While you won’t find it printed on a map, the Upper Sunshine Coast is made up of communities separated from the rest of BC by mountains on one side and water on the other. Rich in history, the communities range from the tiny town of Lund, the gateway to Desolation Sound, to the City of Powell River with a population of just over 13,000. The area, which extends from Lund to Saltery Bay and includes the inhabited islands of Texada and Savary, boasts a total population of just under 20,000.
But those are just statistics. What really draws people here to visit or live is the beauty of the area and the abundance of choices to explore the outdoors. Once here, however, it is the almost magical feeling shared by much of the population that makes them want to return to visit again and again or make it their home.
Isolated from the rest of BC by two stretches of water (and yes, mountains), Powell River has still managed to grow into a proper city with a population around 13,000. Since its beginnings as a mill town in 1910 it has become the commercial and social hub for the region.
Thousands of visitors come each year to enjoy major events like the Sea Fair Festival, PRISMA, the thousand voices of Kathaumixw, and the Sunshine Coast Music Festival.
And then there is what nature has so generously provided for hikers, boaters and off-road enthusiasts. The back country encompasses scenic mountains, lakes, and numerous trails, including the Sunshine Coast Trail and the Powell River Forest Canoe Route (see Sports & Recreation for more acitivities).
“Powell River is My Home” by Jim Baron
Although technically a suburb of Powell River, Townsite has its own very unique identity as the original site of Powell River. There are historic buildings and houses to see as well as the only movie theatre (Patricia Theatre), which has been operating continuously since 1928.
In fact, the history of Townsite, aka Powell River, is fascinating and well worth exploring whether you are a visitor or resident. There are two sites that provide a wealth of information and photos: Townsite Heritage Society and the Powell River Museum and Archives.
The photos in this album are courtesy of Laura Egeland. You can see more of her photos in the User Albums.
Texada Island is a lovely, diverse Island comprising three small communities, Blubber Bay, Van Anda & Gillies Bay. As the photos in the album attest there is, being an island and all, lots of seascapes to enjoy. However, a trip down the middle of the Island is worth the time. The word that comes to mind is gentle in an old world kind of way. Just be sure, to fill up your tank in Van Anda or you might have to cut your trip short as we did.
Some facts: Texada Island is BC’s largest Gulf island at 50 km (30 miles) long with approx 1000 residents. The Island is rich in history from ancient First Nations middens and discovery by the Spanish explorers to the early 1800′s mining of iron, copper and gold to the limestone quarrying of today.
See Texada.org for more info
Lund is a tiny, charming community well worth the 28 km drive from Powell River, or a boat trip, to the tip of the Sunshine Coast peninsula. Boaters on their way to Desolation Sound, Savary Island and the Ragged Islands can get something to eat at one of three restaurants, overnight at the Historic Lund Hotel, stop in at the Tug Ghum art gallery, get gas for their boat, rent a kayak or pick up supplies at the general store. If your trip is planned in May then you can enjoy the Shellfish Festival, their premier event of the year.
For your trivia notebook: Lund is located at Mile 0 of Highway 101, also known as the Pacific Coastal Highway, one of the world’s longest highways. The other end of the highway is in Quellon, Chile, 15,202 km south!
For more more information visit lundbc.ca
Lund - Gateway to Desolation Sound
It is hard to believe that any place in Canada could use the word “tropical”, but it would be true of Savary Island. Water temperatures in the summer can reach as high as 20 degrees centigrade. Add to that palm trees and long, white sandy beaches and it really does have a flavour of the tropics.
The population swells from 100 full-time residents in the winter to around 2,000 in the summer. An interesting aside is that the summer residents on the front road raise the Canadian flag to let other residents know they have arrived. The result during July and August is a whole row of Canadian flags flying in the breeze atop tall poles.
Another note of interest is the large sand dollar population on the southeast side of the Island. The Island is also famous for its’ clams.