ROTHENBURGER: Kamloops flirts with population of 100,000, 34 years late

(Image: City of Kamloops)

KAMLOOPS IS GROWING. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

Statistics Canada numbers released this week show by how much.  The city grew by 8.4 per cent in the five years up to 2021, bringing the population to 97,902, the 12th largest city in B.C.

Kamloops wasn’t the fastest growing place by any means. Kelowna, for example, grew 13.5 per cent and now boasts a population of 144,576. Nanaimo went up 10.3 per cent, to 99,863.

But the trading zone — including rural areas and communities like Savona and Chase —is included, it jumps into the top five with a growth rate of more than 10 per cent and a population of 114,142. It’s now a “metropolitan area,” according to the census.

Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Is it what we expected? It’s certainly taken a lot longer than planners of the past expected, and that’s not a bad thing.

Anyone who’s been here for more than a couple of years can visualize what it was like when they arrived as compared to what it is now. My own point of comparison is Sahali.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9648 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on ROTHENBURGER: Kamloops flirts with population of 100,000, 34 years late

  1. Now that the population has reached nearly 100,00, the notion of having a “ward” system to elect councillors should be considered more seriously.
    Our city, divided into 4 geographic areas, could have 2 councillors for each “ward”. Or, 6 geographic areas and reduce to 6 councillors; one for each ward.
    On the surface, it would seem the tax burden for paying councillors would be the same or reduced if we went to 6 councillors.
    There is a chance for better representation for each geographic location than there seems to be now.

    • Is there a formula for determining thresholds for a “ward” system benefit? I just don’t see the 100,000-mark to be a reason for a “ward” system.

      • John Noakes // February 14, 2022 at 6:42 AM //

        I believe the TNRD is divided into 10 electoral areas. I don’t think the decision for making 10 areas within the regional district was based on population alone but more to do with regional representation.
        Is 100,000 people in a city the benchmark for having wards or regional representation? It’s a start. With a city like ours, covering a fairly large area, it can make sense having regional representation.
        Westsyde, Westmount and Batchelor Heights (all north of the CN rail line). Region D
        Brocklehurst and North Kamloops (north of the South Thompson River & south of the CN rail line) Region C
        Kamloops South Shore, Sahali, Aberdeen and Pineview; west of the Valleyview interchange (Region B)
        Kamloops (east of the Valleyview interchange) Valleyview, Dallas, Barnhartvale, Juniper, Rose Hill (Region A)

        2 elected to City council from each Region is an idea perhaps worth discussing at some point.

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