Local industries include grape and fruit production, agri-tourism, wine production, ranching, golfing and recreation, retail and service trades. Some of the largest employers include Osoyoos Indian Band, School District #53, Interior Health and Okanagan Tree Fruit Cooperative
It was named after John Oliver (1856–1927), Premier of British Columbia. "Honest John" and his government brought irrigation water and settlement lots to the area with the South Okanagan Lands Project.
The First Nations of the South Okanagan settled near the river, creeks and valley lakes. The first encroachment from the outside world came circa 1811, when fur traders came to the area with the establishment of Fort Okanagan (now in the US) and first explored the area for trade.
In the 1880s, free gold-bearing quartz was found at Camp McKinney (east of Oliver) which became a busy gold mine, attracting miners, con men, and outlaws. In Fairview (just west of and above Oliver), miners found gold and fueled the growth of a boomtown but it lasted just a few years and no remnants of the town survive today, other than a heritage marker.
Established in 1918, Oliver was a settlement for unemployed veterans of the First World War. A gravity-fed canal was constructed to provide irrigation to the semi-arid area.
On January 30, 1919, the South Okanagan Lands Project (SOLP) began work on the Intake Dam at the base of McIntyre Bluff. Over the next eight years the 23 mi (37 km) of the concrete-lined main canal were dug southward to the boundary. SOLP designed it to enable farmers to put nearly a foot of water per month on every acre of bottom land in the southern Valley. To get the canal from the east side of the valley to the benches on the west, the “big siphon”—now concrete, but originally a 1,940-foot (590 m)-long wood-stave pipe of six and a half-foot-diameter—was constructed. It runs directly beneath the centre of Oliver. The offices of the land project and the building that housed the BC Provincial Police built circa 1924 stand today in Oliver as preserved heritage sites.
In 1923 the Kettle Valley Railway (CPR) constructed Oliver station and rails to transport fruit north to Penticton.
Oliver has a small airport; it is possible to fly directly in to town by private jet from a neighbouring city such as Penticton or Osoyoos.
Highway 97 (a major highway through the Okanagan region) passes directly through the town.
Oliver is a relatively small town; most, if not all, of everything is within walking distance. Oliver has a private taxi company, but there is no public transportation system except for specialized bus services for seniors or people with disabilities.
The KVR trail (also referred to as the Hike & Bike path) makes its way to Osoyoos and up to OK Falls and Penticton; it is a scenic route along the Okanagan River. Most of the route is paved and well maintained, and even the unpaved (gravel) parts are well looked after with few holes and obstructions. This path is definitely faster, safer and more fun to travel on than the highway, if you plan to bike or walk to any of Oliver's neighbouring cities.
- Oliver & District Heritage Society Museum, 474 School Avenue, Oliver BC, ☏ . Sep-May: Tu-F 1PM-4PM; Jun-Aug: Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM.
Make sure to visit some of the many world-class wineries while in Oliver. Oliver is home to the Golden Mile, and some of the valley's best grapes are grown here.
Across the valley from the Golden Mile is the Black Sage bench, which is home to some of the valley's most acclaimed wineries. It is renowned for its easterly position, heat, and long summer sun exposure, allowing for the production of high-quality red wines. Not all wineries in the area focus on "big red" wines, however. The Black Sage region of the South Okanagan is definitely a worthwhile area to tour during a stay in Oliver.
- Oliver Theatre, 36092 97th St., ☏ . historic, to take in a modern day flick on a big, old-time screen with old-time prices
- Sundance Video, 36023 97 Street, ☏ . enjoy it on your own terms
Oliver is home to many unique specialty shops, the likes of which span subjects as diverse as crafts, aesthetics, jewellery and video rental. In the town's core there is a mall, a friendly and informative Visitor Centre, and numerous restaurants to fill your bags, quench your thirst and satiate your hunger.
- Beyond Bliss Boutique, 35672-97th St., ☏ . pick up some jewellery for that extra lustre, or get yourself beautified by one of their many aesthetics treatments.
- Quail's Nest Art Gallery, 34274-95th St., ☏ . to experience first-hand the contemporary rustic-modern fusion that defines Oliver's artistic ambience.
- [dead link] Shores Sculpture & Design, 11103-354th Ave., ☏ . to experience first-hand the contemporary rustic-modern fusion that defines Oliver's artistic ambience.
- Stoneboat Vineyards, 7148 Orchard Grove Lane (turn left onto Rd 9 from Hwy 97, turn left again at Orchard Grove Lane), ☏ . is a family owned and operated estate winery that focuses on premium Pinot varietals as well as Pinotage, a robust red varietal that is relatively unique in Canada. The Martiniuk family has been growing grapes in the Okanagan since the 1990s.
- A&W, 34651 Highway 97, ☏ .
- Tim Horton's, 150 34017 Hwy 97, ☏ .
- Subway, 35609 97th Street, ☏ .
- Buy Low Deli.
- Yum Yum's Pizza & Bistro, 35833 97th Street, ☏ .
- Pizza 97, 34634 97 Street, ☏ .
- Almerio's Pizza, 5-34836 97th Street, ☏ .
- Canteloupe Annie's Deli, 34845 97th Street, ☏ . Enjoy homemade sandwiches, salads, and soups. They also have a great breakfast.
- Cock & Bull Cappuccino Bar, 34849 97th Street, ☏ . They have nice desserts as well as great sandwiches and daily specials.
- Medici's Gelateria, ☏ . 9932 - 350 Ave This place serves up traditional gelato, sorrbetp, paninis, and an assortment of gourmet coffees.
- Mr. Spud Fry Truck, 34674 97 Street, ☏ . The fries are made from fresh cut potatoes and fried once you've ordered.
- Oliver's Bakery & Deli, 34830 97 Street, ☏ . The best donuts in town, they also have sandwiches and coffee.
- Sunshine Cafe, ☏ . 34882 Hwy 97 Enjoy a cup of coffee in a nice, quiet, and relaxing atmosphere.
- Asia Buffet, 35640 97th Street, ☏ . A lunch and dinner smorgasbord serving Chinese and Canadian cuisine.
- Oliver Garden, 35617 97 Street, ☏ . Chinese.
- Sizzling Rice, 4840 97th Street, ☏ . Fresh and creative Asian cuisine, you can dine in or take out.
- Best of India, 36094 97th Street, ☏ . Enjoy authentic Indian food in the comfortable, bright decor of India.
- Sinbad's Fish & Chips, 35656 97th Street, ☏ . Who would've thought you could get great fish & chips with out driving all the way to the coast.
- Savvio's Family Restauarnt, ☏ . 34646-97th Street Enjoy a Mediterranean meal in a family friendly environment.
- Covert Farm's Market & Restaurant, 38614 Secrest Rd, ☏ . A great organic meal prepared for you in a farm setting.
- Crucetti's Family Restaurant, 34651 2451 97th Street, ☏ . The place to go for a great breakfast, lunch and casual dinner.
- Hammer's House of Hog. The barbeque sauce is out of this world. This place serves up all your southern BBQ favourites.
- Medici's Gelateria & Coffee House, 9932 350th Ave., ☏ . Enjoy some authentic gelato with your gourmet lunch
- Firehall Bistro, 34881-97th Street, ☏ . It offers good wine choices by the glass and hearty plates with plenty of local ingredients.
- Pappa's Firehall Bistro, 6077 Main St, ☏ . for a taste of their chic atmosphere and classic cuisine.
- Miradoro, 32830 Tinhorn Creek Road (at Tinhorn Creek Winery), ☏ . Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a breathtaking view of the valley.
- Terrafina, Road # 8 (at Hester Creek Winery), ☏ . Discover the Tuscan-inspired cuisine while enjoying a view of the valley from the patio.
- Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl Winery. Freshness and flavour are mixed with an obsession to deliver the very best of the region to ensure unsurpassed quality.
- The Grill, 37041 71st Street (at the Nk'Mip Canyon Golf Course), ☏ .
- Diamondback Grill, 13105 334th Avenue (at the Fairview Golf Course), ☏ .
Oliver has a bar on Main Street. There is also a bar in the Ghallager Lake area (a bit outside of town on the way to Penticton). There is a provincial liquor store on Main Street. The drinking age in BC is 19.
- Ye Olde Welcome Inn, 39008 97th Street, ☏ . This pub has an old English feel to it, inside and out; they'll be serving up your pub favourites.
- Murphy's Pub, 36041 97 Street, ☏ . The only bar in town serves up all your favourite pub food, they also have trivia and karaoke nights.
Vineyards & wineries
Oliver, like the Okanagan Valley, is known for it's winemaking:
- 1 Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery (Quinta Ferreira), 6094 Blacksage Road Oliver, BC V0H 1T2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Vineyard and winery near Oliver, family owned and operated for many years. Excellent reds.
Bed & Breakfast
- 1 Of A Kind Sculpture B&B, 935 Morningstar Road, toll-free: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. A comfortable, friendly accommodation. Located in a quiet neighborhood. Private bathroom with jetted soaker tub and shower. $75-95.
- Above the Orchard B&B, 33616-93 Street (Road 4), ☏ . $100-130.
- Absolutely Suite, 11119 348th Ave, ☏ . $125-150.
- [formerly dead link] Adobe Rose, 924 Morningstar Rd, ☏ . $110-170.
- Burrowing Owl Guest House, Burrowing Owl Lane, toll-free: . $175-350.
- Elm Tree Farm Bed and Breakfast, 307 Park Rill Road, ☏ . $140-175.
- The Villa At Hester Creek, 13163-326 St, toll-free: . $175-295.
- Morbrook Farms, 245 Bettison Rd, ☏ . $85-135.
- Oliver House, ☏ . $110-130.
- O'Reilly's Organic Farm, 7219 Highway 97, ☏ . $120-300.
Take Highway 97 to Osoyoos (south) or Penticton (North) to open a wide possibility of other cities in the Okanagan region. Penticton is a 30-minute drive and Osoyoos is about 15-20 minutes.
|Routes through Oliver|
|Penticton ← Okanagan Falls ←||N S||→ Osoyoos → Omak|