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 it has since been known solely as Vancouver Island. 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.
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