Being from a city with a population of 500,000+, I was a bit skeptical when arriving in Kamloops for the first time, in 2013. I have lived in many places before, but for some reason, a city with a population of less than 100,000 did not seem as exciting to me! But after 6 years, I am glad to say that Kamloops has not disappointed me. Kamloops welcomed me with open arms, and I learn something new and exciting about this town almost every day.
If you have not been to Kamloops yet or you are not sure if this city is ideal for you, I promise this post will make you want to pack your bags and come to visit right away!
Here are 10 reasons to fall in love with Kamloops:
Coffee, coffee & more coffee
Recently, Canada scored 3rd place as the world’s top coffee consumers, with an average of 152 liters per person. In Kamloops, it is no different – Kamloopsians love their coffee. Whether you need somewhere to study for your exams, hang out with friends, read that new book you just bought at Chapters or just relax, you will definitely find a locally-owned artsy coffee shop within a walking distance.
Love for outdoors and fitness
Chances are, you will probably end up getting addicted to hiking. Winter or summer, rain or shine, Kamloopsians love the outdoors. The landscape of Kamloops makes it the perfect destination for those who love spending time outside, with many hiking trails and biking routes.
From the amazing view of the city from Kenna Cartwright Park to the beautiful views of the Thompson Rivers and Kamloops Lake in Battle Bluff, you will always find many exciting areas to hike, for people with all abilities. If biking is your thing, do not worry – there are over 250 biking routes around town!
Whether you choose to hike or bike (or both!), options are limitless.
Award-winning alpine and ski resort in your backyard
Have you ever thought about having an award-winning and Canada’s second largest alpine ski resort 45 minutes from your house? Pretty amazing, right?
Sun Peaks is not only amazingly beautiful, but it is also huge! With over 4,270 acres of skiable terrain, your winters will never be the same. The winter season runs from late November to mid-April, so you have plenty of time to spend your weekends skiing away!
Skiing or Snowboarding is not really your thing? Do not worry! Sun Peaks Resort is full of activities that cater to a wide variety of people and interests – Ice Skating, Tube Park, Winter Segway Tours, Snowshoeing, Snowbiking, Snowmobiling Tours, Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides, Dog Sled Tours, Cat Trax Groomer Rides, Spa Treatments, Shopping and more!
If you want to save some money but still enjoy the mountains, keep an eye for upcoming events with TRU Leap – they always offer discounted trips to Sun Peaks Resort throughout the Winter semester, so you can go with your friends for an extremely price.
Summer ain’t summer without the Farmer’s Market
It only starts feeling like summer once the farmer’s market is back outdoors, up and running. The beautiful warm weather, the street full of local sellers showcasing their fresh produce, and people walking with their furry friends.
Nothing really says summer like waking up early morning, putting on your shorts and sunglasses, and walking (if you happen to live nearby!) to the Kamloops Regional Farmers Market to pick out fresh fruits and delicious veggies.
An abundance of local art
Influenced by First Nations culture, western Canadian traditions, European art forms, and contemporary Canadian art, Kamloops is a town full of personality.
From listening to local artists on Saturday nights while munching on delicious vegan brownies at The Art We Are, to watching one of the many different exhibitions in the largest gallery of the region at the Kamloops Art Gallery, you will always find a way to get inspired.
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✨THIS WEEK✨ Adult Open Studio, Thursday, August 16th, at 6-8PM. Haven’t seen the new exhibition? Well there is no better way than to join us in the gallery this week for Up Close in the Gallery. Spend a couple of hours contemplating, talking about and sketching art works from our permanent collection on display in the exhibition Through the Memory Atlas: 40 Years of Collecting. Discover how the artworks change through close and extended observation and learn new ways to draw what you see. All materials are provided. No experience is necessary. Each workshop has space for 20 participants, unless otherwise noted. Register by calling the Gallery 250-377-2400. Ages 16+ // $5 // free for members
Recycling is a must
Kamloopsians love the beautiful outdoors, and preserving it is one of the things they are really passionate about. TRU alone has a department dedicated only to sustainability, the TRU Sustainability Office.
Everywhere you go on campus, you will find a “Zero-Waste Station”, which encourages students to separate and recycle their garbage in an easy and convenient way. So make sure that you are aware that your Timmy’s empty cup goes to the blue bin, and your compost goes into the green bin. If you’re not sure, don’t worry – all stations are labeled, making it easy to know what goes on each bin!
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You can get free coffee just by bringing and using your own reusable mug on campus!☕ . TRU Food Services is excited to be a part of the Fill it Forward program. Use your Fill it Forward app to scan the cafe's unique barcode on campus, and after 10 purchases they will give you a coffee for FREE! 😄 . Remember dark blue stickers are for hot beverages and teal stickers are for water bottles.
Affordable and diverse education
There are very little differences between world-class institutions in the U.S. and in Canada. However, the biggest difference is that Canadian universities are much more affordable than those located across the border. If you are paying in US dollars, is like you automatically have a 30% discount while in Canada, due to the conversion difference.
Canada is also home to a growing number of international students, allowing students to learn and have a better understanding of different cultures without having to travel far. TRU has over 3,000 international students, and many cultural events happen across campus every year, like International Days.
Always feeling a sense of relaxation and safety
One of the benefits of studying at TRU is that faculty and staff aim to create a safe and relaxed environment for all students. There is the TRU Health and Safety department, which constantly promotes several programs to sustain the existing safe environment at the University.
Feeling stressed? You can always stop by at the Wellness Centre, where they will help you deal with stress, nutrition, and sleep, while also hosting amazing events! If you just need to talk to someone, TRU also offers Counselling Services. TRU counselors work with students to support academic and personal success with things such as speech and test anxiety, time and stress management, study skills and more.
You will always find somewhere to go
What is great about Kamloops is that during breaks or holidays, you always have the option to travel somewhere exciting and not too far away from town.
If you choose to drive towards the South BC for 4 hours, you will end up in Canada’s densest and ethnically diverse city, Vancouver. One of the most popular choices for students to go to during weekends, the city has tons of different restaurants, lots of shopping and the beautiful Stanley Park are just a few things Vancouver has to offer. Transportation to the city can be by car ($40-60), bus ($60), train ($130) and plane ($200).
If you have another hour to spare and want to keep driving South, you will end up crossing the Canadian border to enter Washington State’s largest city, Seattle. A city full of personality – whether you are into doing tourist programs or getting to know the local places, Seattle has a lot to offer to visitors.
If you are not in the mood to drive south, how about driving 5 hours East to see one of Canada’s wonder, Lake Louise?
Great coffee, beautifully preserved nature, so many fun things to do, and amazing welcoming people – now you can have an idea of why it is so easy to fall in love with this city!
Have you ever visited Kamloops? Or do you live here? Comment down below with what you think makes this city special for YOU.
If you plan to visit Kamloops, and want a tour around TRU, or the city, just email us at welcome@ourTRU.ca Oh! Also, share this post to let everyone know how awesome Kamloops is!