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Welcome to British Columbia


 

 

The Land

Set between the Pacific Ocean in the west and the magnificent Rocky Mountains in the east, British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province.  The variety of its landscape is the main reason for BC’s distinctiveness: its 944 735 km2 offer remarkable topographical contrasts.

BC is made up of four physical regions: a mountain system along its west coast that includes the Coast Mountain Range and the Insular Mountains that form Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands; a mountain system to the east that includes the Rocky and Columbia Mountain Ranges; the rolling grasslands and forests of the Interior and Stikine Plateaux; and a segment of the continent's Great Interior Plains referred to as Peace River country, which lies in its north-eastern corner.

Climate in British Columbia is a variable thing influenced by latitude, mountainous topography and the Pacific Ocean. This diversity causes wide variations in average rainfall, snowfall, temperature and hours of sunshine, sometimes over very short distances. In general, however, temperatures are warmer in the south than in the north, and rainfall is heaviest along the coast and lightest in the southern interior

BC is made up of four physical regions: a mountain system along its west coast that includes the Coast Mountain Range and the Insular Mountains that form Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands; a mountain system to the east that includes the Rocky and Columbia Mountain Ranges; the rolling grasslands and forests of the Interior and Stikine Plateaux; and a segment of the continent's Great Interior Plains referred to as Peace River country, which lies in its north-eastern corner.

Blessed with breathtaking landscapes, BC is home to a geographical diversity that lends itself to a vast array of activities and adventures. There are mountains to climb, rivers to run, beaches to comb, forests to hike, parks to stroll and warm summer lakes to laze about on. BC is renowned for its many world-class ski resorts and as such is preparing to welcome the world to Vancouver and Whistler for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

BC is laced through with lakes, marshes, rivers and streams that support wildlife in abundance. It has a highly celebrated system of parks, created to protect its diverse ecosystems for conservation, outdoor recreation, education and scientific study. 12.5% of BC's land base is protected.

As well as outdoor adventure, BC also offers cosmopolitan culture, world class exhibitions, fantastic shopping and incredible, gourmet dining.

The People

British Columbia continues to attract Canadians and foreigners alike: its population now exceeds 4.1 million - 13 percent of Canada's total. Nearly 60 percent live in Vancouver and Victoria, the province's capital. Vancouver, the largest dry cargo port on the Pacific coast of North America, is home to more than two million people, which makes it the third largest city in Canada.

 

Economy

 

Tourism is an important economic sector in British Columbia. With over five million hectares of parkland, the Rocky Mountains remain the biggest attraction. Coastal B.C., with its beaches, and other attractions, is also popular. Each year, about 15 million people visit British Columbia.

Agriculture and fishing, especially salmon fishing, are two other key sectors of the economy of British Columbia. Manufacturing in B.C. is still largely resource-based, but is being gradually diversified by high-tech and computer-based industries related to telecommunications and the aerospace and sub-sea industries. British Columbia has the most balanced export market of all Canada's provinces, with the United States, Japan, the European Union and the Pacific Rim countries as its clientele.

 

*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003. and hellobc.com

 

 


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