Mayne Island

Size:21 square kilometres
Population:1100
Ferry Landing:Village Bay
Map of Mayne Island
Miner's Bay, Mayne Island

Visitors first arriving at the docks in Village Bay are often surprised by the amount of activity happening inside the busy ferry terminal. Mayne Island is the transfer point for travellers heading to the other Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island and the mainland. Once on island, visitors and locals alike converge at one of the Island's two commercial hubs: the "town centre" is located in Miners Bay, where there are restaurants, a bakery, grocery stores and many other services in and among historical buildings. At the Fernhill Centre, located near the Mt. Parke trailhead, there are also shops, a restaurant, a spa and natural food stores.

Mayne Island Agricultural Hall

Mayne Island was named after Lieutenant Richard Mayne, who served aboard the HMS Plumper during the 1850s. Nearby Plumper Sound, between the Pender Islands and Mayne, carries its name. There are several heritage buildings on the island that are well worth a visit: St. Mary Magdalene Church, the Active Pass light station, the Plumper Pass lockup museum, Springwater Lodge and the Mayne Inn at Bennett Bay. Across from the museum is the Agricultural Hall, built about 1900 and is the site of the oldest Fall Fair on the Gulf Islands. Mayne Island has a rich agricultural history and still has quite a number of operating farms supplying produce to the community.

May Day dancing, Mayne Island

The surprising number of accommodations and restaurants on island date back to the early 1900s when Mayne became an important Pacific Northwest resort island, and the stopover point for miners travelling north from Victoria to the Fraser River en route to the Cariboo gold rush. During these early years, the island bustled and rapidly developed tourist facilities to capitalize on its popularity and location. Today, there are over a dozen galleries, homes, shops and studios specializing in painting, pottery, fabric art, home preserves, jewellery and carvings, as well as traditional festivities celebrated in July and August.

Mayne Island beach
Sea lions, Mayne Island

There are beach accesses at Oyster Bay, warm sheltered swimming at Campbell, Bennett, Horton, Piggott and Dinner bays, as well as David Cove, with its small beach and boat launch. Enjoy the Active Pass view and busy marine traffic in Active Pass from Georgina Point Heritage Park, or take an easy stroll down Campbell Point Marine Heritage Park. Mount Parke Regional Park, with its wonderful views, and Dinner Bay Community Park, with its family facilities, offer recreational opportunities. For children, there are playgrounds at the Mayne Island School and Dinner Bay Regional Park. Established in 1987, Dinner Bay Park is 11 hectares with picnic tables, beach access, a fenced playground, playing field, volleyball net and horseshoe pitch, and - a rare find on the parched Gulf Islands - flush toilets. Beside Dinner Bay Park is the wonderful and tranquil Japanese Garden created to commemorate the Japanese who settled and worked on Mayne Island between 1900 and 1942.

Local services on Mayne include an elementary school with a playground, a health care centre, ambulance service, fire hall, library, tennis courts, service station and post office.

More information about the island can be found on the Mayne Island Chamber of Commerce website, or on mayneisland.com.

Thanks to Toby Snelgrove for photos.

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