Ontario engineer Eric MacMillan created a 3D model of what Kelowna’s skyline will look like in a few years. (Eric MacMillan)

Ontario engineer Eric MacMillan created a 3D model of what Kelowna’s skyline will look like in a few years. (Eric MacMillan)

Kelowna in 2031: Ontario man makes 3D model of city’s future skyline

An Ontario resident wanted to see what the city will look like in a few years

It’s no secret that Kelowna’s real estate sector is booming, but even people from other provinces are starting to notice.

An Ontario environmental engineer-in-training-in-training, who has for years focused on visualizing expansion rates in different Canadian cities, took special note of Kelowna.

In studying the city, Eric MacMillan said Kelowna seemed to ‘spring out of nowhere’.

“I was on a Kelowna section of a development forum online and I started seeing all these developments. And I just thought ‘wow, this small little city nestled in the Okanagan is just going crazy with their density’.”

Given that Canada seems to be a real estate hot spot currently, MacMillan wanted to see what that looks like in terms of developments, starting off with the City of Mississauga. He became interested in 3D modelling while he was completing his undergraduate degree. He uses this technique to visualize these changes.

Since his first model of Mississauga, he has since done renderings of what Halifax, Ottawa, Barrie, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, London, Windsor, Saskatoon and Kelowna will look like in about ten years.

His models focus on how the boom in residential construction is impacting smaller cities.

In studying Kelowna, MacMillan learned that it makes more sense to grow up, rather than out.

“I saw that it makes more sense to grow up instead of sprawl out like other cities. You guys just have such limited land out there,” he said.

MacMillan said while he went through approved developments in Kelowna, one shouldn’t take his rendering as a fully accurate picture of the city’s future skyline.

James Moore is the City of Kelowna’s long-range policy planning manager and he said MacMillan’s model is a reasonable expectation of what the city will look like in roughly ten years.

“It’s never quite certain or a hundred percent clear and we’re not always sure if (the skyline) will turn out the way it looks like in the model,” Moore said.

“This is a reasonable guess, but Kelowna actually grows mostly on the conservative side.”

Moore said that even though MacMillan rendered mostly approved sites, some of those developments may actually fall through and not get built. He added that even though it may seem like there is a lot of building going on, the changes shown in MacMillan’s rendering actually take time to unfold.

“Certainly, we expect that in the next 20 years, Kelowna will do more growing up than out,” he said.

“But this is a great tool to engage people with what the city will look like.”

READ: Kelowna wants to remove carriage home red tape

READ: Kelowna rental housing demand higher than supply: report

READ: ‘Green initiatives’ could bring colour to Kelowna roadways


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Pexels photo)
Okanagan film boom owes to industry’s strong pandemic response: Sandhu

Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu lauded the local film industry’s adaptation to the pandemic

The City of Vernon is still taking applications for council discretionary grants until April 30. (File photo)
Funding available to Vernon non-profits, societies

Grants awarded to organizations that ‘contribute to the general interest and advantage of the city;’ deadline is April 30

A sani-dump station is coming to the frontage road off Okanagan Landing Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
New Vernon sani-dump station raises a stink among neighbours

Temporary relocation to Okanagan Landing with future plan at former Kin racetrack

The Wild Oak Cafe in Armstrong is one of the available squares in the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce's Bingo game to support local businesses. (Facebook)
Bingo boosts Armstrong eateries

Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber launches #BoostOurBiz featuring bingo card which would win you prizes

Vernon Fire Rescue Services will conduct a controlled burn in the Foothills area Friday, April 16. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Controlled Foothills burn cancelled

Vernon Fire Rescue Services had planned for a controlled burn in Foothills on Friday, April 16

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

A member of the Oliver Fire Department works on the wildfire near the Cottages at Osoyoos Lake on Tuesday night. The fire is believed to have been caused by a human. (Oliver Fire Department Facebook)
UPDATE: Osoyoos wildfire believed to be human-caused

The Oliver Fire department also responded to another fire along the hike and bike trail on Saturday

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

desert hills estate winery grapes
Osoyoos winery back in business after clean bill of health

Desert Hills chose to temporarily close after a close contact tested positive for COVID

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Hikers are still able to climb to the top of Giant’s Head Mountain in Summerland, but the paved road to the upper parking lot will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon and all day on Sundays. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland park partially closed to vehicle traffic

Giant’s Head Mountain Park gates will be closed to cars until noon

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Young cyclists from Quebec have not been riding single file on Naramata’s narrow and windy roads, causing the ire of locals worried for their safety and theirs. (Dan Moskaluk)
Quebec cyclists bad road behaviour causing stir in Penticton

The young cycling group illegally riding two-abreast on Naramata’s narrow roads

Most Read