What is it really like living in Salmon Arm?

What is it really like living in Salmon Arm?

Have you been considering moving to Salmon Arm or the Shuswap area but are not sure if you could live here? Well in this video we will cover what it is like to live here including lifestyle, recreation, housing, and the community.

Salmon arm is known for being a friendly small city located directly on the beautiful Shuswap Lake with a population of 20,000 and it is growing faster than the provincial and national average, at just over 2%.

If you don’t know exactly where Salmon Arm is, we are located pretty much half way between Calgary and Vancouver, about a 5 hour drive to each. 

We moved to Salmon Arm from Vancouver. Salmon Arm is Candace’s hometown and Armin grew up in the lower mainland, so we have the perspective from a local and someone who is brand new to small city living.

Lifestyle & weather

Salmon Arm is a laid back city that creates a very stress free lifestyle. The first thing you will notice when moving here from a large city like Vancouver is how happy and friendly everyone is, you can tell that people here are just not in a huge rush all the time and are really relaxed and enjoying their life.

There is no traffic here! It is very convenient to get around (if you have a car). The public transportation system here is not great, there are buses and taxis but we do not have any rideshare services yet. You can walk around pretty easily, but that is very dependent on where you choose to live. Some areas are poorly lit at night and not all roads here have sidewalks. We would definitely recommend having a vehicle when living here, but if you are unable to there are definitely areas we can recommend that would require minimal unsafe walking to all your necessities.

The climate is Salmon Arm is pretty moderate with 4 distinct seasons, summer and winter being our longest. Our summer runs from June to September and is usually around 22°C, with the average high in July/Aug being around 27°C. This last summer (2022) we experienced a heat wave, as did lots of places in the province, and we saw highs around 35°C. Make sure you have some AC or at least some fans! 

We have a short fall that usually lasts anywhere from mid to end of September until the beginning of November when we move into winter. In winter our average temperature is around 5°C. Again, this year we have experienced a cold snap and hit close to -35°C with wind chill in December. Its not too bad though and did not last too long. We get a lot of snow here, some areas get a lot more than others, so be prepared especially if you are moving from the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island - shoveling snow is fun the first time and then it gets pretty old. 

Forest fires in 2021 were really bad in the interior and all of August was pretty much full of smoke. In 2022 we experienced almost zero days of smoke and a lot less than other parts of our province. Since the fires in 2021 the Province has taken more measures to be proactive in preventing fires and we really saw the outcome of that this last year. But this is something to keep in mind, especially if you suffer with any kind of lung issues, it can be hard breathing in the smoke. So make sure you have a property with well circulated air and ideally air conditioning.


Shuswap Lake is one of the largest lakes in all of B.C. and is perfect for water activities like waterskiing, wakeboarding, kayaking, and paddle boarding. There is super easy access to the water as well when living in Salmon Arm if you do not live on the water, with the closest public beach being 10 minutes away in Canoe.

There are a lot of hiking and biking trails, beautiful golf courses including the Talking Rock golf course- often mentioned as one of the top courses in BC.

In the winter there is cross country skiing around, our favorite place is Larch Hills, and the closest downhill ski hill is only 45 minutes away in Vernon, Silver Star Mountain Resort, and it is our absolute favorite mountain to ski at with over 132 trails, many of those being beginner and intermediate. There is also the Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, and Sun Peaks in Kamloops.

Snow mobiling is also very popular here with many mountains offering great options for the sport locally.

The Community and Amenities 

There are a lot of year-round events that go in in Salmon Arm that are super fun. Some of our favorite ones are Wednesdays on the Warf, the Zest Food Hub Market, Salmon Arm Silverbacks hockey games, Salmon Arm Fall Fair, and the Roots and Blues music festival. We have a great Farmer’s Market that happens downtown Salmon Arm every Saturday that has local farms and vendors as well as live music, they even run this through the Winter which is amazing (though it is not every Saturday).

We have all the amenities you could need, we have great local grocery stores like Askews as well as the major chains like Walmart and No Frills.

Downtown has great shopping, our favorite place to go is On Alex, but there are lots of local businesses that sell clothing, make up, and house décor. There is a local board game shop that is another favorite of ours, Sanctuary Games, who even have board game nights they offer for the community and you can go in there anytime and play in their game room for only $5/person.

There are a lot of delicious spots to eat in town, one of our favorites is the Shuswap Pie Company, which was featured on the Food Network’s you gotta eat here.

Close enough to Kelowna and Kamloops, just over an hour away, for any major shopping like Costco.

There is a really strong sense of community here. We have found that everyone here is supportive of local businesses and there are a lot of local activities where the community gathers to support different charities and fundraisers.

For schooling Salmon Arm has 5 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 1 senior secondary school with 2 campuses, as well as a private school. Thinking about taking college courses? Well no problem! Salmon Arm has it’s own branch of Okanagan College!


Housing prices in Salmon Arm are significantly cheaper than in a larger city. There’s a wide range, depending on what you choose. The average price for a standard detached home is between 600-700K. There’s a strong rental market here and many of the detached houses have a rental suite that can help offset your mortgage payments in some cases by over 50%. 

The cheaper housing costs here make it an ideal location for first time home buyers looking to get their foot in the door or even investors looking for good return on their money. So if you have any questions, reach out to us, we’d love to help you.

The property values have also continued to rise over the years here and investing in SA is a great opportunity.

We hope that this helped answer some of the questions you had, if there is anything we didn’t cover that you are wondering about leave a comment below or reach out to us and we would be happy to try and answer it.

And if you are looking to move to this area and are not yet working with a Realtor, we would love to help you find what you are searching for. So give us a call or text, or send us an email.... However you wanna get ahold of us, we got your back when moving to the Shuswap.

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