British Columbia is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains.
It is the westernmost province of Canada.
British Columbia is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean and the United States state of Alaska, to the north by Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories, to the east by the province of Alberta, and to the south by the United States states of Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
As of April 2019, the population of British Columbia was estimated to be about 4.7 million people. It is the 3rd most populous province in Canada.
British Columbia is the 5th largest province in Canada in terms of total area with 944,735 square kilometers (364,764 square miles). The province is almost four times the size of United Kingdom, two and one-half times larger than Japan and larger than every US state except Alaska.
Victoria is the capital of British Columbia. The city is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada’s Pacific coast. It is the fifteenth-largest metropolitan region in Canada, named for Queen Victoria, who ruled during the creation of the original colonies.
The largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada, the largest in Western Canada, and the second-largest in the Pacific Northwest. Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability.
The province is dominated by mountain ranges, among them the Canadian Rockies but dominantly the Coast Mountains, Cassiar Mountains, and the Columbia Mountains. It is the most mountainous province of Canada.
Mount Fairweather is the highest mountain in the Canadian province of British Columbia, with an elevation of 4,671 meters (15,325 feet) above sea level.
British Columbia’s rugged coastline stretches for more than 27,000 kilometers (17,000 miles), and includes deep, mountainous fjords and about 6,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited. It is the only province in Canada that borders the Pacific Ocean.
Given its varied mountainous terrain and its coasts, lakes, rivers, and forests, British Columbia has long been enjoyed for pursuits like hiking and camping, rock climbing and mountaineering, hunting and fishing.
British Columbia has 7 national parks and 600 provincial parks.
Yoho National Park is located in Canada’s Rocky Mountains along the western slope of the Continental Divide of the Americas in southeastern British Columbia. Yoho, together with Jasper, Kootenay and Banff National Parks, along with three British Columbia provincial parks — Hamber Provincial Park, Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, and Mount Robson Provincial Park—form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.
Stanley Park is a 405-hectare (1,001-acre) public park that borders the downtown of Vancouver. The park has a long history and was one of the first areas to be explored in the city. Unlike other large urban parks, Stanley Park is not the creation of a landscape architect, but rather the evolution of a forest and urban space over many years.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a simple suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River in the District of North Vancouver. The current bridge is 140 metres (460 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) above the river. It is part of a private facility with an admission fee, and draws over 800,000 visitors a year.
The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens located near Victoria in Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island. The gardens have been designated a National Historic Site of Canada. The gardens have been designated a National Historic Site of Canada.
The famous ski resort of Whistler, at the foot of the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, is the center of the biggest winter sports area in Canada. In 2010, it attracted much international attention when it hosted the downhill ski events for the Winter Olympic Games. While it is closely associated with skiing, Whistler is a year round destination with biking, golfing, and plenty of beautiful scenery to explore in the summer.
The history of British Columbia begins with the First Nations peoples, who have lived and flourished here for thousands of years.
British, Spanish, Russian and American explorers began to visit the British Columbia area in the 1750s.
The first British settlement in the area was Fort Victoria, established in 1843, which gave rise to the City of Victoria, at first the capital of the separate Colony of Vancouver Island.
The province’s name was chosen by Queen Victoria, when the Colony of British Columbia (1858–1866), i.e., “the Mainland”, became a British colony in 1858.
The 20th century was a time of expansion and growth.