1. The length of BC’s coastline is over 27,000 kilometers. With an area of 944,735 square kilometers (364,764 sq. mi), BC is Canada's third-largest province. In fact, the province is nearly four times the size of the United Kingdom, more than twice as large as Japan, and larger than every single state in the US (except for Alaska).
2. Two-thirds of British Columbia’s land base is forested land. Surprisingly, more than half of that area has been extensively explored
3. There are more than 400 provincial parks, recreational and conservation areas in British Columbia. And BC is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition, BC has 141 ecological reserves, 35 provincial marine parks, 7 provincial heritage sites, 6 national historic sites, 4 national parks and 3 national park reserves. And about 12.5% of the province (114,000 km²) is currently designated as a 'protected' area.
4. Among all the provinces and territories in Canada, British Columbia has, by far, the mildest climate. It also has the longest frost-free periods of any province, and flowers often start blooming as early as February of each year. Ok... yes, we get a lot of rain, but that's why we have some of the most beautiful geography anywhere in the world!
5. The wettest city in Canada is Prince Rupert, located about halfway up BC's west coast. On average Prince Rupert gets more than 239 days of rain per year. And the average total rainfall in Prince Rupert is a whopping 2,593 mm (102 inches) per year.
6. You may be surprised to learn that British Columbia is among the top three producers of blueberries and cranberries in the world.
7. The highest waterfall in all of Canada is on BC's Vancouver Island. Known as Della Falls, it's located in Strathcona Provincial Park, and is 440 metres high (more than eight times the height of Niagara Falls).
8. “The Hanging Garden Tree” on Meares Island, close to Tofino, is one of the oldest known Western Red Cedar trees. It's estimated to be between 1,500 and 2,000 years old!
9. The world’s largest hockey stick, created for BC's Expo 86 World's Fair, was acquired by the city of Duncan, where it is on display today. Forty times the size of a regular hockey stick, it is 62.48 meters long, and weighs 28.12 tons!
10. Did you ever wonder what the BC flag stands for? It's actually made up of a conglomeration of different symbols. On the top part, there is a Royal Union flag, reflecting British Columbia’s British heritage. The King Edward crown in the center represents the Royal Family. On the lower half is the setting sun, representing the western location of the province. And the blue and white lines behind the sun symbolize BC’s location between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains.
11. British Columbia is home to many National Historic Places, among which is Vancouver's quaint and famous 'Gastown' area.
12. Whistler Village boasts the longest unsupported cable car in the world. It connects the two peaks of the Blackcomb ski resort, one of the best resorts in all of North America for skiing and snowboarding.
13. Nanaimo, also located on Vancouver Island, is the Bathtub Racing capital of the world. The first race took place in 1967. In this fun-filled annual aquatic event, all contestants are required to use a bathtub as a boat.
14. Half of all British Columbians live in the metropolitan area of Vancouver.
15. Actress, Pamela Anderson, was the first child born in Canada on the 100th celebration of Canada Day. She was born July 1st, 1967, in Ladysmith, BC, at 4:08 am. Thus, Pamela Anderson was named Canada’s 'Centennial Baby'.
“British Columbia is full of amazing hiking trails and spectacular vistas, which has been my main inspiration as a painter. Much of my art is based on BC's geography and landmark areas. – Sam Siegel