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  • Writer's pictureYou & Me BC

Cats, Culture, & Columbia: Fun Facts About BC

BC's history includes many faces and places

You & Me BC

May 10th, 2022

BC's home to an amazing range of people, places, wildlife, and wonders.

We've compiled a list of fun and interesting facts to help you learn more about the province and those who call it home.

Almost ninety percent of Canada's cougar population live in BC

BC's Canada's cougar capital

Canada's home to roughly 4000 cougars, also known as mountain lions or pumas, of which nearly 3500 live in BC.

Vancouver Island also has the world's highest concentration of this skilled hunter.

The only two Canadians to compete in professional sumo were from BC

John Tenta and Brodick Henderson

Only two Canadians have entered the professional sumo ranks, and both hail from BC: Surrey's John Tenta and Victoria's Brodick Henderson.

Tenta competed from 1985 to 1986 using the names Kototenta and Kototenzan, achieving a 21-0 record before quitting and making it big in professional wrestling under the name Earthquake.

Henderson, better known to sumo fans by his ring name Homarenishiki, had a similarly short career, competing from 2015 to 2016 before injuries and other issues led to his retirement.

New Westminster is BC's oldest city

New West back in the day

New Westminster was the capital of the Colony of British Columbia, and is also BC's oldest city, being incorporated in 1860.

BC's home to more species of living things than any other province

BC's home to a rich array of animal and plant life

BC's biodiversity can be attributed to topographic and climatic diversity.

The intricate topography of the province, with mountains, plateaus, valleys and coastal plains with their associated lakes, rivers and wetlands forms many complex and varied ecosystems.

The first Japanese immigrant to Canada settled in BC

Manzo Nagano

Manzo Nagano arrived in BC in 1877 and settled in Victoria, making him the first documented Japanese immigrant to Canada.

Nagano was known for his sense of adventure, and ran several businesses before returning to Japan near the end of his life.

BC's highest mountain is Mount Fairweather

Mount Fairweather looming in the background

At 15,325 feet, Mount Fairweather is BC's highest mountain. This behemoth, which is situated near the border with Alaska, ranks as Canada's 9th highest mountain and the highest outside Yukon.

BC's named after a ship

The Columbia Rediviva at sea

The Columbia in British Columbia comes from the name of Columbia Rediviva, an American exploration ship built in the late 18th century.

The ship itself was named after Christopher Columbus.

We have a lot of 'official' animals and vegetation

Spirit Bear, Steller's Jay, Pacific Dogwood, and Western Red Cedar

BC's official mammal's the Spirit Bear, our official bird's the Steller's Jay, our official flower's the Pacific Dogwood, and our official tree's the Western Red Cedar.

And those are only some of our provincial representatives!

We're the hottest.....and rainiest.....and snowiest

Another wet day in Ucluelet

BC holds the record for the most rainfall in a day (19.26 inches - Ucluelet), the most snowfall in a day (57 inches - Tahtsa Lake), and the most precipitation in a year (373.19 inches - Hucuktlis Lake).

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada also occurred in BC, when the village of Lytton reached 49.6°C on June 29th, 2021.

BC has multiple time zones

Cranbrook's one of the BC areas on Mountain Time

Many British Columbians are surprised to learn that BC has two general time zones: Pacific Time and Mountain Time.

While most of the province uses Pacific Time, some areas in the east of the province use Mountain Time, which is an hour ahead. These locations include Cranbrook, Golden, and Invermere.

BC the big

BC's larger than most countries

At just under 950,000 square kilometers, the province is bigger than every US state but Alaska. Were BC a country, it would be the 31st largest in the world, larger than France, Italy, Ukraine and Japan to name a few.

'M' is the letter for BC's political history makers

Mary Ellen Spear Smith and Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

Mary Ellen Spear Smith and Mifflin Wistar Gibbs made history in BC politics.

Smith was elected as BC's first female MLA in 1918, a year after women were first able to vote in provincial elections, while Gibbs was elected to Victoria City Council in 1866, becoming the first Black politician elected to public office in BC.

BC has the greatest diversity of Indigenous cultures in Canada

BC's home to 198 First Nations, including the Squamish People

Today, there are approximately 200,000 Indigenous people in British Columbia. They include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis.

There are 198 distinct First Nations in BC, each with their own unique traditions and history. More than 30 different First Nation languages and close to 60 dialects are spoken in the province.

To learn more about BC and Canada, play our trivia games!


Spencer van Vloten is the editor of You & Me BC. To get in touch, send an email to


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