Search for "British Columbia"
Squamish, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1964, population 19,512 (2016 census) 17,158 (2011 census). The district of Squamish is located 70 km north of Vancouver at the head of Howe Sound. The municipality is governed by a mayor and six councillors. It is the service centre for a richly endowed recreational area, with road, rail and water access to Vancouver.
Chilliwack, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1999, population 83,788 (2016 census), 77,936 (2011 census). The city of Chilliwack is located 100 km east of Vancouver on the south shore of the Fraser River. It is governed by a mayor and six councillors elected for four-year terms. The name is derived from the word Ts’elxwéyeqw. According to elder Albert Louie, in Halq’eméylem, the traditional language of the Stó:lo, the word means “going as far as you can go upriver” by canoe on the Chilliwack River.
Surrey, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1993, population 517,887 (2016 census), 468, 251 (2011 census). The city of Surrey is the second-largest municipality by population in British Columbia, after Vancouver. Part of Metro Vancouver, it is bounded by the Fraser River on the north and Washington state on the south. The municipalities of Langley and Delta lie to the east and west.
Slocan, British Columbia, incorporated as a village in 1958, population 272 (2016 census), 296 (2011 census). The village of Slocan is located 70 km by road northwest of Nelson, at the south end of Slocan Lake. Slocan is an Okanagan word meaning “pierce or strike on the head,” referring to the salmon-fishing practice of the Okanagan (see Interior Salish). The community was also known as Slocan City when it was an incorporated city (1901-1958).
Coquitlam, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1992, population 139,284 (2016 census), 126,804 (2011 census). The city of Coquitlam is located on the north bank of the Fraser River between Burnaby and New Westminster to the west and Port Coquitlam and Pitt Meadows to the east. Northwest and northeast Coquitlam include the lower slopes of the Eagle and Burke Mountains, with peaks up to 1,600 m high.
New Westminster, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1860, population 70,996 (2016census), 65,976 (2011 census). The city of New Westminster is located on the north bank of the Fraser River, 20 km east of Vancouver. Governor James Douglas established New Westminster in 1859 as the capital of British Columbia. The Royal Engineers surveyed the city and Queen Victoria named it. As a result, New Westminster’s nickname is “The Royal City.” New Westminster is western Canada’s oldest city.
Prince Rupert, BC, incorporated as a city in 1910, population 12,220 (2016 census), 12,508 (2011 census). The City of Prince Rupert is located on Kaien Island, at the mouth of the Skeena River in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. It is Canada's wettest city, with an average of 2,619 mm of precipitation falling each year. Prince Rupert marks western end of the Yellowhead Trans-Canada Highway and, as Canada's deepest ice-free seaport, a link between the lower United States, Vancouver and Alaska. For these reasons it is the industrial, commercial and institutional centre for BC's Northwest Coast.
New Denver, British Columbia, incorporated as a village in 1929, population 473 (2016 census), 504 (2011 census). The village of New Denver is located near the northeastern end of Slocan Lake, 100 km north of Nelson. The site was first called Eldorado, then New Denver (1892), after Denver, Colorado.
Vancouver, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1886, population 631,486 (2016c), 603,502 (2011c). Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia and the third largest census metropolitan area in Canada. The City of Vancouver lies on a peninsula in the southwest corner of the province's mainland. Two surrounding waterways — Burrard Inlet and the Strait of Georgia — provide a sheltered deep-sea port and convenient access to the Pacific Ocean, while the Fraser River offers an easy route to the rich agricultural lands of the Fraser River Lowland and the interior. Railways and highways give easy access to the interior.
Abbotsford, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1995, population 141,397 (2016 census), 133,497 (2011 census). The amalgamation of the district municipalities of Matsqui and Abbotsford formed the city of Abbotsford. Abbotsford is located on the south bank of the Fraser River, 76 km east of Vancouver. The city is named after Harry Braithwaite Abbott, the general superintendent for the British Columbia division of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Abbotsford is BC's fifth most populous municipality.
Metchosin, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1984, population 4,708 (2016 census), 4,803 (2011 census). The District of Metchosin is located on Vancouver Island. It overlooks the Juan de Fuca Strait. Metchosin is part of the Greater Victoria area. From the late 1800s to 1958, a quarantine station operated at William Head in Metchosin. Many immigrants arriving to Canada by ship were quarantined at William Head before being allowed to enter the country. This was done in an effort to prevent the spread of infectious diseases common on overcrowded ships. In addition, from 1924 to 1956, there was a leper colony on nearby Bentinck Island.
Kitimat, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1953, population 8,131 (2016 census), 8,335 (2011 census). The district of Kitimat is located at the head of the Douglas Channel, 206 km east of Prince Rupert by road. Its name comes from the Tsimshian term for the Haisla inhabitants of the area, Kitamaat (“people of the snow”). The modern community was founded in the early 1950s.
Fort Nelson, BC, population centre, population 3,366 (2016 census), 3,561 (2011 census). Fort Nelson is the service centre for the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM). The NRRM is made up of a number of communities, of which Fort Nelson is the largest. Fort Nelson is located in the northeast corner of British Columbia, near the confluence of three rivers: Muskwa, Prophet and Sikanni Chief. Together these rivers combine to become the Fort Nelson River. The community is 387 km north of Fort St. John. It was named after British Admiral Horatio Nelson, famous for the Battle of Trafalgar. Incorporated as a town in 1987, Fort Nelson became a part of the NRRM in 2009.
100 Mile House
100 Mile House, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1991, population 1,980 (2016 census), 1,886 (2011 census). The district of 100 Mile House is located in the South Cariboo region of south-central British Columbia on Highway 97. It is 456 km northeast of Vancouver.
Whistler, British Columbia, incorporated as a resort municipality in 1975, population 11,854 (2016 census), 9,824 (2011 census). The resort municipality of Whistler is located about 120 km north of Vancouver near Garibaldi Provincial Park. Whistler is named after the hoary marmots (called “whistlers” because of their high-pitched warning call) that are common on Whistler Mountain.
North Vancouver, British Columbia, incorporated as a district in 1891, population 85,935 (2016 census), 84,412 (2011 census); also, a separate entity incorporated as a city in 1907, population 52,898 (2016 census), 48,196 (2011 census). The district of North Vancouver and the city of North Vancouver are located in southwestern British Columbia, adjacent to the city of Vancouver. Situated on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver extends from the Capilano River on the west to beyond Deep Cove on the east. The district surrounds the city, which is centered on Lonsdale Avenue, except at the waterfront. Elevations in North Vancouver range from sea level to 1,400 metres. The North Shore mountains — such as Grouse and Seymour — form a scenic backdrop.
British Columbia and Confederation
The colony of British Columbia was founded in 1858 in response to the Fraser River Gold Rush. (See also The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Founding of British Columbia.) The colony established representative government in 1864 and merged with the colony of Vancouver Island in 1866. In May 1868, Amor De Cosmos formed the Confederation League to bring responsible government to BC and to join Confederation. In September 1868, the Confederation League passed 37 resolutions outlining the terms for a union with the Dominion of Canada. The terms were passed by both the BC assembly and the federal Parliament in 1871. The colony joined Canada as the country’s sixth province on 20 July 1871. The threat of American annexation, embodied by the Alaska purchase of 1867, and the promise of a railway linking BC to the rest of Canada, were decisive factors.