Some Interesting Facts about Vancouver Island

The largest Island on the West Coast of North America, Vancouver Island is separated from the mainland of Canada by the Georgia Strait, Johnstone Strait, and the Queen Charlotte Strait. It is separated from the United States mainland by the Juan de Fuca Strait in the south.

Length: Approximately 280 miles (450 km).

Area: Approximately 12,076 square miles, or roughly 32,000 square kilometres – about 2/3 the size of England. Larger than Belgium, Haiti,  Rwanda or Belize.

Coastline Length: Approximately 2,136 miles (3,440 km).

Highest Elevation: Mount Golden Hinde at 2,200 m.

Population: Approx.  750,000

  • Della Falls in Strathcona Park (North Central Island) is the highest waterfall in North America (440 metres high or 1,443 feet).
  • The Island is now known as one of the best Caving areas in the world with over 1,050 known caves.
  • Canada’s tallest tree, a Sitka Spruce, is located in the Carmanah Valley on the southwestern side of Vancouver Island.
  • The United States originally claimed Vancouver Island in the 1800s, but surrendered it to Great Britain in the Oregon Treaty of 1846.
  • Victoria’s Fan Tan Alley is the narrowest commercial street in Canada. Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn were filmed on this street in the movie “Bird on a Wire.”
  • #1 Vancouver Island top North American Island – (Conde Nast Travel Magazine 2003/2004)
  • #1 Best Temperate Island Destination in the World – (Conde Nast Travel Magazine 2002)
  • #1 Best Island in Continental USA/Canada – (Travel & Leisure Magazine 2002, 2001 Awards)
  • #1 Environment and Ambience in the World – (Conde Nast Travel Magazine 1999)
  • #3 Top 10 Islands in the World – (Travel & Leisure Magazine 2001 Awards)

John Hirst first visited the Parksville area in 1870 and settled near the Englishman River in 1874.  Then known as The River, it remained a remote outpost until a crude “road” was pushed through from Nanaimo in the late 1890’s.  A post office soon followed and mail was distributed from the cabin of Nelson Parks whose name was eventually given to the town that grew up around him.

Sunrise Ridge is the perfect location for exploring Vancouver Island.  Just an hour from Comox (with WestJet service at the airport), one and a half hours to Victoria, and a scenic two and a half hours to the spectacular west coast.

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