Vancouver Island

Beautiful British Columbia has been a 'perfect fit' for Jennifer and I from the moment we arrived at YVR - Vancouver's world class airport. After deciding in my final year of Dalhousie Law School that a career in law was simply not for me, I abruptly 'pulled up roots' and took off for British Columbia while Jennifer was finishing up her pharmacy degree.

After growing up in the Maritimes and spending my life on or near the ocean, I could not imagine life without being near the ocean. Which is why Jennifer and I mutually agreed to give British Columbia a try... another one of those "best decisions we ever made" moments. Within a week of arriving here I was offered a dream job at BC Children's Hospital. At the same time we secured a fabulous 12th floor apartment with big windows, hardwood floors and overlooking English Bay at 12th and Granville -- Jennifer and I truly loved that place. 

However, as much as we loved Kitsilano, 'big city' urban living was definitely not for us - so we packed up and moved to Vancouver Island a year later. Now, after well over 25+ years, fate has indeed been very generous and we have never looked back, as Vancouver Island and its surrounding archipelago have provided us nothing short of a spectacular lifestyle. Plus the world renowned city of Vancouver itself, and all the wonderful opportunities it offers, is merely twenty minutes away by float plane!

Vancouver Island Facts

The Vancouver Island region is a large, sparsely populated area, encompassing Vancouver Island, the Southern and Northern Gulf Islands, and even a portion of the mainland (due to it's remote accessibility and marine connection).

It has one of the world's most diverse ecosystems: Rainforests, marshes, meadows, beaches, mountains, oceans, rivers and lakes create habitats for multitudes of wildlife species. In fact, the region is one of the world's premier locations for whale watching, birding, as well as salmon and trout fishing.

Much of the island is protected parkland. It contains many pockets of old-growth fir and cedar forests, as well as rare, naturally occurring groves of Garry oak. Vancouver Island is bisected, north to south, by the Beaufort Mountain Range, which is home to one of Canada's biggest all-natural ski bases.

Nearby, Desolation Sound offers an experience beyond civilization, within the sheltered, warm waters of the Salish Sea. Desolation Sound Marine Park is considered by many boaters to be one of the top cruising grounds in the world. The waters of Desolation Sound are calm and sheltered with lots of protected anchorages, and plentiful oysters, clams, crabs, prawns and salmon. The park consists of more than 14,000 acres of land and 6,350 acres of shoreline and water.

Warm summer temperatures and the meeting of the tides create mild climate, warm water and rich sea life.  Surprisingly, the warmest salt water north of Mexico (27°C/82°F) awaits swimmers in Pendrell Sound. These pristine, warm waters make Desolation Sound an ideal May or September destination. That is when you can have the sound of whales blowing, the taste of freshly caught fish and crab and the sight of foraging bears all to yourself - just remember to always respect the environment and help preserve it for many future generations.

The beauty and tranquility of the truly magnificent Vancouver Island region has long been a draw for artists and artisans. Art galleries, studios and shops selling unique, locally produced arts and crafts are found in many population centres, particularly on the surrounding Gulf Islands. 

Vancouver Island Geography Facts
  • Vancouver Island, with an area of 32,000sq km/19,884sq mi, is the largest island off the west coast of North America.
  • At approximately 460km/286mi in length and 100km/62mi in breadth, Vancouver Island is comparable in size to the Netherlands and Taiwan.
  • Strathcona Provincial Park's Della Falls is Canada's highest waterfalls and one of the ten highest waterfalls in the world, at 440m/1,452ft.
  • Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park is home to some of the world’s largest spruce trees, reaching heights in excess of 95m/310ft. Additionally, the park is home to ancient, knotted cedars estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.

Vancouver Island Climate Facts
  • The Vancouver Island region boasts the mildest climate in Canada. Summer is reliably warm and sunny, with frequent ocean breezes, while winter is relatively cool.
  • Average maximum temperature (summer): mid-20C˚/70-80F˚
  • Average minimum temperature (winter): 0C˚/32F˚

Vancouver Island Wildlife Facts
  • Some 7,000 known species inhabit the coastal waters of the Vancouver Island region, including more than 200 species of migratory birds and 33 species of land mammals.
  • Wildlife is the focus of many annual events in the region, such as the Pacific Rim Whale Festival in March, Oceanside’s Brant Festival in April, the Tofino Shorebird Festival in May, and the Eagle Extravaganza in Goldstream Provincial Park near Victoria.
  • Hornby Island and Nootka Sound are two of the few places in the world where scuba divers can view primitive six-gill sharks, a common species of deep water shark.

A few of our Personal Photos of Vancouver Island and it's truly spectacular beauty:

The Vancouver Island Trail (VIT) is the longest trail route on Vancouver Island at nearly 800 km. It is a living trail that changes over time based on weather, water levels and human activities, a continuous non-motorized trail that passes through the traditional territories of many Indigenous Peoples from the Songhees in the south to the Tlatlasikwala in the north. Simply click on the image above for additional information…

Live Simply. Live Healthy. Live Happy...

© CrankyGoat™ |  All Rights Reserved