Things you didn’t know about British Columbia


Coastal Temperate Rain Forest

Coastal Temperate Rain Forest in BC

Has British Columbia caught your eye as a potential holiday destination in Canada? It’s a province with such incredible attributes and reasons to visit so you are certainly not alone in wanting to see this beautiful land for yourself. BC is one of the most breathtaking parts in all of Canada and to help inspire your visit, we have put together this guide about the things you didn’t know about British Columbia. These facts and stats will help you to get to know BC a little better and further open your eyes to the myriad possibilities that await.

British Columbia is four times bigger than Great Britain

Lake O'Hara in BCLake O’Hara in BC

British Columbia is a massive location. It’s so big in fact, that it’s four times the size of Great Britain. BC is the third largest province in Canada and its most westerly location. Its grand size means that British Columbia is almost like several holiday destinations in one, with a plethora of exciting things to see and do.

Thanks to its size, British Columbia features gorgeous wide-open areas of outstanding natural beauty and boasts 27,000 kilometres of epic coastline. As a result, a visit to BC means you can enjoy a truly peaceful holiday away from the hustle and bustle and even spend time relaxing on the beaches of Canada’s Pacific coast.

That’s not all, however, as this vast province also includes such impressive geographical features as the Canadian Rockies – a feat of nature that even expands into Alberta. One of the best ways to experience this mountain range is via tickets for the Rocky Mountaineer train, which takes passengers to the most incredible locations the Rockies has to offer.

READ ALSO: An in-depth guide to Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer

Two-thirds of British Columbia is forest land

Giant cedars in Exchamsiks River Provincial ParkNorthern BC Tourism – Andrew Strain, Giant cedars in Exchamsiks River Provincial Park

British Columbia is a nature lover’s paradise. We have already mentioned its amazing size, but did you know that two-thirds of BC is made up of forest? It might be hard to imagine such a magnificent area of tree-covered territory but whatever you have in your head, BC’s woodland areas are even more impressive. The forest lands of British Columbia are even bigger than the country of France.

If you are looking to enjoy a holiday among nature, British Columbia really is a perfect choice, with marvellous locations like Prince George to look forward to exploring. When you also add the likes of treetop canopy walks and exciting bear watching tours in the Great Bear Rainforest, there’s so much to look forward to. Speaking of the Great Bear Rainforest, this location is home to the Spirit Bear, a subspecies of black bear only seen in this part of the world, with a recessive gene that makes their fur white. Further still, British Columbia is also home to Canada’s only grizzly bear sanctuary.

READ MORE: The wild side of Canada: Great Bear Rainforest

BC has hosted the Winter Olympics

Whistler BC© Destination Canada – Grant Gunderson, Skier in Whistler, BC

For those discovering British Columbia for the first time, you might be surprised to know that the province has previously hosted the Winter Olympics. That’s right, the Olympics took place at the world-renowned Whistler Blackcomb ski resort – one of the largest in all of North America. The games took place here in 2010 and the area remains a haven for snow sports and winter activities.

If you like the sound of a winter holiday in BC, at Whistler, you can look forward to some of the best conditions for skiing in Canada, as well as snowboarding, snowshoeing, tobogganing, and much more. You don’t even have to get involved with these exciting activities, you can spend time in Whistler admiring the mountains, amazing snowfall, hiking routes, and the charming chalet-style village at the base of the mountains.

READ ALSO: A complete guide to Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort

Half of the population lives in Vancouver

Group cycling along the sea wall in Stanley Park© Destination Vancouver – Rishad Daroowala, Group cycling along the sea wall in Stanley Park

British Columbia’s impressive scale certainly doesn’t mean it’s a crowded location as you may be surprised to know that half of the entire BC population lives in the Vancouver metro area. The appeal of the city of Vancouver is enormous and upon visiting you will see why so many locals decided to make it their home.

Kathryn, from the travel blog Travel with Kat, loves Vancouver, sharing: “A city that has captured my heart, Vancouver has it all, from Stanley Park, a beautiful 405-hectare public park packed with wildlife and forest walks, to Granville Island, a food (and beer) lover’s paradise.”

Vancouver is known around the world as being one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world, with its epic mountain backdrop and its position on the lovely Pacific coast. It’s also the fourth-largest film and TV hub in North America. Vancouver’s geographical contrasts make for amazing scenery and the city itself has more than enough attractions and activities to keep holidaymakers entertained.

With beaches, park trails, markets, eclectic neighbourhoods, and easy access to the wider natural beauty of the surrounding BC landscape, opting for a Vancouver city break is not a decision to struggle with.

READ MORE: 5 days in Vancouver – Unmissable itinerary ideas for your holiday

British Columbia has the mildest climate in Canada

Tofino BeachSurfer at Long Beach, Tofino, BC

Despite British Columbia being a beloved location for skiing and snowbound activities, it has the mildest climate in Canada. This contrast is thanks to its enormous size stretching down the pacific coast of Canada, meaning the province benefits from great winter locations and lovely summer weather.

As a result of its attractive climate, a summer holiday in British Columbia opens the door to a plethora of possibilities and will be appealing to travellers who want to enjoy the sun, make trips to the beach, and explore the city and BC’s natural beauty in their shorts and t-shirt. Kamloops is certainly a location of note, one of Canada’s sunniest locations, and therefore a great destination to enjoy summer biking, hikes, and canoeing in its 100 different lakes.

READ ALSO: A guide to British Columbia’s beauty spots

There are thousands of islands in British Columbia

Ariel view of Tofino, Vancouver IslandAerial view of Tofino, Vancouver Island, BC

We have discussed BC’s forests, mountains, and the amazing city of Vancouver, but did you know that there are thousands of islands in the province too? Of varying sizes, there are a vast collection of gorgeous islands off the coast of British Columbia, many of which are well worth a visit, such as the spectacular Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island lies adjacent to the city of Vancouver itself on the mainland, is 283 miles long and is the largest in area of the islands on the west coast of the Americas. Vancouver Island is home to the capital of British Columbia, Victoria – named after Queen Victoria, and is also where you can find Canada’s tallest waterfall, the Della Falls, which at 440 metres high is more than eight times higher than Niagara Falls.

On a trip to Vancouver Island, you can look forward to discovering all of this and much more for yourself, so definitely add the island to your to-do list.

READ ALSO: Top places to visit on Vancouver Island

BC is home to Canada’s warmest freshwater lake

Osoyoos Vineyard Landscape Okanagan ValleyOsoyoos Lake, Okanagan Valley, BC

Canada is synonymous with lakes, boasting more lakes than any other country in the world and home to five of the largest anywhere on planet Earth. As a result, taking time to enjoy some of these tranquil locations during your stay in Canada is a must and the good news is that British Columbia can certainly accommodate. It’s even home to the warmest freshwater lake in the country.

Osoyoos Lake averages sublime temperatures of 24°C in July and August, making it a brilliant place to enjoy a dip and relax during your BC holiday. The lake is 12 miles long and even stretches into the USA, making it an even more interesting location. You can experience Osoyoos yourself on one of our BC Spa & Winelands Circle holidays if you fancy testing the temperature yourself.

READ ALSO: Things you didn’t know about Canada

Facts and stats about British Columbia in Canada

– British Columbia is four times bigger than Great Britain

– Two-thirds of British Columbia is forest land

– BC has hosted the Winter Olympics

– Half of the population lives in Vancouver

– British Columbia has the mildest climate in Canada

– There are thousands of islands in British Columbia

– BC is home to Canada’s warmest freshwater lake

Hopefully, these interesting facts about British Columbia have got you thinking about some of the amazing possibilities during a visit to the area. If you fancy seeing BC’s delights for yourself, we are the Canada travel experts and are able to put together a holiday including anything that might be on your to-do list plus much more.

For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our blog.

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