Discover the community of Tobiano, one of BC’s well-kept secrets
Our ‘Ultimate Resident’s Guide To Living In Tobiano’ introduces everything the community of Tobiano has to offer.
Nestled in British Columbia’s Southern Interior, Tobiano, BC, is a little-known spot brimming with award-winning golf, lake views, pristine landscapes, and breathtaking vistas. Picture a neighbourhood nestled in the rugged countryside surrounded by arid mountains and a crystalline lake.
Tobiano residents can enjoy the conveniences of city living on top of revelling in a laid-back luxurious lifestyle.
Follow along as we tour through one of the province’s well-kept secrets.
The Top 10 Reasons to Live in Tobiano
There is a myriad of reasons to live in Tobiano. If we had to pick our top 10, they’d be (in no particular order):
- Lake Living
- Award-Winning Golf
- Amenities & Luxuries
- Outdoor Recreation
- Quality of Life
Keep reading as we cover each point on the list in more detail. Let the allure of Tobiano tempt you to move there.
Situated in the Thompson-Okanagan ecoregion of Interior B.C., the resort community of Tobiano is located a short distance from the City of Kamloops. Drive 15-minutes west from town along the TransCanada Highway and you’ll reach this budding community.
The master-planned community is a secret to many, including locals.
Set perfectly on 1,000 breathtaking acres in the hills above Kamloops Lake, you’d think the neighbourhood had grown out of the landscape.
With its sunny climate, beautiful backdrop and ample opportunities for outdoor fun, the area is popular with tourists and locals alike.
Tourism makes up a large part of the local economy as does logging, agriculture, manufacturing, and the service industry.
How do tourists reach Tobiano? How do residents travel to other parts of the country and the world? We’ll answer these questions next.
One of the major conveniences of living in Tobiano is its proximity to the YKA Kamloops Airport.
Kamloops Airport is a regional airport located less than 20 minutes from downtown Kamloops and 38 minutes (we swear, we timed it—promise) from Tobiano. The airport is an important gateway for residents looking to jaunt off to Vancouver, Calgary, or any other major Canadian city.
The region is perfectly placed for travel even it seems landlocked at first glance. Residents can go wherever they want thanks to YKA’s proximity.
Dry grasslands, fragrant coniferous woodlands, and extensive river valleys grace the Thompson-Okanagan ecoregion. The aired landscape of the Southern Interior Ecoprovince, the name of the larger ecozone, is a truly unique one in Canada.
Look in one direction and you’d swear you were in a desert. Look in the other direction and you’d beat you were in a dense Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forest. Stare up to the sky and you’d think you were staring at heaven.
We’re not exaggerating. Tobiano sunrises and sunsets have built a reputation for themselves as attractions in their own right.
Rocky cliffs, rolling hills, and vast panoramas make the area one of the most picturesque spots in BC. Wildlife lovers should seriously consider living in Tobiano—Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are often spotted roaming the hillside—and enthusiastic naturalists will relish in the diversity of habitat.
Exceptional views with tremendous scenery will steal the heart of even the most staunch urban lover. Sunrise and sunset chasers need apply.
Lake Living in Tobiano
Perched above the shores of Kamloops Lake, Tobiano offers a unique take on lake living. Fed by the North Thompson and South Thompson Rivers, 1.6 kilometres wide, 29-kilometre long freshwater lake offers the ideal playground for water seekers.
The tranquil shoreline is made up of quiet coves begging to be explored and the large basin allows for everything from boating to sailing to canoeing to standup paddleboarding.
Bruker Marina and Beach Club
The Burker Marina is 180-boat slip serving the communities of Kamloops Lake and the surrounding area.
Tobiano residents can moore their boats at the marina on a seasonal or annual basis, use the public boat launch and fuel dock, enjoy the public beach as a family, and rent a boat or water sport toy at the pro shop.
You can charter a boat and take a watersport lesson at the marina as well.
For residents who prefer to stay on land, the marina also offers RV and camper storage.
Not only are Tobiano residents blessed with direct access to a waterfront, they can take advantage of living in a region speckled with numerous other lakes a short drive from their community.
Located down the road from Harper Mountain, the provincial park boasts over 7 kilometres of hiking trails and 12 kilometres of shoreline.
Weather in Tobiano
People flock to the Thompson-Okanagan region to live, work, and play because of the climate.
Nuzzled in the shadow of the Coast and Cascade mountains, the area offers some of the warmest and driest weather in Canada. The warmer summer months in Tobiano bring clearer skies and less rain than in other areas of the province.
In the winter and early spring, residents can expect short outbreaks of cloudy, cold weather punctuated by periods of milder temperatures.
For those searching for a comfortable climate to settle into, Tobiano offers one of the best in BC.
The Tobiano Community
Tobiano residents crave tranquillity, connection—to their neighbours and to nature—and adventure.
When people move to Tobiano, they find themselves part of a welcoming, friendly, and active community.
Instead of an exclusive neighbourhood, homeowners become part of an inclusive one, one where everyone looks out for one another, where acquaintances say hello when passing on the street, and where these same people stop to chat on a lazy summer evening.
Award-Winning Golf near Kamloops
Avid golfers flock to the Okanagan Valley every season to play on some of the most popular and arguably best golf courses in British Columbia.
Not only does Tobiano boast its own public course—yes, you read that right, public and open to everyone—it also boasts being rated the #1 public golf course in the province!
Tobiano Golf Course
Tobiano’s 18-hole championship golf course is as challenging as it is captivating.
Few settings can compete with Tobiano Golf Course’s undulating natural beauty. Tobiano’s picturesque and challenging offering would be hard to beat by another course.
With lakeside views of Kamloops Lake from every hole, dramatic elevation changes that offer a demanding game, and seemingly endless fairways and polished greens.
Praise for Tobiano Golf Course
Designed by Tom McBroom—one of North America’s most celebrated golf course designers—the course has earned numerous accolades since opening in 2008.
Tobiano won Best New Golf Course in 2008. More recently, it won Canada’s Best Golf Course Award in 2020 & 2021, won Best Public Course in British Columbia Award, and earned a spot on the list of Top 10 Golf Courses in Canada.
Canada’s most acclaimed public golf course conceived this generation is the Tobiano Golf Course. It’s a privilege to have this coveted golf destination at resident’s doorsteps.
Amenities & Luxuries
If golf weren’t enough, Tobiano developers have conceived of other perks for their homeowners.
The main one being plans for a pedestrian-friendly village. Imagine stepping out your doorstep to walk a handful of blocks along a beautiful bluff-side trail to your neighbourhood grocery store, wine shop, or convenience store.
As much as Kamloops is a quick drive away, Tobiano homeowners needn’t worry about making the drive when they need extra provisions for their Monday family dinner.
As the community is developing and residents’ needs are reassessed, these amenities are bound to ebb and flow like the landscape. Stay abreast of Tobiano’s progress so you don’t miss an update.
Speaking of outdoor activities, there’s more good news. Over 17,000 acres of backcountry surround Tobiano. Within this sage-filled rugged landscape, you’ll find seemingly endless trails to enjoy:
- Winter sports (e.g., snowshoeing and xc skiing),
- Horseback riding,
- Mountain biking, and
- Dirt biking
Or, if you’d prefer fishing or bird watching, the area offers you the lakes, fish, and avian flora for those pursuits, too.
Outdoor leisure graces the doorstep of every resident even if that resident’s idea of leisure is sitting on their back deck relaxed in a lounge chair with a cup of coffee while watching the sun come up.
The Thompson-Okanagan ecoregion is a horse-lovers paradise.
Residents can choose between utilizing the future equestrian centre or taking advantage of one of the numerous ranch stays, trail ride companies, organized group rides, or self-directed horse trails.
The Tobiano environment is perfect for horseback riding. One minute you’ll feel like a ranchman as you ride through cattle grazing fields and the next you’ll swear you were a prospector meandering through scenic forest trails.
The normal measure of a good hike is the view from the top. In Tobiano, the measure of a good hike is the view from the top, at the start, in the middle, on the descent, and from pretty much everywhere else along the route.
AllTrails logs 103 hiking trails near Kamloops alone. From laid-back family-friendly paved paths to more taxiing steep trails that will test a hiker’s endurance, the area has a hike with a difficulty level for every adventurer.
In alphabetical order, here is a selection of some of the best parks and outdoor recreation areas that offer kilometres of hiking trails and countless spectacular views:
- Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park
- Kenna Cartwright Nature Park
- Lac du Bois Protected Grasslands Area
- Peterson Creek Nature Park
- Sun Peaks Resort
- Sushswap Hikes Area
- Valleyview Nature Park
- Wells Grey Provincial Park
For those who prefer more adrenalin with their outdoor activity, Tobiano delivers once again.
The rugged Thompsom-Okanagan terrain is a mountain biker’s paradise. From classic single track to double track to winter fatbiking to alpine downhill, the landscape offers the magic of four-season riding.
Residents will have a hard time deciding whether to shred down sage-covered hills, navigate exposed windy hills, or zip through pine-treed forests.
And there’s no excuse not to ride in the winter, either. The stunning vistas from the biking trails don’t disappear when the mercury drops!
Kamloops: A Mecca for Mountain Biking
Did you know Kamloops is also the birthplace of freeride mountain biking? It’s true. The city is proud of that fact.
Tobiano will inspire you to ride. Whether you’re new to the sport or have been riding for decades, the perfect trails await.
As you may have figured out by now, Tobiano is more than a place to live, it’s a lifestyle.
The lifestyle is one of relaxed luxury where residents can enjoy the simpler things in life; a sunset, the natural world, and a delicious glass of wine.
Speaking of wine, a post about living in Tobiano wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the region’s wineries.
Award-Wining Wineries near Kamloops
If none of the sports or outdoor activities we’ve previously mentioned got your attention, perhaps we can pique your interest with wine?
Interior B.C. wine is world-renowned. The Thompson Valley region surrounding Kamloops and Tobiano is no exception.
The region’s cool winters and warm summer’s make for the perfect environment to grow grape varietals that thrive in dry, hot climates. The result are wines that have a complex, fruity, and crisp flavour. Crisp, we’d say, like a beautiful spring Tobiano evening.
The top white wine grape varietals of the region are …
- Pinot Gris
- La Crescent
… while the top red wines are ….
- Pinot Noir
- Gamay Noir
- Cabernet Franc
The Wineries of Tobiano
Where’s a resident wine lover to start? Begin by visiting Kamloop’s four boutique wineries either with a group or via a self-guided tour:
- Harper’s Trail Winery
- Monte Creek Winery
- Privato Winery & Vineyard
- Sagewood Winery
The Kamloops Wine Trail encourages people to explore three of the four regional wineries.
Regional wineries are family-owned and operated. Not only will visitors support the regional economy by drinking local, but they’ll also be supporting their neighbourhood business owners.
Winery alternatives: Kamloops Breweries
Not into wine? The region also boasts five craft breweries that pair their creations with delicious cuisine:
- Alchemy Brewing
- Bright Eye Brewing
- Iron Road Brewing
- Noble Pig Brewhouse—our personal favourite
- Red Collar Brewing Co.
Restaurants near Tobiano
From modern dining to international cuisine to family-friendly dining to casual pub food, Tobiano residents will have their cravings curbed by local cafes and restaurants.
Whether a person is in the mood for British, Chinese, Greek, Jamaican, Japanese, Indian, Korea, Vietnamese, or a regional take on cusine they’ll find a dining room serving up what they’re looking for.
The region’s long growing season also means eateries can cook and serve more locally-grown than in other areas of the country.
The Black Iron Club & Grill at Tobiano
Play a round of golf and then enjoy a decadent meal at the clubhouse restaurant afterward.
The Black Iron Club & Grill at the Tobiano Golf Course will satiate your hunger, quench your thirst, and feed your need for views. The local landscape is perfectly framed by the clubhouse windows turning the restaurant into the perfect spot for relaxing after a game, enjoying an evening dinner with friends and family, or hosting a intimate group event.
The best part? The restaurant’s huge patio. Alfresco dining in Tobiano? Yes, please!
Shopping near Tobiano
Any spot worth residing in will also have a healthy dose of retail therapy on offer.
Like its restaurant scene, Kamloop’s shopping district has something for everyone.
Whether a Tobiano resident is looking to find one-of-a-kind items at an artisan shop, hoping to add a special piece to their wardrobe from a specialty clothing boutique, or wanting to hit up a familiar big chain, they’ll find what they’re looking for in the nearby urban centre.
Arts & Culture
For those of us looking for a more cultured experience, Tobiano offers that as well. Whether a resident is looking for an art gallery, museum, music, or live theatre, residents need to look no further than nearby Kamloops.
For starters, three are five art galleries and museums that call the Thompson Valley home:
- Kamloops Art Gallery
- Kamloops Courthouse Gallery
- Back Alley Art Gallery
- Kamloops Museum & Archives
- Kamloops Heritage Railway
The Back Alley Art Gallery tour is a must as well for art aficionados. The tour takes participants to more than 30 art murals painted throughout downtown Kamloops.
Music, Film & Theatre
Where music, film, and theatre are concerned, Tobiano residents may be surprised to find that Kamloops’ diverse arts and culture scene has this covered, too.
The area is steeped in the sights, sounds, and history of Western Canada including live theatre, a regional orchestra, outdoor festivals, and a vibrant First Peoples—the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.
When searching for your dose of music and theatre, start here:
- Chimera Theatre
- Kamloops Film Society
- Kamloops Symphony Orchestra
- Project X Theatre’s X-Fest
- Western Canada Theatre
After you’ve shopped until you drop, may we suggest you peruse Kamloops’ many outdoor markets?
Bring the smells and flavours of the region home. Cook and bake up your own delicacies after a trip to the Kamloops Famers’ Market.
Quality of Life
With the boundless opportunities for recreation, community building, cultural experiences, a relaxed pace, and a high standard of living, Tobiano offers homeowners a standard of living unparalleled to other parts of Canada.
With its comparably affordable real estate and diverse homeownership options, the community is a smart investment. Invest in your portfolio, in your quality of life, and in your family by building in Tobiano.
Start Living in Tobiano
Nowhere else in the British Columbia’s Southern Interior will you find a community with the same combination of exceptional weather, exceptional recreation, exceptional amenities, and exceptional people.
Let Tobiano will seduce you with its year-round sunshine, magnificent skies, noteworthy wineries, and limitless outdoor recreation.
Imagine what it would be like to come home to a property perched above a river valley where the rugged landscape seemingly meets the sky.