Thursday 17 May 2018

Water Access Communities

Of the myriad of islands off the central and northern coast of Vancouver Island, only a handful of them have ferry service. From Campbell River you can take a ferry to Quadra and Cortes Islands, while from Port McNeill you can take a ferry to Malcolm Island (Sointula) and Cormorant Island (Alert Bay).
There are many other communities on the smaller islands as well as on the BC mainland coast in this stretch of water, as well as on the west coast. We call these water access communities, and they are reached by either private boat, float plane or in some cases helicopter.

 Two examples of water access communities that are quite well-developed are Quatsino on the north-west coast of Vancouver Island and the Owens Bay development on Sonora Island and smaller Busby Island.
Although Quatsino is actually on Vancouver Island, the forestry roads do not quite reach it and so a boat is generally used to access the community. Most people put in at Coal Harbour, although you could also put in at Port Alice or Winter Harbour. From Coal Harbour it is a 20 minute boat ride through the Sound to Quatsino. Being on Vancouver Island has made it easier for this community to hook into services and so there is both BC Hydro electricity and Telus landline telephone available. There is also excellent cell service and access to high-speed internet. A 9km road runs along the properties. People barge over materials and vehicles to have at their properties.

The Owens Bay development is in the heart of the Discovery Islands, and is on Sonora Island as well as Busby Island. This development does not have services, but does have a road running through the development from the Government Dock that allows vehicles or ATVs access, making it easier for property owners to bring belongings back and forth. This area has regular water taxi service in the summer.
Water taxi and float plane services are available out of Campbell River and other northern towns on Vancouver Island. Both Quatsino and Owens Bay have a handful of year-round residents, and they use the waterways as a highway for when services and amenities are required.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

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