Mere words cannot describe the beauty, grandeur and awe-inspiring wonder of Canada’s western-most province, British Columbia. For 200+ years, poets, writers, artists and tourism boards have tried, but how do you tell people about the Rocky and Cascade Mountains meeting the blue Pacific where seals and orca whales play? How do you explain that you can go from a posh 5-star restaurant in metropolis Vancouver and 30 minutes later be skiing alone down a mountain where no man has ever set foot? It’s impossible to express the wonderment one feels when standing amidst a 1000-year-old rainforest on Vancouver Island and sharing micro-brewed beer along the Victorian-era waterfront of Victoria.
BC joined Confederation in 1871, 100 years after Captain James Cook explored the coastline and made contact with the natives who lived here. 30 years later, by 1904, British Columbia was booming as the Canadian National Railway brought settlers and vast mineral deposits, lumber and fishing opportunities drew workers to high wages. Vancouver and Victoria experienced growth spurts so that by the time of the First World War in 1914, Vancouver was already the third biggest city in Canada.
If poets and writers and people of much greater talent can’t properly express British Columbia, then Canada Alive! won’t even bother trying. Instead, you can see British Columbia below!
From the Alberta border in the east to the Pacific in the West, and Alaska and Yukon in the north to Washington state in the south, 4.5 million people live in British Columbia, making it the third most populous province in Canada.
Whistler-Blackcomb is one of the world’s premiere skii destinations, hosting over a million skii tourists a year.
Vancouver, with nearly 3 million inhabitants, is Canada’s third largest city and has been ranked as the “best city in the world to live for quality of life” eight years in a row (it lost in 2011 to Ottawa).
The west shores of Vancouver Island and the Pacific Rim National Park
Orcas are the unnoficial symbol of British Columbia, and both domestic pods and transient families ply the waters off the coast year-round
British Columbia is a natural-resource province, rich in minerals, lumber and fish. Natural gas deposits have been discovered offshore and Vancouver serves as a gateway to Asia.
Rainforest on Vancouver Island
The Vancouver Canucks NHL team
The Vancouver waterfront
British Columbia hosts the most wildlife per square kilometer in all of North America, including grizzly, kodiac and black bears.
It’s not all rugged nature and resources. BC has a very contemporary and sophisticated side, with many well-known wineries that are respected world-wide. Cities like Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Nanaimo boast nightlife and cultural scenes.
Victoria, BC’s provincial capital, is called the “Garden City”
The BC legislature in Victoria
The hundreds of islands and the millions of people who travel around the BC coastline do it by using BC Ferries, the world’s largest ferry fleet.
BC has produced more celebreties than any other province in Canada except for Ontario.
Nelly Furtado, Micheal J. Fox, Pamela Anderson, Ryan Reynolds, Cary-Ann Moss, Hayden Christiansen, Seth Rogen, Jason Priestly, Peter Stebbings, Chantel Kreviatsuk, Sarah McLaughlin, former Prime-Ministers John Turner and Kim Campbell and Star Trek legend William Shatner!