British Columbia Highway 19

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Highway 19 shield

Highway 19
Island Highway
Inland Island Highway
Highway 19 highlighted in red.
Route information
Length377 km (234 mi)
Major junctions
South end Duke Point Ferry Terminal
  Hwy 1 (TCH) in Nanaimo
Hwy 19A south in Nanaimo
Hwy 19A north at Craig's Crossing
Hwy 4A near Parksville
Hwy 4 near Qualicum Beach
Hwy 19A / Hwy 28 in Campbell River
Hwy 30 between and Port McNeill and Port Hardy
North end Bear Cove Ferry Terminal
Highway system
British Columbia provincial highways
Hwy 18Hwy 19A

Highway 19, is the main north-south thoroughfare on Vancouver Island from Nanaimo to Port Hardy. A highway has existed on the Island since about 1912. Originally gravel and rough, the highway was an essential link together with the E and N Railway. The paved highway first opened in 1953, replacing a stretch of Highway 1 between Nanaimo and Campbell River, finally being extended to the northern tip of the island in the late 1970s. The total length of the highway is 377 kilometres (234 mi).


Completed in 1953, the highway was built over most of the original highway 19A. By 1976,[1] the highway was extended north to Port Hardy, where it terminated at the Beaver Cove ferry terminal. Before 1976, the highway terminated in the north at Kelsey Bay, where BC Ferries originally began its northern route to Prince Rupert until moving its southern terminus north to Port Hardy after the highway was extended. Between 1996 and 2001, an express route was built further inland between Parksville and Campbell River, while another express route was built as a western bypass of Nanaimo, extending the highway further south to the Duke Point ferry terminal. This makes Highway 19 the only numbered highway in B.C. to have ferry terminals at both ends.

In 2014 the speed limit on the Inland Island Highway stretch of Highway 19 was raised to 120 km/h north of Parksville; this was the highest signed speed limit in Canada. In November 2018 the provincial government reduced the speed limit on this section back to 110km/hr after a safety review.

Route details[edit]

Highway 19, Exit 60 interchange with Highway 4 at Qualicum Beach looking WSW

Highway 19's northern end is located at the Bear Cove ferry terminal, across the bay from Port Hardy. The highway proceeds southwest from the ferry dock for 5 km (3 mi) to a junction with the main road to the centre of Port Hardy, then turns southeast, travelling for 16 km (10 mi) to Highway 30, and then further east for 20 km (12 mi) to the main road to Port McNeill. The highway then follows the eastern shore of Nimpkish Lake and the Nimpkish River through a long stretch of dense forest terrain for 64 km (40 mi) southeast, until reaching a junction with the community of Woss, then travelling another 65 km east (40 mi), through the boundary between the Regional Districts of Mount Waddington and Strathcona, to a junction with Sayward, and finally entering the city of Campbell River another 64 km (40 mi) southeast, at a junction with Highways 28 and 19A, just past the river that the city is named for.

The entire stretch of Highway 19 north of Campbell River is an undivided two-lane configuration. Once at the junction with Highways 28 and 19A, Highway 19 separates into an expressway configuration, built between 1996 and 2001. In Campbell River, the expressway shares its northbound lanes with Tamarac Street, and its southbound lanes with Willow Street. The entire stretch of Highway 19 between Campbell River and the city of Parksville alternates between a divided four-lane expressway and freeway, with a nominal speed limit of 110 km/h (70 mph), and is referred to as the "Inland Island Highway".

South from Campbell River, Highway 19 is divided primarily by a concrete wall, and goes through a series of six at-grade intersections, five of them possessing exit numbers. 52 km (32 mi) south of Campbell River, Highway 19 reaches its first interchange, with a four-lane arterial highway that goes west to the village of Cumberland and east to the communities of Courtenay and Comox. Past the Courtenay Interchange, Highway 19 is divided by a grass median. 16 km (10 mi) later, Highway 19 reaches another interchange, this time with a two-lane road that goes a short distance east to the B.C. Ferry terminal at Buckley Bay. There are two more at-grade intersections on Highway 19 in the 41 km (25 mi) between the Buckley Bay Interchange and the interchange with Highway 4, which goes north into Qualicum Beach. 9 km (6 mi) later, Highway 19 goes through another interchange, this time with Highway 4A, which goes east into Parksville. The next interchange, at Craig's Crossing, is another 5 km south (3 mi).

Past the Craig's Crossing Interchange, Highway 19 resumes its 1953 alignment, which today is a 4-lane, divided arterial highway with a concrete median barrier mostly constructed during the 1970s. The highway passes southeast through the communities of Nanoose Bay and Lantzville before finally entering the north part of Nanaimo. Highway 19 then veers south onto a 20 km (12 mi) long four-lane expressway known as the "Nanaimo Parkway", which has five at-grade intersections along its length. Highway 19's Nanaimo Parkway portion ends at an interchange with the Trans Canada and Cedar Road. At the interchange with Cedar Road, Highway 19 proceeds to share an alignment with the Trans-Canada Highway south for 2 km (1¼ mi) before turning eastward at another interchange (Duke Point Highway). Highway 19 then crosses over the Nanaimo River 2 km (1¼ mi) later, passes through an interchange at Maughan Rd and then goes northward for 5 km (3 mi), finally terminating at the B.C. Ferry terminal at Duke Point.

The 5 km-long stretch of Highway 19 between Capilano Road and Northwest Bay Rd in Nanoose Bay is a single point of failure in Vancouver Island's highway system. If a major incident resulted in the total closure of any part of that stretch of road, traffic travelling between the north Island and the south Island would have to take a very long detour involving no less than four separate ferry routes.

Major intersections[edit]

From south to north:

Regional districtLocationkm[2]miExitDestinationsNotes
NanaimoDuke Point
0.000.00 Duke Point ferry terminal – BC Ferries to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal (Hwy 17 east)
0.270.17(0)private road – Harmac SawmillAt grade, traffic signals; no westbound exit
1.921.19(2)Maughan Road – Biggs Park, Jack PointAt grade; no westbound entrance
Cedar4.262.65(4)Maughan Road – Duke Point Industrial ParkInterchange; eastbound exit, westbound entrance
Nanaimo8.034.997 Hwy 1 (TCH) south – Nanaimo Airport, VictoriaDuke Point Interchange
Hwy 19 branches north; south end of Hwy 1 concurrency
9.976.209 Hwy 1 (TCH) north / Cedar Road – Departure Bay, City Centre, VancouverGrade separated; left-side exit; north end of Hwy 1 concurrency
South end of Nanaimo Parkway segment
16.4910.2516College Drive, Fifth Street – Vancouver Island UniversityAt-grade intersection, signalized
18.4511.4618Jingle Pot RoadAt-grade intersection, signalized
21.3413.2621Northfield RoadAt-grade intersection, signalized
24.5515.2524Jingle Pot Road, Mostar RoadAt-grade intersection, signalized
28.1717.5028Aulds RoadAt-grade intersection, signalized
28.6017.77(28B)Mary Ellen DriveNorthbound right-in/right-out; northbound access to Hwy 19A
29.1118.0929 Hwy 19A south (Business Route) to Hwy 1 (TCH) – Departure Bay, VancouverSouthbound only; jughandle intersection; signalized
North end of Nanaimo Parkway segment
Lantzville30.5618.99(30)Ware RoadAt-grade intersection, signalized
32.3820.12(32)Superior RoadAt-grade intersection, signalized
33.9621.10(34)Lantzville Road
Nanoose Bay40.0024.85(39)Northwest Bay RoadAt-grade intersection, signalized
40.3325.06(40)Morello RoadAt-grade intersection, signalized
44.3927.58(44)Northwest Bay Logging RoadAt-grade intersection, signalized
Parksville46.1928.7046 Hwy 19A north (Oceanside Route)Craig's Crossing Interchange
South end of Inland Island Highway
51.7532.1651 Hwy 4A west / Alberni Highway – CoombsAllsbrook Interchange
Qualicum Beach60.7137.7260 Hwy 4 west / Memorial Avenue – Port AlberniHilliers Interchange
75.1546.7075Horne Lake Road – Qualicum Bay, BowserAt-grade intersection, signalized
Comox Valley87.2554.2187Cook Creek Road – Deep Bay, Fanny BayAt-grade intersection, signalized
101.0862.81101 Buckley Bay Road (Hwy 964:2360 east) – Buckley Bay, Union Bay, RoystonInterchange; access to Denman Island/Hornby Island ferry; Hwy 964:2360 is unsigned
Cumberland117.8073.20117 Comox Valley Parkway (Hwy 964:2349 east) – Courtenay, Comox, CFB Comox, FerriesInterchange; access to Powell River via ferry; Hwy 964:2349 is unsigned
127.2779.08127Piercy Road – Courtenay, ComoxAt-grade intersection, signalized
130.8881.33130Dove Creek Road, Strathcona Parkway – Mount WashingtonAt-grade intersection, signalized
144.1089.54144Hamm Road – Black CreekAt-grade intersection, signalized
Strathcona153.7695.54(154)Cranberry LaneAt-grade intersection, signalized
Campbell River161.36100.26161 Jubilee Parkway (Hwy 964:2364 east) – Campbell River AirportAt-grade intersection, signalized; Hwy 964:2364 is unsigned
167.96104.37167Willis RoadAt-grade intersection, signalized
170.43105.90 Hwy 28 west / Hwy 19A south (Oceanside Route) – Gold River, City Centre, Quadra IslandAt-grade intersections, signalized
North end of Inland Island Highway
234.24145.55Sayward Road (Hwy 964:2371 north) – SaywardHwy 964:2371 is unsigned
Mount Waddington234.24145.55Beaver Cove Road (Hwy 964:2391 east) – Telegraph CoveHwy 964:2391 is unsigned
Port McNeill241.49150.05 Campbell Way (Hwy 964:2396 north) – Alert Bay, SointulaHwy 964:2396 is unsigned
355.89221.14 Hwy 30 west – Port Alice
Port Hardy372.18231.26Douglas Street (Hwy 964:2398 north) – Port HardyHwy 19 branches right; Douglas Street is considered an unofficial alternate route of Hwy 19; Hwy 964:2398 is unsigned
376.83234.15 Bear Cove Ferry Terminal – BC Ferries to Central Coast and Prince Rupert
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
() - Exit not officially numbered


  1. ^ "Hansard extract". July 26, 1979.
  2. ^ Landmark Kilometre Inventory (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Report). Cypher Consulting. July 2016. pp. 285–305.

External links[edit]