Retire In Kimberley BC
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The map above is important if you want to know where you'll be when you retire in Kimberley. This not about the Kimberley in Australia nor about the Kimberley mine in South Africa, although it was named for that mine. This article is about Kimberley in the beautiful Kootenay region of British Columbia.
I confess that when I knew I would be visiting Kimberley, I expected to see a ghost town. I've lived in another mined out area, and I know what a town looks like when the main employer moves out.
What a surprise!
Kimberley once supported the Sullivan Mine, the largest lead-zinc mine in the world. And Kimberley is both proud of its mining heritage and has turned it into a great educational tourist destination.
But Kimberley has much more to offer than old mine stories.
Kimberley Has Four Distinct SeasonsPeople who like to feel the seasons change will love Kimberley. The best seasons are arguably fall and winter. It's not that spring and summer have nothing to offer--they each have their own charms--but fall and winter are spectacular!
A friend of Marilyn, who took time to chat with me about why Kimberley is so special, says that the trees in fall are the colour of the cauliflower in the pickle jar. It's almost impossible to photograph the startling brilliance. Then comes winter with its crystal blue skies, unlike skies in other places. (And residents in Kimberley don't have to worry about snowfall levels. Even the alleys are plowed in Kimberley.)
Kimberley Is For Retirees Who Love The OutdoorsKimberley has miles of walking trails that connect with nordic ski trails lit in winter. There is a nature park twice the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver.
Kimberley is a golfing destination. There are three 18-hole courses, one that also includes a secondary 9-hole course. St. Eugene golf course has been classed as one of the top three golf courses in Canada.
In summer, locals also use the bocci pits.
Everywhere you look, you see the beauty of the forests and mountains.
Lakes and rivers are near enough for easy outings as well.
For those who can't or don't want to ski, there is curling, an arena, an acquatic center, and an indoor tennis court. Kimberley is also a Paralymic Training Center.
People Who Know Retire In KimberleyWith so much to offer, the surprise is that people choose to retire in places other than Kimberley. I spoke with one couple who had retired in Kimberley, moved to another area, and come back to Kimberley.
The trend now is for pre-retirement movement into the community. People from the Lower Mainland or from the Calgary area buy places in Kimberley in order to stay in the market so they will be able to afford prices when they retire.
It's a good strategy. Houses along the main street were from the Sullivan Mine era. Small and tidy. Farther along are larger executive style homes. Then there are the age-restricted facilities including assisted living and continuous care.
Ski resorts are springing up. I slept in one and looked at another. These would be good spots to retire for someone looking for a high-end trouble-free place. Heated underground parking, elevators, pools, and exercise rooms seem taylor-made for older folk who want convenience inside with nature at the door.
Other ServicesKimberley has most of what you would need on a daily basis. If you need the regional hospital, you are only 15 minutes away from Cranbrook. The big box stores are there, too, in case you want something like that.
Kimberley Has A Strong Community SpiritI expect a real estate agent to tell me good things about their community, and Marilyn certainly did. She told me that Kimberley had real community spirit and gave me examples from her experience on council. But I met that spirit first-hand. I was in Kimberley doing research for a book. On a long weekend Sunday I met wonderfully helpful people who kindly made sure I understood Kimberley as well as I could in the brief time I had to stay. I can't say enough about the atmosphere and sense of welcome.
If Kimberley sounds good to you, you'll want to chat with someone local who can answer your specific questions. I am happy to recommend Marilyn who took time from a busy schedule to share her love of Kimberley with me. She's lived in the area since 1964 and knows it well. She has a quiet knowledge and an ability to answer the question under the question that I think you'll like.
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