Mayne Island

Discover Mayne Island, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Mayne Island, a picturesque 21-square-kilometre island, is nestled in the southern Gulf Islands chain of British Columbia. This tranquil island, located midway between the Lower Mainland of BC and Vancouver Island, is home to a close-knit community of 995 residents. The island's highest peak, Mount Parke, stands majestically at 255 metres in the south-central heart of the island.

The Rich History of Mayne Island, British Columbia

Before European colonization, Mayne Island was inhabited by members of the Tsartlip First Nation. The island still bears traces of its early inhabitants, with several middens and period articles, including a 2-tonne stone bowl. The island's European history began in 1794 when Captain George Vancouver camped on Georgina Point, leaving behind a coin and a knife that were discovered over a century later.

In 1857, Captain George Richards of the Royal Navy surveyed the area, naming the island after his Lieutenant Richard Charles Mayne. During the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush of 1858-1860, miners from Vancouver Island would gather on Mayne Island before rowing across Georgia Strait to the mainland of BC in search of gold. The island's first homesteaders registered land claims in the Miners Bay area in 1859.

By the late 19th century, Mayne Island had become the commercial and social centre of the Gulf Islands. The port at Miners Bay was a hub of activity due to the steady stream of marine traffic travelling through Active Pass. Today, the historic village at Miners Bay remains the commercial centre of the island, with the annual Fall Fair still being held at the old Agricultural Hall.

The Japanese-Canadian Legacy on Mayne Island, British Columbia

The Japanese-Canadian community on Mayne Island played a significant role in the island's economics and society from the turn of the 20th century until World War II. However, in 1942, the Japanese Canadians living on Mayne Island were interned by the government and resettled in various internment camps. Today, the Japanese Gardens, near Dinner Bay, are dedicated to the memory and legacy of the Mayne Island's Japanese-Canadian community.

Transportation to Mayne Island, British Columbia

BC Ferries operates a vehicle and passenger scheduled ferry service from Tsawwassen (Vancouver) on the mainland and Swartz Bay (Victoria) on Vancouver Island as well as to the other major southern Gulf Islands. SeaAir Seaplanes operates a scheduled float plane service calling at Mayne Island from Vancouver downtown and the airport. Hitchhiking is common on the island in the summer and dedicated "car stops" for pick-ups are located along the major roadways.

Climate of Mayne Island, British Columbia

The warmest month on Mayne Island is August, while December is the coldest.

Parks and Beaches of Mayne Island, British Columbia

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve offers opportunities for boating, kayaking, hiking, wildlife viewing and picnicking. There is an easy 1.5 km loop trail at Bennett Bay that leads to Campbell Point. Bennett Bay has a sandy beach which is suitable for sunbathing and swimming. Georgina Point is the location of a historic lighthouse built in 1885, marking the entrance to Active Pass. Orca whales, harbour seals and seabirds can all be seen at Georgina Point.

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