Are you planning a move to British Columbia but looking for a quieter location away from the big cities? If so, you may be interested in living in Invermere, BC, a lakeside community in southeast BC, just one of the many attractive small towns in BC.
This lively town, also known as Invermere on the Lake, is an excellent location for outdoor enthusiasts. As well as water-based sports, you can enjoy hiking, biking, golf and skiing in the area.
We will give you all the key information about living in Invermere, BC. In addition, we will provide you with an unbiased view of the pros and cons of living in this town.
Living In Invermere, BC – The Facts
Here are some key facts about this lakeside town for anyone interested in living in Invermere, BC.
Where Is Invermere BC?
Invermere is a small resort town in southeastern BC on the western side of the Rocky Mountains (the warm side!); it is around 850 km east of Vancouver and 280 km west of Calgary, Alberta. The town lies in the Columbia Valley on the northern shores of Lake Windermere.
You should also note that the town is in the Mountain Time zone (unlike most BC, which operates on Pacific Time).
What Is The Population Of Invermere in 2023?
The population of Invermere in 2023 is around 4,000, based on the latest government of BC estimates released at the start of the year.
The town has seen steady growth in recent years. The latest federal census data (released in 2022) showed a population of 3,917, representing a growth in the population of Invermere of 15.5% between 2016 and 2021.
The average age of the population is 44, around 2 years higher than the national average, and the population of Invermere is predominantly white and English-speaking.
According to the latest census data, visible minorities account for around 5% of the population. The largest minority group living in Invermere is Filipino, and this group accounts for more than half of the visible minority population.
What Is The Weather In Invermere, BC, Like?
Most of Canada experiences cold, harsh winters with pleasant, moderately hot summers. However, BC’s coastal location and mountain ranges mean its climate isn’t typical of Canada.
You will find significant variations in the climate even within the province. Overall the BC weather is milder and wetter than the rest of Canada. The south coast has the most temperate winters in Canada and warm, pleasant summers, while the southern interior has very short winters with long, dry, hot summers.
Invermere’s position in the mountains means it has colder winters than much of southern BC but less rainfall than the west coast.
The average January low is -10 Degrees C, while the average July high is 27 Degrees C. Invermere is wetter than some other parts of Canada, with more than 800mm of precipitation annually. However, the benefit is that it has good levels of snowfall for skiing and other winter sports.
What Is The Cost of Living In Invermere Like?
Most immigrants find the cost of living high in Canada, and BC is one of the more expensive provinces. House prices in BC are around 50% higher than Canadian averages.
Rural areas are cheaper but still subject to higher provincial taxes. Sales tax is 12% on most goods (5% GST plus 7% PST) compared to 5% in provinces such as Alberta, and the top income tax bracket is relatively high.
Property prices are reasonable in Invermere, considering it is a tourist destination. You will pay more than many other communities of its size, but its real estate is still only around two-thirds of the average for BC.
What Is The Invermere BC Economy Based On?
Invermere’s economy has traditionally been based on logging and mining. However, the tourism industry has grown and is now an essential part of the town’s economy.
The relatively warm temperature of Lake Windermere means that boating and water sports are popular in the summer. It is also a major golf centre.
Invermere is also a popular winter destination. It has two ski resorts within a half-hour drive of the town, and the lake freezes over to give more than 30km of ski, skating and walking trails (known as the Lake Windermere Whiteway).
Is Invermere BC A Safe Place To Live?
Canada is one of the safest countries in the world to live in. Crime rates are low, and the country always features near the top of the annual Global Peace Index rankings.
Canada, Quebec, Ontario and the Maritime provinces have the lowest crime rates, while the highest in the territories. BC crime rates are above average for Canada.
Invermere is a very safe place to live, even by Canadian standards. Its crime rates are extremely low compared to both provincial and national averages.
Are You Planning A Move To Canada?
Are you wondering whether to make the move and have endless questions?
We have the answers to these and many more questions.
What Are The Schools In Invermere, BC, Like?
Canada has a strong and publicly-funded education system, which consistently ranks as one of the best in the world. Education is administered at a provincial level, and BC has a reputation for excellent education within Canada.
Invermere has three public elementary and two public secondary schools, covering elementary grades to grade 12.
- Edgewater Elementary School – Kindergarten to Grade 7
- Eileen Madison Elementary School – Kindergarten to Grade3
- J. Alfred Laird Elementary School – Grades 4 to 7
- David Thompson Secondary School – Grades 8 to 12
- Open Doors Alternate School – Grades 8 to 12
For post-secondary education, Invermere has a College of the Rockies campus that offers degree programs and work-related training in the trades, industry and business.
We are not aware of any French immersion programs at Invermere’s public schools. However, if French immersion is an essential factor, you may want to consider the community of Golden instead. This is a similar-sized town around 120km north of Invermere.
What Is The Healthcare In Invermere, BC Like?
Canada has an excellent publicly-funded healthcare system which covers “medically necessary” care. Generally, hospital and doctor visits are covered, while other types of care, such as dental, optical and prescriptions, are funded for certain groups of people.
In Canada, healthcare is administered at a provincial level, so anyone living in Invermere, BC, would be covered through BC Healthcare.
You should be aware that there is currently a shortage of family doctors in much of Canada, and it can be difficult to find clinics taking on new patients. This is especially true of the smaller towns and cities.
On a positive note, Invermere has its own hospital, which offers inpatient and outpatient facilities and 24/7 emergency care.
Pros And Cons Of Living In Invermere BC
The pros and cons of living in Invermere, BC, will vary from person to person, but whatever you are looking for, these are key factors for you to consider.
Pros Of Living In Invermere BC
- Beautiful location
- On a warm lake
- Ski resorts close by
- Low crime rates
- Strong economy
- Good hospital facilities
Cons Of Living In Invermere BC
- High BC taxes
- Approx 3-hr drive to an international airport
- Relatively isolated