Victoria (pron.: //) is the capital city of British Columbia, Canada and is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. The city has a population of about 80,017 within the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria, which has a population of 344,615, the 15th most populous Canadian metro region.
Victoria is about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from BC's largest city of Vancouver on the mainland. The city is about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Seattle by airplane, ferry, or the Victoria Clipper passenger-only ferry which operates daily, year round between Seattle and Victoria and 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Port Angeles, Washington by ferry across the Juan de Fuca Strait.
Vancouver Island, located in British Columbia, Canada, is the largest Pacific island east of New Zealand. Originally called Quadra and Vancouver Island after Spanish navigator Juan de la Bodega y Quadra and British navy officer George Vancouver, the island was first explored by British and Spanish expeditions in the late 18th century. The former's name was eventually dropped and has since been known solely as Vancouver. It is one of several North American locations named after this British Royal Navy officer who explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America between 1791 and 1794. While the city of Vancouver is located on the North American mainland, Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is located on the island. Along with the minor islands near its southern portion, it is the only part of British Columbia that is south of the 49th Parallel.
The island is 460 kilometres (290 mi) in length, 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width at its widest point, and 32,134 km2 (12,407 sq mi) in area. It is the largest island on the western side of North America, the world's 43rd largest island, Canada's 11th largest island, and Canada's second most populous island after the Island of Montreal. The Canada 2011 Census population is 759,366. Nearly half of these (344,630) live in Greater Victoria. Other notable cities and towns on Vancouver Island include Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville, Courtenay, and Campbell River.