With BC Day approaching one week from Monday, we thought we would take a look back on some of the things we love most about the place we proudly call home. British Columbia is after all, a magical, natural wonderland. From the Rocky Mountains to the Okanagan, from the many Gulf Islands to the countless rivers, forests and lakes; there is no place quite like Beautiful British Columbia.
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British Columbia Is Big… Really, Really Big
Big is beautiful, and BC certainly is huge. Larger than Great Britain by 4 times and any US State except for Alaska, BC covers over 95 million hectares of land, the majority of which is forests that are completely free of human settlement. There are approximately 40,000 islands on the west coast and thousands of lakes and rivers. That’s a lot of nature to explore!
British Columbia Is The Wilderness Capital Of Canada
As big as BC is, Canada is even bigger. So you might be surprised to learn that well over half of the whole country’s wildlife resides in our province alone. There are more Grizzly Bears in BC than almost anywhere else in North America, 1 in 4 bears find their home within our borders. Most of the country’s Bald Eagles live in BC, as does a huge portion of the marine life.
British Columbia Is Warm
BC is famous for being mild. Spring arrives as early as February in some parts of southern BC and we have the longest frost-free periods in the entire country. Osoyoos, Rock Creek, Penticton and Kelowna reach some of Canada’s highest temperatures each year, surpassing 40 degrees celsius. Osoyoos is home to Canada’s only desert, cactuses, rattle snakes, tumbleweed and all. In 2010, it was so warm in Vancouver and Whistler that artificial snow was needed to keep events going at the Winter Olympics.
British Columbia Is Famous
Did you know BC is home to the third largest film production centre in North America, behind only Los Angeles and New York? Some of your favourite shows like Once Upon A Time, The Killing and Arrow are filmed here, and so are the biggest blockbusters. This year alone we were treated to Robocop, Godzilla and Rise of The Planet of the Apes to name just a few. Vancouver’s mild climate and cloudy weather actually make filming here ideal and producers have access to almost every natural environment on the planet within a single day’s drive. From desert to winter wonderland and everything in between. Movies haven’t just been shot in Vancouver, though. X-Men 2, The 13th Warrior, Trapped, and more, were filmed in Victoria, while The Grey was shot in Smithers, BC. The most famous small town to greet filmmakers? Hope, where Rambo: First Blood was made.
British Columbia Is Talented
Sure, Hollywood likes to come and visit, but did you know some of the most famous and talented people in Canada hail from our beautiful province? Celebrities like Seth Rogen, Ryan Reynolds, Diana Krall, Steve Nash, Pamela Anderson, Michael Buble, Kim Cattrall and Michael J. Fox are all BC born and raised. So are some of Canada’s most famous female political figures; Margaret Trudeau and Kim Campbell. And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. The inventor of the Egg Carton and the Walkie Talkie are also from BC, as we mentioned in our recent Canada Day blog. Don’t forget world famous artist Emily Carr or athlete Terry Fox.
British Columbia Is Educated
BC’s schools are currently ranked the best in the country, according to a new study by The Conference Board of Canada. Our universities and colleges attract more international students than any other province. What’s more, BC has the best post-secondary transfer system in all of North America, making it easy for students to take credits from one college to another and helping them to get their education more quickly.
British Columbia Is Green
Vancouver may be well on it’s way to becoming Canada’s greenest city, but British Columbia is already Canada’s greenest province. Our province has the best drinking water and some of the cleanest air in the world. 89% of BC’s energy comes from clean, renewable sources like hydroelectric, solar and wind power. We’re also the most innovative province when it comes to going green and we have the most green businesses with 160 companies dedicated to producing green products. Our green energy is even exported to the United States.
British Columbia Tastes Great
British Columbia’s Okanagan Region and Frasier Valley Regions produce 1/4 of Canada’s strawberries and 1/3 of the entire world’s blueberries. We also grow 95% of Canada’s cranberries and 75% of its apples. We grow almost all the country’s raspberries and grow more potatoes than any other crop. Our seafood is famous around the world and so are our West Coast Restaurants, three of which from Vancouver rank in Canada’s top ten. And don’t forget about BC wine, which is increasingly popular around the world.
British Columbia Is Still The Best Place On Earth
Despite the Liberal Government changing it’s slogan, BC still ranks highly in almost every quality of living survey. The United Nations has called BC the best place in the world to learn, live and play and The Economist consistently ranks Vancouver the number one city to live, overall. This year we’re number three, but we’ll bounce back. With some of the best education & friendliest people, great food, clean air, fresh water and plenty of natural wonder to explore, there is no place else on Earth we’d rather call home.
What is your favourite thing about living in British Columbia?