/ ˈbrɪtɪʃ kəˈləmbiə /
A province in western Canada.
Province of Canada on the Pacific Ocean
area 947,800 sq km/365,851 sq mi
towns and cities Vancouver, Prince George, Kamloops, Kelowna, Surrey
physical Rocky Mountains and Coast Range; deeply indented coast; rivers include the Fraser and Columbia; over 80 lakes; more than half the land is forested
industries fruit and vegetables; timber and wood products; fish; coal, copper, iron, lead; oil and natural gas; hydroelectricity
history Captain Cook explored the coast 1778; a British colony was founded on Vancouver Island 1849, and the gold rush of 1858 extended settlement to the mainland; it became a province 1871. In 1885 the Canadian Pacific Railroad linking British Columbia to the east coast was completed.