Vancouver Island is 31,285 square kilometres, sits on the west coast of Canada, and is the 43rd largest island in the world. For me, it’s also home.
It was originally called Quadra’s and Vancouver’s Island to commemorate the negotiations in 1792 between British Naval Captain George Vancouver and Spanish commander Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra. However, people soon realized that this took up too much space on a map, so eventually, some lazy cartographer shortened it to Vancouver Island. This has caused countless years of confusion ever since.
Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island. The capital city of British Columbia (which is 7500 kilometres from Britain and 6700 kilometres from Colombia), called Victoria, is situated on Vancouver Island, leading many to think the place is called Victoria Island, but no, Victoria Island is part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and straddles Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, the capitals of which are Iqualuit and Yellowknife, respectively.
In a country as big as Canada, you’d think we’d do everything we could to make our geography less confusing. But no. We like to mess tourists up. (Our sincerest apologies to anyone who had intended to visit Victoria, yet ended up at the North Pole. Our bad!)