Vancouver Island History

Vancouver Island is an island off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is the largest island off the Pacific coast of North America

Vancouver Island History

Vancouver Island is an island off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is the largest island off the Pacific coast of North America, covering 12,079 square miles (31.285 square kilometers). Vancouver Island is separated by Canada by the Straits of Georgia, Johnstone and Queen Charlotte. The Straits of Juan de Fuca Strait separates the United States from Canada. It measures 50 miles (80km) wide and extends for 285 miles (460 km) along an axis that runs north-southeast parallel to the mainland. The interior is mountainous, dissected and heavily wooded with many peaks above 7,000 feet (2100 metres). It is bordered on the east by a coastline plain. The coast, particularly on the west, has deep indentation with fjords. Strathcona Provincial Park covers 847 sq. miles (2,193 km) in central part of the island. Pacific Rim National Park (193 sq. miles [500 km] is in three sections along its west coast. Cape Scott Provincial Park (58 km [151 km] is at its northern tip).

The island was first discovered by Captain James Cook (1778). It was then surveyed by George Vancouver in 1792. It was merged with British Columbia's mainland colony in 1866. In 1871, it became a province of the Dominion of Canada with Victoria as its capital. Its major industries are lumbering, fishing and mining (coal and iron ore and copper), as well as agriculture (dairy products and fruits and vegetables), and tourism. Apart from Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo and Port Alberni are the main population centres. It is easily accessible by ferry and air to the United States and Canada.

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