Belcarra, British Columbia Canada

Discover Belcarra, British Columbia: A Tranquil Village on the Shore

Belcarra, British Columbia, is a picturesque village nestled on the shore of Indian Arm, a side inlet of Burrard Inlet, and is part of the Metro Vancouver area. It is located northwest of Port Moody and immediately east of the Deep Cove area of North Vancouver, across the waters of Indian Arm. Due to its geographical isolation on a narrow peninsula, Belcarra is accessible by a single winding paved road or by water. Before its incorporation, it was commonly known as Belcarra Bay.

Belcarra, British Columbia: A Residential Haven

Belcarra serves largely as a residential bedroom community for Vancouver and its suburbs. Unlike many communities in the area, Belcarra has not experienced substantial growth. While the small neighbouring Village of Anmore has grown and changed, Belcarra has remained a relatively small community. This is a result of its small land area, relative inaccessibility, and zoning for single-family residential homes. As of 2021, it has a population of 687, making it one of the smallest independent settlements in the Vancouver area. Many residents in Belcarra have private docks and boats; even houses that are not on the water are sometimes able to procure a shared dock.

The Origin of the Name: Belcarra, British Columbia

The village of Belcarra was named by William Norman Bole, a successful criminal lawyer and later a judge in New Westminster, who was an immigrant from Ireland in the 19th century. As payment for his defence of the Irishman John Hall, Belcarra's first European settler, Bole acquired the land that would become the Village of Belcarra. He named it after a village in his native Ireland.

The History of Belcarra, British Columbia

Belcarra was a traditional camping area for the Tsleil-Waututh, the First Nations people whose territory it is in. Its beach and exposed westerly view give it a fine outlook and afternoon sun. The site was abandoned sometime between 1858 and 1864 when smallpox ravaged the Indigenous population. The remaining people moved their main permanent village across the inlet. The site at Belcarra was pre-empted early by European settlers, who were involved in a murder in 1882. In turn, the land was deeded to the defending solicitor, William Norman Bole, who named the place Belcarra. A summer cabin was subsequently built. In time, more cabins were built, and the local ferry company built a pier, park, and campsite, for vacationers. Admiralty Point was a government naval reserve, and was thus saved from development. The area is now a regional park.

Belcarra, British Columbia: A Boater's Paradise

Belcarra's adjacency to several islands makes it a desired spot for boaters. Bedwell Bay and Sasamat Lake also are nearby, increasing the appeal.

Demographics of Belcarra, British Columbia

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Belcarra had a population of 687 living in 262 of its 289 total private dwellings, a change of 6.8% from its 2016 population of 643. With a land area of 5.50 km2 (2.12 sq mi), it had a population density of 124.9/km2 (323.5/sq mi) in 2021. The linguistic makeup of the village is English as the first language of 91.2% of the population, and 8.0% first learnt other languages. 94.2% of the population can speak only English, 5.1% can speak both English and French.

Transportation in Belcarra, British Columbia

As part of Metro Vancouver, Belcarra is served by the TransLink public transit system, and is on bus route 182.

Twinning of Belcarra, British Columbia

In June 2007, Belcarra was twinned with its namesake, Belcarra, County Mayo, Ireland.