Looking for things to do in Osoyoos, BC, the #1 thing to do on Trip Advisor was the Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad I love taking trains when I travel, but I didn't think I loved them enough to spend time looking at model trains, so my initial reaction was to skip this spot. However, when we got to the town's visitor information centre, the guide there said that she wasn't so sure about the place either at first but changed her mind after she went there herself. I'm always up for unexpected, pleasant surprises so we decided to check the place out. I'm happy to report that it turned out to be my favourite stop of the trip!
The Osoyoos Desert Model Railway was created by Poul and Ulla Pedersen. Poul started collecting and building model railways as a hobby and over time his hobby became bigger and bigger, and eventually after moving to Canada, they opened up the Osoyoos Desert Model Railway - a magical, sort of surreal, and extremely detailed model world, with model trains running through it.
When we entered the place, we were told that the average time spent there was 25-45 minutes, but you could spend a lot longer there, studying the details of the landscape, trains, and people that they've created. There are underground and underwater scenes, and every now and then the lights dim and the lights on the model houses turn on to show a very beautiful night view of the model world. Here's some of my favourite scenes that I spotted.
I spotted a runner who was on the floor, on his back, looking like he had tired himself out from his run, so we told Poul, who was actually there making sure the trains were all running in order, about it. We also told him how amazing we thought his creation was, and he laughed and said, "it's my hobby and I've been working on it for over 45 years!"
Poul also very kindly showed us some of the scenes in his model world that we had initially missed: a nude beach, and the 'European way of using sunflowers' as he called it! We had a great laugh. There are so many funny scenes sprinkled amongst this model world - see if you can spot them on your visit!
I loved this place because it's such a great example of turning a hobby into a job you love. It's a real life example of the phrase 'love your job and you will never work a day in your life'. It's all so inspiring, and I'd love to be able to do that too some day! I also thought it was extra special, because Poul and Ulla's daughter and son-in-law work there too. It's so great when family and friends support you in making your dreams come true!
I highly, highly recommend visiting the Osoyoos Desert Model Railway if you happen to be at Osoyoos. It's 4000 square feet, over 1800 model houses, and 18,000 miniature people of awe-inspiring creativity and fun!
Want to get here?
Hours: Open Mondays to Saturdays, 10AM-5PM
Cost: $7.50 for adults, $4.50 for kids aged 2-12