Discover Port McNeill, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty
Port McNeill, a charming town nestled in the North Island region of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, is a gem waiting to be discovered. Located on the northeast shore of Vancouver Island, overlooking the Queen Charlotte Strait, this town has a rich history dating back to its days as a base camp for loggers in 1936. Named after Captain William Henry McNeill of the Hudson's Bay Company, Port McNeill has grown into a vibrant community with a lot to offer.
Port McNeill, British Columbia: A Snapshot of Demographics
According to the 2021 Census of Population by Statistics Canada, Port McNeill, British Columbia, is home to 2,356 residents, a slight increase of 0.8% from its 2016 population of 2,337. These residents are spread across 1,019 of its 1,111 total private dwellings. With a land area of 13.77 km2 (5.32 sq mi), the town boasts a population density of 171.1/km2 (443.1/sq mi) in 2021.
Exploring Tourism and Location in Port McNeill, British Columbia
Port McNeill, British Columbia, serves as the headquarters of the Regional District of Mount Waddington and is a central hub for all of North Vancouver Island. The town provides the only access to the quaint villages of Alert Bay (Cormorant Island) and Sointula (Malcolm Island) via daily BC Ferries. The Port McNeill Airport, located just five minutes to the south on highway 19, adds to the town's accessibility.
A popular summer tourism destination, Port McNeill is teeming with wildlife, including black bear, cougar, elk, and deer. The town's museum offers a glimpse into the area's logging history, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
Port McNeill, British Columbia: A Hub of Industry and Culture
Logging remains the primary employer in Port McNeill, British Columbia, accounting for 25.7% of the labour force and contributing about 8% of the total BC timber harvest. The town is also home to the world's largest burl and the northern hemisphere's largest sand and gravel quarry, Orca Sand & Gravel LP, which opened in February 2007.
Port McNeill has also made its mark in the renewable energy sector with the construction of a 45-megawatt hydroelectric facility on the Kokish River by Kwagis Power. Despite opposition from the Steelhead Society of B.C. and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, the project was completed in early 2014.
The town is also known for its contributions to sports and entertainment. It is the hometown of Willie Mitchell, a former NHL defenceman, and the birthplace of former NHL defenceman Clayton Stoner. Thomas Symons, Canada's rookie representation at the 2022 STIHL World Timbersports Championship, also hails from Port McNeill. The town's scenic beauty has been showcased in the first, second, and fourth seasons of the History channel television show Alone, with the third season filmed in Patagonia featuring local resident Megan Hanacek.