British Columbia has an urban-dominant culture. Nearly 4.5 million people live in BC, and 86% of them live in cities. Vancouver alone has a population of 2.4 million in its Metro area! This is quite the expansion in roughly only 150 years of history.


Gold Rush to Railroad

A gold rush in the 1850s started the principal growth in Vancouver. More than 25,000 folks came to the mouth of the Fraser River in hopes of striking it rich. The transcontinental railroad (Canadian Pacific Railway) solidified the location as a mainstay center for British Columbia.

Diversity is one of the keys to successful city living in Canada. Historic labor forces included large numbers of Asian workers who eventually built Vancouver's Chinatown district into the second largest in North America. 43% of the city's population carries Asian heritage.


City Life Today

Vancouver is a port city. Worldwide business is taken care of in the heart of this truly global community. Expo 86 and the 2010 Winter Olympics both highlighted the beauty and efficiency of BCs metropolitan gem. Landmark high-rises cast a gorgeous skyline that contrasts wonderfully with nearby mountain ranges.

Proximity to nature is a feature of cities across British Columbia. Nanaimo, Prince Rupert, and Victoria are three of the largest island cities. Major cultural influences from the First Nations exist alongside modern technologies here. Marine resources are relied on heavily for business as well as entertainment/recreational opportunities. Wildlife roaming the streets is not uncommon!

Prince George, Kamloops, and Kelowna are counted among the major residential cities. Populations of over 50,000 in each of these places mean there is rarely a lack of interaction, but they all feel fairly isolated from other urban environments. Big country and long distances separate them from neighboring communities.

Food, art, sports, and all sorts of outdoor recreation lend themselves to the citizens of British Columbia. Safety is paramount to city life, and safe cities in British Columbia are highlighted by Vancouver. The city's North and West districts are in the top 25 safest in Canada.

Higher education is also a main directive in BC. Leading the list of 25 institutions funded by the public, the University of British Columbia is situated on the western edge of Vancouver along the bluffs overlooking Georgia Strait. It carries an enrollment of over 40,000 students. A total of over 400,000 Vancouver residents have indicated they are enrolled in some form of higher education.

Smart, safe money bets that a person will have an enjoyable time checking out any of the fine cities in British Columbia!