Lake Country - Life. The Okanagan Way.

THE HEART OF THE OKANAGAN
British Columbia, Canada
 


 

Public input opportunity for Okanagan Rail Trail

The Inter-jurisdictional Development Team is preparing a planning and design process to create a continuous corridor on the recently acquired rail route.

“The intention is to develop the corridor in phases, with the initial phase being construction of a gravel trail with road crossings, signage, fencing, and barriers to provide a basic level of safe and accessible use by pedestrians and cyclists,” said Andrew Gibbs, Inter-jurisdictional Development Team Project Manager.

Input will be gathered for the initial phase of trail development and additional feedback collected from the engagement process will be retained for future reference, for use in any future planning and development of the trial corridor.

Residents are invited to review the concept and give their feedback. Staff will be on hand to answer questions regarding the design and provide an opportunity for input at the following public information opportunities:

Monday Mar. 14
4 – 6:30 p.m. Oyama Community Hall, 15710 Oyama Rd.
District of Lake Country

Tuesday Mar. 15
4 – 6:30 p.m. Parkinson Recreation Centre, 1800 Parkinson Way
City of Kelowna

Wednesday Mar. 16
4 – 6 p.m. Winfield Memorial Hall, 10130 Bottom Wood Lake Rd.
Okanagan Indian Band

Thursday Mar. 17
4 – 6:30 p.m. Coldstream Municipal Hall, 9901 Kalamalka Rd.
District of Coldstream

Residents unable to attend can also provide feedback through an online survey at getinvolved.kelowna.ca. Online input will be open between Monday, March 14 until Sunday, March 27 and the trail development plan is anticipated to be submitted to respective councils and board for consideration later this spring.

“Due to the significant investment in purchase of the corridor, and in light of other pre-existing community priorities, local governments are not in a position to make any significant financial commitments to development of a trail in the short-term,” said Gibbs. “Opportunities are being explored to work with the community, external fundraisers and granting agencies to secure the funds necessary to develop the corridor for recreational use.”

The City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, Regional District of North Okanagan, and the Province of B.C. have invested $22 million in the purchase of the discontinued CN railway running from Coldstream to Kelowna recognizing the joint value the route could have as a continuous multi-modal transportation corridor connecting all the communities.

Refer to this website for the most up-to-date information.

Have your say on Opportunities for the Okanagan Rail Trail.  Complete the online survey March 14 to 27, 2016.  Read the FactSheet distributed at the Open House events.  See the presentation boards and maps.

 

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Photos: Wood Lake, Oyama, Coldstream, Kalamalka Lake, Kelowna Rails with Trails pathway

Quick Facts:

  • The corridor is approximately 47.5-km long extending from Kelowna’s north end to Mile 88 in Coldstream.
  • The CN Rail line was constructed in 1925 to bring the produce and lumber of the Okangan Valley to markets across the country.
  • Challenged with high costs and low revenues Kelowna Pacific Railway, who operated the line in recent years, entered receivership and ceased rail service in July 2013.
  • Purchase of the discontinued rail line was finalized on June 1, 2015 by the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, the Regional District of North Okanagan and the Province of B.C.

 

Backgrounder:

The discontinued CN rail corridor is a continuous right of way with limited road crossings and minimal grade change that connects the communities of the Okanagan Valley and provides access to many of the valleys most scenic features. With a population base along the rail corridor of more than 212,000 protecting the CN rail line for use as a public right of way benefits residents and recreational enthusiasts today and provides opportunities to meet the transportation and economic needs of the region in the future.

The Inter-jurisdictional Team is acting as a common voice for local governments to work collaboratively in achieving common goals for the mutual benefit of the valley’s residents.

Local interests are in:

  • Retaining integrity of the corridor;
  • Opportunity for a regionally significant corridor with potential for multi-modal transportation benefits and a trail component;
  • Addressing property maintenance, beautification and road crossing arrangements; and
  • Working with granting agencies and the regional fund raising community to fund trail development.

For more information, contact:

Andrew Gibbs
Inter-jurisdictional Development Team, Project Manager
250-863-3952

Tom Wilson
Communications Supervisor
250-469-8663

 

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