Locate to British Columbia
British Columbia offers an unrivaled quality of life
Most of British Columbia is on Pacific Time (the same as Los Angeles; three hours behind Toronto and New York). A few communities along the Alberta border (notably Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Golden, Kimberley and Cranbrook) use Mountain Time.
Key Facts about British Columbia
Regions of British Columbia
The government of British Columbia divides the province into the following regions:
Vancouver Island & Coast/Victoria
This region is made up of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the south coast of the province. Most of the population lives on Vancouver Island, with 350,000 in Victoria – B.C.'s capital city. The city of Nanaimo (population 84,228) is also located on Vancouver Island. The climate is generally mild and pleasant with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.
Vancouver and Metropolitan Area
Vancouver and the metropolitan area are the most populated parts of B. C. More than two million people live in the southwest corner of B.C. – half the population of the province. Because of its location on the coast, it has the mildest climate in Canada.
The Thompson-Okanagan region is in south-central B.C., just north of the United States border. It is known for its orchards and vineyards and the Okanagan Valley, one of B.C.'s key agricultural zones. This region has a dry climate with pleasant winters and hot summers. Kelowna (population 120,812) and Kamloops (population 87,017) are located in this region.
The Kootenay region is in the very southeast corner of the province, along the Alberta and United States borders. Forestry is still a key industry in the Kootenay region. Its largest communities are Cranbrook in the east, and Trail, Castlegar and Nelson in the west. Winter climates in the Kootenays are affected by how high in the mountains you live. Temperatures range from mild to cold in winter, and warm to hot in summer.
The Cariboo is high plateau country, spectacularly beautiful with rolling plains and mountain peaks. While summers are long and dry, the winters can be cold and harsh. Cattle and forestry are the biggest industries. Williams Lake is the largest community in the Cariboo region. Climate in the Cariboo is dry with hot summers and pleasant winters.
The north coast region is remote and isolated. The largest communities are Prince Rupert on the coast, Queen Charlotte City on the Queen Charlotte Islands-home of the Haida Gwaii, and Terrace, 140 kilometres inland on the Skeena River. The north coast was important in British Columbia's two founding industries: fishing and forestry. In 1992, the Nisga'a First Nations people signed the first modern-day treaty with the governments of Canada and British Columbia, making the Nass River Valley formal Nisga'a territory. The region has high rainfall levels for spring, summer and fall, and cold winters.
The Nechako region, in north central British Columbia, is built on forestry, agriculture, mining, and tourism. Many residents and tourists are drawn by its good fishing, hiking, cycling, cross country skiing and camping. The largest communities in the Nechako are Vanderhoof and Fort St. James. Like the Northeast Region, they have warm summers and cold winters.
The northeast region of B.C. has a very active economy these days due to oil and gas exploration. Fort St. John is the largest community in the northeast. They have warm summers and cold winters with lots of snow.
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