Penticton’s newest residents moved from the Lower Mainland for work purposes, latest data finds
The largest group of new residents arriving in Penticton in the last 15 months are from the Lower Mainland, with the majority moving here for work purposes, according to data collected through the City’s Welcome Home initiative.
“First of all, we would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our newest residents,” says Mayor Julius Bloomfield. “The Welcome Home packs are our way to connect with new arrivals, while also learning more about them. This will help us understand how the city is growing and the ways we need to adapt to address their needs.”
This Economic Development campaign invites newcomers who arrived after July 2022 to complete an application form for a Welcome Home pack including local information and free passes. A total of 150 people filled out a survey prior to Oct. 31, representing 384 new residents who arrived since July 1, 2022.
The responses show that 81 people (54 per cent) who filled out application forms to receive the Welcome Home packs moved for employment reasons, such as to start a job or to take over/start a business. Of this working group, 13 per cent came to work remotely and over half (55%) of this sub-group indicated that moving closer to friends and family was an attraction. A further 11 households (7%) came because the respondent’s partner had secured a job in Penticton.
The second largest group of newcomers are retired, representing 38 households (25 per cent of survey responses). They are mostly moving from the Lower Mainland (39.5%) and Northern/Interior BC (23.7%) with notable interprovincial migration from Ontario (13.2%) and Manitoba (10.5%).
The survey explores not only the respondents’ most recent residential community, but also whether they have immigrated to Canada in the last five years. Of the total respondents who filled out the survey, 16 per cent indicated they had relocated from elsewhere in the world, with the Philippines, India and Mexico topping the list.
Of the total new arrivals who filled out the survey, 43 per cent were between the ages of 19-44. Those arriving between the ages of 45-64 has dropped to 23.5 per cent (compared to 35% in the same survey last year), and the number of children aged 0-18 has grown to 22 per cent (15% last year).
The climate (21%), access to nature (19%), and proximity to family and friends (15%) were the most mentioned reasons to move to Penticton.
“The Welcome Home campaign reflects the diversity that we’re seeing in our housing needs assessment,” says Blake Laven, the City’s director of development services. “As we continue to grow, we’re going to welcome more skilled workers, students, professionals and parents. This data reinforces the need to continue to provide a mix of housing types to meet the needs of new and old residents.”
This initiative is part of the ongoing Start Here Penticton campaign, building upon the Economic Development strategies to attract and retain skilled labour and businesses. The Welcome Home pack’s contents are a combined initiative involving Visit Penticton, the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, Okanagan College, Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen, OneSky Community Resources, WorkBC, and South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services.
For more details or to apply for a pack, visit penticton.ca/welcome-home.