Did you know there's a desert in B.C.?
Up until moving to Toronto in 2020, I've lived in B.C. my entire life. I was born there, grew up there and went to university there. So, now that I've come over to the 6ix, I have an expert opinion on what Ontarians don't know about our nation's westernmost province.
If you live in Ontario, there's a good chance that you have an idea of what B.C. is like, but I'm here to tell you that there are a ton of things out west that you probably don't know about.
And while yes, Toronto and Ontario have a lot of weird things about them, B.C. also has its fair share of unusual qualities that I don't think get talked about enough! So, here's my rundown of what I think all you central Canadians are missing about my home region.
Nature, nature, nature
Garibaldi Lake, B.C.
There is way more than just that classic Vancouver mountains-meet-the-ocean thing that everyone talks about.
B.C. has some of the most unique and diverse environments in Canada.
For example, did you know that there is a desert in B.C.? Oh, and there's also a literal rainforest as well. It's truly wild. You city dwellers are missing out!
The best sushi outside of Japan
This is definitely the case in Vancouver.
Not only can you get some of the most amazing sushi and seafood in Canada in B.C., but it's also almost always at a great price.
It's not uncommon to get a platter of amazing authentic sushi for $20 to $30 out west.
No urban sprawl
A hike near Whistler, B.C.
If you live in or have visited the GTA, you just know the sprawl is weird — freeways and buildings and cars and houses for as far as the eye can see. That's something you just do not see in B.C. generally.
Even in the biggest hotspots in the province, you can almost always see the end of the city in at least one direction.
Rain (lots of it)
In B.C., there is a lot of rain, especially in places along the coast.
While people love to talk about how gorgeous Vancouver is in the spring and summer months, a lot of the time they neglect to mention that from October to basically March, it's raining all the damn time.
In October 2016, it rained 28 out of the 31 days. Eek.
Mountains — actual mountains
The West Kootenay Mountains.
Okay, I've seen Ontario mountains and let me just say, those suckers aren't really mountains.
After having grown up in the interior and gone to university in Vancouver, I'm a bit of a mountain snob. A mountain has got to be tall! It's got to be… well, it's got to be tall.
Not a lot of people
I never realized how few people there were in B.C. until I moved to Toronto.
The town I grew up in had 8,000 people in it, so I thought Vancouver was as big as a city could possibly be. Cut to me moving out here and me getting my mind blown daily at how big it is and how many people really do live here.
Ocean fishing in Prince Rupert, B.C.
I'll say it, the ocean is sick. There are all sorts of cool creatures. I've seen jellyfish, sea lions and more all just a few kilometres outside of Vancouver.
And those rocky pacific coasts can really take your breath away. A Great Lake? I'm a bit more 'meh' about that.
A less friendly attitude
This is a contentious issue, and I can only talk about my personal experience, but from what I've seen, the people in B.C. are way less friendly than folks out in Ontario.
I've been to nearly every major region of British Columbia and still, it seems like the best vibes I've gotten from strangers have been "out east."
Actually tolerable temperatures
Elfin Lakes B.C.
On the west coast, you almost never get the freezing cold temperatures — or the sweltering hot humidity — that you do in Ontario.
While yes, it still does get hot (I did mention there was a desert!) and cold (there are parts of the province north of parts of Alaska), never did I ever feel the extremes of weather as I have since I moved out to Toronto.
So, if you're an Ontarian who's maybe never been to B.C., you now know the lowdown of what it's like over there from a tried and true expert.