Vancouver Island has many Ports And Harbors, Vancouver Island, BC, some are small like Winter Harbor while others are huge like the Victoria or Naniamo harbors, some of these are managed well with environmental standards that are amazing while some others are disasters in regards to these issues. Vancouver Island has for the past 100 yrs been driven by a resource-based economy but over the past few yrs, we have seen it begin to change into a tourist-based economy.
With this change, we are seeing some of these ports being cleaned up and returned more to their natural states, there is still industry here but wherever it’s possible, the environment has been getting a hand. Most of this work has and is being taken on by nonprofit groups manned by volunteers. Many of these ports are situated in river estuaries, so the issues are quite broad, everything from sewage outflows to salmon rearing areas.
It pleases me to see this drive to help nature take back where it can. The David Suzuki Foundation has been creating videos about rewilding the Vancouver area, these videos are quite inspiring and l would like to use the same concept here on the island to show what can be done and allow people to see how a few dedicated volunteers can do so much, this could inspire a whole new generation of environmental caretakers.
Campbell River Harbor
The harbors located in Campbell River are still a very busy place, with all kinds of activities taking place, commercial and tourist-based. I have always enjoyed walking around the docks, chatting with the fishermen, and checking out some of the large yachts that have journeyed here from other parts of the world. The barge loading facility north side of town is always very busy. Read More….
The name Coal Harbor tells you about how this village got started. Coal brought the Northwest Coal Company to the shores of Stephens Bay in 1883. Coal seams seemed very promising but the coal proved to be poor quality and the mine died out in the early years of the 1900s, by 1907 there was only a caretaker left to watch the mine. There are rumors about this caretaker that still are talked about to this day, this fellow’s name was John Sharp….or was it. Read More….
The first European settlers began arriving in the Comox area in 1862 and started clearing land for farms and logging the extensive forests. There were many ships that had to anchor in the Comox Harbor and transport their goods back and forth by tender, so in 1893, the Comox wharf was built to accommodate the ships. This was the beginning of the city of Comox. This was the beginning of the Comox Valley. Read More….
Cowichan Bay Harbor
Cowichan Bay Harbor is located on the east coast of southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It is one of the prettiest communities on Vancouver Island and one that everyone should visit at least once. Cowichan Bay was first settled by the Hudson’s Bay Company who built a trading post and fort here in the 1850s. Read More….
Deep Bay Harbor
Deep Bay is located on Vancouver Island, 26 km north of Qualicum Beach, the area is known as “lighthouse country”. Lighthouse Country is named for the two lighthouses that mark its boundaries, it stretches from Qualicum Bay on the south end to Fanny Bay on the north end. In between these communities you will find a wealth of things to do. The Harbor is a pretty cool place to start. Read More….
Departure Bay Harbor
Departure Bay Harbor has been occupied for many years by the first peoples, one of the earliest in the region was a first nations group known as the Snuneymuxw and it has been shown that for at least 2000 years they had lived by the harbor. The area was first explored by the Spanish from 1770 to about 1790. The area was known as Stil’ilup then. The bay was renamed Departure Bay Harbor, but in 1855, it was shortened to just departure bay. Read More….
Fanny Bay Harbor
The Fanny Bay Harbor is situated on southeast Vancouver Island, on Baynes Sound, it separates Vancouver Island and Denman Island. The harbor overlooks the Strait of Georgia and the Gulf Islands, with the Coastal Mountains as a backdrop. Fanny Bay Harbor is on the northern boundary of Lighthouse Country, a stretch of Highway 19 that runs along the shoreline from Qualicum Bay to Fanny Bay. There is a lighthouse at either end. Read More….
Gold River Harbor
The Gold River Harbor is located on the west coast of the island, there was logging going on at the estuary since the 40s and by the 1960s, Tahsis company was logging the area. Then in 1964, they built a pulp and paper mill in the harbor. This created a need for a town and one was laid out, not just a normal town though, this was modern, all power, phone, and cable TV lines were put underground, this was the first town in BC to do this. Read More….
At the time of initial settlement, Holberg was extremely isolated. Local travel was limited to short distances on forest footpaths. In 1896, the government built a road from Port Hardy to the south island and goods could be brought up to hardy with smaller shipping costs. Now the flow of goods was primarily overland to Coal Harbor from Port Hardy and then by boat up the inlet to Holberg where the goods were offloaded at the Holberg Harbor. Read More….
Kelsey Bay Harbor
Kelsey Bay Harbor is under one hour from Campbell River in the south and about 2 hours from Port Hardy to the north. The harbor can also be reached by boat via Johnstone Strait. As with all communities on northern Vancouver Island, Kelsey Bay was only easily accessible by water in the past. It was not until after World War II that a gravel road connected Sayward and Kelsey Bay with Campbell River. Read More….
Located on the east side of south Vancouver Island, right on the 49th parallel, Ladysmith is a small but very pretty town built on the hillside overlooking the glistening waters of Ladysmith Harbor. One of the older settlements on Vancouver Island, the community was originally known as Oyster Harbor. It was built in 1899, by James Dunsmuir, son of Vancouver Island’s prosperous coal-mining family. Read More….
Maple Bay Harbor
Maple Bay Harbor is a wonderful little harbor located in the Cowichan Valley on southern Vancouver Island. Maple Bay is home to marine activity all year round. The sheltered haven of Maple Bay is situated in Sansum Narrows, which separates Vancouver Island from Saltspring Island. Maple Bay is serviced by Salt Spring Air and Harbor Air. they fly regularly scheduled flights a day from Maple Bay Marina to Vancouver, Ganges harbor, and Salt Spring Island. Read More….
Mill Bay Harbor
The Mill Bay Harbor is quite busy, there are restaurants, wharves, kayak rentals, guides, tour boat operators, and just about everything in between. You can catch a ferry here that will take you to Brentwood bay, this is a great way to avoid the snow in the winter on the Malahat. It’s a laid-back way of life here, although you are only a few miles from Victoria, its a nice place, come on and take a visit. Read More….
Port Alberni is located at the head of Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island. This is the jumping-off spot for west coast adventures, from here you can reach Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield, Lake Cowichan, and Port Renfrew as well as all the wilderness in between these communities. This is a premier eco-tourist territory, it’s the best the island has. Read More….
Port Alice Harbor is located on northwest Vancouver Island. It is located on the shores of Neroutsos Inlet. It is surrounded by lush rain forests that are filled with wildlife like black bears, cougars, sea otters, mink and many others, a place of pristine wilderness that just beckons to outdoor enthusiast and a wild west coast sea that is filled with wildlife that includes orcas, gray whales, porpoises, seals and stellar sea lions. Read More….
There is lots of wildlife in and around the Port Hardy harbor, every year killer whales run up and down the coasts of Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound. Take a trip on one of the tour boats from late June to late Oct and you’ll see and hear these majestic mammals along with humpback, gray and minke whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and sea otters. Read More….
Port McNeill and its harbor sit on the edge of the Broughton Archipelago, on the northeast side of Vancouver Island. It is surrounded by misty rain forests, spectacular mountains, rushing rivers, and serene lakes. The community has a resource-based economy, but it is balanced with a great tourism industry that will continue to grow and prosper. Read More….
Port Renfrew and its harbor are located at the end of Highway 14 on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. Port Renfrew is situated on the Port San Juan inlet, back in 1895, the postal address was the Port San Juan post, the problem with this is that mail quite often was sent to the San Juan Islands Post Office instead. So the settlers renamed their post office Port Renfrew in 1895. Today’s population is 190. Read More….
Sooke Harbor is located just 60 minutes from Victoria’s Inner Harbor along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. There are ample opportunities to go fishing, surfing, hiking, whale watching, mountain biking, and bird watching here. You could also just walk on our unspoiled beaches for a great relaxing day. Read More….
Winter Harbor got its name from the merchant sailing ships of the 1700s. During the winter months, the cove was used for protection from the storms. Winter Harbor is still very active along its waterfront. The commercial fleet still puts it to good use and it’s a destination for tourism and a put-in for small boats, kayaks, and a port for sailboats during the summer months. Read More….
The discovery of gold in Zeballos in the 1920s brought on a gold rush and the village of Zeballos became a city almost overnight. The historic buildings in the village are a living reminder of those frontier days. You can see the history from those days all around the village. Today, the village is a small west coast community with a resource-based economy but tourism is starting to be a driving force as more and more visitors are looking to the west coast as a destination. Read More….