Out and About Texada Island

Texada Island is one of the largest Northern Gulf Islands, sits proudly in Georgia Strait about 80 kilometres north of Vancouver. It covers over 300 square kilometres, has a wonderful history, friendly residents, and a multitude of things to do while visiting. Not to be missed! 


Every Island has a story …

The middens and fish weirs that exist on Texada to this day are evidence of the population of First Nations people that discovered the island long before Don Jose Navarez, a Spanish explorer, came to Texada in 1791. Whether superstitious or smart, the First Nations people never permanently settled the Island as legend said that since the Island rose from the sea, it would also sink one day.
Early activities in the area included fur trading, whaling, and building sailing ships. Blubber Bay is the site of the BC ferry terminal and was named for the area that the whalers processed their catches. But Texada’s main industries were discovered after 1870: iron ore in 1871 on the northwest coast of Welcome Bay; marbe in 1877, and gold in 1880. Logging interests have dominated industry since the late 1800’s. Due to the prosperity of these industries, Texada was known far and wide as a great place to live, work, or spend recreation time.
Van Anda became the major centre on Texada. Though Texada Island has also seen its share of disasters – three major fires destroyed much of the Van Anda commercial core between 1910 and 1917 – it retains an important mining trade and tourism industry. There are also many people moving to Texada in their retirement in order to enjoy the peaceful beauty of the island.

Who lives on Texada?

There are approximately 1,200 residents living on Texada. Two small communities can be found at Van Anda and at Gillies Bay. Gillies Bay has a food and liquor store, a cafe, fresh baking, gas station, medical clinic, gallery and a busy farmer's market on Sundays in the summer. This Bay also hosts the annual Sandcastle Weekend in August of each year. On Texada, you’ll find species like the black-tailed deer, raccoons, bald eagles, seals, sea lions, and 148 varieties of birds including the Great Blue Heron, Kingfisher, Brant Geese, and hummingbirds. 

Where is it and how do I get there?

Texada Island is located in the Gulf of Georgia, about 8 kilometres south of Powell River on the Sunshine Coast. Some think the island looks ominous with its sweeping coastline and towering cliffs. The island is linked to Powell River on the mainland by a regular B.C. Ferries service. From there, visitors can take a second ferry over to Comox on Vancouver Island, if they wish, or they can explore the spectacular Sunshine Coast. Check the ferry schedules at www.bcferries.com when making your travel plans or call 1-888-BCFERRY (BC) or (250) 386-3431 (Victoria).

When should I go?

The temperate climate (the mildest in all of Canada) makes the Gulf Islands the perfect destination almost any time of the year. Enjoy spring as early as February; warm, sunny, and dry summers; the vibrancy of fall; and, frost-free winters perfect for hiking, cycling, or kayaking. You really can’t go wrong no matter when you plan to visit! A tip for packing: bring layers. You may need clothing for all types of weather during your visit – warmth, wind, and water! Nights are always a little chilly – especially if you are walking by the water – so bring a light jacket even in the summer. 

What should I do when I get there?

The variety of things to do on Texada Island is amazing. Go bird watching (you can see Brant Geese, finches, osprey, herons, hummingbirds, and kingfishers) or hike Mt. Pocohontas, accessible by foot at 1,745 feet. Try mountain biking the old logging roads or go scuba diving. With all of these activities and more, you are sure to find just the right activity to suit your pleasure.

What are some of the Island’s unique features?

Enjoy the Wildlife ...

On Texada, you’ll find species like the black-tailed deer, raccoons, bald eagles, seals, sea lions, and 148 varieties of birds including the Great Blue Heron, Kingfisher, Brant Geese, and hummingbirds.

Explore the Parks & Beaches ...

Texada Island’s beautiful beaches vary from shoreline to shoreline. You’ll want to go in search of Texada’s unique ‘flowe rock’, but be sure to enjoy its beauty in its natural setting, leaving it for the next visitor to enjoy. 

Visit the Early Industry ...

Evidence of Texada’s early logging history can still be seen on Shelter Point, located on the west side of the Island and is worth a visit. 


Where should I stay? 

No matter what your budget will allow there are a number of  accommodation options available to you! Gulf Island Accommodations


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