Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park
(JF Bergeron photo)

Vancouver Island

Regional Geography

At 32,000 sq km/12,355 sq mi Vancouver Island is the largest North American island in the Pacific Ocean, and is one of 6,000 islands in British Columbia.

It is 460km/285mi in length and 100km/62mi in width at its widest point, with a coastline length of 3,400km/2,138mi. A mountainous spine that runs its whole length breaks up into long mountain fjords along its west coast. The highest point on the island is the 2,200m/7,218ft summit of Mt. Golden Hinde in Strathcona Provincial Park.

Total population of the the Vancouver Island Region is 726,367 (700,593 for Vancouver Island, 18,926 for the Southern Gulf Islands, and 6,848 for the Northern Gulf Islands).

Surrounded by sparkling ocean, Vancouver Island has an extensive network of rivers, lakes and streams. It is also home to Della Falls, one of Canada's highest waterfalls. It is separated from the BC mainland by the Strait of Georgia to the east and, to the south and southeast, from Washington State by the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The island contains many pockets of old-growth forests of Douglas-fir and western redcedar, as well as rare, naturally occurring groves of Garry oak.

The west coast of Vancouver Island is largely unpopulated.