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, 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

South Shuswap. (Google Maps)
CSRD to ask school trustees to delay decision on Salmon Arm high school options

South Shuswap director advocating for Sorrento high school option

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Public input on the City of Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget is open until 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, 2021. (City of Enderby photo)
Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget open for public input

The proposed spending plan includes a 2.2 per cent tax increase; public input open until Monday

Glenn Moyer is seeking space on a public wharf in Sicamous in order to restart his water taxi business after a year-long shutdown due to COVID-19. (Glenn’s Water Taxi/Facebook)
Water taxi operator requests public dock moorage in Sicamous

Glenn Moyer, a long time water taxi operator, is brimming with stories of life on the lake

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks games against Leafs postponed as team returns from COVID-19

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Old English design elements can be seen in the sign of the Summerland Farm and Garden Centre in 1993. The guidelines are no longer in place, but some downtown businesses still show aspects of the days when Summerland had a theme in place. This photo was taken by Summerland photographer Dan Dorotich. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Summerland’s Old English theme has been abandoned

From the 1980s until the early 2000s, Summerland had design guidelines in its downtown

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Island woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

Becomes first person in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

Most Read