Kamloops is a city in south central British Columbia, Canada at the confluence of the two branches of the Thompson River and near Kamloops Lake. It is the seat of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. Kamloops is also the Tournament Capital of Canada. It is ranked 37th on the list of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in Canada.
Geography & Location
Kamloops is situated at 50°43’N 120°25’W, in the Thompson Valley, and the Mountain Cordillera Ecozone. The central core of the city is located in the valley near the confluence of the North and South branches of the Thompson River. Suburbs stretch for more than a dozen kilometres along both North and South branches, as well as to the steep hillsides along the south portion of the city. Kamloops Indian Band areas begin just to the northeast of the downtown core but are not located within the city limits. Kamloops is surrounded by the smaller communities of Rayleigh, Heffley Creek, Knutsford, Cherry Creek, Pritchard, Campbell Creek, Savona, Scotch Creek, Adams Lake, Chase and various others; many of which are included in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District or the TNRD.
The Kamloops area was exclusively inhabited by the Secwepemc (Shuswap) nation (part of the Interior Salish language group) prior to the arrival of European settlers. The first European explorers arrived in 1811, and a fur trading post was established by David Stuart in 1812 for the Pacific Fur Company. This was bought out by the North West Company shortly after, and by 1821, the Hudson’s Bay Company had control of the fur trade in Kamloops.
The gold rush of the 1860’s and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s brought further growth, resulting in the City of Kamloops being incorporated in 1893 with a population of about 500.
“Kamloops” is the anglicized version of the Shuswap word “Tk’emlups”, meaning ‘meeting of the waters’. Shuswap is still actively spoken in the area by members of the Kamloops Indian Band.
Major Kamloops-area industries include primary resource processing such as Weyerhauser Pulp and Sawmill, Tolko-Heffley Creek Plywood and Veneer, LaFarge Cement, Highland-Valley Copper Mine and various other industries (in Logan Lake) as well as tertiary services such as the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and Pollard Banknote (which makes the lottery tickets), NRI distribution.. and many others. Kamloops is also a transportation hub for the region being on the Trans-Canada Highway. It is the first major city after Vancouver on that highway. Kamloops is home to a smaller airport which is currently under pressure from constituents to be upgraded to a larger international type airport. There is however no known plans for upgrading the airport. There has also been speculation of an Inland water port (this is also non-certain).
While situated in a semi-arid valley, Kamloops has winters that are generally mild and very short with an occasional cold snap where temperatures can drop to around -30°C when arctic air floods over the Rocky Montains into the interior. Snow can occur from November to March, but most of it falls over a few weeks in December and January. Winter mean minimum temperature is -7.6°C in January.
Perhaps surprisingly, considering that Kamloops is located 50° latitude north, summers are quite hot with prevailing dry, and sunny weather. The average July maximum temperature is 28.3°C. In most years, one might confuse this city with any in southern California, as summer temperatures come close to or even exceed 40°C.
Spring arrives very early, sometimes in February, due to mild air spilling over the coastal mountains from the Pacific Ocean. Fall is generally a pleasant and a mostly dry season.
Kamloops lies in the “rain shadow” leeward of the Coast Mountains and is biogeographically connected to similar semi-desert and desert areas in the Okanagan region, the Osoyoos area, and the central parts of Washington and Oregon state as well as intermontane areas of Nevada in the U.S.. These areas of relatively similar climate have many distinctive native plants and animals in common, such as Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), prickly pear cactus (Opuntia fragilis in this case), rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis), Black widow spiders and Lewis’s Woodpecker.
Kamloops was home of the 1993 Canada Summer Games. The city is known as, and holds a Canadian Trademark as, the Tournament Capital of Canada. Sun Peaks Resort is a well-reviewed ski and snowboard hill located nearby. Nancy Greene, the olympic medalist skiier, is director of skiing at Sun Peaks and also the chancellor of Thompson Rivers University. Likewise, the Overlander Ski Club runs the Stake Lake cross country ski area with some 50km of trails. Kamloops is also home to world famous mountain biking and many world famous mountain bikers such as Hunter Parsons, Wade Simmons and Matt Hunter. The Kamloops Bike Ranch just opened near Juniper Ridge. The Kamloops Rotary Skatepark located at McArthur Island is one of the largest skateboard parks in Canada.
Kamloops is also home to a WHL hockey team, the Kamloops Blazers. They play at the Interior Savings Centre.
Kamloops (with Vancouver and Kelowna) hosted the 2006 IIHF World U-20 Hockey Championship from December 26, 2005 to January 5, 2006. Kamloops is also the host of the 2006 B.C. Summer games
information courtesy of wikipedia