British Columbia British Columbia has become one of Canada's primiere tourism regions over the last thirty years. The reasons for this are readily apparent when you encounter the regions spectacular natural beauty and the wealth of outdoor activities available.

 

Vancouver is amongst the worlds most beautiful cities, nestle between the north shores majestic mountains and the surrounding rivers and sea. Whistler just to the north of Vancouver has earned a reputation as North America's best winter resort. Whale watching on Vancouver Island, snowboarding in the BC Interior, backcountry skiing along the glaciers of the BC Coast Mountains all contribute to this world class destination.

British Columbia Tourism

British Columbia Tourism - Official Government Tourism Site
Vancouver Tourism
Victoria Tourism
Tourism Nanaimo

Tourism Vancouver Island - Vancouver Island, Victoria & the Gulf Islands


 

Government


 

Vancouver Coast and Mountains - Vancouver & the Surrounding Regions

Vancouver is a winter sports mecca. Ironically, it rarely gets snow. The mountains surrounding the city such as Seymour, Hollyburn and Grouse all have great snowboarding, nordic skiing and snow shoeing. You can ski glaciers just up the coast at Whistler or Garibaldi Provincial Park. Not far from the city you'll also find Manning and Golden Ears provincial parks with excellent backcountry and XC ski areas.

The Vancouver Visitors Information office is located at the waterfront at the bottom of Burrard Street.

The Vancouver Coast and Mountains region is made up of the Greater Vancouver area, the Fraser Valley streaching east to Hope and north to Lytton, the Sea to Sky area that heads north through Squamish, passed Whistler and Pemberton and the Sunshine Coast that encompasses the mainland coast to the north west of Vancouver, from Gibsons, passed Powell River up to the spectacular Desolation Sound. See the Travel Section for details on access for the various areas.

Vancouver is the heart of this region. Nestled into lowlands of the Fraser Delta it is in sharp contrast to its surroundings. One of the worlds most beautiful city, it is also the outdoor capital of the world (there, I've said it!), several lifetimes would be expended pursuing the outdoor possibilities the region presents.

Within the city limits or no more than an hour or two away are world class locations for sea kayaking, white water, mountian biking, ski touring, snow boarding, backpacking and more. Why else would the worlds greatest adventure race, The Eco-Challenge, choose this venue?

 


 

Victoria, Pacific Rim & Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is one of the world's premier island destinations. Conde Naste's polls have the island ranked in the top five in the world, and for very good reason. Victoria is studied refinement in a quiet natural setting, while the Pacific Rim, its rugged cousin brings a refreshing new spirit to the island scene. The area is a unique blend of British heritage, fishing villages, Victorian splendor and elaborate modern resorts.

And of course all of it is surrounded by the stark natural beauty of the areas coastlines, rain forests and snow capped peaks.

Most visitors make their way to the island on one of the regions ferries (flights from the lower mainland and Washington State are also available), which is an adventure unto itself, particularly for the kids. If you're bound for Victoria from the mainland catch the ferry to Schwarz Bay from Tsawwassen or if you're heading to the Pacific Rim, the Nanaimo ferries from Horseshoe Bay are your best bet.

British Columbia's capital, Victoria lies at the southern tip of the island. A small city with big city amenities. You'll find an active arts community, fine restaurants, exceptional accommodations and a fascinating mix of cultures. Not to be missed is high tea at the Empress Hotel, which will impress even the most jaded traveler with it's imposing structure and fascinating decor. The hotel stands facing the Harbour, while the provinces parliament buildings lie just across the street. Just next door you'll find the IMAX Theatre and the Royal British Columbia Museum.

Victoria is rapidly gaining a reputation for its gastronomy, which more and more includes local ingredients gathered from the islands shores and rain forests. On the island healthy food doesn't take a back seat to delicious food, rather they go hand in hand. The west coast style of cooking is gaining a broad audience and the chefs of Victoria, Nanaimo and Tofino/Ucluelet are acquiring well deserved reputations.

The Pacific Rim is quietly emerging as a second prime destination for island visitors to explore. Located on the largely untamed outer coast of the islands western shoreline, you'll find two unique fishing villages, Ucluelet and Tofino. Don't let the rugged setting fool you, fine restaurants and exceptional resorts are springing up everywhere along the coast. In addition the area is home to one of Canada's spectacular National Parks, Pacific Rim, which includes within its boundaries, the legendary West Coast Trail.

Vancouver Island is a world of adventure. The coastal areas surrounding Vancouver Island arguably afford the finest sea kayaking in North America. Hikers and backpackers have a wealth of world class areas to choice from, including Strathcona, Cape Scott as well as the Juan De Fuca and West Coast Trails. Cyclists can follow the Galloping Goose and Lockside Trails for nearly 100 km or head into the dirt in a variety of exceptional areas, of which Mount Works outside Victoria is a stand out. Divers have wrecks to explore off Nanaimo which, according to the late Jacques Cousteau has some of the best diving in the world. Surfers can choose from Long Beach at Pacific Rim or the Juan de Fuca area west of Victoria to catch some waves.

Heritage Canadian has recently set aside a patchwork of land with beaches, hiking trails and campsites, on a string of islands, which now make up the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in the Straight of Georgia. This newly designate park protects one of the more delicate balances between natural and human requirements in Canada. You'll also find a number of beautiful Provincial Parks with both front country and walk-in campsites, the most notable of which is Salt Spring’s seaside Ruckle Park. In addition there are regional parks on many of the islands, which rival their better know brethren when it comes to natural beauty, making them well worth a visit.


 

Whistler - Whistler and the Sea to Sky Region

Whistler and Blackcomb combined have over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain and each mountain has over 5,000 feet of vertical. You'll find three glaciers, more than two hundred trails and over 30 lifts. No other North American destination can match these statistics. Whistler/Blackcomb has consistently been named the best ski resort in North America and the impressive statistics are a good part of the reason why. Now that, that's established have a good look at the other great possibilities in the area and you'll see just whet makes this a world class destination.

Cross country skiers have lots of tracked trails to choose from and have the option of breaking their own trail in the areas spectacular backcountry (make sure your equipment and skills are up to the task). The Lost Lake Trails, just beside the village, are tracked and only a five minutes walk from your hotel. They make there way around the Lost Lake the wiind there way over to Green Lake and provide a nice view of the two mountain back drop.

Snowshoeing is an increasingly popular sport in and around the area. The main trail is intertwined with the Lost Lake Ski Trials and access is from the same point, at the cross country parking lot. You can also take advantage of a lot of the areas hiking trails but make sure you have a map and compass or a guide. Cross country skies and snowshoe rentals are readily available in the village and at the main trail access point.

Ski touring and hut to hut skiing can be had just behind the two ski mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park. You can access the park from the top of the Whistler Gondola, as well as from several other areas along Highway 99. The sea to sky corridor provides access to some of Canada's finest ski touring and telemark areas. Backcountry skiing and boarding areas are also accessible by cat or helicopter, with several companies in the area willing to take you to a number of exceptional areas.

Now for the really kool part, Whistler may be even more fun in the summer! This mountain resort has wicked mountain biking and is only an hour or two from every mountain biker's dream (or nightmare) the world famous "north shore extreme"area. The mountain has a phenomenal bike park, which just keeps getting better. Off mountain, you'll find more trails in the immediate area and dozens and dozens more within an hour or two south or north of the resort.

A wide variety of trail systems for hikers and backpackers can be found on the mountain and in the surrounding region. HIkers can take the Gondola to the top of Whistler and hike to the mountains glacier. Backpackers can keep going and pack into Garibaldi Provincial Park, which provides the spectacular backdrop to the ski resort. Campsites and a hut are available just beyond Singing Pass. There are several other backcountry camping areas in the park as well as several backcountry huts. There are over 3000km of other trails to explore in the surrounding Sea to Sky corridor.

World class big wall climbing is only a stone's throw away from Whistler at Squamish.You'll also find some bouldering at the base of the cliffs and some sport climbing areas along the highway corridor. Ice climbers will find a number of places to try their skill in the Lilloet area above the resort during the winter. Rafters and whitewater enthusiasts haven't been forgotten, with lots of nearby rapids to be run and plenty of holes to play in.

Whistler has a hostel available for the backpacking traveler and while it no longer has a campground, there are excellent provincial park campsites nearby. The closest is Brandywine Falls just 11km south of the resort. Alice Lake is another popular option just above Squamish, while Nairn Falls north of the resort is also very popular. As previously mentioned backcountry campsite are available to backpackers in the Garibaldi Provincial Park, which provides the spectacular back drop for the resort.

Within the resort village and in the surroundings you''ll find every type of accommodation imaginable, from simple condos to elaborate suites at the Fairmont Whistler. Finally don't forget the mountain festivals, the races, the concerts, the restaurants and of course the oh so incredible nightlife. Put this all together and what have you got? A world class destination any time of year!


Whistler is located in the spectacular Sea to Sky corridor just two hours drive from Vancouver in British Columbia. The resort's mountains tower over 8,000 ft overlooking the coast mountains which run up the Pacific coast of the Province. Vancouver International airport is service by most major carriers and can be reached directly from many North American cities.


Gulf Islands

The Gulf Islands are known for their laid-back lifestyle, excellent weather, stunning natural beauty and their large population of artists and artisans. Poets, painters and musicians have set up shop throughout the area, ensuring that culture is a big part of what the islands are all about. Nature also plays a major role in island life, with wonderful mix of ocean, forests, meadows and mountains.

The Gulf Islands are situated in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver, on the lower mainland of British Columbia and Victoria, at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The main islands that make up the Gulf Islands are Salt Spring, Gabriola, Galiano, Mayne, Saturna and the Penders. There are dozens of smaller islands and islets that are included in this group, which collectively are often referred to as the the Southern Gulf Islands.

Most visitors make their way to the islands on one of the regions ferries (float plane service from the Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Washington State is also available), which for many is an adventure unto itself - particularly for the kids. Stepping off the ferry you start to notice that things move more slowly here. People take time for life's little pleasures and a more relaxed atmosphere greets you where ever you go. Visitors are forced to slow down when they explore the area and adapt themselves to what is often referred to as "Island Time". Be careful once you've adjusted you're internal clock, you may never want to set it back again.

The islands provide a wonderful natural environment which invites you to indulge in the outdoors. The area is renowned for its exceptional sailing and cruising. Sailors are in heaven here, with endless bays, channels and sounds that are just waiting to be explored. The islands' diverse shorelines present you with rain forest, cliffs and rocky headlands separated by a wide variety of beaches, covered with sand, tiny pebbles or even beautiful white shell fragments (shell middens are protected and are not to be disturbed). Anchorages can be found in many of the sheltered bays and moorage is available along several islands shores.

A large number of sea kayakers share the surrounding waters. You'll find them gliding by the sandstone sculpted shores of Galiano Island or heading for the sandy beaches of Sidney Spit. After a day's explorations, they may spend the night at one of the area's innumerable oceanside B&B's or at one of the Provincial Marine Parks which dot the islands.

Heritage Canadian has recently set aside a patchwork of land comprised of beaches, forests, meadows and mountains, which together make up the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. This newly designated park protects one of Canada's more delicate balancing acts between nature and man. The park provides campsites, trails, beaches, moorage and anchorages. You'll also find a number of beautiful Provincial Parks with both front country (directly accessible by car) and walk-in campsites, perhaps the most notable of which is Salt Spring's Ruckle Provincial Park. In addition there are regional parks on many of the islands which rival their better know brethren when it comes to natural beauty.

Hiking trails make their way along the island's rugged coastlines and to many of the area's peaks. Most of the trails are within the parks and information can be had by contacting the park administrators. Most of the trails outside the parks but can be found with maps which may be purchased at the island's information centres or retailers. Several books are available which include detailed trail descriptions of the area.

Tourism Regions

Provincial Tourism Regions

Coast & Mountains Tourism - Lower Mainland

 

Vancouver Island Regional Tourism

Gulf Islands Tourism

Gulf Islands
Gulf Islands Guide
Gulf Islands Online
GulfIslandsBC.com
GulfIslands.ca
Discover Vancouver Island - Gulf Islands

Gabriola Island

Gabriola Island Tourism

Galiano

Galiano Island Tourism
Galiano Island

Mayne Island

Mayne Island Tourism
Mayne Island

Pender Islands

Pender Islands Tourism
Pender Islands

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island Tourism
Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island

Saturna Island

Saturna Island Tourism
Saturna Island


Village, Town & City Tourism Main Land British Columbia


 

British Colunbia Visitor Information Centres

Vancouver Island South

Chemainus Visitor Info Centre
Box 575
Chemainus, BC
V0R 1K0

Crofton Visitor Info Centre
Box 128
Crofton, BC
V0R 1R0

Duncan Visitor Info Centre
381-A Trans Canada Hwy
Duncan, BC
V9L 3R5

Sidney Visitor Info Centre
2480 Beacon Avenue
Sidney, BC
V8L 1X8

Sooke Visitor Info Centre
2070 Phillips Road (Box 774)
Sooke, BC
V0S 1N0

Victoria Visitor Info Centre
812 Wharf Street
Victoria, BC
V8W 1T3

Victoria West Shore
Visitor Info Centre
2830 Aldwynd Road
Victoria, BC
V9B 3S7

Vancouver Island Central

Nanaimo Visitor Info Centre
2290 Bowen Road
Nanaimo, BC
V9T 3K7

Parksville Visitor Info Centre
Box 99
Parksville, BC
V9P 2G3

Qualicum Beach
Visitor Info Centre
2711 West Island Highway
Qualicum Beach, BC
V9K 2C4

Vancouver Island West (Pacific Rim)

Port Alberni Visitor Info Centre
RR#2, Site 215, C-10
2533 Redford St
Port Alberni, BC
V9Y 7L6

Tofino Visitor Info Centre
Box 249
Tofino, BC
V0R 2Z0

Ucluelet Visitor Info Centre
Box 428
Ucluelet, BC
V0R 3A0

Vancouver Island Central North

Campbell River
Visitor Info Centre
PO Box 400
Campbell River, BC
V9W 5C1

Comox Valley Visitor Info Centre
2040 Cliffe Avenue
Courtenay, BC
V9N 2L4

Cumberland
Visitor Info Centre
Box 250
Cumberland, BC
V0R 1S0

Gold River Visitor Info Centre
Box 610
Gold River, BC
V0P 1G0

Vancouver Island North

Alert Bay Visitor Info Centre
Bag Service 2800
Alert Bay, BC
V0N 1A0

Port Hardy Visitor Info Centre
Box 249
Port Hardy, BC
V0N 2P0

Port McNeill
Visitor Info Centre
Box 129
Port McNeill, BC
V0N 2R0

Gulf Islands

Gabriola Island
Visitor Info Centre
Box 249
Gabriola Island, BC
V0R 1X0
Gabriola Island Tourism

Salt Spring Island
Visitor Info Centre
121 Lower Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island, BC
V8K 2T1
Salt Spring Tourism

Pender Islands
Visitor Info Centre
2332 Otter Bay Road
RR#1
Pender Island, BC
V0N 2M1
Pender Islands Tourism

Victoria Visitor Info Centre
812 Wharf Street
Victoria, BC
V8W 1T3
Tourism Victoria


 

Chamber of Commerce

BC Chamber of Commerce

Gulf Islands Chamber of Commerce


 

Regional Guides

Out-There's Vancouver & Surrounding Regions
Out-There's Victoria, Pacific Rim & Vancouver Island
Out-There's Gulf Islands
Out-There's Whistler

Tourism Vancouver Island - Vancouver Island, Victoria & the Gulf Islands
Tourism Victoria
Tourism North Central Island
Tourism Vancouver

Live Victoria - Nightlife
Web Victoria - Guide and Directory

Gulf Islands

Gulf Islands
Gulf Islands Guide
Gulf Islands Online
GulfIslandsBC.com
GulfIslands.ca
Discover Vancouver Island - Gulf Islands


Cities, Towns and Villages

Vancouver Island

 

Gulf Islands

  • Fulford - Salt Spring Island
  • Ganges - Salt Spring Island (Main Centre)
  • Lyall Harbour - Saturna Island
  • Miners Bay - Mayne Island
  • Montaque Harbour - Galiano Island
  • Vesuvius - Salt Spring Island

 

British Columbia Mainland - Vancouver Area, Interior, Rockies & Northern BC

 


 

Regions and Districts

Vancouver Island


 

Beaches

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is surrounded by endless beaches which vary from sandy bays, to round rocky shores and endless streaches of finely crushed shells, the work of the tireless pounding waves. Well known to surfers, expert sea kayakers and hardy individuals who'll play endlessly in their surf are the beautiful sandy beaches along Pacific Rim National Park on the islands west coast between Ucluelet and Tofino. Visitors travel to the area in the summer for the beaches and in the off season to observe the fury of the open Pacific as it unleashes it's winter storms. Another favourite of beach go'ers are the beautiful shores along the Juan de Fuca Strait at the southern end of the island just a stones throw from Victoria.

Long Beach - Located in Pacific Rim National Park this is a magnificant streatch of 11km of wild sandy beach along the broad Pacific shoreline. Well know to beach combers, swimmers (but it is very cold), kayakers and surfers, this has been a popular destination for years. The winter months see visitors arriving to watch the great storms which sweep in from the ocean and batter the rugged coastline. Once again, the areas waters are cold.

Miracle Beach - Located in one of British Columbia's Provincial Parks, this is a popular ocean beach. From Courtenay follow the old island highway along the coast towards Campbell River. The park is approximately half way between the two towns.

Rathtrover Beach - Located in a Provincial Park of the same name just to the north of Nanaimo, it's one of Vancouver Islands most popular beaches and campgrounds.

French Beach - A beautiful shoreline which streaches along the Juan de Fuca Straight just west of Sooke. The beach is located in French Beach Provincial Park which has camping and a day use area. The areas waters are cold.

China Beach - A rugged and beautiful shoreline located a short hike down from the Provincial Park's campground. The areas waters are cold.

Sidney Spit - Sidney Island - This is probably the best known beach destination in the Southern Gulf Islands. You can reach the island from the Town of Sidney on Vancouver Island via a small ferry service which runs through the summer months.

Witty's Beach - Metchosin - A small beach on the Juan du Fuca Straight west of Victoria beside Witty's Lagoon at Witty's Lagoon Regional Park. Follow Metchosin Road in Metchosin passed the entrance to Witty Lagoon to Witty Beach Road which you follow to the parking lot at the end.

Gulf Islands

The islands are surrounded by a variety of beaches ranging from the beautiful sandy shores of Sidney Spit, to the round rock shores of Southy Point or one the numerous shell beaches, which are made up of the small sea battered remains of the areas shells.

Gabriola Island - Sandwell Provincial Park has a nice beach and Gabriola Sands Provincial Park has beaches for swimming, as does Drumberg at the southeast tip of the island. The Descano Bay Regional Park (camping) also has beaches nearby. Other beaches on the island include Whalebone in Joyce Lockwood Park and Brickyard Beach with many more waiting for you to discover them. Ask at the visitors information centre for directions and access to these and other island beaches.

Galiano Island - Mathews Point Regional Park has one of the nicest beaches in the islands (although the accesss is a little steep) with inviting sand just waiting for you're beach umbrella. Montague Harbour Provincial Park has a nice beach with easy access right at the islands heart.

 

Salt Spring Island - Salt Spring's best known beach is probably Beddis (which is naturally enough located on Beddis Road) which has a mixed sand and shell shoreline and is at its best for catching the sun in the morning. Burgoyne Bay has a protected beach at the far end of the bay which can be accessed from the parking lot at the end of the Burgoyne Bay Road. One of the warmest ocean water beaches is located at Erskine Point on the west side of the island. To get there follow Rainbow Road from Ganges then take Collins Road to the very end. Southy Point has a long stretch of beach located at the islands northern tip. Follow the Southey Point Trail from the small parking lot on Southy Point Road (see our Hiking section for details). Note: The sandy beaches of Walker's Hook are no longer accessible to the public, hopefully this may change one day!

Along with the ocean beaches, Salt Spring has several swimming areas along the shores of the islands lakes including St Marys, Cusheon, Weston, Maxwell and Stowell.

Sidney Spit - Sidney Island - This is probably the best known beach destination in the Southern Gulf Islands. You can reach the island from the Town of Sidney on Vancouver Island via a small ferry service which runs through the summer months.

Note: Beach access may be limited in some areas, check with the local tourism office for details as well as route information.


 

Gardens

Vancouver Island


 

Maps

British Columbia Road Maps - From Drive BC
City of Vancouver Maps
Vancouver Transit Maps
BC Maps - From the BC Government

Online Maps of British Columbia

 


 

Magazines


 

Festivals, Events and Attractions

Vancouver Island Festivals, Events and Attractions

 

Victoria Festivals, Events and Attractions


Casinos - British Columbia

 

British Columbia Lottery Corporation - Lotteries & Casinos, Online Lottery Results

 

Health & Beauty

 

Spas & Health Centres

Gulf Islands


Gyms and Health Clubs

 

Gulf Islands

  • Curves - 382 Lower Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island
  • Gabriola Athletic Club - 510 South Road, Gabriola Island
  • North End Fitness - 102 McPhillips Avenue, (250) 537-5217, Salt Spring Island

 

Media

Victoria & Vancouver Island

Times Colonist - Daily, Victoria

 

Gulf Islands

Vancouver Province - Morning Daily, Vancouver
Vancouver Sun - Daily, Vancouver

 

BC Rockies, The Interior and Northern BC

Canada.com
Canoe


 

Vineyards

Vancouver Island


British Columbia Celebrities, Performers and Personalities


 

Canadian Celebrities, Performers and Personalities

For an extensive list of actors bios along with a listing of their movies and TV work have a look at Northern Stars For a more extensive list of famous Canadians try Well Known Canadians


 

TRAVEL

 

Currency Conversion

Victoria International Airport
Vancouver International Airport

Calforex
Custom House Currency Exchange


 

Banks and Trusts


 

Credit Cards


 

Postal Services


 

Phone Directories Online


 

Travel Agents

Vancouver Island

Canada Wide


 

 

 

Transportation

Air

Victoria International Airport provides the main Island access by air, but southwestern British Columbia's main port of entry by air is the Vancouver International Airport. Regional flieghts can also get you to the island from the BC mainland. From Victoria airport it's only a short drive to Swartz Bay.From Vancouver airport you can drive (contact Pacific Coach Lines for bus info) to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, which will provide you with ferry access to Vancouver Island south via Swartz Bay.The central island can be accessed by ferry from Vancouver from Horseshoe Bay then across to Nanaimo. and ferry access out to the islands. Have a look at the BC Ferries web site for details.

 

Victoria International Airport - Sidney (Victoria)

Nanaimo - Vancouver Island

Vancouver International Airport - Richmond (Vancouver)
Boundary Bay - Vancouver Coast and Mountains


Airlines - Regional National and International

The main Canadian carrier into Vancouver or Victoria is Air Canada. There are a number of national, international and regional carriers which also service the region.

  • Air Canada - National and international of Ontario's gateway Toronto
  • CanJet - A Canadian airline featuring low fares and scheduled and charter flights to destinations in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes.
  • Jazz - National and International
  • JetsGo - National and International
  • Sky Services - Regional and National
  • Tango - A Canadian airline, owned by Air Canada, featuring low fares and flights to destinations across the country.
  • Zip - Discount Carrier

Airlines - International


Airlines - Regional


 

Flying Times (Approximate)

 

Atlanta - Vancouver - 5hrs
Frankfurt - Vancouver - 9.5hrs
Hong Kong - Vancouver - 13hrs
New York - Vancouver - 5.5hrs
London - Vancouver - 9hrs
Miami - Vancouver - 6.0hrs
San Francisco - Vancouver - 2.5hrs
Seattle - Vancouver - 0.75hrs
Tokyo - Vancouver - 10hrs


Limousine Service


Airport Shuttle


Airport Cabs

Empress Taxi - Victoria, Victoria International Airport
AC Taxi - Nanaimo

  • Black Top Cabs - 604-731-1111, Vancouver International Airport
  • MacLures Cabs - Vancouver
  • Vancouver Taxi - 604-255-5111, Vancouver International Airport
  • Yellow Cabs - 604-876-5555, Vancouver International Airport

 

Victoria and Vancouver Airports are accesssible via public transit, have a look at the BC Transit website (Victoria) or the Trans Link website (Vancouver) for details.


 

Travel Reservations 



Automobile

Car Rental

  • CAA - The Canadian Automobile Association. The advocate for Canada's motoring and travelling public. Emergency Roadside Service, complete auto touring and travel services etc.

Road Reports

Vancouver Island

Lower Mainland - Vancouver Coast and Mountains
Highway 1 Trans Canada - Vancouver to the Alberta Border
Highway 99/Whistler - Vancouver Coast and Mountains


Road Maps

Vancouver Coast and Mountains Region - From Out-There

British Columbia Road Maps


Border Crossings

Boderlineups.com

Related Links

Vancouver Gas Prices


 

Campers, RVs and Motorhomes

Vancouver Island

  • Island RV Rentals - 5765 Turner Road, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
  • True North RV - 2110 Henry Avenue, Sidney, Vancouver Island

    Vancouver Coast and Mountains

  • All Drive
  • CanaDream - 7119 River Road, Delta, Vancouver Coast and Mountains
  • Fraserway RV - 31631 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, Vancouver Coast and Mountains

 

Canadian Adventure Rentals - Rent a SUV, camping gear, canoe/kayak/bikes - very kool concept
Campsource - Canada Park and Campground Database
Go RVing Canada


 

Driving

A valid drivers license from you country of residence is valid for up to three months in British Columbia.Seat belts must be worn, by law, for adults and children over 40lb (18kg). The speed limits are as posted, with freeways generally allowing speeds up to 100km/h (62.5 mph), other highways 70 to 90 and side roads generally allowing 50km/h.You are permitted to turn right on red lights (once you've come to a stop and ascertained the way is clear) unless otherwise indicated. British Columbia has photo radar, so keep a light right foot. British Columbia is particularly stringent about drinking and driving - don't! Snow can fly early in the year, particularly in the north, so check road conditions and closures before setting out.

You are permitted to turn right on red lights (once you've come to a complete stop and have ascertained the way is clear). British Columbia is very strict in ensuring pedestrians have the right of way, so be alert when driving. Approach crosswalks and street corners with caution. Much of British Columbia is mountainous and driving conditions can deteriorate rapidly. In many areas snow is possible at any time of year. Check for road conditions and closures before setting out.

Special Note for Drivers Visiting BC

1)British Columbia is a very mountainous area and during the winter months road closures in some areas are common. Avalanche chutes as well as heavy snow falls are key factors. When you plan your trip inquire about the route and check weather conditions before you go.

2) British Columbia is criss-crossed by thousands of logging roads, which are often the only access to back country areas. These roads where never intended for private vehicles (which can be damaged just trying to negotiate the road surface) and may present very serious problems with snow, mud ruts and rocks. Many require chains and/or four wheel drive. Roads connected to active logging areas will certainly have logging trucks running through them - proceed with extreme caution or better still - don't!

3) Logging roads may be closed to private vehicles and many active roads are only open during weekends when the trucks aren't hauling. Contact the "Ministry of Forests" if you plans include travel on any of these roads.


 

Driving Distances / Mileage

Vancouver Island

Port Hardy - Victoria - 503km (312miles)
Campbell River - Victoria - 246km (164miles)
Duncan - Victoria - 60km (37miles)
Nanaimo - Victoria - 111km (69miles)
Port Renfrew - Victoria - 108km (70miles)
Parksville - Victoria - 147km (91miles)
Tofino - Victoria - 316km (197miles)

Vancouver Coast and Mountains

Calgary - Vancouver - 975km (609 miles)
Kamloops - Vancouver - 350km (217 miles)
Powell River - Vancouver* - 130km (81 miles)
Seattle - Vancouver - 226km (141 miles)

* requires ferry transport


 

Ferries

While bridges are the common method to traverse waterways in Canada, ferries play a very large role in British Columbia along the coast. Vancouver Island is only accessible by ferry, boat or air. The main ferry service runs from the mainland south of Vancouver in Tawwassen to Swartz Bay on southern Vancouver Island and from Horsehoe Bay north of Vancouver to Nanaimo in the centre of the island.

There are a number of other coastal ferry routes between Vancouver Island and the main land including an extended route north along the BC coast to Prince Rupert and several routes which will take you south into the Washington State in the United States. .

British Columbia Ferries - Vancouver, (Horseshoe Bay) - Nanaimo, Vancouver (Tsawwassen) - Victoria (Swartz Bay), Southern and Northern Gulf Islands, Discovery Islands, Sunshine Coast, Prince Rupert - Northern Vancouver Island, Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii)

For ferry service from Nanaimo to Vancouver, downtown-to-downtown, have a look at the information on the HarbourLynx site:

HarbourLynx

There is also a ferry service from Washington State to Vancouver Island.

Washington State Ferries - Coho Ferry - Victoria Express

  • Alpine Tours - Provides foot passenger ferry service to Sidney Spit from Sidney, Southern Vancouver Island
  • MV Lady Rose - Passenger Ferry, Port Alberni - Bamfield (Barkley Sound)
  • MV Seaway Express - Passenger Ferry, Ucluelet - Bamfield, Pacific Rim

 

Rail

Via Rail provides passenger service from Toronto (with connections into Montreal and points east) to Vancouver British Columbia. The Amtrak system in the US also connects into Vancouver via Portland and Seattle. The Vancouver train station is located on the corner of Main St. and Terminal at 1150 Station St. The station can be reached by the Vancouver urban transit system and is just next to the sky train station on main. It's a very short ride to Vancouver's downtown core from the station.

Via also has a station (which doesn't connect into the mainland network) in Victoria at 450 Pandora Ave. (downtown).

 

Via Rail - 1150 Station St., Vancouver

E&N Railway - Courtney - Victoria The Esquimalt & Nanaimo (E&N) Railiner runs between between Victoria and Courtenay on southern Vancouver Island. Contact Via Rail for more information. You'll also find the North Cowichan Steam Train and the Alberni Railway on the island.

 

The Rocky Mountaineer provides a scenic rail service from the Canadian Rockies into Vancouver.


 

Bus

The Vancouver Island ferries provide access to the provinicial and urban bus networks. Have a look at the provincial and national bus links, the BC Ferries website as well as the urban transite links below.

 

Tofino Bus - Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo - Tofino/Ucluelet
Whistler Express - Vancouver - Whistler
West Coast & Juan de Fuca Trail Bus


 

Urban & Local Transit

Both Victoria and Vancouver have thier own transit systems which are modern and efficient. , have a look at the BC Transit website (Victoria) or the Trans Link website (Vancouver) for details. - Greater Vancouver

Trans Link - Greater Vancouver
BC Transit
- Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island
Nanaimo Regional Transit - Nanaimo/Parksville
Tofino Bus - Tofino Transit, Pacific Rim Beach Bus, Tofino-Ucluelet

For other regional transit systems go to the Bus-on-line website


 

 

Sailing, Boating and Cruising

The Gulf Islands just off the south eastern coast of the island are considered one of the world's best cruising areas. These sheltered waters provide endless inlets, channels and coves to explore. Further north you'll find a wealth of other channels and and reaches to investigate in the Discovery Islands. The west coast is less protected than these areas but it also provides exceptional areas for boaters. The coastal waters of British Columbia are home to innumerable marine parks which dot the islands and the coast.

Vancouver Island & Discovery Islands Marinas

Gulf Islands Marinas

 

Vancouver Island Yacht Clubs

 

Gulf Islands Yacht Clubs

 

Canadian Hydrographic Service - Nautical Charts
Canadian Power & Sail Squadron
Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre
Georgia Strait Alliance

Harbour Authority Association of BC
Cruising World - Magazine
Fogwhistle - Listing of Canadian lighthouses
Pacific Yachting - Magazine
Sailing Magazine
Sailing World - E-zine
Wooden Boat - Magazine
Yachting Magazine


 

Weather

Vancouver Island

Gulf Islands

Ganges - Salt Spring Island

Air Quality
Firewatch
Marine Forcasts
Pollen Forcasts
Snow Reports
UV Report


 

Climate

Although the average temperature in the summer months seems almost cool, the Vancouver area is definately T-shirt country in the summer. Be prepared for rain at any time of year but don't be surprised when the sun shines, cause when it shines, it shines, sometimes for as much as two months straight. The temperatures vary outside of the city and are colder as you move into the mountains (particulary in the evening). While it rarely snows in the city of Vancouver other areas of the Coast and Mountains may get plenty. Road closures on route to Whistler or the interior are certianly not impossible. Best to check before you go.

Vancouver
  Month   High   Low  
  January   06C ( 42.8F)   01C (33.8F)  
  February   08C (46.4F)   01C (33.8F)  
  March   11C (51.8F)   03C (37.4F)  
  April   14C (57.2F)   05C (41.0F)  
  May   18C (64.4F)   08C (46.4F)   
  June   21C (69.8F)   11C (51.8F)  
  July   23C (73.4F)   13C (55.4F)  
  August   23C (73.4F)   12C (53.6F)  
  September   19C (66.2F)   10C (50.0F)  
  October   14C (57.2F)   07C (44.6F)  
  November   09C (48.2F)   04C (39.2F)  
  December   07C (57.2F)   02C (35.6F)  
 
 

Resources

Vancouver Island and Victoria

Tourism Vancouver Island - Victoria & the Gulf Islands
Out-There's British Columbia
British Columbia Tourism

Gulf Islands

Vancouver Coast & Mountains

Whistler

Out-There's Whistler Main Page
Whistler Tourism

Links of Interest

Conde Naste Traveler
Islands Magazine
National Geographic
National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Traveler
Outside Magazine
Sunset Magazine
Travel and Leisure Magazine

Out-There's Destinations

 

 

All web site contents copyright 1995-2008 by White Cat Ventures Ltd.
 
 
Click here if you have arrived at this page without
the navigation bar on the left