Kamloops facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|City of Kamloops|
Salus et Opes (Health and Wealth)
|Founded||1811 (fur trading post)|
|• Type||Elected city council|
|• Land||299.25 km2 (115.54 sq mi)|
|Elevation||345 m (1,132 ft)|
|• Estimate (2019)||100,046|
|Time zone||UTC−08:00 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−07:00 (PDT)|
|Forward sortation area||
V1S, V2B – V2E, V2H
|Area code(s)||250, 778, 236, 672|
|Highways||Hwy 1 (TCH)
|NTS Map||92I9 Kamloops|
Kamloops ( KAM-loops) is a city in south-central British Columbia, Canada, at the confluence of the two branches of the Thompson River and east of Kamloops Lake. It is located in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, whose district offices are based here. The surrounding region is more commonly referred to as the Thompson Country.
With a 2016 population of 90,280, it is the twelfth largest municipality in the province. The Kamloops census agglomeration is ranked 36th among census metropolitan areas and agglomerations in Canada with a 2016 population of 103,811. In 2019, the city was estimated to have grown to 100,046.
Kamloops is known as the Tournament Capital of Canada. It hosts more than 100 tournaments each year at world-class sports facilities such as the Tournament Capital Centre, Kamloops Bike Ranch, and Tournament Capital Ranch. Health care, tourism, and education are major contributing industries to the regional economy and have grown in recent years.
In 2016, Kamloops was the first city in British Columbia to be designated as a bee city. Numerous organizations in the community are protecting and creating bumble bee habitats in the city.
- Geography and location
- Planetary nomenclature
- Sister cities
- In media
- Notable people
- Images for kids
Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the Cree-Saulteaux band led by Chief Yawassannay had migrated to this region in the early 15th century where they met the local Secwepemc (Shuswap) nation (part of the Interior Salish language group). The Yawassanay band's Kamloops settlement was the largest of their three tribal areas. The first European explorers arrived in 1811, in the person of David Stuart, sent out from Fort Astoria, then still a Pacific Fur Company post, and who spent a winter there with the Secwepemc people, with Alexander Ross establishing a post there in May 1812 - "Fort Cumcloups".
The rival North West Company established another post - Fort Shuswap - nearby in the same year. The two operations were merged in 1813 when the North West Company officials in the region bought out the operations of the Pacific Fur Company. After the North West Company's forced merger with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, the post became known commonly as Thompson's River Post, or Fort Thompson, which over time became known as Fort Kamloops. The post's journals, kept by its Chief Traders, document a series of inter-Indian wars and personalities for the period and also give much insight to the goings-on of the fur companies and their personnel throughout the entire Pacific slope.
Soon after the forts were founded, the main local village of the Secwepemc, then headed by a chief named Kwa'lila, was moved close to the trading post in order to control access to its trade, as well as for prestige and security. With Kwalila's death, the local chieftaincy was passed to his nephew and foster-son Chief Nicola, who led an alliance of Okanagan and Nlaka'pamux people in the plateau country to the south around Stump, Nicola and Douglas Lakes.
Relations between Nicola and the fur traders were often tense, but in the end Nicola was recognised as a great help to the influx of whites during the gold rush, though admonishing those who had been in parties waging violence and looting on the Okanagan Trail, which led from American territory to the Fraser goldfields. Throughout, Kamloops was an important way station on the route of the Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail, which originally connected Fort Astoria with Fort Alexandria and the other forts in New Caledonia to the north (today's Omineca Country, roughly), and which continued in heavy use through the onset of the Cariboo Gold Rush as the main route to the new goldfields around what was to become Barkerville.
The gold rush of the 1860s and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which reached Kamloops from the West in 1883, brought further growth, resulting in the City of Kamloops being incorporated in 1893 with a population of about 500. The logging industry of the 1970s brought many Indo-Canadians into the Kamloops area, mostly from the Punjab region of India. In 1973, Kamloops annexed Barnhartvale and other nearby communities.
"Kamloops" is the anglicised version of the Shuswap word "Tk'əmlúps", meaning "meeting of the waters". Shuswap is still spoken in the area by members of the Tk'emlúps Indian Band.
An alternate origin sometimes given for the name may have come from the native name's accidental similarity to the French "Camp des loups", meaning "Camp of Wolves"; many early fur traders spoke French. One story perhaps connected with this version of the name concerns an attack by a pack of wolves, much built up in story to one huge white wolf, or a pack of wolves and other animals, traveling overland from the Nicola Country being repelled by a single shot by John Tod, then Chief Trader, thus preventing the fort from attack and granting Tod a great degree of respect locally.
Kamloops is home to many galleries including nationally recognized Kamloops Art Gallery, The Kamloops Museum and Archives, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, Western Canada Theatre, the British Columbia Wildlife Park, the Kamloops Heritage Railway, Kenna Cartwright Park and Riverside Park. Kamloops is also well known for its public art including numerous pole carvings and murals.
Kamloops is located at the crossroads of the Coquihalla Highway, Yellowhead Highway, and Trans-Canada Highway and is a transportation hub in the region.
The Canadian Pacific (CPR) and Canadian National (CNR) mainline routes connect Vancouver in the west with Kamloops. The two railways diverge to the north and east where they connect with the rest of Canada. Kamloops North station is served three times per week (in each direction) by Via Rail's Canadian.
The Rocky Mountaineer and the Kamloops Heritage Railway both use the Kamloops station.
Kamloops is home to Kamloops Airport (YKA). Airlines flying to Kamloops include: Air Canada Express, WestJet Encore, Canadian North, and Central Mountain Air, as well as three cargo airlines. Vancouver and Calgary are primary routes for passenger service to this regional airport. In 2018, Air Canada Rouge launched non-stop seasonal service from Kamloops to Toronto.
Greyhound Canada previously connected Kamloops with Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, with service ending at the end of October 2018. After Greyhound's departure, several companies stepped in and commenced intercity service. Ebus and Rider Express both provide service to Vancouver and in between cities and towns, with Ebus connecting to other Interior cities like Kelowna and Vernon, and Rider Express continuing east to Calgary.
Local bus service is provided by Kamloops Transit System and funded through BC Transit with 14 routes across the Kamloops area that are operated by contractor First Student Canada. In 2018, the City of Kamloops partnered with the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc to expand its services on Tk'emlups te Secwepemc land for Route 18: Mount Paul.
Geography and location
Kamloops is situated in the Thompson Valley and the Montane Cordillera Ecozone. The city's center is in the valley near the confluence of the Thompson River's north and south branches. Suburbs stretch for more than a dozen kilometres along both north and south branches, as well as to the steep hillsides along the south portion of the city and lower northeast hill sides.
Kamloops Indian Band areas begin just to the northeast of the downtown core but are not 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.
The climate of Kamloops is semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSk) due to its rain shadow location. Because of milder winters and aridity, the area west of Kamloops in the lower Thompson River valley falls within Köppen climate classification BWk climate. Kamloops gets short cold snaps where temperatures can drop to around −20 °C (−4 °F) when Arctic air manages to cross the Rockies and Columbia Mountains into the Interior.
The January mean temperature is −2.8 °C (27 °F). That average sharply increases with an average maximum temperature of 4.3 °C (40 °F) in February. The average number of days below −10 °C (14 °F) per year is 19.9 as recorded by Environment Canada.
Although Kamloops is above 50° north latitude, summers are warmer than in many places at lower latitudes, with prevailing dry and sunny weather. Daytime humidity is generally under 40% in the summer, sometimes dropping below 20% after a dry spell, which allows for substantial nighttime cooling. Occasional summer thunderstorms can create dry-lightning conditions, sometimes igniting forest fires which the area is prone to.
Kamloops lies in the rain shadow leeward of the Coast Mountains and is biogeographically connected to similar semi-desert areas in the Okanagan region, and a much larger area covering the central/eastern portions of Washington, Oregon and intermontane areas of Nevada, Utah and Idaho in the US.
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, black widow spiders and Lewis's woodpecker.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Kamloops was 41.7 °C (107 °F) on 27 July 1939 and 16 July 1941. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −38.3 °C (−37 °F) on 16 & 18 January 1950.
|Climate data for Kamloops Airport, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1890–present|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.1
|Average high °C (°F)||0.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||-2.8
|Average low °C (°F)||-5.9
|Record low °C (°F)||-38.3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||21.1
|Rainfall mm (inches)||5.3
|Snowfall cm (inches)||18.7
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||9.7||7.2||6.8||6.2||10.2||10.7||8.4||8.0||7.6||9.0||10.0||11.7||105.6|
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||3.6||3.8||5.5||6.1||10.2||10.7||8.3||8.0||7.6||8.8||7.1||3.4||83.3|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||7.6||4.1||1.9||0.3||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.3||3.9||9.3||27.4|
|Source: Environment Canada|
|Hottest summer||Most days above 30 °C (86 °F)||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||1st||1st||2nd
(next to Whitehorse)
(next to Chilliwack)
(next to Penticton)
(next to Portage la Prairie)
(next to Windsor and St. Catharines-Niagara)
(next to Medicine Hat and Lethbridge)
|Value||27.43 °C (81.4 °F)||32.8||277.63 mm (10.93 in)||9.65 °C (49.4 °F)||7.28||148.93||2308.61||258.12|
|Data is for Kamloops Airport (YKA), in the city of Kamloops, 5 NM (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) west northwest of the town.|
|Sources: Statistics Canada|
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Kamloops had a population of 97,902 living in 39,914 of its 41,619 total private dwellings, a change of 8.4% from its 2016 population of 90,280. With a land area of 297.93 km2 (115.03 sq mi), it had a population density of 328.6/km2 (851/sq mi) in 2021.
At the census metropolitan area (CMA) level in the 2021 census, the Kamloops CMA had a population of living in 114,142 of its 47,102 total private dwellings, a change of 10% from its 2016 population of 50,235. With a land area of 5,654.08 km2 (2,183.05 sq mi), it had a population density of 20.2/km2 (52/sq mi) in 2021. 103,811
|2016 census||Population||% of Total population|
|Visible minority group
|Other visible minority||55||0.1%|
|Mixed visible minority||175||0.2%|
|Total visible minority population||6,975||8%|
|Total Aboriginal population||8,600||9.8%|
Data is from the 2001 census.
- No religious affiliation: 28,280 (36.81%)
- Protestant: 27,050 (35.21%)
- Catholic: 14,835 (19.31%)
- Other Christian: 3,705 (4.82%)
- Sikh: 1,340 (1.74%)
- Buddhist: 455 (0.59%)
- Orthodox Christian: 360 (0.47%)
- Other religions: 340 (0.44%)
- Hindu: 170 (0.22%)
- Muslim: 150 (0.20%)
- Jewish: 90 (0.12%)
- Eastern religions: 35 (0.05%)
Kamloops historically had a Chinatown on Victoria Street where most ethnic Chinese lived. John Stewart of the Kamloops Museum and Archives stated it was not a "true Chinatown". It was established by Chinese immigrants by 1887, and by 1890 the community had up to 400 Chinese. Stewart said this was an "amazingly large" population for the rural area. By the 1890s, about 33% of Kamloops were ethnic Chinese; they worked primarily on construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Economic changes in Kamloops resulted in many Chinese seeking work elsewhere. In addition, there were two fires in 1892 and 1893, and a 1911–1914 demolition that dismantled the Chinatown. Peter Wing, the first ethnic Chinese mayor in North America, was elected in 1966 and served three terms as the Mayor of Kamloops.
In the 1880s the Kamloops' Chinese Cemetery was founded in Kamloops, the only one in the province dedicated to Chinese pioneers, It is one of the largest cemeteries in the province, but the last interment was made there in the 1960s.
In 2013 the provincial government announced it would begin a consultation process to discuss wording of a formal apology to Chinese in B.C. for past wrongs. Joe Leong, president of the Kamloops Chinese Cultural Association, said he believed that the province should build a museum to honour Chinese history in the province, as a way to recognize the contributions of the people. As Kamloops had the only cemetery dedicated to the Chinese pioneers, he felt this city would be an appropriate site for the museum.
Officially recognised neighbourhoods within the city of Kamloops.
Unofficially recognized areas are listed beneath the neighbourhoods to which they belong:
The city's name has been given to a crater on the surface of Mars. Crater Kamloops was officially adopted by the International Astronomical Union's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (IAU/WGPSN) in 1991. The crater lies at 53.8° south latitude and 32.6° west longitude, with a diameter of 65 km (40 mi).
In "Cementhead," a 1989 episode of the television series Booker, the titular detective (played by Richard Grieco) tracks a capricious professional hockey player (Stephen Shellen) back to his hometown of Kamloops.
Kamloops and surrounding areas have been used for various Hollywood films such as The A Team, 2012, The Pledge, Shooter, Firewall, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, Monster Trucks (film), and various others.
"The Eye of Jupiter", the eleventh episode of the third season of Battlestar Galactica was filmed in Kamloops in 2006.
Kamloops' economy includes healthcare, tourism, education, transportation, and natural resource extraction industries.
The Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) is the city's largest employer. RIH is the region's acute care and health facility and is one of two tertiary referral hospitals in the Southern Interior with 239 acute beds and an additional 20 more beds upon completion of the expansion in 2016.
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) serves a student body of 25,754 including a diverse international contingent mainly from Asian countries. Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL) is the biggest distance education provider in British Columbia and one of the biggest in Canada.
Heavy industries in the Kamloops area include primary resource processing such as Domtar Kamloops Pulp Mill, Tolko-Heffley Creek Plywood and Veneer, New Gold Inc - New Afton Mine, and Highland Valley Copper Mine (in Logan Lake).
Four major highways join in Kamloops, the BC Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway), the Coquihalla Highway (BC highway 5 south of the city), the Yellowhead Highway (BC Highway 5 north of the city) and BC Highway 97, making it a transportation hub and a place which attracts business. There are over 50 trucking and transport companies located in Kamloops that ship across Canada and into the United States. Both the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railway service Kamloops with both lines running through the city.
Kamloops welcomed 1.8 million visitors in 2017, a 9% increase from 2015 (1.64 million).
Tourism's economic ROI is immense. A$1.8 million destination marketing budget returned $449 million in economic benefit in 2017.The annual Direct Visitor Expenditure is estimated at $270 million, a 19% increase from 2015 ($227 million). Further, the total estimated tourism economic impact was $449 million in 2017, a 32.4% increase from 2015 ($339 million).
Tourism generates many types of income for the region, including business income, wage earnings, share earnings, rates and levies. Conservation springs from industry-wide support for management, research and education initiatives that benefit everyone through responsible tourism management.
Kamloops has over 50 accommodation choices from major hotels to bed and breakfasts. Accommodation occupancy rates were 61.5% in 2017, up 2.6% from 2016.
Kamloops is home to the Western Hockey League's Kamloops Blazers who play at the Sandman Centre. Alumni of the Kamloops Blazers include Mark Recchi, Jarome Iginla, Darryl Sydor, Nolan Baumgartner, Shane Doan, Scott Niedermayer, Rudy Poeschek and Darcy Tucker (Recchi, Doan, Iginla, and Sydor are now part-owners of the club). Two-time champion coach Ken Hitchcock would later win the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars.
Kamloops is also the hometown of 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Champion and current defenceman for the Detroit Red Wings, Joe Hicketts.
Kamloops hosted the 1993 Canada Summer Games. It co-hosted (with Vancouver and Kelowna) the 2006 IIHF World U20 Championship from 26 December 2005, to 5 January 2006. It hosted the 2006 BC Summer Games and 2018 BC Winter Games. In the summer of 2008, Kamloops, and its modern facility the Tournament Capital Centre played host to the U15 boys and girls Basketball National Championship.
Kamloops hosted the World Masters Indoor Championships in March 2010.
Kamloops hosted the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games.
Kamloops hosted the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier (The Canadian Men's Curling Championships).
Kamloops hosted the 2014 edition of the 4 Nations Cup.
The Kamloops Indian Residential School, part of the Canadian Indian residential school system opened in 1893 and ran until 1977. In May 2021, the possible remains of 200 children were detected in the graveyard soil by ground penetrating radar at the site of the school. The remains were located with the assistance of ground-penetrating radar, and work was underway to determine if related records about the identities of the dead are held at the Royal British Columbia Museum. In a statement released by the First Nations Health Authority, CEO Richard Jock said: "That this situation exists is sadly not a surprise and illustrates the damaging and lasting impacts that the residential school system continues to have on First Nations people, their families and communities."
Public schools in Kamloops and adjacent communities are run by School District 73 Kamloops/Thompson.
Private schools include Kamloops Christian School, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Catholic), and St. Ann's Academy (Catholic).
The Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique operates école Collines-d’or, a Francophone primary school.
Thompson Rivers University offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificate and diploma programs. It has satellite campuses in:
Thompson Rivers University also has an open-learning division. Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL) is the biggest distance and online education provider in British Columbia and one of the biggest in Canada. The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack are the athletic teams that represent Thompson Rivers University.
Thompson Career College and Sprott Shaw College are private post-secondary institutions with campuses in Kamloops.
Below is a list of people who are from Kamloops, or who lived there for an extended period.
- Edward Bellew, recipient of the Victoria Cross.
- Jim Chamberlin, aerodynamicist, who contributed to the design of the Canadian Avro Arrow; NASA's Project Mercury, Project Gemini and the Apollo program.
- Allan McLean, son of Donald McLean and leader of the outlaw gang known as the Wild McLean Boys.
- Donald McLean, former Chief Trader of Fort Kamloops and one of the casualties of the Chilcotin War.
- Frank Robert Miller, former deputy minister of the National Defence.
- Chief Nicola, conjoint chief of the Nicolas and the Kamloops Secwepemc during the fur trade and gold rush eras.
- Johnny Ussher, settler, provincial magistrate and gold commissioner (killed by Allan McLean).
- Mark Sweeten Wade, medical doctor, newspaperman and historian.
- Jack Davis, politician who was elected to both the Parliament of Canada and Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
- John L. Frazer, politician: member of the House of Commons of Canada from 1993 to 1997.
- Davie Fulton, politician: member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1945 to 1963, and 1965 to 1968. Son of Frederick John Fulton.
- Frederick John Fulton, British born politician and lawyer, father of Davie Fulton.
- Phil Gaglardi, aka Flying Phil, former Provincial Minister of Highways and Mayor of the city.
- Leonard Marchand, QPC, CM, 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.
- Nelson Riis, former Kamloops alderman and Director of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, later federal MP for Kamloops.
- Peter Wing, North America's first elected mayor of Chinese descent, elected in 1966 and served three terms in Kamloops.
- Graham Agassiz, freeride mountain biker, bronze medal at Red Bull Rampage 2015.
- Don Ashby, former National Hockey League (NHL) ice hockey player.
- Murray Baron, former NHL ice hockey player.
- Mitch Berger, former National Football League (NFL) player.
- Rick Boh, former NHL ice hockey player.
- Corryn Brown, Canadian curler, skip of the 2013 Canadian Junior Curling Championships winning rink, 2012 Winter Youth Olympics bronze medallist.
- Jim Cotter, Canadian curler, 2013 Olympic Trials runner up, 2014 Tim Hortons Brier silver medallist.
- Craig Endean, former NHL ice hockey player.
- Todd Esselmont, ice and roller hockey player.
- Erin Gammel, is a swimmer who competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
- Stu Grimson, former NHL ice hockey player.
- Don Hay, former NHL head coach.
- Jessica Hewitt, short track speed skater, silver medallist at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
- Joe Hicketts, 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Champion, Detroit Red Wings defenceman.
- Murray Kennett, is a former World Hockey Association (WHA) ice hockey player.
- Doug Lidster, former NHL ice hockey player.
- John Ludvig, professional ice hockey player
- Bert Marshall, former NHL ice hockey player.
- Spencer McLennan, Former Canadian Football League (CFL) player.
- Don Moen, Former CFL football player.
- Josie Morrison, Canadian speedskater, 2018 Winter Olympian.
- Bob Mowat, former WHA ice hockey player.
- Brendon Nash, former NHL ice hockey player
- Riley Nash, Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey player
- Shane Niemi, is a Canadian sprinter.
- Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat and Canada international basketball player.
- Paul Osbaldiston, former CFL football player.
- Catharine Pendrel, cross country mountain biker, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, 2011 and 2014 World Champion
- Rudy Poeschek, former NHL player.
- Kevin Powell, former CFL football player.
- Nancy Greene Raine, named Canada's Athlete of the Century in 1999, Olympic skier who won gold for Canada in 1968, and 13 World Cups (the Canadian record) for a total of 17 Canadian Title Championships.
- Mark Recchi, former NHL ice hockey player, three time Stanley Cup champion (1991, 2006, 2011), and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame
- Justin Ring, former CFL football player
- Peter Soberlak, former American Hockey League (AHL) professional ice hockey player.
- Dave Vankoughnett, former CFL football player.
- Tim Watters, former NHL ice hockey player.
Arts, culture and media
- Benjamin Ayres, actor, born in Kamloops.
- Dan Bremnes, Christian musician, born in Kamloops.
- Steven Galloway, novelist, was raised in Kamloops.
- Elise Gatien, actress.
- Boris Karloff, actor, joined the Jeanne Russell theatre company in Kamloops in September 1911.
- Chris Masuak, punk rock singer-songwriter, inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, born in Kamloops – lived in Brocklehurst (North Kamloops) in the 1960s. Now resides in Spain.
- John Pozer, award-winning filmmaker.
- Robert W. Service, poet and writer known for his ballads depicting the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, he worked at Kamloops branch of the Canadian Bank of Commerce from July to December 1904 before being transferred to Whitehorse.
- Michael Shanks, actor, born in Vancouver, but grew up in Kamloops.
- Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, First Nations painter.
Other notable people
- Nadine Caron, first female First Nations surgeon.
- Andrew Collier, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.
- Patrick Crawford, tech entrepreneur and NASA research collaborator.
- Mildred Gottfriedson, first First Nations individual inducted into the Order of Canada and founding member of the B.C. Native Women's Society.
- Lesra Martin, resident lawyer who helped with Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter's prison release.
Images for kids
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