British Columbia (Canada)
The location and the unique beauty with many forests, lakes or mountain ranges make British Columbia an extremely attractive and popular travel destination in Canada. The coastal region of British Columbia extends from the southern border with the USA to the northern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands. A variety of animals and plants have the opportunity to develop optimally here. There is the coastal habitat, which is home to sea otters, killer whales and a multitude of different salmon species, or the temperate rainforest habitat. The trumpeter swan, the black-tailed deer or the white black bear can be found here. The latter occurs only in British Columbia.
But modern cities can also be found in British Columbia to visit. Vancouver, Canada’s westernmost city, for example, which is located on a kind of peninsula and is certainly special with its great location between the sea and the mountains at the same time. The commercial port is well worth seeing and the historic districts of Gastown or Chinatown should not be missed on a trip.
British Columbia – key data
Area: 944,735 sq km, fifth largest province in Canada (land Area: 925,186 sq km, water Area: 19,549 sq km)
Share of water surface: 2.1%
Population: 4.42 million, third highest in the provinces of Canada (2009, estimate)
Population density: 4.7 residents per square kilometer
Member of the Confederation: July 20, 1871 (6th Province)
Capital city: Victoria (78,057 residents, 2006, metropolitan area 330,088 residents, 2006)
Biggest town: Vancouver (578,041 residents, 2006, metropolitan area 2.12 million residents, 2006)
Highest point: 4,663 m, Mount Fairweather
Lowest point: 0 m, Pacific Ocean.
Lieutenant Governor: Steve Point
Prime Minister: Gordon Campbell
Local time: CET -9 h. From the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November: CET -8 h.
The time difference to Central Europe in British Columbia is -9 hours in both winter and summer.
Postal abbreviation: BC
British Columbia Map and Geography
British Columbia is Canada’s west coast province on the Pacific Ocean. British Columbia borders the provinces of Yukon and the Northwest Territories and the American state of Alaska to the north. In the east, British Columbia is bounded by the province of Alberta and in the south by the American states of Washington, Idaho and Montana. In the west, the Pacific forms the natural border of the province.
The total area of British Columbia covers 944,735 square kilometers. This makes the West Coast Province the third largest Canadian province after Quebec and Ontario. The capital of British Columbia is Victoria, located on the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. British Columbia’s coastline is approximately 7,000 kilometers; it is mainly composed of the offshore islands and numerous fjords in the strongly rugged coast. Vancouver Island is the largest island off British Columbia with an area of 32,135 square kilometers ; it is separated from mainland Canada by Queen Charlotte Straits, the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca Straits. North of Vancouver Island are the Queen Charlotte Islands. The province of British Columbia has a total of 11,890 islands.
British Columbia is criss-crossed by various mountain ranges, which received their characteristic folds in the Cretaceous Period. Four mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains running parallel to each other characterize the east of the province. From east to west these are the Continental Ranges, the Purcell Mountains, the Selkirk Mountains and the Monashee Mountains. The west is dominated by the Coast Mountains along the Pacific coast and the central highlands. Mount Fairweather, the highest mountain in British Columbia at 4,663 meters, is located in the Elias chain in the north-west of the province.
There are over 241,500 lakes in British Columbia, which are mainly in the valleys of the central highlands. Many of the lakes are only small and narrow, others have been expanded into reservoirs by artificial dams. The largest natural lakes in the province include Kootenay Lake, Okanagan Lake, Quesnel Lake, and Shuswap Lake. The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, which is also an important transport link. On its way to the Pacific, it drains the central highlands and the south of the province. Also of note are the upper Columbia River and the Kootenay River in the south, while the Stikine River, Nass River, and Skeena Rivers flow into the Pacific in the north. The Peace River flows into the Arctic Ocean.
British Columbia Landmarks
More than seven hundred species of animals from all parts of the world can be seen in the Great Vancouver. You can cross the 48 hectare park by bus or Safari Express train. You can experience many North American animals, such as bisons, wolves, elk and grizzlies, live.
The most popular amusement park in British Columbiais Playland in the city of Vancouver. Playland is located right in Pacific National Eschibition Park, whose biggest attractions are natural bumper cars and roller coasters. The largest roller coaster in the world can also be seen here.
In the largest urban parkCanada, Stanley Park, is home to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center, also known as Vanaqua.
On 9,000 square meters you can find almost three hundred species of fish and 56 species of amphibians, as well as many invertebrates. Furthermore, various birds and other mammals live here, which visitors to the aquarium can see.
The aquarium in the park is not only the oldest (founded in 1956) in Canada, but also the fifth largest in North America.