|Location||Pacific Ocean, on Canada's southern west coast.|
|Area||31,285 km2 (12,079.2 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||2,200 m (7,200 ft)|
|Highest point||Golden Hinde|
Victoria (Provincial Capital) (pop. 80,032)
|Population||759,366 (as of 2011)|
|Density||23.94 /km2 (62 /sq mi)|
Vancouver Island, located in British Columbia, Canada, is the largest Pacific island east of New Zealand.[nb 1] Originally called Quadra and Vancouver Island after Spanish navigator Juan de la Bodega y Quadra and British navy officer George Vancouver, the island was first explored by British and Spanish expeditions in the late 18th century. The former's name was eventually dropped and has since been known solely as Vancouver. It is one of several North American locations named after this British Royal Navy officer who explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America between 1791 and 1794. While the city of Vancouver is located on the North American mainland, Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is located on the island. Along with the minor islands near its southern portion, it is the only part of British Columbia that is south of the 49th Parallel.
The island is 460 kilometres (290 mi) in length, 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width at its widest point, and 32,134 km2 (12,407 sq mi) in area. It is the largest island on the western side of North America, the world's 43rd largest island, Canada's 11th largest island, and Canada's second most populous island after the Island of Montreal. The Canada 2011 Census population is 759,366. Nearly half of these (344,630) live in Greater Victoria. Other notable cities and towns on Vancouver Island include Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville, Courtenay, and Campbell River.
The island was originally named Quadra's and Vancouver's Island in commemoration of the friendly negotiations held by Spanish Commander of the Nootka Sound settlement Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, and British Naval Captain George Vancouver on Nootka Sound in 1792, to find a solution to the Nootka Crisis.
Indigenous people 
|This section requires expansion. (September 2010)|
Vancouver Island has been the homeland to many main indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The groupings, by language, are the Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Coast Salish. Kwakwaka'wakw territory includes northern and northwestern Vancouver Island and adjoining areas of the mainland, the Nuu-chah-nulth span most of the west coast, while the Coast Salish cover the southeastern Island and southernmost extremities along the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Their cultures are connected to the natural resources abundant in the area.
The Kwakwaka'wakw today number about 5,500, who live in British Columbia on northern Vancouver Island and the mainland. They are also known as Kwakiutl in English, from one of their tribes, but they prefer their autonym Kwakwaka'wakw. Their indigenous language, part of the Wakashan family, is Kwak'wala. The name Kwakwaka'wakw means "speakers of Kwak'wala". The language is now spoken by less than 5% of the population—about 250 people. Today 17 separate tribes make up the Kwakwaka'wakw. Some Kwakwaka'wakw groups are now extinct. Kwak'wala is a Northern Wakashan language, a grouping shared with Haisla, Heiltsuk and Oowekyala. Kwakwaka'wakw centres of population on Vancouver Island include communities such as Fort Rupert, Alert Bay and Quatsino, The Kwakwaka'wakw tradition of the potlatch was banned by the federal government of Canada in 1885, but has been revived in recent decades.
The Nuu-chah-nulth (pronounced [nuːʧanˀuɬ], or approximately "new-cha-nulth") are indigenous peoples in Canada. Their traditional home is on the west coast of Vancouver Island. In pre-contact and early post-contact times, the number of nations was much greater, but as in the rest of the region, smallpox and other consequences of contact resulted in the disappearance of some groups, and the absorption of others into neighbouring groups.
They were among the first Pacific peoples north of California to come into contact with Europeans, as the Spanish, Americans and British attempted to secure control of Pacific Northwest and the trade in otter pelts, with Nootka Sound becoming a focus of these rivalries. The Nuu-chah-nulth speak a Southern Wakashan language and are closely related to the Makah of the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State and Ditidaht.
Coast Salish 
The Coast Salish are the largest of the southern groups. They are a loose grouping of many tribes with numerous distinct cultures and languages. On Vancouver Island, Coast Salish peoples territory traditionally spans from the northern limit of the Gulf of Georgia on the inside of Vancouver Island and covering most of southern Vancouver Island. Distinct nations within the Coast Salish peoples on Vancouver Island include the Chemainus, the Comox of the Courtenay area, the Cowichan of the Cowichan Valley, the Esquimalt, the Saanich of the Saanich Peninsula, the Songhees of the Victoria area and Snuneymuxw in the Nanaimo area.
European exploration 
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Europeans began to explore the island in 1774, when rumours of Russian fur traders caused Spain to send a number of expeditions to assert its long-held claims to the Pacific Northwest. The first expedition was that of the Santiago, under the command of Juan José Pérez Hernández. In 1775, a second Spanish expedition under the Spanish Peruvian captain Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra was sent. By 1776 Spanish exploration had reached Bucareli Bay including the mouth of the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington, and Sitka Sound.
Vancouver Island came to the attention of Britain after the third voyage of Captain James Cook, who spent a month during 1778 at Nootka Sound, on the island's western coast. Cook claimed it for the United Kingdom. The island's rich fur trading potential led the fur-trader John Meares to set up a single-building trading post near the native village of Yuquot (Friendly Cove), at the entrance to Nootka Sound. The building was removed by the end of 1788.
The island was further explored by Spain in 1789 with Esteban José Martínez, who established the settlement of Yuquot and the artillery battery of Fort San Miguel at Friendly Cove, which Spain called Puerto de San Lorenzo de Nuca. This was to be the only Spanish settlement in what would later be Canada. Asserting their claim of exclusive sovereignty and navigation rights, the Spanish force seized the Portuguese-flagged British ships. The two nations came close to war in the ensuing Nootka Crisis, but the issues were resolved peacefully with the first Nootka Convention in 1790, in which both countries recognized the other's rights to the area. The terms of the convention called for Spain to turn over the Britain the buildings and land that had been seized in 1789. For this purpose the British Naval Captain George Vancouver was sent to Nootka Sound in 1792. His Spanish counterpart in the negotiations was Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, who was commandant of Santa Cruz de Nuca in 1792. Vancouver had sailed as a midshipman with Cook. The negotiations between Vancouver and Bodega y Quadra ended in a deadlock with nothing resolved. Vancouver insisted the entire Spanish establishment be turned over, but Quadra held that there were no buildings seized in 1789 and the only possible land was a tiny and useless cove nearby. The two decided to refer the entire matter back to their respective governments. The friendly meeting between Quadra and Vancouver led the former to propose that the island be named after both: "Quadra and Vancouver Island", which became the original name. As Spain's influence in the area diminished in the 19th century, the name was shortened to the current "Vancouver".
In 1792, the Spanish explorer Dionisio Alcalá Galiano and his crew were the first Europeans to circumnavigate Vancouver Island. On April 8, 1806, Captain John D'Wolf of Bristol, Rhode Island sailed the Juno to Newettee, a small inlet in the northwestern promontory of Vancouver's Island. The Captain described Newette as one of the southernmost harbors frequented by American fur traders at lat. 51 degrees N. and long. 128 degrees. He relates that since Captain Robert Gray of Tiverton, Rhode Island sailed the Columbia River in 1792, the trade of the Northwest coast had been almost entirely in the hands of Boston merchants, so much so that the natives called all traders "Boston Men."  While we know this island today as Vancouver Island the English explorer had not intentionally meant to name such a large body of land solely after himself. In his September 1792 dispatch log report for the British Admiralty, Captain Vancouver reveals that his decision here was rather meant to honour a request by the Spanish Peruvian seafarer Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra that Vancouver:
- "would name some port or island after us both in commemoration of our meeting and friendly intercourse that on that occasion had taken place (Vancouver had previously feted Quadra on his ship);....and conceiving no place more eligible than the place of our meeting, I have therefore named this land...The Island of Quadra and Vancouver."
Bodega y Quadra wrote, however, that it was Vancouver who made the suggestion of combining their names to designate some geographical feature.
The newly discovered "Quadra's and Vancouver's Island" was the most prominent name on maps of the coast, and appeared on most [contemporary] British, French and Spanish maps of the period. But as Spanish interests in the region dwindled, so did Quadra's name. The Hudson's Bay Company played a major part in the transition; by 1824 'Vancouver's Island' had become the usual designation in its correspondence for the island. A quarter of a century later, Vancouver Island had become such a well known geographical feature, that the founding of the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1849 gave this name full official status. Period references to "Vancouver" referred to Vancouver Island until the naming of the city of Vancouver in 1885.
British settlement 
Shortly thereafter, in 1846, the Oregon Treaty was signed by the British and the U.S. to settle the question of the U.S. Oregon Territory borders. It awarded all of Vancouver Island to Britain, despite a portion of the island lying south of the 49th parallel. In 1849, the Colony of Vancouver Island was established. Following the brief governorship of Richard Blanshard, James Douglas, Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay post, assumed the role in 1851.
The first British settlement on the island was a Hudson's Bay Company post, Fort Camosack, founded in 1843, and later renamed Fort Victoria. Fort Victoria became an important base during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush in 1858, and the burgeoning town was incorporated as Victoria in 1862. Victoria became the capital of the colony of Vancouver Island, then retained that status when the island was amalgamated with the mainland in 1866. A British naval base, including a large shipyard and a naval hospital, was established at Esquimalt, in 1865 and eventually taken over by the Canadian military.
The economic situation of the colony declined following the Cariboo Gold Rush of 1861-1862, and pressure grew for amalgamation of the colony with the mainland colony of British Columbia (which had been established in 1858). The colony's third and last governor, Sir Arthur Kennedy oversaw the union of the two colonies in 1866.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2011)|
Vancouver Island is located in the southwestern corner of the province of British Columbia. It is separated from the mainland of British Columbia by Johnstone Strait, and Queen Charlotte Strait on the northeast, and by the Strait of Georgia on the southeast, which along with the Strait of Juan de Fuca along its southwest separate it from the United States (the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca are now officially also part of the Salish Sea, which includes Puget Sound as well). West of the island is the open Pacific Ocean, while to its north is Queen Charlotte Sound.
The Vancouver Island Ranges run most of the length of the island, dividing it into a wet and rugged west coast and a drier, more rolling east coast. The highest point in these ranges and on the island is the Golden Hinde, at 2,195 metres (7,201 ft). Located near the centre of Vancouver Island in 2,500 square kilometres (965 sq mi) Strathcona Provincial Park, it is part of a group of peaks that include the only glaciers on the island, the largest of which is the Comox Glacier. The west coast shoreline is rugged and in many places mountainous, characterised by its many fjords, bays, and inlets. The interior of the island has many lakes (Kennedy Lake, northeast of Ucluelet, is the largest) and rivers.
Major centres 
Vancouver Island's major population centre and only metropolitan area is the Capital Region, based around Victoria. There are also six census agglomeration areas with under 100,000 population as defined by Statistics Canada. These metropolitan and agglomeration areas' populations in 2011 were as follows:
|Rank||Metropolitan Area||Population (2011 Census) ||Core city|
|1||Capital Regional District||359,991||Victoria|
|5||Campbell River||36,461||Campbell River|
|6||Oceanside (Parksville-Qualicum Beach)||27,822||Parksville|
|7||Alberni Valley||25,465||Port Alberni|
The climate is the mildest in Canada, with temperatures on the coast even in January being usually above 0 °C (32 °F). In fact, Greater Victoria's mildest recording station (CWDR) frequently registers Januarys in which the temperature never dips below 4.4C (40F) - most recently January 2010, January 2006, & January 2003. The only major city in the Southern United States region in which this exceptionally mild phenomenon occurs as often - or more often - is Miami, Florida.
In summer, the warmest days usually achieve a maximum of 28–33 °C (82.4–91.4 °F). However, the rain shadow effect of the island's mountains, as well as the mountains of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, creates wide variation in precipitation. The west coast is considerably wetter than the east coast. Average annual precipitation ranges from 6,650 millimetres (261.8 in) at Henderson Lake on the west coast (making it the wettest place in North America) to only 640 millimetres (25.2 in) at the driest recording station in the provincial capital of Victoria on the southeast coast's Saanich Peninsula. Precipitation is heaviest in the autumn and winter. Snow is rare at low altitudes but is common on the island's mountaintops in winter.
A notable feature of Vancouver Island is the extension of summer dryness to latitudes as high as 50°N. Only in the extreme north of the island near Port Hardy is the rainfall of the driest summer month as much as one fifth that of the wettest months from November to March. West coasts of other continents at similar latitudes have a practically even distribution of rainfall through the year.
Vancouver Island is mostly made up of volcanic and sedimentary rock which was formed offshore on the now disappeared Kula oceanic plate. Around 55 million years ago, a microplate of the Kula Plate subducted below the North American continental margin with great strain. A volcanic arc on the surface of the Kula Plate was thus accreted and fused onto the western edge of North America. These terranes were subjected to extreme warping from continued subduction of the Kula plate, leading to the formation of the distorted Insular Mountains. Much of the central mountainous region around Strathcona Park is part of the Karmutsen Formation, which is a sequence of tholeiitic pillow basalts and breccias. Since Vancouver Island has become an accretionary wedge on the North American continent, the Kula Plate has fully subducted beneath it and the remnants of the Farallon Plate, the Juan de Fuca Plate, are now subducting below the island. This process has led to Vancouver Island being one of the most seismically active regions in Canada. The subduction zone off the coast of the island forms a section of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The area has been known to host megathrust earthquakes in the past, the last occurring in 1700. In 1946, the Forbidden Plateau in the east of the Vancouver Island Ranges was the epicentre of an earthquake that registered 7.3 on the Richter scale, the strongest ever recorded on land in Canada.
Vancouver Island was the location of the observation of the episodic tremor and slip seismic phenomenon.
Vancouver Island lies in the temperate rainforest biome. On the southern and eastern portions of the island, this is characterized by Douglas-fir, western red cedar, arbutus (or madrone), Garry oak, salal, Oregon-grape, and manzanita; moreover, Vancouver Island is the location where the Douglas-fir was first recorded by Archibald Menzies; Vancouver Island is also the location where some of the tallest Douglas fir were recorded. This southeastern portion of the island is the most heavily populated region of Vancouver Island and a major area for recreation. The northern, western, and most of the central portions of the island are home to the coniferous "big trees" associated with British Columbia's coast — western hemlock, western red cedar, Pacific Silver Fir, yellow cedar, Douglas-fir, grand fir, Sitka spruce, and western white pine. It is also characterised by bigleaf maple, red alder, sword fern, and red huckleberry.
The fauna of Vancouver Island is similar to that found on the mainland coast, with some notable exceptions and additions. For example, grizzly bears, mountain goats, porcupines, moose, skunks, coyotes, and numerous species of small mammals, while plentiful on the mainland, are absent from Vancouver Island. The island does support most of Canada's Roosevelt elk, however, and two species — the Vancouver Island Marmot and the Vancouver Island Wolf — are unique to the island. The island's rivers, lakes, and coastal regions are renowned for their fisheries of trout, salmon, and Steelhead. It has the most concentrated population of cougars in North America. There are also black bears.
After near-total extirpation by fur traders in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) were protected by international treaty in 1911. Despite protection, the remnant population off Vancouver Island died out with the last sea otter taken near Kyuquot in 1929. From 1969 to 1972, 89 sea otters were flown or shipped from Alaska to the west coast of Vancouver Island. This population expanded to over 3,000 as of 2004, and their range on the island's west coast expanded from Cape Scott in the north to Barkley Sound to the south.
Within the island's largest city, Victoria, there is a significant IT and technology industry. According to the Victoria Advanced Technology Council website, over 800 technology companies operate in the Victoria area, with combined annual revenues of $1.95 billion.
High Speed Internet is delivered to the island by Shaw Communications, Telus, and various local providers with their own networks. Wireless Internet connections can be found all over the Island, many free for public use.
While the Island does generate much of its own power at several hydroelectric stations, increased demand required the construction of several high voltage power cables, both HVDC and AC, connecting to the Canadian Mainland. See Powerlines connecting Vancouver Island with Canadian Mainland.
Outside of Victoria, Vancouver Island's economy is largely dominated by the forestry industry. Many of the logging operations are for paper pulp, in "2nd growth" tree farms that are harvested approximately every 80 years. Logging operations involving old-growth forests such as those found on Clayoquot Sound are controversial and have gained international attention through the efforts of activists and environmental organizations.
Fishing plays a large role in the lives of many islanders. Commercial fishing vessels operate out of the island's ports and harbours, and coastal fish farms (controversially) produce many tons of Atlantic salmon yearly.
In recent years the government of British Columbia has engaged in an advertising program to draw more tourists to beach resorts in places such as Tofino and Ucluelet. Sport fishing, whale-watching, hiking, SCUBA diving, and skiing are just a few things for which tourists visit Vancouver Island. Visitors also come to see Victoria's nineteenth-century architecture, and the many villages which line the coast such as Cowichan Bay, Chemainus, and Qualicum Beach.
- University of Victoria
- Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina University-College)
- Royal Roads University
Public school districts 
There are 11 school districts on Vancouver Island with several elementary, junior high, and high schools in each. Three school districts are in the Greater Victoria area and the other eight cover the rest of the island to the north. All public schooling falls under the jurisdiction of the British Columbia Ministry of Education.
Private schools 
- St. Michael's University School, Victoria, with campuses in Oak Bay and Saanich
- Glenlyon Norfolk, Victoria
- St. Margaret's School, Victoria (limited to female students)
- Brentwood College, Mill Bay
- Shawnigan Lake
- Queen Margaret's School, Duncan
- Dwight International School, Shawnigan Lake
- Sunrise Waldorf School, Duncan
- Island Oak High School, Duncan
- Maria Montessori Academy, Victoria British Columbia, located in Gordan Head
- Selkirk Montessori School, Victoria British Columbia, located at the Selkirk Waterway
- Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, Metchosin
- St. Joseph's Chemainus Catholic Elementary School, Chemainus
- Duncan Christian School, Duncan
- Nanaimo Christian School, Nanaimo
- Pacific Christian School, Victoria
- Apengrove School, Nanaimo
Marine transport is very important to Vancouver Island for access to the mainland of British Columbia and Washington. There are no bridges connecting the island to the mainland, although the idea of building one has been brought up many times. Major technical issues and cost are the largest barriers to a bridge currently though exact public support for the idea is not currently known. The only vehicle access to Vancouver Island is via ferries operated by BC Ferries, Washington State Ferries and Black Ball Transport Inc. There are seven vehicle ferry routes:
- BC Ferries
- Crossing time: 1 hour 35 minutes; 8 sailings per day in the fall, winter, and spring and more in summer)
- Crossing time: 2 hours; 8 round trips daily.
- Horseshoe Bay (19 km (12 mi) northwest of Vancouver) - Departure Bay (3 km (2 mi) north of downtown Nanaimo)
- Crossing time: 1 hour 35 minutes; Sailings every 2 hours with extra sailings during the summer and holidays.
- Crossing time: 35 minutes- 3 hours depending on island of departure; 4 or more trips daily.
- Crossing time: 1 hour 20 minutes; 4 round trips daily.
- Service daily or on alternate days; changes seasonally.
- Washington State Ferries
- Crossing time: 2 hours (not counting stops in the San Juan Islands)
- Black Ball Transport
- Port Angeles, Washington - Victoria
- Crossing time: 1 hour 30 minutes; 1 or 2 round trips daily
- Passenger-only service
In addition, there are three passenger-only ferry services from the mainland to Vancouver Island:
- Victoria Clipper (Seattle, Washington - Victoria)
- Crossing time: 2 hour 45 minutes; 1 to 3 round trips daily
- Victoria Express (Port Angeles, Washington - Victoria)
- Crossing time: 1 hour (operates May through September)
- Victoria San Juan Cruises (Bellingham, Washington - Victoria)
- Crossing time: 3 hours (operates one trip per day May through October)
- In the past, several passenger catamarans have been run between Nanaimo and Vancouver (most recently by HarbourLynx). Despite the operations repeatedly going bankrupt, there is still popular interest in a passenger service between Nanaimo and Vancouver.
There are two remaining major railways on Vancouver Island. The Southern Railway of Vancouver Island, which assumed control of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway from RailAmerica in July 2006 offers general freight service on the Victoria–Courtenay main line (called the Victoria Subdivision by the railroad). The Port Alberni branch line (called the Port Alberni Subdivision by the railroad) has been out of service since late 2001.
SVI also runs passenger service under contract with Via Rail. Western Forest Products operates the Englewood Railway which is Canada's last logging railway, running from Woss to Beaver Cove on the northern end of the island. The former Canadian National Railway out of Victoria to the Cowichan Valley was abandoned in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and the former grade between Victoria and Sooke is now the multi-use Galloping Goose Regional Trail. The BC Forest Discovery Centre has a narrow gauge railway winding around the park, and the Alberni Pacific Railway operates during the summer from the restored E&N Railway station in Port Alberni to the McLean's Mill on former E&N Railway trackage.
There is one major north-south highway system on the island, which runs along the eastern side. It begins as Highway 1 in Victoria, and merges with Highway 19 in Nanaimo, which then terminates at Port Hardy. The highway is a patchwork of two, four and six-lane roadways between Victoria and Port Hardy. Highways 1 and 19 have no consistent design, safety or mobility characteristics along Vancouver Island. Rather, the engineering and traffic controls of the roadway vary widely from one city or district to the next and include the following variations: 1. A conjested heavily signalized four-lane urban core street with heavy pedestrian activity in Victoria and again in Duncan. 2. Short moderate speed four to six-lane freeways with interchanges just west of Victoria and just south of Nanimo. 3. A paved but treacherous two to three-lane winding alpine arterial road through the Malahat that is subject to frequent accidents and closures. 4. A moderate to heavily signalized variable speed four-lane divided arterial road from the Malahat to Parksville (interrupted by the Duncan urban-core bottleneck). 5. A stretch of four-lane high-speed freeway from Parksville to Comox. 6. A moderate speed two-lane arterial highway north to Campbell River and Port Hardy.
East-west routes are:
- Highway 4 between Parksville and Tofino;
- Highway 14 between Greater Victoria and Port Renfrew;
- Highway 18 between Duncan and Lake Cowichan;
- Highway 28 between Campbell River and Gold River; and
- Highway 30 between Port Hardy and Port Alice.
Vancouver Island is well served by secondary routes, a growing number of which have efficient roundabouts in place of the traffic lights that can back-up traffic on the main highway route. Numerous active and decommissioned logging and forest service roads provide access into the back country.
Many communities are served by public transit. Greater Victoria is one of the few places in North America where double-deck buses are used in the regular public transit system.
Proposals have been made for a "fixed link" to the mainland for over a century. Because of the extreme depth and soft seabed of the Georgia Strait, and the potential for seismic activity, a bridge or tunnel would face monumental engineering, safety, and environmental challenges at a prohibitive cost.
- Victoria Airport is the major airport on Vancouver Island. In 2010, it was the 9th busiest airport in Canada in terms of passenger movements (1,464,420). Six major carriers (Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz, United Airlines, Horizon Air, Pacific Coastal Airlines, and WestJet) offer a variety of direct flights of short and medium distance including to and from Seattle, San Francisco, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto. Victoria International also has seasonal service to Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Las Vegas, and Honolulu.
- CFB Comox (YQQ)
- CFB Comox/Comox Valley Airport is a shared military and civilian airport. In 2010 the Comox Valley Airport was the second busiest airport on Vancouver Island in terms of passenger movements (291,910). It offers direct flights to Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Campbell River several times daily, as well as Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on a weekly basis through WestJet.
- Nanaimo Airport (YCD)
- Nanaimo Airport has flights with Air Canada Jazz to Vancouver and Island Express Air to Victoria and Abbotsford. A recently installed (as of February 2010) instrument landing system and runway extension has improved the capacity, safety, and punctuality of flights. There are more improvements slated for completion March 2011.
- Qualicum Beach Airport (XQU), Tofino Airport (YAZ), Campbell River Airport (YBL) and Port Hardy Airport (YZT)
- Qualicum Beach, Tofino, Campbell River and Port Hardy have small airports capable of handling private aircraft and small commercial jets.
- Harbour Airports and Heliports
- Floatplane and helicopter traffic to and from Victoria's Inner Harbour (YWH) accounted for 261,712 passengers in 2010, making it the third busiest airport on Vancouver Island. Nanaimo Harbour (ZNA) also operates a busy water aerodrome. Much of the floatplane traffic is downtown-to-downtown service between these two and Vancouver Harbour, the primary carriers being Harbour Air, West Coast Air, and Baxter Aviation. Harbour Air also flies to other areas around Vancouver, service to Seattle's Lake Union is provided by Kenmore Air, and Orca Airways runs flights between Vancouver and Tofino Harbour. These carriers make several daily scheduled flights, weather permitting. Helicopter service is provided by Helijet in Victoria and various private operators elsewhere.
See also 
- Canadian wine
- Cascadia subduction zone
- Colony of Vancouver Island
- Cougar Annie
- First Nations on Vancouver Island
- Kinsol Trestle
- Vancouver Island Health Authority
- West Coast of Vancouver Island Aquatic Management Board
- Though Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego (off the southern tip of South America) and Alexander Island (west of Palmer Land, Antarctic Peninsula) are both larger, neither are generally considered "Pacific islands" due to their locations in the Southern Ocean, bordering the Atlantic.
- "The Atlas of Canada - Sea Islands". Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- "BC Parks - Strathcona Provincial Park, Central Vancouver Island, British Columbia". Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- "Sub-Provincial Population Estimates, 2006-2009". Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- "Vancouver Island Population Figures 2008". Bcstats.gov.bc.ca. 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
- BC stats, quoted at. "Invest British Columbia". Retrieved 2007-09-20.[dead link]
- "History and Heritage of Vancouver Island, British Columbia". Retrieved 2007-07-08.
- Tales of an Old Seaport ed: Wilfred Harold Munro, Princeton University Press, 1917, pp.109-114
- The Voyage of George Vancouver 1791-1795, Volume 1, ed: W. Kaye Lamb, Hakluyt Society, 1984, p.247
- George Vancouver, "A Narrative of my proceedings in HMS Discovery from 28 August - 26 September 1792"; the cited quote from Vancouver is given in the final section of his report here from Nootka and is dated 26 September 1792, P.R.O., C.O. 5/187, f. 114
- Tovell, Freeman M. (2008). At the Far Reaches of Empire: The Life of Juan Francisco De La Bodega Y Quadra. University of British Columbia Press. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-7748-1367-9.
- The Voyage of George Vancouver in Lamb, 1984, p.247
- The Voyage of George Vancouver in Lamb, 1984, p.248
- "The Flags of Canada by Alistair B. Fraser". Retrieved 2011-11-26.
- "Hbc Heritage - Our History - Places". Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- "Population and dwelling counts, British Columbia". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
- Derek Sidenius (1999-01-24). "Shake, Rattle and Roll in '46 Earthquake". Victoria Times Colonist Islander Magazine. Archived from the original on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2006-07-14.
- C. Michael Hogan (2008) Douglas-fir: Pseudotsuga menziesii, globalTwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Strõmberg)
- "Sea Otter Recovery on Vancouver Island's West Coast". Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre Public Education Programme. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
- "What is VIATeC? - VIATeC". Viatec.ca. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "A Potential Fixed Link to Vancouver Island". British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
- "Passenger Ferry Survey 2009". City of Nanaimo. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
- "Businessman proposes Nanaimo passenger ferry to mainland". Stephen Rees's blog. Stephenrees.wordpress.com. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "Downtown Nanaimo To Downtown Vancouver Passenger Ferry Survey". nanaimo-info-Blog. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "A Potential Fixed Link to Vancouver Island - Ministry of Transportation". Th.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "Air Carrier Traffic at Canadian Airports (Catalogue no. 51-203-X)". Statistics Canada. 2010. p. 10.
- "YCD". Nanaimo Airport. Archived from the original on 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "CAT4 - Qualicum Beach Airport". Qualicum Beach. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
Further reading 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Vancouver Island|
- Birds of Vancouver Island
- Great Seal of the crown colony of Vancouver Island
- Measuring crustal motions in coastal British Columbia with continuous GPS
- BC Ministry of Transportation - Report on Fixed Link
- Qualicum Beach Airport on COPA's Places to Fly airport directory