British Columbia is a vibrant, diverse province that’s packed to the brim with stunning, unique landscapes. Whether this is your first visit to the region or you’ve visited in the past, there’s plenty to see and explore. 

Planning a visit to Sointula this summer? Keep reading to learn 10 things you didn’t know about British Columbia.

1. BC Enjoys Mild Winters

Canada in general sometimes gets a bad rep for its chilly, snowy winters. But British Columbia’s climate is by far the mildest of all of the provinces and territories of Canada. Here, winters are short, with flowers often blooming as early as February each year.

2. It’s Still Largely Wild and Untouched

The province of British Columbia covers more than 360,000 square miles. Two-thirds of those square miles that fall on land rather than water are forested. And just over half of that landmass is uninhabited or sparsely populated. If you’re looking for somewhere to get away and enjoy some wide-open wilderness, there’s nowhere better!

3. Half of the Province’s Population Lives in Vancouver

While British Columbia might be sparsely populated, there are still over a million people who call the province home. Wondering where to find them? Head to Vancouver. Over half of the population of British Columbia lives in and around the Metro Vancouver area.

4. The Province is the Third Largest in Canada

Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia is the third-largest province as well. It falls behind the largest province, Quebec, and the second largest, Ontario. But don’t think that because it’s third it’s in any way small; the province is four times the size of Great Britain. In fact, only 30 countries in the world are larger than British Columbia. The coastline alone stretches over 16,000 miles or 27,000 kilometers.

5. It’s Home to Canada’s Highest Waterfall

If you have any extra time to explore Vancouver Island before or after your visit to Sointula, head to Strathcona Provincial Park. Here, you’ll find Della Falls. The falls are the highest in Canada. Rising more than 1,440 feet, or 440 meters, the falls are eight times the height of Niagara Falls. Set against a backdrop of a stunning mountain covered in thick forest, it’s a picture opportunity that you won’t want to miss.

6. BC’s Provincial Mammal is Rare and Beautiful

British Columbia’s provincial mammal is the elusive Kermode Bear, also known as the Spirit Bear. A subspecies of the North American black bear, the Kermode Bear has a rare recessive gene that causes their fur to be white or cream in color.

This incredible species is only found in the Great Bear Rainforest, located on British Columbia’s north and central coast. But visiting the rainforest doesn’t guarantee a sighting. Experts aren’t certain exactly how many of these bears exist in the wild, though estimates put the total at fewer than 400 individuals.

7. Queen Victoria Gave the Province Its Name

Queen Victoria reigned over the United Kingdom from 1837 until her death in 1901. While the monarch never visited Canada, five of her children spent time there, and her name was given to a variety of communities, buildings, and more. She also chose capitals and named provinces, including British Columbia, which she declared a British colony in 1858.

8. There are Plenty of Parks to Visit

Second only to Canada’s National Parks, British Columbia is home to the second-largest parks system in the country. There are almost 1,000 Provincial Parks, Marine Parks, Regional Parks, Protected Areas, National Parks, Conservancy Areas, and Ecological Reserves within the province. Within these parks are more than 600 miles or 1,000 kilometers of hiking trails, not to mention hundreds of miles of scenic roads. There’s certainly no shortage of natural spaces to explore.

9. The Waters of Blackfish Sound are Vital to the Orcas

Blackfish Sound, like most of the waters of British Columbia, is home to a variety of wildlife, including orcas. In fact, the Federal Government of Canada has designated the area as a protected critical habitat under the Species At Risk Act, or SARA.

10. Malcolm Island Was Originally a Finnish Settlement

More than a century ago, Finnish immigrants settled Malcolm Island. They started a town on the island, naming it Sointula, which means “place of harmony” in Finnish. The community still exists today, and evidence of its Finnish heritage can be found in the architecture and the cultures of those whose ancestors founded the town.

Visiting Sointula, British Columbia

Whether you’re visiting British Columbia for the first time or the hundredth, there’s always something new to explore. And Sointula is a must-see during your trip.

If you want to relax and take in some incredible nature, catch a glimpse of some native wildlife, or perhaps enjoy a fishing excursion, Sointula is the best place in all of British Columbia to do so. Plus, it’ll put you close enough to Vancouver Island to take in some culture, history, and sightseeing in addition to your nature adventure. Plan your visit today!