The Vancouver Coast & Mountain
This region is defined in the
south by the Strait of Georgia on the west and the east by the Canadian
Cascade Mountain east of Hope.
Between the inland waters of the Pacific and the Cascades Mountains
is the Fraser River Valley. This
large flat valley is the home of most of the population of British
There are two other factors
that very much limit what happens in this region. First is the US Border to the south. The second is the Coastal Mountain Range which begins north of the Fraser River and the City of
Vancouver. The southern end of this
mountain range is the northern boundary of the Fraser Valley. It runs up the coast to the Alaskan
Panhandle. These snow capped
mountains are the northern backdrop to any photo taken to the north of the
This region has a moderate climate with winter
temperatures in the 40’s (4° C) and 50’s (9°C) most of the time and summer
temperatures mainly in the 70’s (19°C) and once in a while in the 80’s
(24°C) but almost never in the 90’s (26°C).
A Side Note: Converting Canadian Temperatures
We have used the conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit
of; double the Celsius temperature and add 32 to get Fahrenheit. It isn’t exact but it is close enough for
us and we live next to the Canadian Border and travel there all the time so
we are confronted with those “funny” temperatures all the time. In Celsius Zero is freezing. This simple conversion should allow you
to convert the temperature in your head.
You can see in the map above that British Columbia’s
lower mainland is divided into districts and cities. British Columbia does not have the State,
County, City organization of most states in the United States. Here there are really only two levels of
Government, the Province and a City or Township or Municipality. There are no governmental subdivisions
similar to Counties and Cities in which the City is also part of the county. The City of Langley is not part of the
Township of Langley. The Township of
Langley completely surrounds the City of Langley.
Getting to the Vancouver
Because the Lower
Mainland is surrounded by mountains to the north and east, the US Border to
the south and the waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west, there
are a limited number of ways to get to British Columbia’s Lower Mainland
and the Vancouver Metropolitan Area.
Click on the map or here to see a
As you can see from the map there are only two main
highways into British Columbia. The
first is Trans-Canada Highway-1 that runs across Canada. It comes over the mountains to the east,
through Hope and Chilliwack (the green area at the right edge of the map)
on its way to Vancouver. It
continues through Vancouver to West Vancouver where it crosses the Strait
of Georgia by ferry and ends in Victoria on Vancouver island.
The second highway is British Columbia’s Highway-99
(BC-99). BC-99 connects with
Washington State’s Interstate-5 at the US/Canadian Border at Blaine,
Washington. BC-99 runs from Blaine
into downtown Vancouver and then continues over Lions Gate Bridge to
Vancouver’s North Shore, then west to West Vancouver and then north along
the shores of Howe Sound to Whistler Ski Area.