British Columbia is the third-most populous province in Canada, with 5,000,879 residents as of 2021, and is the second-largest in land area, 920,687 km2 (355,479 sq mi). British Columbia's 161 municipalities cover only 11 percent of the province's land mass yet are home to 89 percent of its population. A municipality is a local government incorporated by the province allowing a community to govern itself and to provide and regulate local services. These services typically include, but are not limited to, the provision of drinking water, sewers, roads, fire protection, street lights, garbage/recycling collection, land use planning, building inspection, and parks.at
Within their limited jurisdictions, municipalities are autonomous, responsible and accountable to their citizens and to the province. Their powers and responsibilities are regulated through the Local Government Act,the Community Charter, and, in the case of Vancouver, the Vancouver Charter. They have the power of a natural person, the power to expropriate, and the power to establish and enforce bylaws. They are able to raise funds through property taxes and user fees, and borrow a limited amount through the Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia to pay for capital costs.
Municipalities are governed by a mayor and council who are democratically elected every 4 years on the third Saturday in October. The most recent election took place on October 20, 2018; the next election will take place on October 15, 2022.Each municipality is a member of a regional district to which their councils elect representatives. The board of directors of the regional district is used as a forum to discuss regional issues.
To become a municipality, a community, with the assistance of the provincial Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, defines its borders and holds a referendum on the issue. If successful the Cabinet of British Columbia issues a letters patent incorporating the community. Part 2 of the Local Government Act sets out a classification scheme that gives each new municipality a designation. If the population is fewer than 2,500 people the new municipality is designated a village, if between 2,500 and 5,000 a town, and if greater than 5,000 a city. If the new municipality has an area greater than 800 hectares (2,000 acres) and an average population density of fewer than 5 persons per hectare then is it designated a district municipality. The municipality must request change in designation but is not compelled to do so, despite population growth or loss – Greenwood has retained its city status, for example, rather than relinquishing it as other boomtowns of its era have done. There is no longer any legal difference between the designations.
A city is a classification of municipalities used in British Columbia. British Columbia's lieutenant governor may incorporate a community as a city by letters patent, on 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 percent voted in favour of the proposed incorporation.
British Columbia has 52 cities, 375.33 km2 (144.92 sq mi), while the smallest is Duncan, at 2.06 km2 (0.80 sq mi). The first community to incorporate as a city was New Westminster on July 16, 1860, while the most recent community to incorporate as a city was Mission on March 29, 2021.had a cumulative population of 3,630,140 in the 2021 census. British Columbia's largest and smallest cities are Vancouver and Greenwood with populations of 662,248 and 702 respectively. The fastest-growing city in British Columbia is Langford, which grew 31.8 percent between 2016 and 2021, while the fastest-shrinking is Merritt, which shrunk by 1.2 percent. The largest city by land area is Abbotsford, which spans
A district municipality is a classification of municipalities used in British Columbia. British Columbia's lieutenant governor may incorporate a community as a district municipality by letters patent, under the recommendation of the Minister of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development, if the area is greater than 800 ha (2,000 acres) and has a population density of fewer than 5 people per hectare, and the outcome of a vote involving affected residents was that greater than 50 percent voted in favour of the proposed incorporation.
British Columbia has 49 district municipalitiesthat had a cumulative population of 669,454 in the 2021 Census. British Columbia's largest and smallest district municipalities are Langley and Wells with populations of 132,603 and 218 respectively. The fastest-growing district municipality in British Columbia is Stewart, which grew 28.9 percent between 2016 and 2021, while the fastest-shrinking is the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, which declined by 18.8 percent.
Of British Columbia's current 49 district municipalities, the first to incorporate as a district municipality was North Cowichan on June 18, 1873, while the most recent community to incorporate as a district municipality was the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM) on February 6, 2009.Although portrayed as a regional municipality in its official name, the NRRM is actually classified as a district municipality.
The lone Indian government district was granted by the federal Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act and provincial Sechelt Indian Government District Enabling Act to the Sechelt Indian Government District which governs the Sechelt Indian Band lands consisting of 33 former Indian reserves.
If the community wishing to incorporate is located within a trust area under the Island Trust Act, it must incorporate as an island municipality.A single island municipality designation has been granted to Bowen Island.
A mountain resort municipality designation is granted by the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development through the Local Government Act if there exists alpine ski lift operations, year-round recreational facilities, and commercial overnight accommodations.[ citation needed ] British Columbia's lone mountain resort municipality is Sun Peaks.
A single resort municipality designation has been granted to Whistler by the Resort Municipality of Whistler Act.
A town is a classification of municipalities used in British Columbia. British Columbia's lieutenant governor may incorporate a community as a town by letters patent, under the recommendation of the Minister of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development, if its population is greater than 2,500 but not greater than 5,000 and the outcome of a vote involving affected residents was that greater than 50 percent voted in favour of the proposed incorporation.
British Columbia has 14 townsthat had a cumulative population of 95,922 in the 2021 census. British Columbia's largest and smallest towns are Comox and Port McNeill with populations of 14,806 and 2,356 respectively. View Royal and Smithers are the fastest-growing and fastest-shrinking towns in the province, growing by 11.2 percent and shrinking by 0.4 percent respectively between 2016 and 2021. Of British Columbia's current 14 towns, the first to incorporate as a town was Ladysmith on June 3, 1904, while the most recent community to incorporate as a town was View Royal on December 5, 1988.
A village is a classification of municipalities used in British Columbia. British Columbia's lieutenant governor may incorporate a community as a village by letters patent, on the recommendation of the Minister of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development, if its population is not greater than 2,500 and the outcome of a vote involving affected residents was that greater than 50 percent voted in favour of the proposed incorporation.
British Columbia has 42 villagesthat had a cumulative population of 48,511 in the 2021 census. British Columbia's largest and smallest villages are Cumberland and Zeballos with populations of 4,447 and 126 respectively. Radium Hot Springs and Silverton are the fastest-growing and fastest-shrinking villages in the province, growing by 72.6 percent and shrinking by 23.6 percent respectively between 2016 and 2021. Of British Columbia's current 42 villages, the first to incorporate as a village was Kaslo on August 14, 1893, while the most recent community to incorporate as a village was Queen Charlotte on December 5, 2005.
Communities in British Columbia that once held their own municipal status include Aennofield, Alberni, Brocklehurst, Chapman Camp, Columbia, Cranberry Lake, Dewdney, Dufferin, Fort Nelson, Fraser Mills, Glenmore, Guisachan, Kinnaird, Marysville, Matsqui, Mission City, Natal, Nicomen Island, North Kamloops, Phoenix, Point Grey, Sandon, South Fort George, South Vancouver, Sumas, Tadanac, Valleyview and Westview.The majority of these former municipalities ceased to exist as a result of amalgamation with or annexation by another municipality. Others, such as Phoenix and Sandon, were dissolved from their municipal status as a result of population decline, while Dewdney dissolved due to financial reasons. The Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality was dissolved in 2021.
Saanich is a district municipality on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, within the Greater Victoria area. The population was 117,735 at the 2021 census, making it the most populous municipality in the Capital Regional District and Vancouver Island, and the eighth-most populous in the province. The district adopted its name after the Saanich First Nation, meaning "emerging land" or "emerging people". The District acts as a bedroom community immediately to the north of Victoria, British Columbia.
Sooke is a district municipality on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Canada, 38 kilometres (24 mi) by road from Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Sooke, the westernmost of Greater Victoria's Western Communities, is to the north and west of the Sooke Basin.
Belcarra is a village on the shore of Indian Arm, a side inlet of Burrard Inlet, and is part of Metro Vancouver. It lies northwest of Port Moody and immediately east of the Deep Cove area of North Vancouver, across the waters of Indian Arm. Isolated by geography on a narrow peninsula, Belcarra is accessible by a single winding paved road or by water. Before incorporation it was commonly known as Belcarra Bay.
Greater Vancouver, also known as Metro Vancouver, is the metropolitan area with its major urban centre being the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The term "Greater Vancouver" is roughly coterminous with the geographic area governed by the Metro Vancouver Regional District, though it predates the 1966 creation of the regional district. It is often used to include areas beyond the boundaries of the regional district but does not generally include wilderness and agricultural areas within that regional district.
The Sunshine Coast Regional District is a regional district in British Columbia, Canada. It is located on the southern mainland coast, across Georgia Strait from Vancouver Island. It borders on the qathet Regional District to the north, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District to the east, and, across Howe Sound, the Metro Vancouver District to the south. The regional district offices are located in the District Municipality of Sechelt.
The District of Highlands is a district municipality near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. As one of the Western Communities, or West Shore municipalities, outside Victoria, Highlands has a population of 2,225 as of 2016. The region stretches along the Saanich Inlet shoreline from north of Goldstream to Mackenzie Bight. Highlands is one of the more undeveloped areas of the Greater Victoria region; it is one of the newest Greater Victoria municipalities created within the Capital Regional District.
Central Saanich is a district municipality in Greater Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and a member municipality of the Capital Regional District. It is located on the Saanich Peninsula, in the far south-east of Vancouver Island. The district began as a farming community, and many hobby farms, along with a handful of small working farms and vineyards, still exist. In recent decades, the area has seen increasing residential, commercial, and industrial development, especially around the neighbourhoods of Brentwood Bay and Saanichton, which are occasionally referred to as separate communities.
The District of Metchosin is a municipality and community in Greater Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is a coastal community adjacent to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Metchosin is part of the Western Communities and one of the 13 regional municipalities.
Sechelt is a district municipality located on the lower Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Approximately 50 km northwest of Vancouver, it is accessible from mainland British Columbia by a 40-minute ferry trip between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale, and a 25-minute drive from Langdale along Highway 101, also known as the Sunshine Coast Highway. The name Sechelt is derived from the Sechelt language word, shishalh, the name of the First Nations people who first settled the area thousands of years ago.
Anmore is a village in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is north of the city of Port Moody and along the shores of the Indian Arm. Anmore is one of three politically independent village municipalities in the Greater Vancouver area, the others being its neighbour, Belcarra, and Lions Bay.
The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM), formerly the Northern Rockies Regional District (NRRD), and before that the Fort Nelson–Liard Regional District, is a municipality in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. Although portrayed as a regional municipality in its official name, and existing on the same administrative level as a regional district, it is actually classified as a district municipality. The NRRM's offices are located in Fort Nelson, formerly an incorporated town that amalgamated with the NRRD on February 6, 2009 to form the NRRM. With the Peace River Regional District as the southern part, it was the northern part of the Peace River-Liard Regional District, which was split into two on October 31, 1987.
A district municipality is a designation for a class of municipalities found in several locations, including Canada, Lithuania, and South Africa.
Spallumcheen is a district municipality in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Located in the Okanagan region between Vernon and Enderby, the township had a population of 5,055 and land area of 255.77 square kilometres (98.75 sq mi) in the Canada 2011 Census. The district, whose official name is the Township of Spallumcheen and which is the oldest rural municipality in the British Columbia Interior, consists primarily of agricultural land surrounding the separately incorporated City of Armstrong. Both Spallumcheen and Armstrong are member municipalities of the Regional District of North Okanagan.
West Kelowna, formerly known as Westbank and colloquially known as Westside, is a city in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. The city encompasses several distinct neighbourhoods, including Casa Loma, Gellatly, Glenrosa, Lakeview Heights, Shannon Lake, Smith Creek, Rose Valley, Westbank, and West Kelowna Estates. West Kelowna had an estimated population of 34,883 as of December 31, 2018.
Sechelt Indian Government District is a municipality in the Sunshine Coast region of southwest British Columbia, Canada. It was incorporated on March 17, 1988. The district consists of 33 separate pieces of land, of which 32 are located within the Sunshine Coast Regional District and the remaining piece located within the Powell River Regional District.
The class of the municipality is a district municipality.