Downtown Kelowna

Reflected in the street names of this area, Downtown Kelowna is valued for its association with several Francophone families who settled and established themselves in the Okanagan region from other parts of Canada and beyond. Notably these include Alphonse Road, Berard Road, Bernard Avenue, Blondeaux Crescent, Bouvette Street, Christian Place, De Montreuil Court, Gagnon Place, Gaston Avenue, Gillard Drive, Lawrence Avenue, Lawrence Road, Leon Avenue, Lequime Street, Pandosy Street, Saucier Avenue, Saucier Road, St. Amand Road and Vimy Avenue.
This concentration of Francophone settlement is also valued for its profound and lasting influence of French-speaking culture, including the development of farms, schools, churches and businesses that were integrated throughout the region and impacted its economic development, community growth, religious practice and education system.
The name Kelowna itself, is a reference to a regional legend that recounts when August Gillard emerged from his shelter and was compared to a brown bear by local Indigenous people. The name “Kelowna” was the Indigenous word for grizzly bear.