Vancouver Island covers 31,284 sq. km (19,439 sq. mi.); it is Canada’s tenth-largest island. It is the visible part of an underwater mountain chain and is separated from mainland British Columbia by the Juan de Fuca, Johnstone and Georgia Straits. The southwest coast of Vancouver Island is famous for having more than 200 shipwrecks. The wild and long West Coast Trail was built to help shipwrecked people survive. The name Gulf Islands is used to describe over 200 islands and islets in the Georgia Strait between the BC mainland and Vancouver Island. Saltspring and Hornby Islands are examples.
City of Vancouver Travel Information The City of Vancouver is part of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), which includes 20 municipalities, e.g. Richmond, Delta, and Burnaby. Nearly two million people live in the over 2800 sq. km (1750 sq. mi.) of the GVRD. The city of Vancouver itself occupies 113 sq. km (70.6 mi.) and is bounded by the Burrard Inlet, the Georgia Strait and the Fraser River. Vancouver became more significant in the 1880s with the arrival of the transcontinental railway. Between the 1960s and 1990s, Vancouver developed non-resource based industries such as finance and tourism.
Traveller Facts – Vancouver Coast and Mountains Lillooet became the hottest spot in Canada when it reached 44.4º C (111.9 ºF) in July 1941. In 1858, there was a gold rush along the Fraser River where prospectors sought gold from the gravel bars in the Fraser. They sought gold from Hope north into the Fraser Canyon. Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park is near the towns of Bridal Falls and Chilliwack. The falls themselves are 122 m (400 feet). For more falls, the Sea to Sky Country offers Shannon Falls near Squamish, which are 335 m (1100 feet) high.
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Traveller Facts – Oceanside Nanaimo has a population of over 70,000 and in the 1990s upgraded its downtown and harbour to reflect its focus on tourism. In 1999, Qualicum Beach boasted the most seniors of any community in BC, but don’t let that fool you; the town centre is unique and vibrant. Nanoose Bay is a beautiful quiet spot with retirement facilities, golfing, Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges and the Nanoose First Nation Reserve. Worth the detour from the main road.