its rainshadow location. While situated in a semi-arid valley, Kamloops has winters that are generally mild and very short with an occasional cold snap where temperatures can drop to around -30 °C (-22 °F) when arctic air floods over the Rocky Mountains into the interior. However Kamloops has not seen -30 since the mid 1990s. Snow can occur from November to March, but most of it falls over a few weeks in December and January. Winter mean temperature is -6.1 °C (20 °F) in January. The average number of cold days below -20 in one year is 6 as recorded by the government of B.C.
Perhaps surprisingly, considering that Kamloops is located at 50° latitude north, summers are quite hot with prevailing dry, and sunny weather. The average July maximum temperature is 28.3 °C (83 °F) and would be higher if not for occasional incursions of cool northerly airmasses. In most years, Kamloops can experience warm weather similar to that in southern California, as summer temperatures come close to or even exceed 40 °C (104 °F). Humidity is generally very low and night time temperatures are moderate.
Spring arrives very early, sometimes in February, due to mild air spilling over the coastal mountains from the Pacific Ocean. On February 27th 2008 Kamloops recorded 15.1 °C (60°F). Fall is generally a pleasant and a mostly dry season. On November 15th 2007 Kamloops recorded a day time high of 18.1 °C (65°F).
Kamloops lies in the "rain shadow" leeward of the Coast Mountains and is biogeographically connected to similar semi-desert and desert areas in the Okanagan region, the Osoyoos area, and the central parts of Washington and Oregon state as well as intermontane areas of Nevada and Idaho in the U.S. These areas of relatively similar climate have many distinctive native plants and animals in common, such as Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), prickly pear cactus (Opuntia fragilis in this case), rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis), Black widow spiders and Lewis's Woodpecker.
|Extreme Daily Maximum
|| 16.1 |
|Average Daily Maximum
|| 14.4 |
|Average Daily Minimum
|| 3.3 |
|Extreme Daily Minimum
|| -36.1 |
|| 270.0 |
|Average Total Snow
|| 75.5 |
|| 2074.6 |
| Data is for Kamloops Airport (YKA), in the city of Kamloops, 12 km from city centre.
||Most Days above 30°C
|| Driest ||Warmest Spring
||Fewest Fog Days
||Most Sunny Days in Warm Months
||Most Growing Degree Days
||Most Days Without Precipitation |
|Rank Among 100 Largest Canadian Cities
(Next to Whitehorse)
| 2nd |
(Next to Chilliwack)
| 2nd |
(Next to Penticton)
| 2nd |
(Next to Portage la Prairie)
| 3rd |
(Next to Windsor and St. Catharines-Niagara)
| 3rd |
(Next to Medicine Hat and Lethbridge)
|| 26.94°C (80.5°F)
|| 278.98mm (10.98 in)
|| 9.65°C (49.37°F)
|| 258.12 |
| Data is for Kamloops Airport (YKA), in the city of Kamloops, 12 km from city centre.
Current weather conditions and forecasts can be found at Environment Canada's Weatheroffice website.
Kamloops hosted the 1993 Canada Summer Games
. It co-hosted (with Vancouver
) the 2006 IIHF World U-20 Hockey Championship
from December 26
, to January 5
. It hosted the 2006 BC Summer Games
. The city is known as, and holds a Canadian trademark as, the Tournament Capital of Canada.
Sun Peaks Resort is a nearby ski and snowboard hill. Olympic medalist skier Nancy Greene is director of skiing at Sun Peaks and the chancellor of Thompson Rivers University. The Overlander Ski Club runs the Stake Lake cross country ski area with 50 km of trails. Kamloops is home to world-famous mountain bikers such as Wade Simmons and Matt Hunter. In 2007, the Kamloops Bike Ranch opened in Juniper Ridge along Highland Drive. The Kamloops Rotary Skatepark located at McArthur Island is one of the largest skateboard parks in Canada. Kamloops will host the 2011 Western Canada summer Games.
Kamloops is home to the Western Hockey League's Kamloops Blazers, who play at the Interior Savings Centre, the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League's Kamloops Junior B Rattlers, as well as the Kamloops Storm. Also calling Kamloops home is the Canadian Junior Football League's Kamloops Broncos, and Pacific Coast Soccer League's Kamloops Excel, both of whom play at Hillside Stadium.
Alumni of the Kamloops Blazers include:Mark Recchi, Jarome Iginla, Darryl Sydor, Nolan Baumgartner and Shane Doan, Scott Neidermayer.
Kamloops is also the hometown of world champion curler Jason Manchester.
There is a proposal to bring a Golden Baseball League expansion team to Kamloops for the 2009 season. If successful, it would be the city's first professional baseball team and the league's third Canadian team.
(according to Statistics Canada
Growth Rate (1996-2001): 1.2%
Total Private Dwellings: 36,807
Area: 297.57 km²
Density: 290.7 people per km²
Visible minority status
Total visible minority population (excluding Aboriginal peoples): 4,675
- South Asian: 1,790 or 1.9%
- Chinese: 1,000 or 1.1%
- Japanese: 690 or 0.74%
- Black: 340 or 0.4%
- Filipino: 305 or 0.3%
- Southeast Asian: 150 or 0.16%
- Korean: 150 or 0.16%
- Latin America: 130 or 0.13%
- Arab: 35 or 0.03%
- West Asian: 30 or 0.03%
- Non-classified visible minorities: 10 or 0.01%
- Multiple visible minorities: 45 or 0.04%
Public schools in the Kamloops area are part of School District 73 Kamloops/Thompson
- Elementary Schools (Grades K-6 or K-7)
- Aberdeen Elementary School
- AE Perry Elementary School
- Arthur Hatton Elementary School
- Arthur Stevenson Elementary School
- Beattie School of the Arts
- Bert Edwards Science and Technology School
- Dallas Elementary School
- David Thompson Elementary School
- Dufferin Elementary School
- George Hilliard Elementary School
- Heffley Creek Elementary School
- John Tod Elementary School
- Juniper Ridge Elementary School
- Kamloops/Thompson Virtual School
- Kay Bingham Elementary School
- Lloyd George Elementary School
- Marion Shilling Elementary School
- McGowan Park Elementary School
- McQueen Lake Elementary School
- Pacific Way Elementary School
- Parkcrest Elementary School
- Pinantan Elementary School
- Ralph Bell Elementary School
- Rayleigh Elementary School
- R.L Clemitson Elementary School
- South Sa-hali Elementary School
- Stuart Wood Elementary School
- Summit Elementary School
- Westmount Elementary School
- Secondary (Grades 10-12 or 8-12):
Kamloops is home to Thompson Rivers University
, an undergraduate degree-granting university with satellite campuses in Clearwater
, Williams Lake
, 100 Mile House
, Cache Creek
, and Lillooet
. TRU also has an open-distance learning division. Kamloops is also home to a satellite campus of Simon Fraser University
. TRU has begun to offer MBA, M.Ed, and M.Sc. programs as well as undergraduate degrees.
Officially recognized neighbourhoods
within the city of Kamloops. Unofficially recognized areas are listed beneath the neighbourhoods to which they belong:
Below is a list of people who are from Kamloops, or who lived there for an extended period.
- Dylan Armstrong, 2008 Olympics shotputter who finished 4th.
- Michael Shanks, actor, Stargate SG-1, born in Vancouver, BC, but grew up in Kamloops
- Leonard Marchand, P.C., C.M., the first person of First Nations ethnicity to serve in the federal cabinet and the first Status Indian to serve as a Member of Parliament See External Links below for references
- Mark Recchi, professional hockey player
- Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames team captain NHL
- Maher Arar, falsely accused as a terrorist and was detained in Syria (Arar lived in Kamloops for only about a year.)
- Lesra Martin, lawyer who helped with Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter's prison release
- Ajaib Singh Bagri, suspect acquitted in the Air India Flight 182 terrorist bombing
- Mitch Berger, NFL player
- Peter Wing, North America's first mayor of Chinese descent
- Chris Masuak, Australian punk rock musician , lived in Kamloops 1968 to 1970
- Boris Karloff, actor, lived in Kamloops while working for the Jeanne Russell Theatre Company, ca. 1910
- Jolene Downey, Barrell Racer from Kamloops, who won the 2006 Calgary Stampede Barrell Racing Championship
- Todd MacFarlane Lived in and played baseball in Kamloops
- Mayor – Terry Lake
- Members of the Legislative Assembly:
Federal Members of Parliament:
More recently, the city's name was adopted for a crater on the surface of Mars.
Crater Kamloops was officially adopted by the International Astronomical Union, and
Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (IAU/WGPSN) in 1991.
The location of the crater on the Martian surface is -53.8 degrees South Latitude
and 32.6 degrees West Longitude, with a diameter of 65.0 Kilometers.
IAU/WGPSN Planetary Feature Nomenclature Database, USGS Branch of Astrogeology, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Image of KAMLOOPS Crater on MARS, slightly below and just Southwest of Martian Crater GALLE (Crater "Smiley Face").