“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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British Columbia Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on February 19, 2020

British Columbia Coat of Arms, via Wikipedia Commons

 British Columbia ranks 57th among provinces and states with markers in this database. British Columbia is a province in Canada located in Canada’s West Coast. British Columbia is some 1.5 million square kilometers in size with a population of around 4.6 million people. The province is divided into 28 regional districts and eleven of them have entries in this database. In British Columbia we have discovered historical markers in 27 cities and towns lying in 110 postal delivery areas.

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How many historical markers are there in British Columbia? There are least 252 of them, by our count. We have cataloged that many historical markers and five war memorials—each individually presented on 255 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first British Columbia marker in the database, Kicking Horse Pass, was added July 4, 2008. It was photographed near Field in Columbia-Shuswap Regional District and was erected in 1980. The last one added was submitted on June 13, 2019, and titled Alaska Highway / La Route De L’Alaska. It is in Dawson Creek in Peace River Regional District and had been erected in 1996. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in British Columbia was erected in 1928. It was this one: The Bastion, and one of our correspondents found it in Victoria in Capital Regional District on October 19, 2011.

British Columbia Historical Categories
40 • Settlements and Settlers
35 • Forts or Castles
35 • Waterways and Vessels
34 • Industry and Commerce
34 • Notable Buildings
30 • World War II
21 • World War I
21 • Arts, Letters, Music
20 • Horticulture and Forestry
20 • Native Americans
    ... and more ...

B.C.ers don’t want to forget their Settlements and Settlers history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from British Columbia about Settlements and Settlers—40 of them—than about any other historical category. It is followed by Forts or Castles with 35 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Settlements and Settlers category was Hazelton, added July 11, 2008. It had been erected in Hazelton in Kitimat-Stikine Regional District. The last one submitted was submitted on November 24, 2017, and titled The Loops. It had been erected near Rogers Pass in Columbia-Shuswap Regional District. The earliest marker erected with the Settlements and Settlers category that we have listed was erected in 1936. It was Peace Arch, was found near Surrey in Greater Vancouver Regional District on February 13, 2010.

Regional districts, Cities and Towns

The British Columbia regional district with the most historical markers listed in this database is the Capital Regional District, with 196 of them. It is followed by the Greater Vancouver Regional District with 36 markers. The Victoria area of the Capital Regional District has the highest number of markers within its limits, 161. In the Greater Vancouver Regional District the area with the most markers, 24, is Vancouver.

Checking the database for the city or town in British Columbia with the most markers we again find Victoria at the top of the list with 161 markers in or near it. And Vancouver also shows up again in next place, with 24 markers. For the postal code with the most markers it’s V9C 2W8 at the top of the list with 29 markers in its delivery area. It is followed by postal code V8M 1J8 with 19 markers.

Historical Markers Near These
British Columbia Cities and Towns
161 • Victoria
24 • Vancouver
19 • Brentwood Bay
7 • Surrey
6 • Sidney
5 • Colwood
4 • Barkerville
3 • New Westminster
2 • Field
2 • Esquimalt
    ... and more ...

Getting back to the Capital Regional District, the first marker added to the database from there, Fort Victoria, was added July 15, 2008. It was erected in 1952 in Victoria. The last one submitted was uploaded on June 9, 2018, and is titled Canadian Pacific Marine Terminal Building, in Victoria. The earliest marker erected in the Capital Regional District that we have listed was erected in 1928. It was The Bastion, found in Victoria on October 19, 2011.

Latest entry from British Columbia. Click to go there
By Gerald Lapp, June 11, 2019
Latest Entry from British Columbia
“Alaska Highway / La Route De L’Alaska”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Vancouver. The first: Vancouver Rowing Club, was added June 17, 2010. The last: Randall Building added on April 17, 2012. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1952: Here Stood Hamilton, added on March 4, 2011.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

Province of British Columbia is currently in charge of the familiar green Stops of Interest official historical markers found all over the province. You will also find official markers erected by the British Colombia Department of Recreation & Conservation, a predecessor. They erected their first marker in 1957, and we have twelve of their markers in the database.

In addition, The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has also erected numerous historical markers in British Columbia, and we have 50 of their British Columbia markers in the database. Also, a number of regional districts have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of British Columbia have been marked with history. Check out Peace River Regional District, East Kootenay Regional District and Bulkley-Nechako Regional District. We've only found one historical marker in each. Visiting one or more of these parts of British Columbia might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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