Lasqueti Island

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Location of Lasqueti Island.

Lasqueti Island is an island off the east coast of Vancouver Island in the Strait of Georgia, Powell River Regional District, British Columbia, Canada. A passenger-only ferry connects the island to the community of French Creek, near Parksville. The ferry makes two to three runs per day, five days per week, weather permitting.

History[edit]

Lasqueti Island was named in 1791 by Spanish Naval officer José María Narváez, commander of the Santa Saturnina.[1]

Community[edit]

The ferry from Vancouver Island to Lasqueti Island, Centurion VII, coming into False Bay to dock.

Lasqueti is neither tourist friendly nor tourist hostile. The island community is an enclave of Canadian counter-culture. Lasqueti Island is one of the least developed of the major Gulf Islands. Its roads are mostly unpaved, and it is the only one of the larger Gulf Islands that is not currently connected to BC Hydro's electrical power grid. Solar, wind, micro-hydro, and fossil fueled generators power the island.

There is a hotel and a restaurant in False Bay, where the ferry arrives and departs. The cookie stand operates on an honour system and is always worth checking out. A local pizza parlour is also open at odd hours. There are at least two B&B's on the island, but business is seasonal. Transportation on the island is limited. Should you desire to visit the island it is recommended that you be somewhat self-sufficient. Potable water may be scarce at times, in different places on the island. One should take food along, because the local markets operate at odd hours, depending on the season and demand. There is an informal food cooperative available on the island also. Lasqueti island has a yearly Arts Festival on Canada Day Weekend, an informal annual public car burning festival (held in June), and other activities. These different festivals and informal activities feature local painters, sculptors, poets, fiction writers, and historians. Performing arts, on the Canada Day long-weekend, include: The Bolting Brassicas (marching band), the Lasquirkus (circus), and other activities.

The island also has a reputation for sailing and sea kayaking which is considered among some of the finest, but also among the most challenging, in lower British Columbia. Tides and currents may become foreboding without warning - the winter weather down the Strait of Georgia has been responsible for various mariners' deaths. There are currently no public camping facilities on the island so visitors must make suitable arrangements for lodging.

Police and Fire Services[edit]

The island is currently under the jurisdiction of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The island maintains a two truck volunteer fire department.

Demographics[edit]

The island had a population of 426 in the Canada 2011 Census, up 18% from the Canada 2006 Census,[2] and a land area of 73.57 km² (28.4 sq mi).

Aquaculture and agriculture[edit]

Hazelnuts growing in one of many orchards on Lasqueti Island.

Aquaculture includes clams, geoducks, oysters, honey mussels, and prawns. Agriculture include seasonal vegetables, orchards, nuts, and berries. There are a few farms on Lasqueti Island. Their products range from blueberries, apple juice, eggs, to maple syrup. There also is a shellfish farm and a shellfish hatchery. There are two world class dog breeders on island, breeding Belgian Malinois and Saint Bernards.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The island is generally divided between drier and wetter microclimates. The latter often characterized by red cedar and the former by native cacti, arbutus and succulent plants. Some old growth forest still exists on this island as well giving it a unique flora and fauna coverage.

Geography[edit]

The soils on this island for the most part are shallow, stony deposits over bedrock which is almost entirely igneous and largely basaltic.

Panorama of Heath Islet off Lasqueti Island.
Panorama of False Bay from Heath Islet. In view on the horizon is Vancouver Island to the left and Finnerty Islands in the middle. False Bay is on the right side.

Islands near Lasqueti Island[edit]

Major:

Minor:

Parks[edit]

An excellent provincial park exists on a nearby island, Jedediah Island Marine Provincial Park, which is the site of a heritage farm of a former settler.

In popular culture[edit]

Lasqueti Island is featured in an investigative news report by Global's 16x9 called Off the Grid,[3] which aired on April 28, 2012.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ * Walbran, Captain John T. (1971). British Columbia Place Names, Their Origin and History (Facsimile reprint of 1909 ed.). Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre. ISBN 0-88894-143-9. 
  2. ^ Statistics Canada. "Canada 2011 Census". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  3. ^ "16x9 - Off the Grid". www.globalnews.ca. April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 

Coordinates: 49°29′N 124°15′W / 49.483°N 124.250°W / 49.483; -124.250

External links[edit]