British Columbia Real Estate
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Cities in British Columbia
- Dawson Creek
- Fort St. John
- Grand Forks
- Maple Ridge
- New Westminster
- North Vancouver
- Port Alberni
- Port Coquitlam
- Port Moody
- Powell River
- Prince George
- White Rock
- Williams Lake
Just Listed British Columbia Homes For Sale
British Columbia’s incredible natural beauty and active culture have something for everyone. Canada’s westernmost province’s surface area measures 948,000 square kilometers, making it larger than any American state, not counting Alaska. The province has a diverse weather system, likely due to the mountains up north, that gives way to comfortable winters and warm summers. British Columbia offers various landscapes from mountains to giant trees to vast city skylines, meaning there are countless housing environments to choose from. The vibrant cultural scene of Vancouver makes it a bustling metropolis of attractions and activities for all to enjoy. Many feature films and hit television shows are filmed in the heart of Vancouver, labeling it “Hollywood North”. Whether you are looking for peaceful and quiet scenery or an urban lifestyle, you can find it all in British Columbia.
British Columbia is a province in Canada that spans 4.7 million square kilometres of land. It borders the U.S. states of Alaska and Washington and has an array of diverse landscapes that range from mountains to prairies to lakes. The eclectic landscape throughout British Columbia provides housing options for every budget and preference. You can find waterfront homes along Vancouver Island, rustic cabins in the Rockies, or urban apartments in Vancouver’s city centre. Whatever area of this picturesque province you are moving to, British Columbia is sure to welcome you with open arms.
History of the province
The province of British Columbia is one of the oldest regions in North America, having been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. Historically, what would become Canada was home to the First Nations peoples, who occupied much of the territory throughout British Columbia.
In 1670, British Captain James Cook made a voyage to the region and was the first European to land in what is now modern day British Columbia. In 1774, Spanish explorers led by Juan Perez visited Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island. They established trade routes with indigenous peoples, which would last for decades before being cut off in 1804 when Britain and Spain went to war. A new explorer in the region, Captain George Vancouver, was sent by Britain to resume relations with Nootka Sound and establish British power in what they called New Caledonia. It would be later renamed British Columbia after Queen Victoria of England took the throne in 1837.
British Columbia became a province of Canada on July 20, 1871, and has been consistently flourishing into the beautiful community that it is today.
British Columbia’s artistic and cultural history is rich in indigenous art, traditions, languages, festivals, and history. You will see Indigenous names for towns, cities, rivers, lakes, mountains and fjords all over the province. Certain names have origins dating back many thousands of years. For example, Nanaimo, Kamloops, and Chilliwack are all derived from Indigenous words.
About British Columbia
The best way to truly experience British Columbia is to look into its 6 main regions: The Islands, the Vancouver Coast, Thompson Okanagan, the Kootenay Rockies, the Cariboo/Chilcotin coast, and Northern British Columbia. Each region has a unique landscape and culture, making British Columbia the diverse place people know and love.
Vancouver Island is the largest island on the West Coast of North America and is completely separated from Washington State and British Columbia’s mainland. The beautiful island provides the warmest climate in Canada and houses a large portion of British Columbia’s population.
South Vancouver Island
South Vancouver Island has an extensive marine history, with many harrowing tales of ships and crews getting lost among the winter storms. North Vancouver Island allows visitors and residents to experience life close to the Earth, offering whale watching, bear sightings, and hiking among the jagged coastline. Central Island is laid back and has several hidden gems, like Qualicum Bay beaches and the Comox Glacier.
Greater Victoria is the most populous area on the island, and it serves as the provincial capital. There are several parks throughout the city that showcase the area’s natural beauty , and many walking paths go right through them. Beacon Hill Park in downtown Victoria has vast amounts of history attached to it, dating back to the 1700s. Victoria boasts flower gardens at every corner, so even the shortest errand will provide spectacular sights. While Vancouver Island is a nature-lovers paradise, it also offers the exciting attractions of city life, such as the Royal British Columbia Museum.
The Vancouver coast holds the frequently-visited downtown Vancouver area. While Vancouver is a city with a wide array of gardens, parks, beaches, and attractions, you better have your raincoat ready. Vancouver is located in a rainforest, so you’ll be seeing a lot of rain in your time there. No need to fear; complaining about the weather is something that will quickly bond you with fellow Vancouverites. “The Lower Mainland” offers plenty of jobs, educational opportunities, and housing options, making it one of British Columbia’s more expensive places to live.
The Okanagan Valley is one of Canada’s wine regions, and it is home to about 800 grape growers who produce wines that people love to drink. People enjoy visiting the numerous local vineyards that offer tasting rooms, outdoor patios, and tours that discuss the production process and vineyard practices. People in the Okanagan Valley enjoy a mild climate and many outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and golfing! It is also home to beautiful beaches, like those on Osoyoos Lake, great for relaxing or boating. The valley has over 100 parks where people can go camping and enjoy the outdoors!
Northern British Columbia isn’t considered a top tourist destination, but it holds an unbelievable beauty that you won’t want to miss. This region makes up most of British Columbia and is covered in deep fjords, vast rivers, over 150 islands, and unique wildlife. If you long to be one with nature, you won’t find a better place than this one!
Overall, British Columbia is home sweet home for outdoor enthusiasts and city-folk alike. The community in the area honours those who came before them and encourages locals to embrace their own cultures. Think of the province as a mosaic rather than a melting pot. People from all walks of life settle down in British Columbia, and each one brings their own specialties to the mix. When it all comes together, it reflects an incredible picture of diversity, history, and character.
Things to do in British Columbia
When you move to British Columbia, you are moving to one of the most visited provinces in Canada. With everything from Ski Resorts to downtown attractions, it’s no question why people come from far and wide to visit this incredible area. Don’t be scared off by the tourists, though. British Columbia residents still get first dibs on everything the province has to offer!
- Nestled within the coastal mountains of B.C. and just a two-hour drive from Vancouver, you’ll find the chilled-out mountain town of Whistler. This resort area is known worldwide for its biking trails, quirky shopping and dining opportunities, and, of course, the world-renowned ski slopes. Whistler Blackcomb offers a multitude of season passes, so British Columbians can enjoy the resort as often as they like. Whistler’s beauty doesn’t stop after the winter season either! In the summer, visitors can explore several alpine hiking trails, enjoy the bright view of the landscape from the gondolas, or indulge in a mountain top feast with live music! No matter what time of year it is, Whistler Blackcomb offers the best of both worlds.
- Yoho National Park
- Looking for a view worthy of an art gallery? Look no further than Yoho National Park. The word “Yoho” is a Cree expression of wonder, representing the land’s rich history and magnificent natural landscape. Bordering Banff National Park in Alberta, this protected nature area sits on the western side of the Continental Divide. Yoho is covered in one-of-a-kind rock formations that have been sculpted by glaciers from the ice age. A diverse number of plants and animals call Yoho National Park their home due to the variety of habitats found across the area. If you live close by, you’ll be able to spend the whole day in awe of the picturesque waterfalls, lakes, and valleys. Archaeology buffs will enjoy exploring the Burgess Shale fossil beds, which display 500 million years of history within them. Whether you enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking, or all of the above, Yoho National Park will not disappoint.
- Vancouver Island
- Vancouver Island is the largest island of many islands in British Columbia. The island has a population of about 500,000 people who live in its several close-knit communities. Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia and Vancouver Island’s only large metropolitan area, is located on this island and several other smaller towns and villages. The geography of Vancouver Island varies greatly across the region, from valleys to mountains to countless bays and gulfs along its coastlines. With so much natural diversity, sports enthusiasts have ample opportunities including hiking, mountain biking, or skiing amid beautiful scenery year-round.
- Okanagan Valley
- Okanagan Valley includes the entire Okanagan subregion of Southwestern British Columbia, which has more than 100 lakes and provides recreation activities including fishing, hiking, camping, and golfing. The capital city of this area is Kelowna. The city is the third-largest in British Columbia and serves as a hub for much of the region’s grape-growing industry which has caused the valley to become a world-renowned wine region. People come from all over the world to visit some of the wineries and local wines that the area offers.
- Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
- Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in British Columbia is in the Pacific Northwest region of Canada. The park encompasses ocean beaches, dunes, and forested areas with trails leading to various scenic viewpoints for visitors to wander along year-round. The park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 as an exceptional example of a moist coastal temperate rainforest that contains rare plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. These include old growth Douglas fir trees over 800 years old, Sitka spruce trees over 300 years old, and ancient cedar trees that have survived for over 2000 years! You can explore this amazing reserve on foot, or you can take advantage of their boat and seaplane tours to get a closer look.
- This coastal B.C. city is the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada and the third-largest in the country. Vancouver creates a larger-than-life experience for both residents and tourists. With several parks, gardens, lakes, and beaches, you’ll see some of the world’s most beautiful views here. Want a little more than just sightseeing? Downtown Vancouver has an extensive amount of shopping, dining, museums, galleries, and attractions for you to explore. The Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain Skyride are some of Vancouver’s most well-loved destinations. Whether you are here for a day or a lifetime, Vancouver’s diversity is sure to capture your attention.
- Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, is one of Canada’s most beautiful cities. It has a perfect mix of urban and rural features making it an excellent place to live or visit. Located on the Vancouver Islands, Victoria presents an eclectic atmosphere, with a wide variety of gardens, parks, and walking trails to choose from. Aside from the B.C. Parliament Buildings, which date back to 1892, you’ll find several modern attractions in the Inner Harbour. The Empress Hotel, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and the Royal BC Museum are some fan-favourites. From a walk along the flower beds to a lesson in Canadian history, Victoria truly offers it all.
- Butchart Gardens
- If you are looking for flowers and foliage straight out of a storybook, you must visit Butchart Gardens. This world-famous tourist destination, and one of the most visited gardens in North America, is located right outside Victoria. The indescribable gardens are open year-round with an admission fee that varies depending on the time of year. All profits from The Gardens go towards furthering education in British Columbia. Butchart Gardens is considered a National Historic Site of Canada, with over 900 plants to wander through. Once you have made your way through the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Sunken Garden, and Italian Garden, catch a break with some gelato or ice-cream sold right within The Gardens.
- Haida Gwaii
- Haida Gwaii, or the Queen Charlotte Islands in English, is a Canadian archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of northern British Columbia. In 1979, the islands were designated a National Park, and Haida Gwaii was deemed a Protected Area in an attempt to protect one of the last major temperate rain forests on Earth. The islands are home to some of the oldest trees in Canada, which are up to 400 years old. The culture of Haida Gwaii is unique among the First Nations Peoples because their cultural practices were never interrupted by colonization, which has led to a rich heritage in storytelling and art.
- Kootenay National Park
- Kootenay National Park has a wide variety of landscapes, from mountains to lakes and rivers. Kootenay National Park was established in the year 2000 with the passing of the Kootenay National Park Act. The park is spread over 2,442 square kilometres(980 sq mi), which accounts for an impressive one-fifth of British Columbia’s total land area. Kootenay National Park includes three major mountain ranges: the Selkirk Mountains, Purcell Mountains and the Monashee Mountains. The park also holds many valleys that offer recreational opportunities such as hiking or fishing. The scenery experienced while exploring this beautiful national park ranges from high alpine peaks to lush forests and peaceful valley views. If you are an outdoor lover, this is one National Park you do not want to skip.