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Home / Thompson Okanagan / North Okanagan / Armstrong

Armstrong

History

Armstrong, which sits above the dairy and ranch land of the Spallumcheen Valley, is a small community and commercial center, with agriculture (in particular alfalfa and wheat) and ranching being its traditional economic venture.

Armstrong was named after E.C. Heaton Armstrong, a London banker who helped finance the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway in 1892 and local development at the turn of the century.

The influence of Dutch immigrants settling in the valley after the Second World War is represented by their cheese-making knowledge, and Armstrong is well known today for the cheese it produces. Armstrong - Heritage Steam Train - Pat DeLeenheer&Jeff Ashworth

The city is also well-known for hosting the Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede, which has been running now for 103 years. This exhibition is very much a country fair, with contests being held to judge animals, cooking, sewing, hobbies and other items. Additionally, the exhibition offers a variety of entertainment options ranging from concerts to clown shows.

Location

The City of Armstrong is located 25 km (15 mi) north of Vernon and 15 km (9 mi) south of Enderby on Hwy 97A.

Places to See
  • Armstrong-Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery

The Armstrong-Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery on Pleasant Valley Road, the site of the old Armstrong Machine Shop, houses over thirty historical displays, replicas of the railways, a schoolhouse, a grocery store, a blacksmith shop, and a comprehensive archive of photographs, newspapers and maps.

  • The Village Cheese Company

Stop by and see award-winning cheese being made and try a delicious sample.

  • The Olde School House

The Olde School House of 1884 is a great place to browse through the antiques and enjoy a lovely lunch or afternoon tea.

  • O'Keefe Ranch

Founded in 1867, O'Keefe Ranch was once one of the largest cattle ranches in British Columbia, spanning over 20,000 acres of prime Okanagan land. From their humble beginnings, the O'Keefe family built up a small settlement consisting of a general store - with the first post office in the Okanagan Valley, a blacksmith shop, St. Anne's Church built in 1889 (and still a popular wedding location), plus many other necessary ranch buildings.

Today, O'Keefe Ranch is a designated BC Heritage Site and an important tourist attraction in the Okanagan Valley. Here you'll discover some of the oldest remaining structures in the Vernon area, all carefully preserved or restored, each with its own unique and fascinating exhibit. A guided tour of the grand Victorian style O'Keefe Mansion offers a more personal insight into the lifestyle of the Victorian era.

  • Chickadee Ridge Miniatures

Chickadee Ridge is the largest miniature horse farm in Canada. There are plenty of quality show and breeding prospects available, as well as super 'pet' minis.

  • Silver Star Mountain Resort

The beautiful majestic mountain landscape, the Victorian Village, and outstanding customer service have made Silver Star Mountain Resort one of North America's top family resorts. In the summer, enjoy the variety of unique nature tours and mountain biking for all levels. In the winter, whether it is ski tours, snowboard lessons, snowshoe trails, or sleigh rides, Silver Star Mountain Resort is ready to accommodate you. 

Things to Do
  • Sample the Armstrong Cheese

Be sure to visit the Armstrong Cheese Factory retail store or visit the Village Cheese Factory, where the tradition of cheese making continues. At the Village Cheese Factory you can come and enjoy the art of cheese making at its best, and watch the master cheesemakers at their craft. Whether you fancy a wedge of savoury cheddar, a slice of spicy Monterey Jack, or a handful of fresh squeaky curds, Armstrong's cheese is like no other.

  • Hiking

Enjoy hiking, biking, or horseback riding on Armstrong's scenic trails that offer many levels of difficulty. Visit the Chamber of Commerce or the Infocentre for a trail map.

  • Fishing

With all the lakes in the North Okanagan, it's no surprise that people love to come here for the fishing. Rainbow, kokanee, and lake trout are found in good numbers throughout the region, and there are lodges and tour operators waiting to make your fishing dreams come true.

There are high mountain lakes like Echo, Keefer, and Sugar Lake, and low-country lakes like Okanagan, Kalamalka and Swan Lake, where the water is warmer. In the summer there's great swimming too.

  • Winery Tours

The North Okanagan is home to several award winning wineries, many of which offer tastings. The Okanagan summer wine festival is held on Silver Star Mountain near Vernon in July. Wine maps and brochures are available at local Visitor Centres. 

  • Winter Sports

Go tobogganing or tubing to recapture the thrill of your youth, take a wild snowmobile ride, indulge in a few hours of ice-fishing, challenge the back-country trails on snowshoes, or take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through beautiful, unspoiled scenery.

Events
  • Vernon Winter Carnival

First held in 1923, the annual Vernon Winter Carnival features a week full of fabulous contests and events, including ice sculpting, the Queen Silver Star competition, night skiing, a hot air balloon fiesta, a parade, winter sports tournaments, and children's games.

Nearby Communities
Contact Information

City of Armstrong
Website: www.cityofarmstrong.bc.ca

Welcome to Armstrong, BC
Website: www.armstrongbc.com

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Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia

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