North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Anjou is a borough of the city of Montreal. Prior to its 2002 merger it was a city known as Ville d'Anjou; the borough is located in the eastern end of the island of Montreal. The borough retained its former municipality logo, although the borough's logo is used on fleet vehicles without Montreal's logo. On fleet vehicles, the text reads "Ville de Montréal, arrondissement Anjou." The borough is bordered to the north and east by Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, to the south by Mercier—Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Montréal-Est, to the west by Saint Leonard, at the northwestern corner by Montréal-Nord. It has an area of 13.60 km² and a population of nearly 42,000. The borough is traversed by Autoroute 40 and Autoroute 25. Among other attractions, it contains the large Les Galeries d'Anjou shopping mall; the entire borough is located within the federal riding of Honoré-Mercier, within the provincial electoral district of Anjou. Following the November 5, 2017 Montreal municipal election, the current borough council consists of the following councillors: The Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île operates French-language public schools.
The secondary school is the École secondaire d'Anjou. Primary schools Albatros Cardinal-Léger Chénier Des Roseraies Jacques-Rousseau St-Joseph Wilfrid-PelletierThe English Montreal School Board operates Anglophone public schools: Dalkeith Elementary SchoolThe borough has two libraries of the Montreal Public Libraries Network: Haut-Anjou and Jean-Corbeil. Municipal reorganization in Quebec
Sears Canada Inc. was the Canadian subsidiary of the American-based Sears department store chain. In operation from 1953 until January 14, 2018, headquartered in Toronto, the company's roots were in Simpsons-Sears—a joint venture between the Simpsons retail chain and the U. S. Sears chain—which operated a national mail order business and co-branded Simpsons-Sears stores modelled after the U. S. Sears chain. Following the purchase of Simpsons by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1978, the joint venture was dismantled, the Simpsons-Sears stores became owned by Sears. In 1999, Sears Canada acquired the remaining assets and locations of the historic Canadian chain Eaton's. From 2014, Sears Holdings owned a 10% share in the company. ESL Investments was the largest shareholder of Sears Canada. In 2016, the retailer had a network that included 140 corporate stores, 71 Hometown stores, over 900 catalogue and online merchandise pick-up locations, 69 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide repair and service network.
The company published a general merchandise catalogue until the last quarter of 2016 and offered shopping online at sears.ca until October 19, 2017. After filing for creditor protection in June 2017, Sears Canada announced that they would be closing 20 full-line locations, 15 Home stores, 10 Outlet stores and 14 Sears Hometown stores; the stores closings resulted 2,900 employee layoffs. These stores closed on Sunday, October 1, 2017. In September 2017, Sears Canada announced the closing of 10 additional stores, in addition to the 59 store closings announced in June. On October 10, 2017, Sears Canada announced that it would seek court approval to shut down all of its remaining stores in Canada and lay off 11,240 remaining staff; the approval was granted by the Ontario Superior Court on October 13, 2017. Liquidation sales began on October 19, 2017; the remaining Sears stores closed on January 14, 2018. Store fixtures and equipment from the closed stores were sold until January 26, 2018. Sears Canada began its operations as Simpsons-Sears Limited, a catalogue and mid-market suburban retailer, as a joint-venture between the Simpsons Limited, a Canadian department store chain, Sears, Roebuck and Co. of the United States.
In 1952, General Robert E. Wood, the Chairman of U. S. retailer Sears, sent a letter to Edgar G. Burton, President of the Robert Simpson Company of Toronto, proposing a partnership between their two companies in order to serve the Canadian market; the deal to create Simpsons-Sears Limited, a Canadian catalogue and department store chain separate from the Simpson's chain, was signed on September 18, 1952 and the terms were 50-50. Each company invested $20 million and had equal representation on the new company's Board of Directors; the new company was to have two main objectives. The first was to expand Simpson's mail order business, sold to the new company; the second goal was to build a string of stores modelled on Sears, Roebuck's format across the country. The agreement contained a provision that would prove to be a major challenge in years. Under its terms, Simpsons-Sears could not open a retail store within 25 miles of Simpson's existing stores in Toronto, Halifax and London. In return, Simpson's promised not to build any stores outside of those five cities.
Simpsons-Sears mail order business, was free to operate anywhere in Canada as was the new Simpsons-Sears Acceptance Company, the credit arm of the operation. The business operations of Simpsons-Sears began when the first Simpsons-Sears Spring/Summer Catalogue was printed by Photo-Engravers and Electrotypers, Ltd. and delivered to 300,000 Canadian homes in early 1953. On September 17, 1953, the first Simpsons-Sears retail store opened in Ontario; the second Simpsons-Sears store opened in Kamloops, British Columbia in December of that year. In 1954, Simpsons-Sears opened Canada’s first large suburban department store, in Vancouver – Burnaby, BC, based on new the modern Sears, Roebuck model, spreading across the U. S. Simpsons-Sears introduced “We Service What We Sell”, in 1955, a slogan backed up by a trained nationwide corps of service technicians. In 1963, Simpsons-Sears opened its first full-line store in Quebec, in Quebec City’s Fleur de Lys complex; the company made its public debut on the Toronto and Montreal stock exchanges on April 5, 1965, with the listing of its Class “A” non-voting shares.
That year, Sears began its long-standing partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, to support its youth programming. In 1968, Simpsons-Sears became the first Canadian retailer to begin buying products from Mainland China. In 1971, Simpsons-Sears opened a new head office building in downtown Toronto. In 1972, Simpsons and Simpsons-Sears agreed to end the 25-mile restriction and permit Simpsons and Simpsons-Sears stores anywhere; the following year Simpsons-Sears opened a store in the city of Mississauga 30 km west of Toronto. To avoid confusing customers used to Simpsons, new stores were opened under the "Sears" banner. All existing Simpsons-Sears stores were rebranded to the Sears banner as well. However, the name of the company remained Simpsons-Sears Limited. In 1973, Sears achieved its first billion-dollar sales year. In 1974, Simpsons-Sears opened a Sears store at Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill, its first location in a mall that had a Simpsons store. In 1978, Simpsons and Simpsons-Sears put forward a plan to merge their businesses.
This plan had to have approval of the Foreign Investment Review Agency, as Sears, Roebuck would become the prime shareholder. Before approval could be attained, the Hudson’s Bay Company made a counter bid and acquired Simpsons Limited. Simpson
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
North York is an administrative division in Toronto, Canada. It is located directly north of Old Toronto, between Etobicoke to the west and Scarborough to the east; as of the 2011 Census, it had a population of 655,913. It was first created as a township in 1922 out of the northern part of the former city of York, a municipality, located along the western border of Old Toronto. Following its inclusion in Metropolitan Toronto in 1954, it was one of the fastest growing parts of the region due to its proximity to Old Toronto, it was declared a borough in 1967, became a city in 1979, attracting high-density residences, rapid transit, a number of corporate headquarters in North York City Centre, its central business district. In 1998, North York was amalgamated with the rest of Metropolitan Toronto to form the new city of Toronto, has since been a secondary economic hub of the city outside Downtown Toronto; the Township of North York was formed on June 13, 1922 out of the rural part of the Township of York.
The growing parts of the township remained in that township. As North York became more populous, it became the Borough of North York in 1967, on February 14, 1979, the City of North York. To commemorate receiving its city charter on Valentine's Day, the city's corporate slogan was "The City with Heart", it now forms the largest part of the area served by the "North York Community Council", a committee of Toronto City Council. North York used to be known as a regional agricultural hub composed of scattered villages; the area boomed following World War II, by the 1950s and 1960s, it resembled many other sprawling North American suburbs. On August 10, 2008, a massive explosion occurred at the Sunrise Propane Industrial Gases propane facility just southwest of the Toronto-Downsview Airport; this damaged several homes nearby. About 13,000 residents were evacuated for several days before being allowed back home. One employee at the company was killed in the blast and one firefighter died while attending to the scene of the accident.
A follow-up investigation to the incident made several recommendations concerning propane supply depots. It asked for a review of setback distances between depots and nearby residential areas but didn't call for restrictions on where they can be located. On April 23, 2018, one of the deadliest attacks in Toronto's history occurred in the North York Centre area, in which a van intentionally hit pedestrians along Yonge Street from Finch Avenue to Sheppard Avenue; the attack resulted in 10 deaths out of a total of 26 people getting hit. The suspect was arrested uninjured after attempting to provoke a police officer to kill him; the incident is the deadliest vehicle-ramming attack in Canadian history. There are plans to erect a permanent memorial in North York Centre to honour the victims of the attack. North York is multicultural and diverse. In 2016, 56% of North York's residents were not born in Canada, 60% were classified as belonging to a visible minority: The neighbourhoods of North York are diverse, inhabited by people of many different cultures.
The North York neighbourhood with the largest percentage of immigrants in is the Bathurst–Steeles area of Westminster–Branson, where 73% of its population were not born in Canada. Furthermore, the neighbourhood of Parkway Forest has the highest percentage of recent immigrants in all of the Greater Toronto Area, with 1 in 4 residents arriving in Canada less than 5 years ago; as a result, the visible minority population in North York has been growing rapidly. Some of the neighbourhoods with the largest percentage of visible minorities in North York include the Yorkwoods-Driftwood area in Jane and Finch at 95%, the Weston-Finch area in Emery at 91%, the Driftwood-Shoreham area in Jane and Finch at 88%, the St. Dennis-Rochefort area in Flemingdon Park at 87%. Chinese cultural groups dominate the central and east end of North York, north of Highway 401 from Yonge Street to Victoria Park Avenue. 31% of the residents in the Don Valley North electoral district are of Chinese descent, the neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Chinese Canadians in North York is the Aspenwood-Cliffwood area in Hillcrest Village at 58%.
Black Canadians are most prominent in the west end of North York along Jane Street and the areas nearby. Most are from the Caribbean, but there is a large African population with many Ghanaians and Nigerians in certain west end neighbourhoods; the Jane & Wilson neighbourhood has the largest Ghanaian community in Toronto. The two census tracts/neighbourhoods with the largest percentage of Black Canadians in all of Toronto are located in North York with the Black Creek–Martha Eaton Way area in Brookhaven-Amesbury at 48%, the Yorkwoods–Driftwood area in Jane and Finch at 47%. North York has large South Asian communities in Flemingdon Park and Emery, with the latter having a large Pakistani and Sikh population; the neighbourhood with the largest percentage of South Asians in North York is the Gateway–Glenway area of Flemingdon Park at 47%. Filipinos are the fastest growing community in North York, is home to the largest Filipino community in Toronto. There is a presence of Filipinos in both west and east ends of North York, however the centre of Toronto's Filipino community is located at Bathurst and Wilson, unofficially known as "Little Manila".
This area hosts every summer the "Taste of Manila", the only Filipino street festival in Toronto. One of the longest running community centres, the Kababayan Multicultural Centre, is located near Bathurst and Finch; the census tract/neighbourhood with the largest percentage of Filipino people in North York and all of Toronto is the Neptune area in Lawrence Manor at 37%, followed by the Branson
British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.016 million as of 2018, it is Canada's third-most populous province. The first British settlement in the area was Fort Victoria, established in 1843, which gave rise to the City of Victoria, at first the capital of the separate Colony of Vancouver Island. Subsequently, on the mainland, the Colony of British Columbia was founded by Richard Clement Moody and the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment, in response to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. Moody was Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for the Colony and the first Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia: he was hand-picked by the Colonial Office in London to transform British Columbia into the British Empire's "bulwark in the farthest west", "to found a second England on the shores of the Pacific". Moody selected the site for and founded the original capital of British Columbia, New Westminster, established the Cariboo Road and Stanley Park, designed the first version of the Coat of arms of British Columbia.
Port Moody is named after him. In 1866, Vancouver Island became part of the colony of British Columbia, Victoria became the united colony's capital. In 1871, British Columbia became the sixth province of Canada, its Latin motto is Splendor sine occasu. The capital of British Columbia remains Victoria, the fifteenth-largest metropolitan region in Canada, named for Queen Victoria, who ruled during the creation of the original colonies; the largest city is Vancouver, the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada, the largest in Western Canada, the second-largest in the Pacific Northwest. In October 2013, British Columbia had an estimated population of 4,606,371; the province is governed by the British Columbia New Democratic Party, led by John Horgan, in a minority government with the confidence and supply of the Green Party of British Columbia. Horgan became premier as a result of a no-confidence motion on June 29, 2017. British Columbia evolved from British possessions that were established in what is now British Columbia by 1871.
First Nations, the original inhabitants of the land, have a history of at least 10,000 years in the area. Today there are few treaties, the question of Aboriginal Title, long ignored, has become a legal and political question of frequent debate as a result of recent court actions. Notably, the Tsilhqot'in Nation has established Aboriginal title to a portion of their territory, as a result of the 2014 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Tsilhqot'in Nation v British Columbia; the province's name was chosen by Queen Victoria, when the Colony of British Columbia, i.e. "the Mainland", became a British colony in 1858. It refers to the Columbia District, the British name for the territory drained by the Columbia River, in southeastern British Columbia, the namesake of the pre-Oregon Treaty Columbia Department of the Hudson's Bay Company. Queen Victoria chose British Columbia to distinguish what was the British sector of the Columbia District from the United States, which became the Oregon Territory on August 8, 1848, as a result of the treaty.
The Columbia in the name British Columbia is derived from the name of the Columbia Rediviva, an American ship which lent its name to the Columbia River and the wider region. British Columbia is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean and the American state of Alaska, to the north by Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories, to the east by the province of Alberta, to the south by the American states of Washington and Montana; the southern border of British Columbia was established by the 1846 Oregon Treaty, although its history is tied with lands as far south as California. British Columbia's land area is 944,735 square kilometres. British Columbia's rugged coastline stretches for more than 27,000 kilometres, includes deep, mountainous fjords and about 6,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited, it is the only province in Canada. British Columbia's capital is Victoria, located at the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. Only a narrow strip of Vancouver Island, from Campbell River to Victoria, is populated.
Much of the western part of Vancouver Island and the rest of the coast is covered by temperate rainforest. The province's most populous city is Vancouver, at the confluence of the Fraser River and Georgia Strait, in the mainland's southwest corner. By land area, Abbotsford is the largest city. Vanderhoof is near the geographic centre of the province; the Coast Mountains and the Inside Passage's many inlets provide some of British Columbia's renowned and spectacular scenery, which forms the backdrop and context for a growing outdoor adventure and ecotourism industry. 75% of the province is mountainous. The province's mainland away from the coastal regions is somewhat moderated by the Pacific Ocean. Terrain ranges from dry inland forests and semi-arid valleys, to the range and canyon districts of the Central and Southern Interior, to boreal forest and subarctic prairie in the Northern Interior. High mountain regions both north and south subalpine climate; the Okanagan area, extending from Vernon to Osoyoos at the United States border, is one of several wine and cider-produci