The Big Smoke or Napa of the North


More and more Toronto ~nians are giving up sky-high condos and property prices to enjoy the lifestyle and luxury real estate of Kelowna. Is there really a comparison?


For years, people across western Canada have been migrating to the Okanagan. So much so you could even stop someone on Water Street and say, ‘Are you from Alberta or Vancouver?’ But in recent months, our Kelowna luxury real estate agents have been taking relocation calls from another breed of homebuyer: the Torontonian.

Why are more and more people heading west, all the way from Toronto to Kelowna?  Those who call Kelowna home could spend all day listing the reasons why we’d never live anywhere else. For everyone else, here is a comparison of Toronto and Kelowna.


Kelowna: Sees 2,000+ hours of sunshine every year

Toronto: Sees smog, and variations of grey, dirty and slushy, for about 358 days of the year.


Kelowna: Has 30+ beaches

Toronto:  Has a neighborhood called The Beaches and a polluted Lake Ontario. One report suggests the pollution in and treatment of Lake Ontario (near Toronto) is amongst the worst in Ontario.


Kelowna: Takes 15 minutes to get to the international airport, and five minutes to get through security.

Toronto: Takes two hours to get to the airport, your firstborn son in exchange for parking, and one hour to get through security.


Kelowna: Offers nearly 300 kilometers of on-street bicycle lanes and 40 kilometers of separate paved multi-use paths. Plus 18 trestle bridges you can ride on.

Toronto: Offers sidewalks, a nice little subway system that’s great when it’s functioning as well as tracks used by charming, boisterous traffic-jamming streetcars.


Kelowna: Cools off with the lake and mountain air.

Toronto: Cools off with air-conditioning. A lot of air-conditioning. So that you don’t have to go outside and breathe in the smog for two months.


Kelowna: Nicknames: Orchard City, Napa of the North (did we mention the 28 wineries?)

Toronto: Nicknames: Hogtown, The Big Smoke, TO.


Kelowna: For $840,000 you can buy a 3,500 square feet four-bedroom home with a pool on the Upper Mission. In the Kelowna luxury real estate market, $1.9 million would bring you into a stunning five-bedroom, 4,400 square feet Lower Mission home with vineyard and Okanagan Lake views.

Toronto: For about $650,000 (plus a $500/month maintenance fee) you might be able to afford a two-bedroom, 800 square feet condo downtown.


Kelowna: Increasing demand and migration (partly spawned by Alberta’s oil slump) has created pressure on the market, especially when it comes to lakeview luxury real estate, but with a professional agent who knows the market on your side, you still have a good shot at finding your dream home for a fair price without needing a double bypass in the process.

Toronto: With bidding wars, bullying and outlandish over-asking-price offers, the real estate market in Toronto is a veritable jungle (in March, sales jumped 16.2 percent; the average price rose 12.1 percent compared to the same month last year.) 

Still wondering why you’re living in Toronto?


Are you considering the move from Ontario to the Okanagan? And now that you’re switching from the GTA to central Kelowna, you’re able to explore luxury real estate options? Trust the professional Realtors® at Quincy Vrecko, specializing in high-end homes in Kelowna’s most desirable neighborhoods. Call 250-863-8810.