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Kamloops: More than just a tax haven for real estate investors

Kamloops, population 90,000 and growing, is B.C.’s largest city to be spared from the provincial speculation tax on secondary homes – but B.C.’s fifth-largest city outside of the Lower Mainland is more than a tax haven.

A four-hour drive from Vancouver and served by a busy airport, Kamloops is at the junction of two branches of the Thompson River and also boasts Kamloops Lake and close proximity to one of B.C.’s best ski hills, Sun Peaks Resort, and the award-winning Tobiano Golf Course, named among the best in Canada last year.

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A major impetus for the growth of Kamloops, though, is Thompson Rivers University with 14,000 students on campus and an ambitious master plan that may transform the entire city.

The Reach, as the 90-acre campus development is known, is a master-planned community completely pre-zoned for residential and commercial use. The Reach has zoning for a total of three million square feet of residential with retail-commercial space.

At completion in the next two decades, the Reach will include 3,500 homes and about 180,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. It will also create what proponents say will be “vibrant, walkable and social space that is not currently available anywhere else in the Thompson-Nicola region.”

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