Names of Kelowna: Why was Pandosy Street first called Pendozi?

Is it Pendozi or Pandosy?

This is the first in a regular series of stories exploring the origins and history behind the names of the streets, mountains and communities of the Central Okanagan.


Say them together and it could be easy to see how the name Pandosy could come out as Pendozi, especially if you had no reference as would have been the case in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

It's widely known that Father Charles Pandosy was the first European to come to the Kelowna region, settling in an area near what is now Mission Creek. He settled into a log home with a church building on the ground floor.

Calling it Mission of the Immaculate Conception, the name would later be lent to the area (Mission) and the nearby creek years later.

And, while we now recognize the first European settler with the Father Pandosy Mission historical site and a street bisecting the city's downtown, it took some time before the spelling P-A-N-D-O-S-Y became recognized as such.

According to notations contained within the 18th report of the Okanagan Historical Society in 1954, there was some doubt over the exact spelling.

According to the historical society, original plans for the township of Kelowna in 1892 included a street named Pendozi. In 1939, a ferry to shuttle passengers between Kelowna and Westbank was commissioned by the province.

Residents of Kelowna suggested she be named the MV Pendozi.

According to records, people in Kelowna knew of the error but made no effort to correct it.

Eventually, over time, the name was changed to the correct spelling.

F.M. Buckland was one of those who led the charge to change the spelling based on a signature of Charles Pandosy from a Baptismal register.

There are still some remnants of the old spelling.

Pendozi Machine Shop, now on Kirschner Road, was once located on Pendozi then Pandosy Street.

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