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British Columbia

British Columbia is a coastal province in western Canada spanning across 944,735 square kilometres. It is an important center for international trade, home to significant ports on the Pacific Ocean as well as the final point on transcontinental railways. It has a strong housing market and a mild climate that encourages outdoor activity and recreational tourism.

British Columbia Real Estate

The median listing price for British Columbia last year was C$557,586, up 15.9 per cent from the previous year. Housing sales reached a six-year high in 2013 with sales up 19 per cent from 2012. As of December 2013, the total dollar value of housing sales is $46.3 million, up 34 per cent from the year before.

Geography

British Columbia shares a border with the Yukon and Northwest Territories, the province Alberta, U.S. states Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska, and the Pacific Ocean. It has subarctic prairieland and forests to the north, canyons and desert in the Central and Southern Interior, and is 75 per cent mountainous. Its Okanagan area produces wines and ciders. Vancouver Island is home to British Columbia's capital city Victoria.

Climate

The Pacific coast of British Columbia has a mild and rainy climate with dry summers. While northernmost regions and mountain tops have cold winters with frequent snowfall, the southern interior experiences shorter summers with less snowfall. The central interior, at a higher altitude, experiences colder winters than the coastal and summer regions but remains warmer than other Canadian regions at the same latitude. Dry summers in the coast can lead to forest fires, while coastal winters in British Columbia typically experience ample amounts of fog.

Demographics

British Columbia has Canada's third largest population at 4,606,000. The ethnic breakdown is 70.4 per cent White, 20.2 per cent Asian, 4.8 per cent Aboriginal, and 1.7 per cent other races. 73.3 per cent speak only English, 1.41 per cent speak French, and 0.18 per cent of residents surveyed speak both languages. The largest metropolitan areas of British Columbia by population are the cities of Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, and Abbotsford.

Main Attractions

British Columbia has seven of Canada's 42 national parks, including Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west of Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in the Gulf Islands. The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is an outdoor favorite, featuring the swaying bridge of the same name, seven bridges at Treetops Adventure, and a granite cliff overlooking the Capilano River. Fans of food and drink find themselves experiencing aboriginal cuisine at Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre or sampling the wine at an Okanagan winery.

Economy

The economy of British Columbia is highly focused on natural resources, with a particular emphasis on forestry and, increasingly, the mining industry. Its GDP as of 2008 was C$197.93 billion. Tourism also makes up a considerable part of the economy, with visits to scenic fjords and the island of Vancouver both popular tourist destinations. Vancouver is the third most prominent film location in North America after Los Angeles and New York City, and has earned the nickname “Hollywood North.”