65 Interesting Facts About British Columbia

British Columbia- with its lush rainforests, lakes, coastal waters, and high mountains, is one of Canada’s most beautiful provinces. British Columbia is your go-to place for indoor as well as outdoor activities- be it skiing, hiking or even shopping! People of different countries and cultures from all around the world call British Columbia their home, creating a diverse society.

Everything can be found and done here. I’m sure many of you have been there and know all about its beauty and diverse activities but there are in fact many interesting facts about British Columbia that you might not know.

Wanna know the most interesting facts about British Columbia? Go on, keep reading

65 Interesting Facts About British Columbia

SIZE

The size is one of the most interesting facts about British Columbia.

  1. British Columbia, in the West Coast, is Canada’s westernmost and third-largest province and it’s actually that part of the land that you always see between Alaska and the rest of the United States.
  2. The name British Columbia was given by Queen Victoria.
  3. I’m sure all of you are well aware of the massive size of Canada. In fact it is indeed the second largest country after Russia. British Columbia is just one of the provinces that make up the country. But even as a province, it is vast in size. It’s about as big as France, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Kuwait and the Marshall Islands all put together.
  4. It is four times the size of Great Britain. It is more than twice the size of Japan. This is one of the most interesting facts about British Columbia.
  5. It is in fact so large that only 30 countries in the entire world are larger than this single province.
  6. British Columbia covers about 10% of the total landmass of the entire Canada.

POPULATION

7. The population is the second most interesting fact about British Columbia. Yes! It is the third-largest province of Canada, however, it is not as crowded as you might think it is. Less than five million people live here so on average you’ll find about five people per square kilometer which means it has a pretty low population density.

8. British Columbia was home to First Nation groups that have a deep history with a significant number of indigenous languages. British Columbia is actually still home to more than 200 first nations. But of course, the arrival of European settlers did not bode well for the natives and they were slowly pushed into a minority. The original residents in BC, prior to the time of explorers were mainly first nation people including Tlingit, Shuswap, Chilcotin, Haida, and Sekani tribes.

9. Vancouver, the coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia ranks highly as one of the world’s most livable cities. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of the total population of British Columbia live in Vancouver’s metro area.

10. Vancouver is also one of the most densely populated cities in North America on average 5,500 people live per square kilometer.

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FLAG

11. The flag of BC actually is an accumulation of different symbols. The top has a Royal Union Flag representing the British Heritage. The central King Edward Crown represents the royal family. The western location of the country is shown by the setting sun on the lower half. The blue and white lines show it’s the location between the Rocky and the Pacific.

TRADE

12. The fur trade was a big thing here too but it was the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush of 1858 that brought an influx of American and European settlers and it’s what prompted London to designate it as a colony.

13. When the colonies of Canada Nova Scotia and New Brunswick United to form the Canadian Confederation British Columbia wasn’t initially a part of it but the main reason why the colony joined Canada was the gold rush and the large influx of settlers.

14.By the end of the gold rush there was a need for proper infrastructure. The burden of debt and economic depression pushed British Columbia to join Canada and it succeeded in 1871.

JOINING THE CONFEDERATION AND BC DAY

15. Joining the confederation, British Columbia became the sixth province in Canada. The date was July 20th, 1871.

16. In 1974, a bill to acknowledge BC Day was introduced in the parliament.

17. BC day usually is celebrated on the first Monday of August. It is a civic holiday.

DIVERSE ETHNICITY

18. While the province has a white majority of European descent it’s also remarkably diverse. About 23 percent of the people living here are not of European descent. Chinese and Indian people alone account for over 16% of the population but there are also large communities of Filipinos, Iranians, Jews, Japanese, Koreans, French, Italian, Polish, Norwegians, Romanians, Hungarians, Ukrainians, and the list goes on.19. The aboriginal population i.e the First Nations represents almost 5% of the people of BC. Thus British Columbia is one of the most ethnically diverse places in North America.

FILM AND TELEVISION

20. Major film production studios have also turned Greater Vancouver and nearby areas into one of the largest film production centers in North America earning it the nickname Hollywood of Canada. This is one of the most interesting facts about British Columbia.

21. More than 25,000 people work in the film industry in British Columbia.

22. Even the famous Twilight movie series was filmed right here.

23. The filming location of award-winning series like Supernatural, Criminal Mind, Lucifer, The Flash, etc. in Vancouver, British Columbia.

24. You might know it best as the shooting location for The Vampire Diaries and Riverdale.

25. It is also home to some of the most famous actors and actresses like Ryan Reynolds, Pamela Anderson, Cobie Smulders, and the list goes on.

26. Also known as Canada’s Centennial Baby, the actress Pamela Anderson was born on the 100th celebration of Canada day.

PROVINCIAL PARKS AND UNESCO HERITAGE SITES

27. This province has 1030 parks and protected areas and is continually expanding both the number and the size of the region.

28. The current amount of protected space is made up of 141 ecological reserves, 35 marine parks, 400 provincial parks, 7 heritage sites, 6 national historic sites for national parks, 3 national park reserves, and other designations that amount to over 800 distinct areas in total approximately.

29. Some of the most interesting facts about British Columbia are its 3 UNESCO world heritage sites:

  • Gwaii Haanas- Located in Queen Charlotte Islands, 130 km away from the mainland BC is home to the Haida people. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2004. Western red cedar trees and hemlocks mainly dominate the forests of Gwaii Haanas. The black bear, Sitka deer, beavers are some of the native animals of the forests of this region.

  • Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs: Hecate Strait is the shallow strait situated between the Haida Gwaii and the mainland of British Columbia. Since this region is so shallow, storms and violent weather are a common thing here. It had a rich Salmon and Halibut life.

Queen Charlotte Sound is a large inlet of the pacific ocean in British Columbia. It merges with the Hecate Strait.  Now, these are two of the very few locations in the entire world that contain species from the Glass Sponge class. It was made a UNESCO world heritage site in 2018.

  • Stein Valley: Stein Valley, a Provincial park, has many hiking trails as well as camping spots. It is also home to the First Nations people who consider this location to be an important spiritual land. This park protects a large variety of mammals which include some dangerous species like wolverines, grizzly bears, mountain goats, and black bears. Rare birds like Golden Eagles, Barred Owls, Rufous Hummingbirds, etc. It was made a UNESCO world heritage site in 2018.

WILDLIFE

30. 12.5% of the provincial land is a powerful protected area home to more than half of Canada’s wildlife and fish species.

31. British Columbia is also the most biologically diverse province. Much of the province is undeveloped so populations of many species that have become rare in much of the United States still flourish in British Columbia.

32. One in four North American grizzly bears is found in British Columbia and with a population estimated between 120,000 and 160,000.

33. British Columbia serves as home to almost a quarter of all the grizzly bears in North America.

34. The Grizzly Bear sanctuary is named Khutzeymateen Provincial Park, located in northern British Columbia. It is Canada’s only sanctuary that preserves Grizzly Bears.

35. British Columbia is also home to one quarter ( 25% ) of all black bears in Canada

36. There’s also a rare subspecies of bears unique to this province called the Kermode bear. So if you ever wanted to meet a bear in the forest, this is the place to be. Although I wouldn’t recommend it.

37. Over one million migratory birds coming from Alaska, fly through the Pacific Flyway of BC every year. British Columbia, itself serves as a winter home to many of these beautiful migratory birds.

GREENPEACE

38. With such a rich biodiversity and such vast lands of unspoiled nature it’s kind of logical that one of the world’s most famous and powerful environmental NGOs was established in British Columbia.

39. Greenpeace the organization was founded by environmental activists in 1971 in Vancouver as a protest against underground nuclear testing but has since evolved into the most visible environmental organization in the world.

Greenpeace states its goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all of its diversity and focuses its campaigning on issues such as climate change and several other environmental factors like deforestation, poaching and even some anti-nuclear issues.

40. In the beginning, Greenpeace functioned out of the private homes of its founders in Vancouver but despite its humble beginnings the organization endured to become a globally recognized voice of reason.

CLIMATE AND OTHER INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT BRITISH COLUMBIA

41. British Columbia actually has the mildest climate of all Canadian provinces. It also experiences the longest frost-free period. In BC flowers start blooming from as early as February while other places are still covered in snow.

42. The length of BC’s coast is over twenty-seven thousand kilometers.

43. The Pacific Dogwood is the provincial flower of British Columbia.

44. Western Red cedar is the provincial tree.

45. The Spirit Bear, aka the Kermode Bear which is a rare black bear with white fur, is the provincial animal of British Columbia. Francis Kermode, a provincial museum worker was the first to discover the spirit bear. Hence it was named the Kermode Bear after his name.

46. An interesting fact about British Columbia is that its official mineral emblem of is Jade.

47. The provincial motto of British Columbia is “splendour without diminishment”.

48. British Columbia produces Blueberries and Cranberries in large amounts. In fact it is one of the top three producers of these fruits in the world.

49. One of the most interesting facts about British Columbia’s is that this Canadian province is one of the most popular and growing wine regions in all of North America.  Almost 900 vineyards are found over 10,000 acres of land including both wineries and independent growers. In 2013, there was a record of over 960 tonnes of icewine grapes being harvested in BC.

50. The Hanging Garden Tree is known as one of the oldest standing Western Red Cedar trees. It is located on Meares Island. It is considered to be 1500-2000 years old.

51. The oldest standing public building in BC is Craigflower Schoolhouse in Saanich.

52. The Pacific Crest Trail is one of the world’s longest hiking trails. It is located in Manning Park of British Columbia.

53. Fairweather Mountain is the highest point of British Columbia. It stands at a height of 15,299ft.

54. Fraser, the lengthiest river of Canada, runs for 1399 kilometers.

55. Tweedsmuir Park is the largest provincial park of BC.

56. Della falls located on BC’s Vancouver Island is the highest waterfall of Canada.

57. Prince Rupert of BC is the wettest city of Canada

58. British Columbia had a rule that prohibited alcohol from 1917 to 1921.

59. British Columbia legalized same-sex marriage after Ontario. It was the second province in Canada to do so.

60. BC holds the record of the largest number of Sasquatch sightings. The sightings date back to over 200 years. This is one of the most astonishing and interesting facts about British Columbia.

61. Ocean Falls which is situated in BC experiences an average of 330 days of rain every year.

62. Nakwakto Rapids at Slingsby Channel located in British Columbia experiences the world’s strongest current. The current speeds up to 18.4 miles per hour sometimes.

63. Created for BC’s Expo 86 World’s Fair, the world’s largest hockey stick was acquired by the city of Duncan. It is put on display there, even today. It is almost 40 times the size of a normal stick. This is one of the most interesting facts about British Columbia.

64. The warmest freshwater lake in Canada is the Osoyoos Lake. It is located in BC.

65. Nanaimo of BC was the first who introduced the sport of ‘bathtub racing’ to the world.

Do you know any more interesting facts about British Columbia? Comment and let us know what is the most interesting fact according to you.

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