British Columbia Real Estate
- 4 Beds
- 3 Baths
- 1,941 Sqft
- 2 Beds
- 2 Baths
- 1,300 Sqft
- 3 Beds
- 2 Baths
- 2,760 Sqft
- 0.138 ac Lot Size
- 2 Beds
- 2 Baths
- 980 Sqft
British Columbia is a Canadian province located on the west coast of the country and bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the province of Alberta to the east, and the Yukon Territory to the north.
The province shares its southern border with the United States (Washington and Montana), as well as part of its northwestern border (Alaska).
British Columbia covers 944,735 square kilometres, with bodies of water making up only 2.1% of its overall size.
The province has mostly mountainous terrain, as well as about 6,000 islands off its coastline.
British Columbia’s population is over 4.4 million people, making it the third most populated province in the country.
The province’s capital is Victoria, which is located in the southern portion of Vancouver Island, and which was the first British settlement in the area (known then as Fort Victoria).
The name “Victoria” comes from the name of the British Queen who created the original colonies in Canada.
The province’s name comes from the Columbia River, which runs through the province, with the word “British” included as an indication of ownership.
Nickname(s): "The Pacific Province"
Area: 944,735 km2
Land: 924,815.43 km2
Urban: 3,408.82 km2
In rural areas of British Columbia, forestry and mining are large industries, although the number of jobs in these fields can sometimes depend on fluctuating commodity prices. These industries were a significant part of the province’s development, but most metropolitan areas in British Columbia now rely on other sectors such as construction and service/retail. Employment in finance, insurance, real estate, and corporate management is common, as are jobs in the tourism industry.
Agriculture in the Fraser and Okanagan valleys provides jobs in fruit production, including grapes for wine, and the province’s location makes it an important site for international trade, as goods flow through the area via ports along the Pacific Coast. Another big industry in the province is the film industry, particularly in Vancouver. The city is the third largest film production location in North America, and is the site of many movie and television shoots.
British Columbia has numerous provincial parks and protected areas, which provide recreational opportunities such as hiking, fishing, camping, biking, skiing, and wildlife watching, as well as protection for local flora and fauna. British Columbia’s provincial parks system is the second largest in Canada. The province is also home to seven of Canada’s national parks, including Glacier National Park, located near the British Columbia/Alberta border; Kootenay National Park, also located near the British Columbia/Alberta border; and Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, located on HaidaGwaii (Queen Charlotte islands) of the province’s coast.
Historical sites in the province include Stanley Park, located in Vancouver, which was originally a First Nations ceremonial site, then a British military reserve, and finally, a public park in the heart of the city; numerous forts (Fort St. James, Fort McLeod, Fort Langley, and Fort Steele, for example), which were established by European settlers, often for fur trading purposes; a number of churches, such as Christ Church (oldest church in the province on its original foundation); and small museums and preserved properties that depict life in the province’s past.
Arts and culture activities can be found throughout the province, but especially in the more populated southern area. The Royal British Columbia Museum features exhibits about the natural and social history of the province, while the Vancouver Maritime Museum focuses on the history and traditions of the Pacific Coast. British Columbia is home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Ballet BC, and the Vancouver Opera. The Vancouver Aquarium and the Vancouver Art Gallery are also popular spots. Festivals include the International Jazz Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, the World Ski and Snowboard Festival, and the Okanagan Wine Festival.
Vancouver, with a population of over 640,000, is British Columbia’s largest city, but is not the province’s capital. The city is located in the southern portion of the province, close to the Canada/United States border. It is home to many of the province’s largest companies, as well as numerous arts, cultural, and recreational activities/events.
Surrey has over 520,000 people and is located southeast of Vancouver, and is also close to the Canada/United States border.
Burnaby, with over 230,000 people, is located between Vancouver and Surrey.
There are over 200,000 people in Richmond, which is located south of Vancouver.
Coquitlam is located between Vancouver and Surrey, and has a population of over 140,000 people.
The northern part of the province is less populated than the southern part, so there are not as many real estate options in this section as there are in the metropolitan areas. Options in this section include older single-family homes at reasonable prices; newer, larger single-family homes with slightly higher price tags; vacant land; and commercial spaces (including industrial).
In the central section of British Columbia, larger, newly built single-family homes come at a higher price, although older homes can be found for a bit less. Condos are also an option here, and tend to be reasonably priced. Vacant lots can vary significantly in price, depending on their size and location. There are more real estate options in this section than can be found farther north.
Most of the province’s real estate can be found in the more populated cities in the south. Vancouver and its surrounding areas have some of the most expensive real estate in the country. There are many condo options available in this part of the province, but they can be quite pricey in the major cities. Single-family homes are also quite expensive, and include a mix of larger, new homes and smaller, older homes. Plenty of commercial space is available in the major cities, but tends to be more office and retail/ restaurant-oriented than industrial.
|Home Style||Average Home Price|
Source: CREA's National Average Price Map for December 2016.
There are 59 school divisions in the province, which operate both English and French public schools. These schools follow a curriculum developed by the province, and some schools have both English and French classes for students. There are approximately 350 independent schools (including boarding schools) in British Columbia. About 14,000 international students study in British Columbia, due to its location, quality of education, and efficient transfer system (to move from one level of study to the next if you are not a Canadian citizen). There are about 10 large public universities in British Columbia, most located within the larger metropolitan areas. Some examples include the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Vancouver Island University. A number of other post-secondary options are available through colleges, adult education classes, and private specialty training.