Economic Overview

Welcome to Vernon and the sunny North Okanagan, where our casual lifestyle, matched with spectacular outdoor recreation opportunities, has led Vernon to become one of the most economically diverse communities in British Columbia. Vernon is the economic anchor of the North Okanagan, serving a regional population of more than 100,000. Situated between Vancouver and Calgary and surrounded by three lakes, the area offers hot summers and mild winters, attracting businesses and residents from across Canada.

Vernon is a winner of the B.C. Small Business Roundtable’s 2014 Open for Business Awards for our best practices in supporting the growth of local businesses. With a strong sense of community and beautiful Okanagan location, Vernon offers a great business climate and unmatched livability.

A Desirable Location

Vernon is situated between the northern tip of Okanagan Lake and Kalamalka Lake in the Okanagan Valley, one of the most desirable regions in which to live. The Okanagan Valley is diverse with a mild winter climate and long warm summers. The Okanagan Valley is home to over 350,000 people. Agriculture has traditionally been the main economic engine of the area, but over the past few decades, construction, tourism and manufacturing have also driven the economy.

Vernon is readily accessible by air, rail and road networks, providing businesses excellent transportation linkages. The Kelowna International Airport is Canada’s tenth largest airport and is located just 25 minutes from downtown Vernon. The airport offers direct flights to a variety of locations including San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Victoria. CN Rail has made a substantial investment in the region by taking over operations of the branch line from Lumby, through Vernon and to their main line in Kamloops. 

In 2015, the estimated population of British Columbia was 4.7-million, making it Canada’s third-most populated province behind Ontario and Quebec. British Columbia is Canada’s gateway to the Pacific Rim and Asian trading markets, and is part of North America’s Pacific Northwest trading region.