Oliver – Wine Capital of Canada
In the heart of one of the most desirable recreational and retirement regions in British Columbia lies the quaint and charming community of Oliver. Residents enjoy the unique desert-like climate with several nearby lakes, golf courses and an abundance of other recreational areas.
The town abounds with well kept homes, businesses and parks. A sound economic base, excellent educational opportunities, good health care and high family values makes it a classic Canadian hometown.
The town was named after an early B.C. pioneer, John Oliver, and has a rich history in gold mining, ranching and agriculture.
For years tourists have flocked to this area for the abundant fruit, but Oliver also offers recreational, environmental and cultural attractions to both visitors and its residents.
The community has several public recreational facilities including a pool, an arena, community center, a skateboard park, an International Hike and Bike Path which follows the scenic Okanagan River. Cultural attractions include a library, numerous wineries and a line up of special events. Oliver plays an important role as a provider of regional services for the South Okanagan. The town offers a full spectrum of goods and services including financial, professional, commercial retail administrative, health, educational and transportation facilities.
Land for manufacturing and commercial development is available at competitive market prices. The Okanagan enjoys a reputation of having some of the most highly skilled workers in the country with one of the lowest turnover rates. The combination of these factors makes Oliver an appealing location for all types of business ventures looking to attract new and skilled workers. It is expected that interest in light manufacturing, assembly, distribution and warehousing will grow due to the availability of land and the regional market.
A 73,000 sq. ft. retail centre is located at Southwinds Crossing in Oliver. Tenants include Buy-Low Foods, Canadian Tire, Tim Horton’s, Mark’s Work Wearhouse and a Liquor Store. There are several major employers in the community. Some of these are
School District #53, South Okanagan General Hospital, K&C Silviculture; OSC Growers Coop. The Osoyoos Indian Band based in Oliver is one of the largest employers in the South Okanagan. The South Okanagan General Hospital and the total enrolment in the school district represent about 500 employees making them the largest employers in the town.
Tree fruit, vegetable and cattle production form an important base for secondary manufacturing in the area. Although primary agricultural-based employment continues a long-term decline, it still provides direct employment for approximately 3,000 workers in the South Okanagan labour force. The trend today is to dwarf tree, high density planting and specialty fruits. There are approximately 400 orchards (over two acres in size) in the Oliver area.
Oliver is known as the Wine Capital of Canada and as the centre of the wine industry in the Okanagan with the largest concentration of both vineyards and commercial wineries in British Columbia. The majority of these are located along what is known as the Golden Mile of Highway 97, just south of Oliver and the Black Sage Bench located on the east side of the valley. Oliver has 102 vineyards totaling 2,665 acres, including 25 licensed wineries – with more proposed. New wineries and additional lands are being put into production in what is expected to be a growth industry for the next five to 10 years.
It is estimated that the Town of Oliver hosts more than 10,000 tourists each year: They come to share what residents treasure: the exceptional beauty, the astounding views, the terraced vineyards and fruit orchards, the sunshine and the warm and friendly community, For additional information on Oliver visit www.winecapitalofcanada. ca or www.oliver.ca.