Canadian Growth City No. 7: Kamloops a Western Frontier Gem

Feb 25, 2016

British Columbia Destination Attracts U-Haul Movers with Sun, Friendly Culture

City of Kamloops. Credit: Tourism Kamloops

City of Kamloops. Credit: Tourism Kamloops.

With its brilliant blue skies, vast number of sunny days and spectacular landscapes, do-it-yourself movers with an affinity for outdoors living have made Kamloops No. 7 among the U-Haul Top 10 Canadian Growth Cities for 2015.

“I think people move here because of our central location, the broad scope of amenities, and the variety of activities you can do here,” Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar said.

“From wineries and craft breweries to downhill skiing and a symphony performance, there is something for everyone. We are a growing community, which is creating a lot of energy and a positive outlook to the future. Kamloops is an affordable and attractive option for people to make their home and build their business. We are seeing this in all parts of our community and we expect this to continue.”

Plan Ahead: Reserve a Truck in Advance for Your Summer Move

Quote about Kamloops Growth

Growth rankings are determined by the net gain of incoming one-way U-Haul truck rentals versus outgoing rentals for the past calendar year. U-Haul locations in this city saw 53.2 percent of truck rental customers coming into the city as opposed leaving.

Despite the net gain, there was slightly less traffic in this city among do-it-yourself movers year-over-year, with a 5 percent drop in U-Haul arrivals and a 7 percent drop in departures compared to 2014 activity.

Kamloops, with a population of roughly 85,000, has a reputation for being the friendliest city in British Columbia as well as “Canada’s Tournament Capital” for sporting events. Four major highways feed into the city, creating convenient access from destinations such as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Seattle.

The residents here embrace the western heritage of their city, a ranching community since the 19th century where the “cowboy way” still plays a role today. Rodeos and cowboy festivals, music and other events are plentiful.

“Kamloops is a very beautiful, affordable place to live,” said Horace Martin, U-Haul Company of British Columbia president. “It has Riverside Park, a world-class ski resort, and the right mix of big city/small town feel. It’s billed as the Tournament Capital of Canada. There’s no shortage of activities in one of the sunniest cities in Canada.”

While U-Haul migration trends don’t correlate directly to population or economic growth, the growth cities data is a strong gauge of how well cities are attracting and keeping residents.

Kamloops is the second of four British Columbia destinations to make the Top 10 Growth Cities list for 2015. Continue following the countdown on each weekday through March 4 to see the No. 1 city revealed.

Kamloops growth facts

More on Kamloops

  1. There are more than 2,000 hours of sunshine each year, making this city one of the sunniest cities in Western Canada.
  2. Kamloops is the premier host centre for all types of sporting and cultural events. In fact, $50 million has been put into renovating facilities to sell the city’s tournament initiative.
  3. Moving customers in Kamloops have easy access to four U-Haul neighborhood dealers – companies that supplement their primary businesses by serving their communities with U-Haul rental equipment and moving supplies. Gateway RV Mini Storage at 231 Andover Crescent is the latest to join the U-Haul network, signing up last October.


  • “The inclusion of Kamloops in the Top 10 Growth Cities list comes as no surprise. The city’s record of steady economic growth makes it attractive to business and new residents. Kamloops appeals to people on the move because it presents opportunity. The diverse economy, relaxed lifestyle and geographic location combine to make Kamloops a truly great place to live. I love Kamloops. It has everything I want. It offers the amenities and services you would expect from an urban centre, but maintains the sense of community that can only be found in a smaller town. It’s the best of both worlds.” — Jim Anderson, executive director of Venture Kamloops
  • “I’m not surprised to see Kamloops on the Top 10 list of growing cities. We have a stable economy because of our diversification and being a regional hub. There are many reasons to move to Kamloops whether it’s to start a business, start a new job or go to university.” — Peter Milobar, Mayor of Kamloops

What is your favorite part of visiting or living in this city?  Share in the comments.

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