British Columbia is Canada’s most westerly province and the third largest. From mountain peaks to ocean beaches, BC’s unique blend of geographical features make home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, six National Parks, over 400 provincial parks and many other conservation areas. The Fraser River is the province’s longest measuring 1399km which is longer than all of the Trans-Canada Highway. Half of all British Columbians live in the metropolitan area of Vancouver.
Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia and makes up the greater Vancouver area with Richmond, Surrey, Burnaby, and Coquitlam. Collectively this area has a total population of around 2.5 million people. Vancouver Island is home to 775,000 people, the island itself is 460km in length and 100km at its widest point. Greater Victoria has roughly half of the population living in the area. Vancouver Island is the second largest island on the west coast of the Americas. British Columbia’s capital city is Victoria, located on Vancouver Island.
British Columbia’s landscape is dominated by mountain terrain and forrest creating a very interesting mix of weather patterns. About 75% of the province is mountainous (defined as more than 1,000 metres above sea level), 60% is forest and roughly 5% is arable. The province’s entire landmass is just under 950,000 square kilometres which equates to roughly 705,000 square kilometres of mountain peaks and valleys. That’s bigger than Italy and Germany combined.
Major roadways in British Columbia include Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway), Highway 97. Hwy 16 (TCH), Hwy 879, and Hwy 2.
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