British Columbia is Canada's third largest province, spanning nearly 366,000 square miles from its southern border with the US,to the Yukon Territory in the north; and from Alberta and the Rocky Mountains in the east,to the Pacific Ocean in the west.The total population of British Columbia is 3,282,061, about half of which lives in the Victoria/Vancouver area. Its capital, Victoria, is located on Vancouver Island. BC's largest city, Vancouver, is located on the mainland. British Columbia, an important region in early fur trade, became Canada's sixth province in 1871. It expanded with the 1860's gold rush and later with the Canadian Pacific, Canada's first transcontinental railway.