Restoring Our Creeks
In addition to the relaxing river channel and picturesque lakes that Penticton is known for, we also have two beautiful creeks meandering through the city.
The Penticton and Ellis Creeks are the spawning grounds for rainbow trout and kokanee but also play an important role in flood protection in our downtown and area. The natural habitat and flood protection features of the creeks have deteriorated over time and both are in need of restoration. In 2015, the City created a committee to support this important work.
In the 1950s, the Penticton Creek was ‘channelized’ in response to flooding that devastated Penticton’s downtown. While the concrete channel helped with flood management, native fish species struggled with the loss of natural creek habitat and populations dropped. Over time, the concrete channel deteriorated. In 2012, the community identified the restoration of the creek as a priority for the Downtown Plan and in 2018, Council approved a plan to restore the creek in several phases over many years at an estimated cost of $30 million. Two sections of the creek have already been restored between Ellis Street and Nanaimo Avenue. The next restoration projects are planned for the summers of 2020 and 2021.
- Penticton Creek Master Plan
- Penticton Creek Master Plan Story
- Penticton Creek Restoration Time Lapse Video
Contribute to the Restoration of Penticton Creek
The City is accepting donations to help advance this important work in accordance with our policy.
Ellis Creek flows through Penticton on the east side of the Okanagan Valley. It is a regulated creek meaning its flow is controlled by the Ellis Creek Dam. The flow of the creek beyond the dam has been altered by a number of dam breaches and floods, as well as the construction of a diversion dam. The creek channel has also narrowed significantly in some sections with new developments. These changes have increased the risk of flooding along the creek. In 2018, Council approved the creation of the Ellis Creek Master Plan to address flood concerns and to naturalize the creek to better support fish species. Work on the Master Plan reached completion in 2020 and the document will be used to chart creek work for the next decades.