Kelowna, British Columbia has solidified its reputation as a top “Zoom town” in Canada, according to a study conducted by LinkedIn’s Economic Graph research team. The study analyzed 12 million remote job applications made on the LinkedIn platform between May 2022 and May 2023. The findings revealed that 49.4% of all applications made by Kelowna residents were for remote positions within Canada, making it the number one Canadian metropolitan centre in this category. Victoria ranked second on the list with 45.6% of applications being for remote roles.
A “Zoom town” is a community that experiences significant population growth due to an influx of remote workers. Kelowna has attracted remote workers who prioritize quality of life and natural surroundings over location. One interviewee, Jessica Weisz, shared her experience of moving from Toronto to Niagara and then to Kelowna during the pandemic. She stated that they were seeking sunshine and were pleasantly surprised by the affordable rental options available in Kelowna compared to Toronto.
Despite rising living costs, Kelowna has maintained its appeal as a Zoom town. The benchmark price for a single-family home in the Central Okanagan has increased nearly $400,000 since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, according to the Association of Interior Realtors. Additionally, the average asking price for a two-bedroom rental unit in Kelowna has increased by over $700 since the beginning of the pandemic, as reported by Castanet classifieds data.
Overall, Kelowna’s natural beauty and affordability have made it an attractive destination for remote workers seeking a high quality of life. The city’s popularity as a Zoom town is further supported by data showing a significant number of remote job applications originating from its residents.