List of cities in British Columbia

A city is a classification of municipalities used in the Canadian province of British Columbia. British Columbia's Lieutenant Governor in Council may incorporate a community as a city by letters patent, under the recommendation of the Minister of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development, if its population is greater than 5,000 and the outcome of a vote involving affected residents was that greater than 50% voted in favour of the proposed incorporation.[1]

British Columbia has 52 cities[2][3][4] that had a cumulative population of 3,327,824 and an average population of 63,997 in the 2016 Census.[5] British Columbia's largest and smallest cities are Vancouver and Greenwood with populations of 631,486 and 665 respectively.[5] The largest city by land area is Abbotsford, which spans 375.55 km2 (145.00 sq mi), while the smallest is Duncan, at 2.07 km2 (0.80 sq mi).[5]

The first community to incorporate as a city was New Westminster on July 16, 1860,[2] while the province's newest city is Delta, which was redesignated from a district municipality to a city on September 22, 2017.[4]


Name Corporate name[2] Regional district[2] Incorporation date[2] Population (2016)[5] Population (2011)[5] Change (%)[5] Area (km2)[5] Population density[5]
DuncanDuncan, The Corporation of the City ofCowichan ValleyMarch 4, 19124,9444,9320.22.072,387.1
EnderbyEnderby, The Corporation of the City ofNorth OkanaganMarch 1, 19052,9642,9321.14.26695.3
FernieFernie, The Corporation of the City ofEast KootenayJuly 28, 19045,2494,44818.013.50388.7
Fort St. JohnFort St. John, City ofPeace RiverDecember 31, 194720,15518,6098.326.27767.3
Grand ForksGrand Forks, The Corporation of the City ofKootenay BoundaryApril 15, 18974,0493,9851.610.43388.1
GreenwoodGreenwood, The Corporation of the City ofKootenay BoundaryJuly 12, 1897665708−6.12.42274.9
KamloopsKamloops, City ofThompson-NicolaOctober 17, 196790,28085,6785.4299.25301.7
KelownaKelowna, City ofCentral OkanaganMay 4, 1905127,380117,3128.6211.85601.3
KimberleyKimberley, City ofEast KootenayMarch 29, 19447,4256,65211.660.62122.5
LangfordLangford, City ofCapitalDecember 8, 199235,34229,22820.939.94885.0
LangleyLangley, City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverMarch 15, 195525,88825,0813.210.222,533.6
Maple RidgeMaple Ridge, City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverSeptember 12, 2014[6]82,25676,0528.2266.78308.3
MerrittMerritt, City ofThompson-NicolaApril 1, 19117,1397,1130.426.07273.9
NanaimoNanaimo, City ofNanaimoDecember 24, 187490,50483,8108.090.76997.2
NelsonNelson, The Corporation of the City ofCentral KootenayMarch 18, 189710,57210,2303.311.95884.3
New WestminsterNew Westminster, The Corporation of the City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverJuly 16, 186070,99665,9767.615.634,543.4
North VancouverNorth Vancouver, The Corporation of the City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverAugust 10, 189152,89848,1961.811.854,465.1
ParksvilleParksville, City ofNanaimoJune 19, 194512,51411,9774.514.56859.6
PentictonPenticton, The Corporation of the City ofOkanagan-SimilkameenJanuary 1, 190933,76132,8772.742.10801.8
Pitt MeadowsPitt Meadows, City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverApril 25, 191418,57317,7364.786.51214.7
Port AlberniPort Alberni, City ofAlberni-ClayoquotOctober 28, 196717,67817,743−0.419.76894.7
Port CoquitlamPort Coquitlam, The Corporation of the City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverMarch 7, 191358,61255,9584.729.172,009.4
Port MoodyPort Moody, City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverMarch 11, 191333,55133,0111.625.891,295.9
Powell RiverPowell River, The Corporation of the City ofPowell RiverOctober 15, 195513,15713,165−0.128.91455.1
Prince GeorgePrince George, City ofFraser-Fort GeorgeMarch 6, 191574,00371,9742.8318.26232.5
Prince RupertPrince Rupert, City ofSkeena-Queen CharlotteMarch 10, 191012,22012,508−2.366.28184.4
QuesnelQuesnel, City ofCaribooMarch 21, 19289,87910,007−1.335.39279.2
RevelstokeRevelstoke, City ofColumbia ShuswapMarch 1, 18997,5477,1395.741.13183.5
RichmondRichmond, City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverNovember 10, 1879198,309190,4734.1129.271,534.1
RosslandRossland, The Corporation of the City ofKootenay BoundaryMarch 18, 18973,7293,5564.959.7962.4
Salmon ArmSalmon Arm, City ofColumbia ShuswapMay 15, 190517,70617,4641.4155.28114.0
SurreySurrey, City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverNovember 10, 1879517,887468,25110.6316.411,636.8
TerraceTerrace, City ofKitimat-StikineDecember 31, 192711,64311,4861.457.36203.0
TrailTrail, City ofKootenay BoundaryJune 14, 19017,7097,6810.434.93220.7
Vancouver[lower-alpha 1]Vancouver, City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverApril 6, 1886631,486603,5024.6114.975,492.6
VernonVernon, The Corporation of the City ofNorth OkanaganDecember 30, 189240,11638,1805.196.05417.7
Victoria[lower-alpha 2]Victoria, The Corporation of the City ofCapitalAugust 2, 186285,79280,0177.219.474,305.8
West KelownaWest Kelowna, City ofCentral OkanaganJune 26, 2015[3]32,65530,9025.7123.53264.4
White RockWhite Rock, The Corporation of the City ofMetro Vancouver|Metro VancouverApril 15, 195719,95219,3393.25.123,893.1
Williams LakeWilliams Lake, City ofCaribooMarch 15, 192910,75310,832−0.733.13324.6
Total cities 3,327,824 3,133,081 4.5 4,263.15 1,081.81


  1. Vancouver is Canada's eighth-largest city and British Columbia's largest city by population. The Vancouver CMA includes the cities of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver and White Rock.
  2. Victoria is British Columbia's capital. The Victoria CMA includes the cities of Colwood, Langford and Victoria.

Former cities

Sandon held city status between 1898 and 1920.[7] Phoenix held city status between 1900 and 1919.[8]

City status eligibility

As of the 2016 Census, eight townsComox, Creston, Ladysmith, Osoyoos, Qualicum Beach, Sidney, Smithers and View Royal – meet the requirement of having populations greater than 5,000 to incorporate as a city. Also, 19 district municipalities meet the minimum population requirements to incorporate as a city.

See also


  1. "Local Government Act: Part 2 — Incorporation of Municipalities". Government of British Columbia Queen's Printer. November 12, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  2. "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  3. "Order in Council No. 357". Province of British Columbia. June 26, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  4. "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2016 and 2011 censuses (British Columbia)". Statistics Canada. February 20, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  5. "Order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council: Order in Council No. 513" (PDF). Province of British Columbia. September 9, 2014. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  6. "From Boom to Bust in 20 Years: Sandon's History as an Incorporated City". Sandon Museum. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  7. "Name Details: Phoenix (Abandoned Locality)". GeoBC. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
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