external image British-Columbia_240-animated-flag-gifs.gif"Splendour without Diminishment" BC Emblem.png

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Mount Robson, British Columbia

BC Pacific Dogwood.png Stellar Jay.png Western Red Cedar.png Spirit Bear.png
Symbols and Emblems

  • British Columbia is the westernmost province in Canada and the third largest.
    • § North: Yukon and the Northwest Territories
    • § Northwest: U.S. state of Alaska.
    • § South: Three U.S. states - Washington, Idaho and Montana.
    • § East: Alberta
    • § West: Pacific Ocean
    • There are many islands off the coast that are also part of B.C.
    • Victoria, the capital city is on Vancouver Island.
    • Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada.
    • Emblems:
      • Flower - Pacific Dogwood
      • Bird - Stellar's Jay
      • Tree - Western Red Cedar
      • Mammal - Spirit (Kermode) Bear
      • Motto - "Splendour without diminishment"
  • British Columbia is the home to over 4.4 million people in 2010.
  • The largest city is Vancouver with over 2.3 million in 2010.
  • The First Nations people include the Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Coast Salish (Squamish Nation) and other groups.
  • People came from Britain, Western Europe, East and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
  • B.C. has the largest Chinese community in Canada.
  • The top 10 languages spoken are English, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Punjabi, German, French, Tagalog, Korean, Spanish, Persian, and Italian.
  • About 75 percent of the people live in the southwest part of the province.
  • The first people to live in BC were the Tlingit, Sekani, Haida, Nootka, Chilcotin and Shuswap tribes.
  • They fished for salmon and seals and hunted deer, bear and elk.
  • They built large wooden houses and carved totem poles.
  • Captain James Cook, a British explorer, sailed to Vancouver Island in 1778.
  • George Vancouver mapped the coastline (1792-1794).
  • Alexander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser and David Thompson explored the interior of B.C.
  • Fur trading posts were built.
  • The Fraser Valley Gold Rush of 1857 brought many people.
  • B.C. became a province in 1871.
  • Canadian government promised to build a railway to B.C.
  • Thousands of Chinese laborers arrived to pan for gold and to help build the railway.
  • The Japanese came to work as agricultural laborers and fishermen.
  • In 1885, the CPR railway reached Vancouver.
  • British settlers came by train to the west coast.
  • The Fraser River is one of the largest rivers in Canada.
  • Both the Fraser and the Columbia River flow into the Pacific Ocean.
  • Ferryboats take people to and from the Islands off the coast.
  • B.C. has seven national parks.
  • There are several mountain ranges in the province.
    • § West: Coastal Mountains
    • § Southeast: Columbia Mountains
    • § East: Rocky Mountains
    • There are thousands of islands along the coastline, including:
      • § North: Queen Charlotte Islands
      • § South: Gulf Islands
      • The Caribou Plateau is a series of high plateaus and rolling ranchland.
      • The southern interior of the province is made up of fertile valleys where fruits and vegetables are grown.
      • The highest mountain is Mount Fairweather (4663 meters or 15,388 ft.) on the B.C.-Alaska border.
      • Della Falls on Vancouver Island (440 meters or 1,443 feet) is the highest waterfall in Canada.
  • The coastal mountains protect the Lower Mainland and the coast from the cold Arctic air masses in the winter.
  • The coastal region has plenty of rainfall and mild temperatures.
  • Vancouver and Victoria are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than the central areas of the province.
  • The southern interior has the driest and warmest climate in the province.
  • The central interior has warm summers and cold winters.
  • Timber:
    • § Forestry is the largest industry with forests covering 2/3 of B.C.
    • § B.C. has the largest and oldest trees in Canada.
    • Tourism: Mountains, parks and beaches attract many tourists.
    • Mining: Mining is the third largest industry - copper, coal, gold, silver, zinc, sulphur and asbestos
    • Fishing: B.C. has a large fishing industry (salmon, halibut, clams, cod, crab, oysters, rockfish, shrimp and herring)
    • Agriculture:
      • § Cattle farms – beef production
      • § Dairy farms – milk and cheese production
      • § Other Farms: Fruit, vegetables and flowers in the Fraser Valley.
      • § Orchards: Apples, cherries, peaches, apricots, and plums in the Okanagan Valley
      • Hydroelectricity: B.C. is Canada's second largest generator of hydroelectricity.
      • Natural Gas: B.C. is Canada's second largest natural gas producer.
      • Film Production: Third largest film and television production center in North America, after New York City and Los Angeles.
      • Shipping: The province supports a large shipping industry through ice-free, deep-water ports. The main trading ports are in Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
  • § Emily Carr (1871-1945) – painter of the West Coast Aboriginal people
  • § Terry Fox (1958-1981) – ran across Canada to raise money for cancer research
  • § Michael Bublé - a singer who won Grammy and Juno awards
  • § Raymond Burr - actor (television’s Perry Mason and Ironside)
  • § Chief Dan George (1899-1981) - actor and poet
  • § David Suzuki - science broadcaster, environmental activist, author
  • § Richard Hansen - a Canadian Para-Olympian and an activist for people with spinal cord injuries
  • Stanley Park (Vancouver): One of Canada's biggest city parks with an aquarium, gardens, beaches and trails. In Stanley Park there are totem poles carved by the native people of the west coast.
  • Tourism is a major part of the province's economy.
  • The mountains, the coastline and the mild weather attract thousands of tourists.
  • People ski at Whistler Mountain, Kimberley, Fernie, Revelstoke and many other ski resorts.
  • Okanagan Valley is known for the warm weather, wineries and as a fruit-growing region.
  • Canada's largest port is in Vancouver.
  • Vancouver hosted the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

[1] http://www.aitc.sk.ca/saskschools/canada/facts/bc.html

Animals of British Columbia