The province of British Columbia lies on the Pacific coast of Canada and is bordered by Alaska to the northwest. The region’s weather is among the most moderate in all of Canada. The winters tend to be short and mild while the summers can be warm and dry. But what really defines British Columbia is not its weather, but its natural beauty.
Thousands of islands dot the west coast of the province, with the largest by far being Vancouver Island (home to the provincial capital, Victoria).
Mountains cover the majority of British Columbia, adding to the beauty of the mainland and create stunning fjords along the coast. This rugged landscape, combined with plenty of water, is ideal for outdoor sports enthusiasts. It is a virtual paradise for those who like hiking, climbing, kayaking and other similar activities.
British Columbia is home to a temperate rainforest, mainly along the coast and west side of the Vancouver Island. This extensive rainforest extends into the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is home to one of a small handful of such ecosystems in the world.
It is the natural resources of British Columbia that contribute to the majority of its economy. Forestry, mining, filmmaking and tourism exist due to the region’s natural beauty and resources.
Over the last decade or so there has been an upswing in Chinese immigration, in part due to people leaving Hong Kong after its return to Chinese rule. Canadians from other parts of the country are also popular immigrants – especially when the British Columbian economy is doing well.
When it comes to the populations’ ethnic backgrounds, census results show 30% consider themselves English, 17% Canadian and 20% Scottish. Those of Irish heritage make up just over 15% of the population, with German and Chinese comprising 14% and 10%, respectively. However, these are only a few of the dozens of countries represented in British Columbia.
English is spoken by 83%, Chinese 8%, Punjabi 4% and French 1.4%. There are many other languages spoken throughout the province, though it is easy to find English speakers in most areas. It should be noted that some statistics show that nearly half of Vancouver’s 611,000+ residents have a first language other than English. This points to how culturally diverse the province is.
The natural beauty, temperate climate and major cities of British Columbia are understandably very alluring to those considering making Canada their home.