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Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Canada. It is part of the Canadian province of British Columbia. The island is 460 kilometres (290 mi) in length, 100 kilometres (62 mi) in width at its widest point,[5] and 32,134 km2 (12,407 sq mi) in area. It is the largest island on the West Coast of North America. The southern part of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is the only part of British Columbia or Western Canada
Canada
to lie south of the 49th Parallel, along with most of the southern Gulf Islands
Gulf Islands
and minor offshore islands. This area has one of the warmest climates in Canada, and since the mid-1990s has been mild enough in a few areas to grow subtropical Mediterranean
Mediterranean
crops such as olives and lemons.[6] Vancouver
Vancouver
Island had a population in 2016 of 775,347.[4] Nearly half of that figure (367,770) live in the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria. Other notable cities and towns on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island include Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville, Courtenay, and Campbell River. Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, is located on the island, but the larger city of Vancouver
Vancouver
is not – it is on the North American mainland, across the Strait of Georgia
Strait of Georgia
from Nanaimo. Vancouver
Vancouver
Island has been the homeland to many indigenous peoples for thousands of years.[7] The island was explored by British and Spanish expeditions in the late 18th century. It was named Quadra's and Vancouver's Island in commemoration of the friendly negotiations held in 1792 by Spanish commander of the Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound
settlement, Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, and by British naval captain George Vancouver, during the Nootka Crisis. Quadra's name was eventually dropped from the name. It is one of several North American
North American
locations named after George Vancouver, who explored the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
coast between 1791 and 1794. Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is the world's 43rd largest island, Canada's 11th largest island, and Canada's second most populous island after the Island of Montreal. It is the largest Pacific island anywhere east of New Zealand.[nb 1]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Indigenous peoples

1.1.1 Kwakwaka'wakw 1.1.2 Nuu-chah-nulth 1.1.3 Coast Salish

1.2 European exploration 1.3 British settlement

2 Geography

2.1 Rivers 2.2 Major centres 2.3 Climate

3 Geology 4 Ecology 5 Economy

5.1 Technology 5.2 Logging 5.3 Fishing 5.4 Tourism 5.5 Food products

6 Education

6.1 Universities 6.2 Colleges 6.3 Public school districts 6.4 Private schools

7 Transport

7.1 Sea 7.2 Rail 7.3 Road 7.4 Air

8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

History[edit] Indigenous peoples[edit]

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Main article: Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
Coast Vancouver
Vancouver
Island has been the homeland to many indigenous peoples for thousands of years.[7] The groupings, by language, are the Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, and various Coast Salish peoples. Kwakwaka'wakw
Kwakwaka'wakw
territory includes northern and northwestern Vancouver Island and adjoining areas of the mainland, the Nuu-chah-nulth span most of the west coast, while the Coast Salish cover the southeastern Island and southernmost extremities along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Their cultures are connected to the natural resources abundant in the area. Kwakwaka'wakw[edit]

A Kwakwaka'wakw
Kwakwaka'wakw
wedding ceremony in 1914

Main article: Kwakwaka'wakw The Kwakwaka'wakw
Kwakwaka'wakw
today number about 5,500, who live in British Columbia on northern Vancouver
Vancouver
Island and the mainland. They are also known as Kwakiutl
Kwakiutl
in English, from one of their tribes, but they prefer their autonym Kwakwaka'wakw. Their indigenous language, part of the Wakashan family, is Kwak'wala. The name Kwakwaka'wakw
Kwakwaka'wakw
means "speakers of Kwak'wala". The language is now spoken by less than 5% of the population—about 250 people. Today 17 separate tribes make up the Kwakwaka'wakw. Some Kwakwaka'wakw
Kwakwaka'wakw
groups are now extinct. Kwak'wala
Kwak'wala
is a Northern Wakashan language, a grouping shared with Haisla, Heiltsuk and Wuikyala. Kwakwaka'wakw
Kwakwaka'wakw
centres of population on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island include communities such as Fort Rupert, Alert Bay and Quatsino, The Kwakwaka'wakw
Kwakwaka'wakw
tradition of the potlatch was banned by the federal government of Canada
Canada
in 1885, but has been revived in recent decades. Nuu-chah-nulth[edit] Main article: Nuu-chah-nulth people The Nuu-chah-nulth (pronounced [nuːʧanˀuɬ], or approximately "new-cha-nulth") are indigenous peoples in Canada. Their traditional home is on the west coast of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island. In pre-contact and early post-contact times, the number of nations was much greater, but as in the rest of the region, smallpox and other consequences of contact resulted in the disappearance of some groups, and the absorption of others into neighbouring groups. They were among the first Pacific peoples north of California to come into contact with Europeans, as the Spanish, Americans and British attempted to secure control of Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
and the trade in otter pelts, with Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound
becoming a focus of these rivalries. The Nuu-chah-nulth speak a Southern Wakashan language and are closely related to the Makah
Makah
of the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State and Ditidaht. Coast Salish[edit] Main article: Coast Salish peoples The Coast Salish are the largest of the southern groups. They are a loose grouping of many tribes with numerous distinct cultures and languages. On Vancouver
Vancouver
Island, Coast Salish peoples territory traditionally spans from the northern limit of the Gulf of Georgia
Gulf of Georgia
on the inside of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island and covering most of southern Vancouver Island. Distinct nations within the Coast Salish peoples on Vancouver Island include the Chemainus, the Comox of the Comox Valley area, the Cowichan of the Cowichan Valley, the Esquimalt, the Saanich of the Saanich Peninsula, the Songhees
Songhees
of the Victoria area and Snuneymuxw in the Nanaimo
Nanaimo
area. European exploration[edit]

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Europeans began to explore the island in 1774, when rumours of Russian fur traders caused Spain
Spain
to send a number of expeditions to assert its long-held claims to the Pacific Northwest. The first expedition was that of the Santiago, under the command of Juan José Pérez Hernández. In 1775, a second Spanish expedition under the Spanish Peruvian captain Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra
Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra
was sent. By 1776 Spanish exploration had reached Bucareli Bay including the mouth of the Columbia River
Columbia River
between Oregon
Oregon
and Washington, and Sitka Sound. Vancouver
Vancouver
Island came to the attention of Britain after the third voyage of Captain James Cook, who spent a month during 1778 at Nootka Sound, on the island's western coast. Cook claimed it for Great Britain. The island's rich fur trading potential led the fur-trader John Meares
John Meares
to set up a single-building trading post near the native village of Yuquot
Yuquot
(Friendly Cove), at the entrance to Nootka Sound. The building was removed by the end of 1788. The island was further explored by Spain
Spain
in 1789 with Esteban José Martínez, who established the settlement of Yuquot
Yuquot
and the artillery battery of Fort San Miguel
Fort San Miguel
at Friendly Cove, which Spain
Spain
called Puerto de San Lorenzo de Nuca. This was to be the only Spanish settlement in what would later be Canada. Asserting their claim of exclusive sovereignty and navigation rights, the Spanish force seized the Portuguese-flagged British ships. The two nations came close to war in the ensuing Nootka Crisis, but the issues were resolved peacefully with the first Nootka Convention in 1790, in which both countries recognized the other's rights to the area. The terms of the convention called for Spain
Spain
to turn over to Britain the buildings and land that had been seized in 1789. For this purpose the British Naval Captain George Vancouver
Vancouver
was sent to Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound
in 1792. His Spanish counterpart in the negotiations was Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, who was commandant of Santa Cruz de Nuca in 1792. Vancouver had sailed as a midshipman with Cook. The negotiations between Vancouver
Vancouver
and Bodega y Quadra ended in a deadlock with nothing resolved. Vancouver
Vancouver
insisted the entire Spanish establishment be turned over, but Bodega y Quadra held that there were no buildings seized in 1789 and the only possible land was a tiny and useless cove nearby. The two decided to refer the entire matter back to their respective governments. The friendly meeting between Bodega y Quadra and Vancouver
Vancouver
led the former to propose that the island be named after both: "Quadra and Vancouver
Vancouver
Island", which became the original name. While we know this island today as " Vancouver
Vancouver
Island", the English explorer had not intentionally meant to name such a large body of land solely after himself.[8] In his September 1792 dispatch log report for the British Admiralty, Captain Vancouver
Vancouver
reveals that his decision here was rather meant to honour a request by Bodega y Quadra that Vancouver:

"would name some port or island after us both in commemoration of our meeting and friendly intercourse that on that occasion had taken place ( Vancouver
Vancouver
had previously feted Bodega y Quadra on his ship);....and conceiving no place more eligible than the place of our meeting, I have therefore named this land...The Island of Quadra and Vancouver."[9]

Bodega y Quadra wrote, however, that it was Vancouver
Vancouver
who made the suggestion of combining their names to designate some geographical feature.[10]

Dionisio Alcalá Galiano
Dionisio Alcalá Galiano
was the first European to circumnavigate Vancouver
Vancouver
Island

In 1792, the Spanish explorer Dionisio Alcalá Galiano
Dionisio Alcalá Galiano
and his crew were the first Europeans to circumnavigate Vancouver
Vancouver
Island. On April 8, 1806, Captain John D'Wolf of Bristol, Rhode Island, sailed the Juno to Newettee, a small inlet in the northwestern promontory of Vancouver's Island. The Captain described Newette as one of the southernmost harbors frequented by American fur traders at lat. 51 degrees N. and long. 128 degrees. He relates that since Captain Robert Gray of Tiverton, Rhode Island, had sailed the Columbia River
Columbia River
in 1792, the trade of the Northwest coast had been almost entirely in the hands of Boston merchants, so much so that the natives called all traders "Boston Men."[11] The newly discovered "Quadra's and Vancouver's Island" was the most prominent name on maps of the coast, and appeared on most British, French and Spanish maps of the period. But as Spanish interests in the region dwindled, so did the use of Quadra's name. The Hudson's Bay Company played a major part in the transition; by 1824 'Vancouver's Island' had become the usual designation in its correspondence for the island.[12] A quarter of a century later, Vancouver
Vancouver
Island had become such a well-known geographical feature that the founding of the Colony of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island in 1849 gave this name full official status.[13] Period references to "Vancouver" referred to Vancouver
Vancouver
Island until the naming of the city of Vancouver
Vancouver
in 1885. British settlement[edit]

The Great Seal of the Island of Vancouver
Vancouver
and its Dependencies was designed by Benjamin Wyon, Chief Engraver of Her Majesty's Seals, c1849. The symbolic badge he designed are the basis for the flag of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island, which is still unofficially flown today.[14]

The flag of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island was authorized in 1865 (colonies could place their badges upon the fly of a blue ensign). This flag uses the Colonial Seal of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island from 1849. The flag was probably never actually flown in colonial times, and is now used as an unofficial representative flag.[15]

Shortly thereafter, in 1846, the Oregon
Oregon
Treaty was signed by the British and the U.S. to settle the question of the U.S. Oregon Territory borders. It awarded all of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island to Britain, despite a portion of the island lying south of the 49th parallel. In 1849, the Colony of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island was established. Following the brief governorship of Richard Blanshard, James Douglas, Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay post, assumed the role in 1851. The first British settlement on the island was a Hudson's Bay Company post, Fort Camosack, founded in 1843, and later renamed Fort Victoria.[16] Fort Victoria became an important base during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush in 1858, and the burgeoning town was incorporated as Victoria in 1862. Victoria became the capital of the colony of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island, then retained that status when the island was amalgamated with the mainland in 1866. A British naval base, including a large shipyard and a naval hospital, was established at Esquimalt, in 1865 and eventually taken over by the Canadian military. The economic situation of the colony declined following the Cariboo Gold Rush of 1861–1862, and pressure grew for amalgamation of the colony with the mainland colony of British Columbia
British Columbia
(which had been established in 1858). The colony's third and last governor, Sir Arthur Kennedy, oversaw the union of the two colonies in 1866. Geography[edit]

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Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is located in the southwestern corner of the province of British Columbia. It is separated from the mainland of British Columbia by Johnstone Strait
Johnstone Strait
and Queen Charlotte Strait
Queen Charlotte Strait
on the north and northeast, and by the Strait of Georgia
Strait of Georgia
on the southeast, which along with the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Strait of Juan de Fuca
along its southwest separate it from the United States
United States
(the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca are now officially also part of the Salish Sea, which includes Puget Sound as well). West of the island is the open Pacific Ocean, while to its north is Queen Charlotte Sound. The Vancouver
Vancouver
Island Ranges run most of the length of the island, dividing it into a wet and rugged west coast and a drier, more rolling east coast. The highest point in these ranges and on the island is the Golden Hinde, at 2,195 metres (7,201 ft). Located near the centre of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island in 2,500 square kilometres (965 sq mi) Strathcona Provincial Park, it is part of a group of peaks that include the only glaciers on the island, the largest of which is the Comox Glacier. The west coast shoreline is rugged and in many places mountainous, characterized by its many fjords, bays, and inlets. The interior of the island has many lakes (Kennedy Lake, north of Ucluelet, is the largest) and rivers. Rivers[edit] Main article: List of rivers of British Columbia
British Columbia
§ Rivers of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island There are a number of rivers draining the island, some of which though short are large in volume. Among the more notable rivers are the Somass River
Somass River
in the Alberni Valley, the Nimpkish River
Nimpkish River
in the North Island region, the Englishman River
Englishman River
near Nanaimo, and the Cowichan River whose basin forms the Cowichan Valley region in the South Island region. Major centres[edit] Vancouver
Vancouver
Island's major population centre and only metropolitan area is Greater Victoria. There are also six census agglomeration areas as defined by Statistics Canada, including Nanaimo
Nanaimo
which has a population over 100,000 and as of 2016 is eligible to become a CMA. These metropolitan and agglomeration areas' populations in 2016 were as follows:

Rank Metropolitan Area Population (2016 Census) [17] Core city

1 Greater Victoria 367,770 Victoria

2 Greater Nanaimo 104,936 Nanaimo

3 Comox Valley 54,157 Courtenay

4 Cowichan Valley 44,451 Duncan

5 Campbell River 37,861 Campbell River

6 Oceanside (Parksville-Qualicum Beach) 28,922 Parksville

7 Alberni Valley 25,112 Port Alberni

Climate[edit]

Köppen climate types in Vancouver
Vancouver
Island and the Gulf Islands

The climate is the mildest in Canada, with temperatures on the coast even in January being usually above 0 °C (32 °F). In summer, the warmest days usually achieve a maximum of 28–33 °C (82.4–91.4 °F). However, the rain shadow effect of the island's mountains, as well as the mountains of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, creates wide variation in precipitation. The west coast is considerably wetter than the east coast. Average annual precipitation ranges from 6,650 millimetres (261.8 in) at Henderson Lake on the west coast (making it the wettest place in North America) to only 640 millimetres (25.2 in) at the driest recording station in the provincial capital of Victoria on the southeast coast's Saanich Peninsula. Precipitation is heaviest in the autumn and winter. Snow is rare at low altitudes but is common on the island's mountaintops in winter. A notable feature of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is the extension of summer dryness to latitudes as high as 50°N. Only in the extreme north of the island near Port Hardy
Port Hardy
is the rainfall of the driest summer month as much as one fifth that of the wettest months from November to March. West coasts of other continents at similar latitudes have a practically even distribution of rainfall through the year. Geology[edit]

The centre of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island contains high mountains, such as Mount Rosseau.

Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is mostly made up of volcanic and sedimentary rock which was formed offshore on the now disappeared Kula oceanic plate. Around 55 million years ago, a microplate of the Kula Plate
Kula Plate
subducted below the North American
North American
continental margin with great strain. A volcanic arc on the surface of the Kula Plate
Kula Plate
was thus accreted and fused onto the western edge of North America. These terranes were subjected to extreme warping from continued subduction of the Kula plate, leading to the formation of the distorted Insular Mountains. Much of the central mountainous region around Strathcona Park is part of the Karmutsen Formation, which is a sequence of tholeiitic pillow basalts and breccias. Since Vancouver
Vancouver
Island has become an accretionary wedge on the North American
North American
continent, the Kula Plate
Kula Plate
has fully subducted beneath it and the remnants of the Farallon Plate, the Juan de Fuca Plate, are now subducting below the island. This process has led to Vancouver
Vancouver
Island being one of the most seismically active regions in Canada. The subduction zone off the coast of the island forms a section of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The area has been known to host megathrust earthquakes in the past, the last occurring in 1700. In 1946, the Forbidden Plateau
Forbidden Plateau
in the east of the Vancouver Island Ranges was the epicentre of an earthquake that registered 7.3 on the Richter magnitude scale, the strongest ever recorded on land in Canada.[18] Vancouver
Vancouver
Island was the location of the observation of the episodic tremor and slip seismic phenomenon. Ecology[edit]

The western side of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island hosts a rainforest.

Vancouver
Vancouver
Island lies in the temperate rainforest biome. On the southern and eastern portions of the island, this is characterized by Douglas-fir, western red cedar, arbutus (or madrone), Garry oak, salal, Oregon-grape, and manzanita; moreover, Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is the location where the Douglas-fir
Douglas-fir
was first recorded by Archibald Menzies;[19] Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is also the location where some of the tallest Douglas fir were recorded. This southeastern portion of the island is the most heavily populated region of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island and a major area for recreation. The northern, western, and most of the central portions of the island are home to the coniferous "big trees" associated with British Columbia's coast — western hemlock, western red cedar, pacific silver fir, yellow cedar, Douglas-fir, grand fir, Sitka spruce, and western white pine. It is also characterised by bigleaf maple, red alder, sword fern, and red huckleberry. The fauna of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is similar to that found on the mainland coast, with some notable exceptions and additions. For example, mountain goats, moose, porcupines, chipmunks, and numerous species of small mammals, while plentiful on the mainland, are absent from Vancouver
Vancouver
Island. Grizzly bears
Grizzly bears
are absent from the island, where black bears are prevalent, but in 2016 a pair of grizzlies were sighted swimming between smaller islands off the coast near Port McNeill.[20] Vancouver
Vancouver
Island does support most of Canada's Roosevelt elk, however, and several mammal species and subspecies, such as the Vancouver
Vancouver
Island marmot are unique to the island. The island's rivers, lakes, and coastal regions are renowned for their fisheries of trout, salmon, and Steelhead. It has the most concentrated population of cougars in North America. Wolves are also present on this island.[21] After near-total extirpation by fur traders in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) were protected by international treaty in 1911. Despite protection, the remnant population off Vancouver
Vancouver
Island died out with the last sea otter taken near Kyuquot in 1929. From 1969 to 1972, 89 sea otters were flown or shipped from Alaska to the west coast of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island. This population expanded to over 3,000 as of 2005[update], and their range on the island's west coast expanded from Cape Scott in the north to Barkley Sound
Barkley Sound
to the south.[22] Economy[edit]

Logging
Logging
train on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island, about 1925

Technology[edit] Within the island's largest city, Victoria, there is a significant IT and technology industry. According to the Victoria Advanced Technology Council website, over 800 technology companies operate in the Victoria area, with combined annual revenues of $1.95 billion.[23] High Speed Internet is delivered to the island by Shaw Communications, Telus, and various local providers with their own networks. Wireless Internet connections can be found all over the Island, many free for public use. While the Island does generate much of its own power at several hydroelectric stations, increased demand required the construction of several high voltage power cables, both HVDC and AC, connecting to the Canadian Mainland. See Powerlines connecting Vancouver
Vancouver
Island with Canadian Mainland. Logging[edit] Outside of Victoria, Vancouver
Vancouver
Island's economy is largely dominated by the forestry industry. Many of the logging operations are for export, although, historically, were for sawn lumber and pulp and paper operations. Recently, rotations are much shorter than the historical 80 years. Logging
Logging
operations involving old-growth forests such as those found in Clayoquot Sound
Clayoquot Sound
are controversial and have gained international attention through the efforts of activists and environmental organizations. Another source of controversy all over the Island are logging operations occurring in community watersheds.[citation needed] Fishing[edit] Fishing
Fishing
plays a large role in the lives of many islanders. Commercial fishing vessels operate out of the island's ports and harbours, and coastal fish farms produce many tons of Pacific salmon yearly.[24][25][26] Tourism[edit] In recent years the government of British Columbia
British Columbia
has engaged in an advertising program to draw more tourists to beach resorts in places such as Tofino
Tofino
and Ucluelet. Sport fishing, whale-watching, hiking, SCUBA diving, surfing, and skiing are just a few things for which tourists visit Vancouver
Vancouver
Island. Visitors also come to see Victoria's nineteenth-century architecture, and the many villages which line the coast such Cowichan Bay, Chemainus, and Qualicum Beach.

French Beach, near Victoria

Food products[edit] Consumer food products companies also exists in the various cities and towns on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island. Bakeries, dairies, food processing plants, breweries, wineries, of varying size and scope are found all along the island. Some of these organizations have international customer reach. Education[edit] Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is home to a handful of universities, several colleges and trade-schools, hundreds of public schools, and a few dozen private schools (including Montessori and Waldorf schools). Universities[edit]

University of Victoria Vancouver
Vancouver
Island University (formerly Malaspina University-College) Royal Roads University

Colleges[edit]

Camosun College North Island College

Public school districts[edit] There are 11 school districts on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island with several elementary, junior high, and high schools in each. Three school districts are in the Greater Victoria
Greater Victoria
area and the other eight cover the rest of the island to the north. All public schooling falls under the jurisdiction of the British Columbia
British Columbia
Ministry of Education. Private schools[edit]

St. Michael's University School, Victoria, with campuses in Oak Bay and Saanich Glenlyon Norfolk, Victoria St. Margaret's School, Victoria (limited to female students) Brentwood College, Mill Bay Shawnigan Lake Queen Margaret's School, Duncan Brookes Shawnigan Lake Sunrise Waldorf School, Duncan Island Oak High School, Duncan Maria Montessori Academy, Victoria, located in Gordon Head Selkirk Montessori School, Victoria, located at the Selkirk Waterway Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, Metchosin St. Joseph's Chemainus
Chemainus
Catholic Elementary School, Chemainus Duncan Christian School, Duncan Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Christian School, Nanaimo Pacific Christian School, Victoria Phil and Jennie Gaglardi Academy (formerly Comox Valley Christian School), Comox Aspengrove School, Nanaimo St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary School, Victoria St. Patrick's Catholic Elementary School, Victoria St. Andrew's Regional High School, Victoria Queen of Angels, Duncan John Paul II, Port Alberni

Transport[edit] Sea[edit] Marine transport is very important to Vancouver
Vancouver
Island for access to the mainland of British Columbia
British Columbia
and Washington. There are no bridges connecting the island to the mainland, although the idea of building one has been brought up many times. Major technical issues and cost are the largest barriers to a bridge currently though exact public support for the idea is not currently known.[27] The only vehicle access to Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is by ferry. BC Ferries, Washington State Ferries and Black Ball Transport
Black Ball Transport
Inc. operate the seven vehicle ferry routes to the island.

A BC Ferries
BC Ferries
vessel.

BC Ferries

Tsawwassen (38 km (24 mi) south of Vancouver) – Swartz Bay (32 km (20 mi) north of Victoria)

Crossing time: 1 hour 35 minutes; 8 sailings per day year-round with added sailings depending on day and season)

Tsawwassen – Duke Point (13 km (8 mi) south of Nanaimo)

Crossing time: 2 hours; 8 round trips daily – varies in winter.

Horseshoe Bay (19 km (12 mi) northwest of Vancouver) – Departure Bay (3 km (2 mi) north of downtown Nanaimo)

Crossing time: 1 hour 35 minutes; Sailings every 2 hours with extra sailings during the summer and holidays.

Gulf Islands
Gulf Islands
– Swartz Bay

Crossing time: 35 minutes- 3 hours depending on island of departure; 4 or more trips daily.

Powell River – Comox

Crossing time: 1 hour 20 minutes; 4 round trips daily.

Port Hardy
Port Hardy
– Prince Rupert

Service daily or on alternate days; changes seasonally.

Washington State Ferries

Anacortes, Washington
Anacortes, Washington
– Sidney

Crossing time: 2 hours (not counting stops in the San Juan Islands) 1 round trip in March–June and September–January – 2 round trips in June–September

Black Ball Transport

Port Angeles, Washington
Port Angeles, Washington
– Victoria

Crossing time: 1 hour 30 minutes; 1 to 4 round trips daily; changes seasonally.

Passenger-only service In addition, there is passenger-only ferry services from the mainland to Vancouver
Vancouver
Island:

Victoria Clipper
Victoria Clipper
(Seattle, Washington – Victoria)

Crossing time: 2 hour 45 minutes; 1 to 3 round trips daily

In the past, several private operators have run ferries between Nanaimo
Nanaimo
and Vancouver
Vancouver
(most recently by HarbourLynx). Despite the operations repeatedly going bankrupt, there is still popular interest and ongoing discussion regarding re-establishing service between Nanaimo
Nanaimo
and Vancouver, but no signs that operations are imminent.[28][29][30][31]

Rail[edit] The Island Corridor Foundation (ICF), a federally registered charity, was established in 2006 for the purposes of owning and managing the former Esquimalt
Esquimalt
and Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Railway (E&N) Corridor on Vancouver Island. The ICF has established a contract with Southern Rail of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island (SVI) to move all rail freight on the Island and to and from the mainland. SVI is a private commercial rail company and subsidiary of Southern Rail of British Columbia, a short line rail operator that is part of the Washington Transportation Group. SVI assumed operating control from RailAmerica
RailAmerica
in July 2006 and offers general freight service only on the north Nanaimo
Nanaimo
to South Duncan segment of the Victoria–Courtenay main line (called the Victoria Subdivision by the railroad). The Port Alberni
Port Alberni
branch line (called the Port Alberni
Port Alberni
Subdivision by the railroad) has been out of service since late 2001. Passenger service, which had been operated by Via Rail under contract, was halted in 2011 after it was identified that a portion of the line failed to meet operating requirements for passenger service.[32] Since then, there have been ongoing efforts to secure funding from various levels of government to complete the necessary repairs, but the decision remains open. Western Forest
Forest
Products operates the Englewood Railway
Englewood Railway
which is Canada's last logging railway, running from Woss
Woss
to Beaver Cove on the northern end of the island. The former Canadian National Railway
Canadian National Railway
line running from Victoria to the Cowichan Valley was abandoned in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and the former grade between Victoria and Sooke
Sooke
is now the multi-use Galloping Goose Regional Trail. The BC Forest Discovery Centre has a narrow gauge railway winding around the park, and the Alberni Pacific Railway operates a tour train during the summer from the restored E&N Railway station in Port Alberni
Port Alberni
to the McLean's Mill on former E&N Railway trackage that is now owned by the ICF. Road[edit] There is one major north-south highway system on the island, which runs along the eastern side. It begins in Victoria as Highway 1 which is part of the Trans- Canada
Canada
Highway system as far as Nanaimo. There, Highway 19 takes over and continues to Port Hardy. The route is a patchwork of two-, four-, and six-lane roadways between Victoria and Port Hardy. The engineering characteristics and traffic control systems of the roadway vary widely from one city or district to the next and include the following variations: Trans- Canada
Canada
Highway:

Congested, heavily signalized four-lane urban core streets with heavy pedestrian activity in Victoria and Duncan. Short four- to six-lane freeways with interchanges just west of Victoria and just south of Nanaimo. A paved but treacherous two-lane to three-lane winding mountain arterial road through the Malahat pass that is subject to frequent accidents and closures. A moderate to heavily signalized four-lane divided arterial road from Mill Bay to Nanaimo
Nanaimo
(interrupted by the Duncan urban-core bottleneck).

Highway 19:

A moderate to heavily signalized bypass called the Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Parkway. A lightly signalized four-lane divided arterial road from the Parkway to Parksville. A stretch of four-lane high-speed freeway from Parksville to Campbell River. A moderate-speed two-lane arterial highway north from Campbell River to Port Hardy.[33]

Without a "fixed link" to the BC mainland, there is little probability of substantial improvements in the mobility characteristics of some of the more congested or heavily signalized sections of the Island Trans- Canada
Canada
Highway or the Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Parkway. Proposals have been made for this kind of link for over a century. Because of the extreme depth and soft seabed of the Georgia Strait, and the potential for seismic activity, a bridge or tunnel would face monumental engineering, safety, and environmental challenges at a prohibitive cost.[34] Another major north-south route is Highway 17 a four-lane divided highway that has a mix of interchanges and traffic lights. It connects Victoria with the Saanich Peninsula, terminating the Vancouver
Vancouver
Island portion of its route at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. The main east-west routes are mostly two-lane but are generally free of the congestion seen on some of the four-lane highways. They comprise the following:

Highway 4 between Qualicum Beach
Qualicum Beach
and Tofino; Highway 14 between Greater Victoria
Greater Victoria
and Port Renfrew; Highway 18 between Duncan and Lake Cowichan; Highway 28 between Campbell River and Gold River; and Highway 30 between Port McNeill
Port McNeill
and Port Alice.

Vancouver
Vancouver
Island is also well served by secondary routes, a growing number of which have efficient roundabouts in place of the traffic lights that can back up traffic on the main highway routes. Numerous active and decommissioned logging and forest service roads provide access into the back country. Many communities are served by public and private transit. Greater Victoria is one of the few places in North America
North America
where double-decker buses are used in the regular public transit system. Tofino
Tofino
Bus All Island Express serves all major cities on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island including Greyhound stations.[35] Air[edit] Victoria International Airport
Victoria International Airport
(YYJ)

Victoria Airport is the major airport on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island. In 2010, it was the 9th busiest airport in Canada
Canada
in terms of passenger movements (1,464,420).[36] Six major carriers (Air Canada, United Airlines, Horizon Air, Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
(2016–), Pacific Coastal Airlines
Pacific Coastal Airlines
and WestJet) offer a variety of direct flights of short and medium distance including to and from Seattle, San Francisco, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto. Victoria International also has seasonal service to Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Las Vegas, and Honolulu.

CFB Comox
CFB Comox
(YQQ)

CFB Comox/ Comox Valley Airport is a shared military and civilian airport. In 2010 the Comox Valley Airport was the second busiest airport on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island in terms of passenger movements (291,910).[36] It offers direct flights to Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Campbell River several times daily, as well as Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on a weekly basis through WestJet.

Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Airport (YCD)

Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Airport has flights with Air Canada
Canada
Jazz to Vancouver
Vancouver
and Calgary, Westjet Airlines
Westjet Airlines
to Calgary, Island Express Air to Victoria and Abbotsford. A recently installed (as of February 2010) instrument landing system and runway extension has improved the capacity, safety, and punctuality of flights. There are more improvements slated for completion March 2011.[37]

Qualicum Beach
Qualicum Beach
Airport (XQU), Tofino Airport
Tofino Airport
(YAZ), Campbell River Airport (YBL) and Port Hardy Airport
Port Hardy Airport
(YZT)

Qualicum Beach,[38] Tofino, Campbell River and Port Hardy
Port Hardy
have small airports capable of handling private aircraft and small commercial jets.

Harbour Airports and Heliports

Floatplane
Floatplane
and helicopter traffic to and from Victoria's Inner Harbour (YWH) accounted for 261,712 passengers in 2010,[36] making it the third busiest airport on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island. Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Harbour (ZNA) also operates a busy water aerodrome. Much of the floatplane traffic is downtown-to-downtown service between these two and Vancouver
Vancouver
Harbour, the primary carriers being Harbour Air, West Coast Air, and Baxter Aviation. Harbour Air
Harbour Air
also flies to other areas around Vancouver, service to Seattle's Lake Union is provided by Kenmore Air, and Orca Airways runs flights between Vancouver
Vancouver
and Tofino
Tofino
Harbour. These carriers make several daily scheduled flights, weather permitting. Helicopter
Helicopter
service is provided by Helijet
Helijet
in Victoria and various private operators elsewhere.

See also[edit]

British Columbia
British Columbia
portal Geography of Canada
Canada
portal

Canadian wine Cascadia subduction zone Colony of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island Cougar Annie First Nations on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island Island Health Kinsol Trestle Sasquatch West Coast of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island Aquatic Management Board List of provincial parks of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island

Notes[edit]

^ Though Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego
Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego
(off the southern tip of South America) and Alexander Island
Alexander Island
(west of Palmer Land, Antarctic Peninsula) are both larger, neither are generally considered[by whom?] "Pacific islands" due to their locations in the Southern Ocean, bordering the Atlantic.

References[edit]

^ "The Atlas of Canada
Canada
– Sea Islands". Archived from the original on 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2010-09-16.  ^ "BC Parks – Strathcona Provincial Park, Central Vancouver
Vancouver
Island, British Columbia". Retrieved 2010-09-16.  ^ "Saanich, BC Census Profile". Retrieved 2014-11-12.  ^ a b Sub-provincial Population Estimates. BC Stats. Retrieved 2018-01-09. ^ "Regional Geography - Vancouver
Vancouver
Island, BC - Destination BC - Official Site". Hellobc.com. Retrieved 8 January 2018.  ^ "Milder winters allow growth of lemons and olives on Vancouver Island". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 January 2018.  ^ a b "History and Heritage of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island, British Columbia". Retrieved 2007-07-08.  ^ The Voyage of George Vancouver
Vancouver
1791–1795, Volume 1, ed: W. Kaye Lamb, Hakluyt Society, 1984, p.247 ^ George Vancouver, "A Narrative of my proceedings in HMS Discovery from 28 August – 26 September 1792"; the cited quote from Vancouver is given in the final section of his report here from Nootka and is dated 26 September 1792, P.R.O., C.O. 5/187, f. 114 ^ Tovell, Freeman M. (2008). At the Far Reaches of Empire: The Life of Juan Francisco De La Bodega Y Quadra. University of British Columbia Press. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-7748-1367-9.  ^ Tales of an Old Seaport ed: Wilfred Harold Munro, Princeton University Press, 1917, pp.109–114 ^ The Voyage of George Vancouver
Vancouver
in Lamb, 1984, p.247 ^ The Voyage of George Vancouver
Vancouver
in Lamb, 1984, p.248 ^ Swan, Conrad (8 January 1977). "Canada, symbols of sovereignty: an investigation of the arms and seals borne and used from the earliest times to the present in connection with public authority in and over Canada, along with consideration of some connected flags". University of Toronto
Toronto
Press. Retrieved 8 January 2018 – via Google Books.  ^ "The Flags of Canada
Canada
by Alistair B. Fraser". Fraser.cc. Retrieved 2011-11-26.  ^ "Places". Our History. Hbc Heritage. Archived from the original on 2004-12-06. Retrieved 2008-03-08.  ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations, 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data". 12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 8 January 2017.  ^ Derek Sidenius (1999-01-24). "Shake, Rattle and Roll in '46 Earthquake". Victoria Times Colonist Islander Magazine. Archived from the original on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2006-07-14.  ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) Douglas-fir: Pseudotsuga menziesii, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Strõmberg) ^ " Grizzly bears
Grizzly bears
spotted swimming near Port McNeill
Port McNeill
seen as 'red flag'". CBC.  ^ http://www.geog.uvic.ca/viwilds/iw-wolf.html ^ "Sea Otter Recovery on Vancouver
Vancouver
Island's West Coast". Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre Public Education Programme. Retrieved 2011-08-22.  ^ "What is VIATeC? – VIATeC". Viatec.ca. Retrieved 2010-09-13.  ^ "Fresh Fish in BC". Marineharvestcanada.com. Retrieved 8 January 2017.  ^ " Vancouver
Vancouver
Island salmon farm accused of putting diseased fish in ocean pens". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2013-06-27.  ^ "BC farmed Atlantic salmon sales". Mainstreamcanada.ca. Mainstream Canada
Canada
Aquaculture. Retrieved 2013-06-27.  ^ "A Potential Fixed Link to Vancouver
Vancouver
Island". British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Retrieved 2012-01-28.  ^ "Passenger Ferry Survey 2009" (PDF). City of Nanaimo. Retrieved 2012-01-28.  ^ "Businessman proposes Nanaimo
Nanaimo
passenger ferry to mainland". Stephen Rees's blog. Stephenrees.wordpress.com. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2010-09-13.  ^ "Downtown Nanaimo
Nanaimo
To Downtown Vancouver
Vancouver
Passenger Ferry Survey". nanaimo-info-Blog. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2010-09-13.  ^ Wilson, Carla. " Nanaimo
Nanaimo
adds urgency to passenger ferry plan". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2016-01-28.  ^ "No Vancouver
Vancouver
Island railway deal yet, says VIA Rail". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2016-01-28.  ^ BC ministry of transportation and infrastructure (2013). "BC highways". Retrieved 2013-10-24.  ^ "A Potential Fixed Link to Vancouver
Vancouver
Island – Ministry of Transportation". Th.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved 2010-09-13.  ^ Tofino
Tofino
Bus (2016). " Tofino
Tofino
Bus schedule". Retrieved 2016-06-23.  ^ a b c "Air Carrier Traffic at Canadian Airports (Catalogue no. 51-203-X)" (PDF). Statistics Canada. 2010. p. 10. Retrieved 2013-06-27.  ^ "YCD". Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Airport. Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2010-09-13.  ^ "CAT4 – Qualicum Beach
Qualicum Beach
Airport". Qualicum Beach. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 

Further reading[edit]

Cheadle, Chris (2008). Portrait of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island. Heritage House Pub. ISBN 978-1-894974-47-9. Retrieved 2013-06-27. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vancouver
Vancouver
Island.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Vancouver
Vancouver
Island.

Birds of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island Great Seal of the crown colony of Vancouver
Vancouver
Island Measuring crustal motions in coastal British Columbia
British Columbia
with continuous GPS BC Ministry of Transportation – Report on Fixed Link Qualicum Beach
Qualicum Beach
Airport on COPA's Places to Fly airport directory

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Vancouver
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