Penticton is a city in the Okanagan Valley of the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake. Its 2006 population was 31,909 (41,574 in the greater area). The name Penticton is derived from a word in the Okanagan language, and it is roughly translated as "a place to stay forever". It is also the sister city of Ikeda, Hokkaido, Japan.
Penticton is home to recreational opportunities such as skiing at the Apex Mountain Resort ski area, boating and fishing on Skaha Lake and Okanagan Lake, golfing on one of the area's many courses, hiking or biking the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, and sport climbing at Skaha Bluffs. Penticton is home to the BCHL hockey team Penticton Vees who play throughout the winter months, as well as the PCSL soccer team Penticton Pinnacles, who play from May until July.
In September 2006, residents voted 80.3% in favour of the construction of the South Okanagan Event Centre. The $73 million arena, sports complex and convention centre could possibly serve as a summer or early fall training facility for the Vancouver Canucks as well as the home of the BCHL's Penticton Vees, so named in honour of the senior hockey team that in 1955 won the Ice Hockey World Championships. It will likely boost the city's convention market and become a popular stop on concert tours and for other special events.
The Kettle Valley Railroad(KVR) Trail Network—with trail heads leading to more than 160 km of flat, railbed trails for hiking and biking adventures—can be accessed from Penticton. This trail is part of the Trans Canada Trail.
It is the seat of the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District and School District 67 Okanagan Skaha. There are two secondary schools, Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School, as well as many elementary and middle schools. Penticton Christian School, a private school, offers kindergarten through Grade 12.
Penticton has a temperate, semi-arid climate and averages slightly more than 300 mm (12") of precipitation annually. Penticton has very warm summers (daytime temperatures above 30 °C are commonplace, but humidity is low and nights are cool). Winters are brief with mean daily temperatures averaging just below freezing for about 8 weeks out of the year. The average daily maximum remains above zero the entire year. Penticton is sheltered from cold Arctic air in winter by the surrounding mountain ranges, making blizzards and freezing rainstorms very rare. In addition, the frost-free season averages more than 140 days a year.
Penticton Regional Airport (YYF) was constructed during World War II to serve as an emergency landing strip, and was later lengthened to 1829 meters to accommodate Boeing 737 aircraft.