Vancouver Island, belonging to British Columbia, and separated from the mainland by Queen Charlotte Sound, Johnstone Strait, and Strait of Georgia, is 278 miles long, and 50 to 65 miles broad. Area, 12,760 sq. m.; pop. 40,000. The shores are marked by rocky promontories, sheltered coves, fine harbours, and on the W. deep fiord-like arms of the sea. The country is well wooded, the streams, which are nearly dry in summer, supplying power for mills. The climate resembles that of southern Britain, the warm Pacific Gulf Stream maintaining a mild temperature. Barely a tenth of the surface is suited for agriculture. Fruit-culture is profitably carried on. The island is very rich in minerals. Besides gold, silver, copper, iron, etc., it possesses great fields of excellent coal, at Nanaimo in particular. Another source of wealth is in the fisheries. The island was discovered in 1592 by Juan de Fuca, and visited in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver, R.N. (1758-98); but the first permanent settlement was made in 1843, when the Hudson Bay Company built a fort where Victoria, the capital, now stands.