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 Salmon Arm, BC, an attractive lakeside community, just one of the many attractive small towns in BC.
Salmon Arm is technically a city, but with a population of around 20,000, it has a small-town feel. The community has a rural location which is lush and green in the summer and great for cross-country skiing in the winter.
We will give you all the key information about living in Salmon Arm, BC. In addition, we will provide you with an unbiased view of the pros and cons of living in this town.
Living In Salmon Arm, BC – The Facts
Here are some key facts about this lakeside town for anyone interested in living in Salmon Arm, BC.
Where Is Salmon Arm, BC?
Salmon Arm is a city in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District of the Southern Interior of BC. This is a beautiful area of lakes and mountains. The city lies 450km northeast of Vancouver, and the drive will take you close to 5 hours.
The closest international airport is Kelowna International Airport, around a 90-minute drive from Salmon Arm. Although an international airport, Kelowna’s destinations are primarily domestic and Mexican. However, both Calgary and Vancouver International Airports can be reached in less than 6 hours.
What Is The Population Of Salmon Arm in 2023?
The population of Salmon Arm in 2023 is around 20,103, 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 19,432, representing a growth in the population of Salmon Arm of 9.7% between 2016 and 2021.
The average age of the population is 47.9, which is 6 years higher than the national average of 41.9, and the population of Salmon Arm is predominantly white and English speaking. According to the latest census data, visible minorities account for around 5% of the population. The largest minority groups living in Salmon Arm are Filipino, South Asian and Japanese, and these groups account for more than half of the visible minority population.
What Is The Weather In Salmon Arm, 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 mildest winters in Canada and warm, pleasant summers, while the southern interior has very short winters with long, dry, hot summers.
The weather in Salmon Arm is more temperate than in many Canadian cities. The average January low is minus 6 degrees C, while the average July high is around 27 degrees C. The town has a total annual precipitation of 650mm, and about 30% falls as snow.
What Is The Cost of Living In Salmon Arm 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 rate is relatively high.
The good news is that the average property price in Salmon Arm is around two-thirds of the provincial average, although still slightly higher than the national average.
What Is The Salmon Arm BC Economy Based On?
The economy of Salmon Arm was built on the forestry industry, and logging and associated industries are still important to the town.
However, Salmon Arm is also a tourist town in the summer, known for its many beaches, camping facilities and house boat rentals. Salmon Arm is also home to North America’s longest wooden freshwater wharf.
Is Salmon Arm, 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.
However, crime rates in Salmon Arm are lower than BC averages, with violent crime rates significantly below BC averages. Overall, Salmon Arm is a very safe place to live, and I haven’t ever felt unsafe in the town.
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What Are The Schools In Salmon Arm, 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.
French Immersion programs are also available in Salmon Arm. Students can start French immersion at either Bastion Elementary School or join the Late Immersion program, which begins in grade 6 at the middle school.
What Is The Healthcare In Salmon Arm, 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.
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.
The town of Salmon Arm has its own city hospital. The Shuswap Lake General Hospital offers a number of services, including surgical, inpatient, obstetrics and 24-hour emergency care.
Pros And Cons Of Living In Salmon Arm BC
The pros and cons of living in Salmon Arm, 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 Salmon Arm BC
- Attractive lakeside location
- Low property prices for BC
- Low crime rates for BC
- Access to International Airports
- French Immersion school programs
Cons Of Living In Salmon Arm BC
- High BC Taxes