100 Interesting and Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About British Columbia

Written by Stella Bouldin
Updated: October 17, 2023
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British Columbia, often abbreviated as BC, is a Canadian province that boasts a rich tapestry of history, diverse geography, and a treasure trove of interesting facts. 

From its stunning landscapes to its famous residents, BC is a place full of surprises. 

Let’s explore 100 fun facts about British Columbia, showcasing its unique charm and appeal. So, let’s dive right in and discover what makes this province truly extraordinary!

Geography and Nature

Mount Logan

Mount Logan is Canada’s highest peak at 19,551 feet.

©Diana Martin-Ioja/Shutterstock.com

  • BC is Canada’s westernmost province, extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains.
  • It’s home to Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan, towering at 19,551 feet (5,959 meters).
  • BC’s coastline is longer than that of all the other Canadian provinces combined.
  • The Great Bear Rainforest in BC is one of the largest temperate rainforests on Earth.
  • You can find Canada’s only desert in BC – the semi-arid region of the South Okanagan Valley.

History and Culture 

  • Indigenous peoples have called BC home for over 10,000 years, with rich cultural traditions.
  • The iconic totem poles in places like Stanley Park represent the Indigenous artistry and heritage.
  • BC joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871, becoming the sixth province.
  • The historic Gold Rush Trail led thousands of prospectors to BC in the late 1800s.
  • Victoria, the capital city of BC, was named after Queen Victoria of England.

Wildlife and Conservation

white black bear

The Kermode Bear, also known as the “spirit bear” calls British Columbia home.

©iStock.com/Michel VIARD

  • BC is home to the rare and elusive Kermode bear, also known as the “spirit bear.”
  • You can spot orcas, humpback whales, and gray whales in the waters around BC.
  • Pacific salmon, such as sockeye and chinook, migrate through BC’s rivers.
  • BC has over 25,000 known species of fungi, making it a hotspot for mycologists.
  • The province takes conservation seriously, with numerous national and provincial parks.

Outdoor Adventures

Canada, British Columbia, moon over Whistler Village at dusk

World-class skiing and snowboarding can be found in Whistler.

©Thomas Northcut/DigitalVision via Getty Images

  • BC offers world-class skiing and snowboarding in Whistler, which hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics.
  • The West Coast Trail is a challenging and scenic hiking route along the rugged coastline.
  • The province is a paradise for kayakers, with serene lakes and wild rivers to explore.
  • Mountain biking enthusiasts flock to the North Shore of Vancouver for its epic trails.
  • BC has some of the best hot springs in Canada, like Harrison Hot Springs.

Famous Residents

  • Renowned actor Ryan Reynolds hails from Vancouver, BC.
  • Pop sensation Justin Bieber was discovered in Stratford, BC.
  • Pamela Anderson, the iconic Baywatch star, was born in Ladysmith, BC.
  • Acclaimed actress Rachel McAdams spent her childhood in St. Thomas, BC.
  • Renowned environmentalist David Suzuki has been a long-time BC resident.

Unique Festivals

national historical site butchart garden in spring, victoria, british columbia, canada

Visitors can enjoy stunning floral displays within Butchart Gardens, located in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia.


  • Vancouver hosts the Vancouver International Film Festival, attracting global cinephiles.
  • The Whistler Film Festival showcases the best in Canadian and international cinema.
  • Victoria’s Butchart Gardens dazzles visitors with its annual fireworks display.
  • The Abbotsford International Airshow is a thrilling event for aviation enthusiasts.
  • The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the beauty of spring blossoms.

Economy and Innovation

A beautiful sunset Over The Vineyards of the Okanagan wine valleys and Okanagan Lake

Some of BC’s finest wines come from the Okanagan Valley.

©kristopher ulley/Shutterstock.com

  • BC’s economy is powered by industries like technology, film, and natural resources.
  • Vancouver is home to a fast-growing tech scene known as “Silicon Valley North.”
  • The province is a leader in sustainable practices, with a focus on clean energy.
  • BC produces world-famous wines, especially in the Okanagan Valley.
  • The Vancouver Stock Exchange (now part of the TSX Venture Exchange) played a crucial role in the early financing of many mining companies.

Culinary Delights

  • BC is known for its fresh seafood, including salmon, halibut, and Dungeness crab.
  • Nanaimo bars, a sweet treat, were named after the city of Nanaimo in BC.
  • Spot the “JapaDog” food trucks in Vancouver for Japanese-inspired hot dogs.
  • BC’s craft beer scene has exploded in recent years, with countless breweries.
  • The province’s diverse culinary scene includes a wide range of international cuisines.

Natural Phenomena

Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Beautiful Aerial Panoramic View of a Modern City. Cityscape Skyline. During Colorful Night with aurora borealis Composite. Dreamscape

The Aurora Borealis can be seen in BC’s northern regions.

©EB Adventure Photography/Shutterstock.com

  • BC experiences the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis in its northern regions.
  • The Kootenay Ice Caves are a magical, naturally formed ice wonderland.
  • The Spotted Lake near Osoyoos showcases colorful mineral-rich pools.
  • BC’s lush forests are home to bioluminescent mushrooms that glow in the dark.
  • The “Sea-to-Sky Highway” offers breathtaking views of coastal cliffs and waterfalls.

Sports and Recreation

  • The BC Lions are a professional Canadian football team based in Vancouver.
  • Vancouver Canucks are the province’s beloved NHL hockey team.
  • BC has hosted the Commonwealth Games twice, in 1954 and 1994.
  • The province has numerous world-class golf courses, attracting enthusiasts.
  • BC is a hotspot for outdoor sports like rock climbing, paragliding, and white-water rafting.

Current Events and Tourism

Scenic tourist attractions and restaurants of Old Gastown Neighborhood in Vancouver Canada

Gastown in Vancouver is a popular filming location.

©Elijah-Lovkoff/iStock via Getty Images

  • The legalization of cannabis in Canada has led to a thriving industry in BC.
  • BC’s wine tourism has grown significantly, drawing visitors to vineyards.
  • Tourism is a vital part of BC’s economy, with millions of visitors each year.
  • The Vancouver Aquarium is a must-visit attraction for marine life enthusiasts.
  • BC’s film industry continues to flourish, with many Hollywood productions filmed here.

Education and Innovation 

  • The University of British Columbia (UBC) consistently ranks among the world’s top universities.
  • Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby is known for its innovative research.
  • BC is a hub for tech startups, with programs like the BC Tech Association supporting innovation.
  • The TRIUMF particle accelerator in Vancouver is the largest in Canada.
  • The province invests in green technology and sustainability research.

Transportation and Infrastructure

Aerial Panoramic View of Sea to Sky Highway on Pacific Ocean West Coast. Sunny Winter Day. Located in Howe Sound between Vancouver and Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.

One of the most scenic drives in the world can be experienced along the Sea-to-Sky Highway in BC.

©EB Adventure Photography/Shutterstock.com

  • The Sea-to-Sky Highway is one of the most scenic drives in the world.
  • BC Ferries is the largest ferry service provider in North America.
  • The SkyTrain in Vancouver is one of the longest automated rapid transit systems globally.
  • The Lions Gate Bridge connects Vancouver to North Vancouver in spectacular fashion.
  • The Coquihalla Highway offers a fast route through the interior of BC.

Weather and Climate

  • BC enjoys a diverse climate, from coastal temperate rainforests to arid deserts.
  • Vancouver experiences mild winters and is known for its rainy days.
  • The interior of BC has hot summers and cold, snowy winters.
  • The province’s weather can change rapidly due to its varied geography.
  • BC’s climate is influenced by the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains.

Environmental Initiatives

  • BC has ambitious climate goals, aiming to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
  • The Carbon Tax in BC is the first of its kind in North America.
  • The Great Bear Rainforest is a testament to BC’s commitment to conservation.
  • BC’s CleanBC program promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  • The province encourages sustainable transportation with bike lanes and electric vehicle incentives.

Arts and Culture

  • The Vancouver Art Gallery showcases an extensive collection of indigenous art.
  • Emily Carr, a celebrated artist from BC, creates stunning landscapes.
  • The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is renowned for its performances.
  • BC’s film industry is a major player in North America, attracting top talent.
  • The Museum of Anthropology at UBC houses priceless indigenous artifacts.

Indigenous Heritage

Totem pole

Totem poles often tell stories of the community.

©oksanaphoto/iStock via Getty Images

  • There are over 200 distinct Indigenous languages spoken in BC.
  • The First Nations peoples have a rich oral storytelling tradition.
  • Totem poles are not just art; they often tell stories of the community.
  • Indigenous cuisine, such as bannock and salmon, is a must-try in BC.
  • The Nisga’a Nation in BC has a constitutionally recognized treaty.

Local Legends and Myths

  • Ogopogo is BC’s equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster, said to inhabit Okanagan Lake.
  • Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, is rumored to roam the forests of BC.
  • Legends of ghost ships sailing off the coast have long intrigued residents.
  • The haunted Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria is a popular spot for ghost hunters.
  • Indigenous legends, like the Thunderbird and the Raven, are passed down through generations.

Agriculture and Farming

  • The Fraser Valley is known as the “Garden of Canada” for its fertile soil.
  • BC is a major producer of blueberries, cherries, and cranberries.
  • The province is famous for its delicious peaches and apricots.
  • The wine regions of the Okanagan and Fraser Valleys are rapidly gaining global recognition.
  • BC’s farmers’ markets are a great place to sample local produce.

Health and Wellness

Biking over the Wooden Trestle Bridges of the abandoned Kettle Valley Railway in Myra Canyon near Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Outdoor activities like hiking and cycling contribute to a healthy lifestyle for BC residents.

©Harry Beugelink/Shutterstock.com

  • BC residents enjoy a high quality of life with access to healthcare and natural beauty.
  • The province is known for its wellness retreats, yoga studios, and spas.
  • Outdoor activities like hiking and cycling contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
  • BC was among the first Canadian provinces to adopt universal healthcare.
  • The relaxed West Coast vibe of BC promotes a stress-free and balanced lifestyle.

British Columbia is a province that truly has it all – from stunning natural landscapes to a rich cultural heritage, a thriving economy, and a commitment to sustainability. 

These 100 fun facts about British Columbia offer just a glimpse into what makes this province an incredible place to live, visit, and explore.

So, come and experience the magic of British Columbia for yourself!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © CSNafzger/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Stella is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel and animals. She has over 20 years of professional writing experience. She holds a doctorate degree and several writing certifications. Stella is a digital nomad currently living in Mexico. As she has a passion for travel, she has also lived in China, S. Korea, Thailand, Kenya, and Ecuador in the past ten years. Stella has two rescue dogs, Paisley and Tinosa who travel with her around the world. Her hobbies include reading, quilting, and meeting new people.

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