Westbank History

The known history of Westbank dates to 1811 marking the first name of the area, MacDonald's Plain, named after an officer with the Hudson's Bay Company. The name was forgotten in 1848. Along with the abandonment of the Okanagan Brigade Trail, following the settlement of the International Boundary in 1848.

In 1872 Susan Allison became the first white woman to settle on the west bank of Okanagan Lake. She named the area its second name, Sunnyside. After a disastrous loss of 1000 head cattle in the winter of 1880-81, the Allison's left Sunnyside. In 1881 the name Sunnyside was lost as there were no other settlers to remember. 'Sunnyside' did not become known again until more than half a century later, In 1931, when the Vancouver Province published Mrs. Allison's "Recollections of a Pioneer of the Sixties" Those memoirs led to Dorothy Hewlett Gellatly's correspondence with Susan Allison and the name "Sunnyside." was revived. In 1976 Susan Allison's recollections were published in book form under the title, "A Pioneer Gentlewoman in British Columbia," edited by Margaret Ormsby and published by UBC Press.

The late Leonard Hayman always claimed that when he arrived from England in 1901, the entire stretch of country on the west side of Okanagan Lake, from Whiteman’s Creek South, was generally known as “Westside.” And so, we have our third name, Westside.

In 1901 the next settlers took land around a little lake known by the Syilx Okanagan People as Tenas (meaning small) The lake became known as Shannon Lake, named after Shannon Marshall, who originally came from Union County in Oregon. At that time Mr. Robert Hall entered a partnership with Shannon Marshall to grow grain on the “Goldie Flat” Equipment for harvesting was delivered on the beach of Okanagan Lake where a small wharf called Halls Landing was built. The name Hall’s Landing became the fourth name of the west side.

The first Westbank post office was established at Shannon Lake, May 1st, 1902. The fifth name, Westbank was suggested by an early settler, John Davidson. Shannon Marshall was the Westbank’s first Postmaster.

Records show that Westbank was incorporated to Westbank Irrigation District, on June 14, 1922. This incorporation was dissolved along with The Lakeview Irrigation District (incorporated May 22, 1951) on October 4, 2007, when The Lakeview Irrigation District and The Westbank Irrigation District amalgamated together forming the Westside District Municipality, The sixth name of Westbank. Although the letters patent signed for amalgamation is dated October 4th, formal incorporation happened later that year on December 6th.

In November of 2008, an opinion poll was added to the ballot with a list of names for our community. Voters could choose one of the other names, which included Westbank. If they were not happy with the current temporary 'Westside' designation.

During the next council meeting on December 9th, a vote was made to change Westbank to its seventh name, District of West Kelowna. The Letters patent for this name change is dated January 29, 2009. The province reclassified the name, District of West Kelowna to the City of West Kelowna on June 26, 2015, Westbank’s eighth and final name, (to date).