Skip to main content

The Importance of our Lakes

Lake Country is aptly named. Its four wards – Winfield, Okanagan Centre, Carr’s Landing and Oyama – have access to three major Lakes: Okanagan, Kalamalka, and Wood. The latter lake was named for pioneers Thomas  (1841 – 1931) and Ellen Florence (nee Whelan) Wood (1861 – 1905), who settled in the area in the late 1800s. Lake Country also includes numerous mountain lakes – notably Oyama and Beaver lakes – that are famous for their beauty and sport fishing, challenging the most dedicated anglers.

    The above vintage postcard dates from the early years of the twentieth century. It should be pointed out that Long Lake is now known as Kalamalka and Wood lakes.  This post card also shows that much has changed during the past one hundred+ years, as civilization has moved into this part of the Okanagan Valley. The rustic path showed in this image became a well-travelled, paved road, used by hundreds of vehicles daily, for business and pleasure purposes. More recently it has reverted to a local road, renamed Pelmewash Parkway, that accommodates vehicular traffic as well as cyclists and pedestrians. Despite all of these changes, one thing has remained constant: lakes continue to play a crucial role in our community. As such, we must be vigilant of their importance, protecting these precious bodies of water – and the creatures that inhabit them – mindful that our lakes are life-giving and sustaining to all who live near them.


Written By Robert M. (Bob) Hayes


  • Thank you for your blog. It’s so interesting to read about the area’s history. My grand/parents had an orchard in Oyama and most of my happy memories were of summers spent on the shores of Kalamalka and Wood lake.

    • Thank you Adrienne for sharing your story.

  • For decades residents on the south enf of Winfield used Duck Lake, especially for Winter recreation, skating, hockey, crack the whip!
    Does this lake have a native nameZ.

  • Because we want to preserve the lakes, and given the fact that the lakes are becoming more dirty every year, development of sewer systems and ban septic systems for the lake side communities such as Okanagan Centre is imperative.

  • This postcard picture was actually taken near what used to be Crystal Waters Resort NOT on Pelmewash Parkway. If you look at the plateau in the background you can tell exactly where it is on Kalamalka Lake. Having lived in Oyama for 33 years, I believe this to be accurate. What a fantastic old postcard!

    • That’s just what I was going to point out!

Leave a Reply