What is the time zone of British Columbia?

British Columbia is divided into two time zones being Pacific Time and Mountain Time zone. The vast majority of of the province is in Pacific Time zone and observing daylight savings so there are two different clocks depending on the time of year. 

  • Pacific Standard Time (PST):– 8:00 UTC/GMT (behind)
  • Pacific Daylight Time (PDT):– 7:00 UTC/GMT (behind)

There are a few exceptions near the border with Alberta. 

Three districts in the south east observe Mountain Time with daylight savings:

  1. Columbia-Shuswap regional district (east of Selkirk mountains)
  2. Regional district of East Kootenay
  3. Regional district of Central Kootenay (including Riondel, except Creston and Crawford Bay which are Pacific Daylight Time) 
  • Mountain Standard Time (MST):– 7:00 UTC/GMT (behind)
  • Mountain Daylight Time (MDT):– 6:00 UTC/GMT (behind)

Two districts in the north east observe Mountain Time without daylight savings:

  1. Northern Rockies Regional municipality
  2. Peace River Regional District (including Dawson Creek but except Fort Ware)
  • Mountain Standard Time (MST):– 7:00 UTC/GMT (behind)
Pacific Time
Mountain Time
canada time zones map
Click to enlarge
british columbia time zone
British Columbia time zone

Travel to neighboring provinces and countries

If you travel outside British Columbia you often change time zones. But it really depends where and when you cross the border.

To Alberta:

  • Mid-March to October

You will enter the Mountain Time zone, which is +1 hour (ahead)

Exception is the south west border where you remain in the same time zone, for example travelling to Banff NP. This area covers travelling out of the following BC districts:

  • Columbia-Shuswap regional district (east of Selkirk mountains)
  • Regional district of East Kootenay
  • Regional district of Central Kootenay (including Riondel, except Creston and Crawford Bay which are Pacific Daylight Time)
  • November to mid-March

Same as above but with the addition of travelling out of two BC districts in the north west:

  • Northern Rockies Regional municipality
  • Peace River Regional District (including Dawson Creek but except Fort Ware)

To Northwest Territories:

You will enter the Mountain Time zone, which is +1 hour (ahead)

To Yukon:

  • Mid-March to October

Same time as British Columbia.

  • November to mid-March

As the Yukon observes year-round -7:00 UTC/GMT there will be a time difference of +1 hour (ahead)

To U.S. State Washington:

Year round the same time as British Columbia.

British Columbia Daylight Savings Time (DST)

It starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. In March the clock is moved forward from 02.00 am to 03.00 am (so you will lose an hour of sleep during the night). While in November it’s reversed as the clock is moved backward from 03.00 am to 02.00 am and you will gain an extra hour of sleep. One way of remembering the movement sequence is that clocks “spring forward and fall back”.

The total period of daylight savings lasts for 34 weeks which is about 65% of the year.

Other Canadian Provinces and Territories

You can check out information and maps of other Canadian Provinces and Territories by clicking on the below links.