Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal

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Horseshoe Bay
Ferry terminal
A ferry departing the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal.
General information
Location6750 Keith Road, West Vancouver
British Columbia
Coordinates49°22′35″N 123°16′16″W / 49.37639°N 123.27111°W / 49.37639; -123.27111
Owned byBC Ferries
Operated byBC Ferries
Line(s)Route 2–Departure Bay
Route 3–Langdale
Route 8Snug Cove
Bus routes3
Bus stands1
Bus operatorsWest Vancouver Municipal Transit
Coast Mountain Bus Company
  •  250  Vancouver
  •  257  Vancouver Express
  •  262  Brunswick
Parking138 short-term spaces
460 long-term spaces
Other information
Station codeHSB[1]
WebsiteVancouver (Horseshoe Bay)
Original companyBlack Ball Lines
Key dates
1961Acquired by the Government of British Columbia[2]
20213 026 409[Note 1]Increase 37.51%

Horseshoe Bay is a major ferry terminal owned and operated by BC Ferries in British Columbia, Canada. Located in the community of Horseshoe Bay, a neighbourhood of West Vancouver, the terminal provides a vehicle ferry link from the Lower Mainland to Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and to Bowen Island, a small island in the southern part of Howe Sound.

Comprising three berths, Horseshoe Bay is the third largest BC Ferries terminal, after Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay.[citation needed]

Establishment and expansion[edit]

In 1951, the Black Ball Line leased a wharf and began a service to Gibsons[2] (later relocated to Langdale).[3] In 1953, a new route to Departure Bay in Nanaimo was established.[4] In 1956, services to Bowen Island began when Black Ball replaced the Union Steamship Company of British Columbia.[5]

In 1961, the provincial government purchased the various Black Ball operations.[6] In the late 1960s, the terminal was reconstructed and expanded.[7][8] In 1976, a new upper deck loading ramp was built.[9]

In 2002, substantial improvements were completed at a cost of $39 million, which primarily addressed traffic awaiting embarkation on ferries. Holding stalls increased from 650 to 1,265 by absorbing former highway, removing a freeway bridge and truck runaway lane, and reconfiguring a highway interchange. Additional construction included a 450-car underground parkade and new buildings for foot passengers, amenities and maintenance.[10] A $250 million upgrade of the terminal is planned for the 2020s.[11]

On March 28, 2022, the first seismic sensor for British Columbia's earthquake early warning system was installed at the Horseshoe Bay terminal.[12]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • 1966: Langdale Queen ran over a nearby rowboat, on which both occupants survived.[13]
  • 1982: Queen of Surrey rammed the dock causing significant damage.[14]
  • 1985: Three occupants were killed when Queen of Cowichan ran over a pleasure boat near the terminal.[15]
  • 1989: A structural steel load on an arriving truck shifted, striking seven parked vehicles and injuring two women in the holding lot.[16]
  • 1990: After brakes failed, a loaded truck struck a parked van and spilled hot asphalt, killing two of the occupants and injuring others.[17] The truck driver received an 18-month sentence, increased to five years on appeal.[18] At a new trial, the driver was found guilty of dangerous driving but not criminal negligence.[19]
  • 1991: Robbers stole $12,000 in coin from a safe at the terminal.[20]
  • 1995: Queen of Coquitlam slammed into pilings, damaging its bow.[21]
  • 2005: Queen of Oak Bay lost control and smashed into a number of private boats at the marina in Horseshoe Bay; no fatalities were reported.[22]
  • 2019: A crew member was significantly injured after being hit by the Queen of Cowichan's bow door which was having trouble opening at the terminal.[23]
  • 2022: A minor rock slide on January 2, 2022 closed the parkade for rock removal and structural repairs. May 19 is the target reopening date.[24][needs update]



  1. ^ Figures obtained from adding 1 297 666 (Route 2), 1 154 858 (Route 3), and 573 885 (Route 8), resulting in 3 026 409 passengers that used Horseshoe Bay in 2021.[1] Statistics for the year of 2020 are 829 116 (Route 2), 907 731 (Route 3), and 464 078 (Route 8), resulting in 2 200 925.[25] Only statistics denoting "passenger" traffic is counted; it is unclear whether passengers from vehicles are included in this statistic. The large percentage increase from 2020 to 2021 is due to reduced 2020 passenger traffic from the COVID-19 pandemic.


  1. ^ a b "Total Vehicle and Passenger Counts by Route for May 2022" (PDF). Connecting the Coast | BC Ferries. June 6, 2022. Retrieved August 7, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b "Horseshoe Bay". Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  3. ^ Little, Gary. "Black Ball Ferries 1951–1961".
  4. ^ "New Ferry Link for Nanaimo". The Daily Colonist. Victoria, BC. 30 Sep 1952. p. 3 – via Internet Archive.
  5. ^ Crilly, Martin Laurence (1973). Analysis of British Columbia Ferries and its Commercial Vehicle Policy (MBA). University of British Columbia. p. 70 (57).
  6. ^ "CP Considering Ways to Compete With Black Ball". Prince George Citizen. 6 Dec 1961. p. 1 – via Prince George Newspapers.
  7. ^ "Bids Opened On Terminal". The Daily Colonist. Victoria, BC. 4 Nov 1967. p. 10 – via Internet Archive.
  8. ^ The British Columbia Road Runner (PDF). Vol. 5, no. 3. Department of Highways. Sep 1968. p. 2 {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "New ferry hurdles obstacles". The Daily Colonist. Victoria, BC. 27 Jul 1976. p. 41 – via Internet Archive.
  10. ^ Furtado, Glen, M.A.Sc., EIT; Hobbs, Steve, P.Eng (1 Jan 2003). "TRANSPORTATION: Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal". Canadian Consulting Engineer. Association of Canadian Engineering Companies.
  11. ^ Chan, Kenneth (19 Sep 2019). "BC Ferries planning world-class hub upgrade for Horseshoe Bay terminal (RENDERINGS)". Daily Hive. Vancouver: ZoomerMedia.
  12. ^ Kotyk, Alyse (29 March 2022). "1st sensor for Canada's early earthquake warning system installed in B.C." CTV News. Bell Media.
  13. ^ "Man 'Run Over' By Ferry". Prince George Citizen. 24 Jan 1966. p. 5 – via Prince George Newspapers.
  14. ^ "Bad month on ferries". Prince George Citizen. 1 Sep 1982. p. 3 – via Prince George Newspapers.
  15. ^ "Boat operators blamed for deaths". Prince George Citizen. 7 Mar 1986. p. 9 – via Prince George Newspapers.
  16. ^ "Two hurt at terminal". Prince George Citizen. 18 Jul 1989. p. 2 – via Prince George Newspapers.
  17. ^ "Grieving man lashes out after ferry terminal mishap". Prince George Citizen. 10 Jul 1990. p. 2 – via Prince George Newspapers.
  18. ^ "Out on bail". Prince George Citizen. 4 Sep 1992. p. 2 – via Prince George Newspapers.
  19. ^ "Truck driver guilty". Prince George Citizen. 13 Feb 1995. p. 2 – via Prince George Newspapers.
  20. ^ "Heavy money". Sunshine Coast News. 18 May 1991. p. 8 – via UBC Library.
  21. ^ "Ferry slams into pilings". Prince George Citizen. 21 Oct 1995. p. 17 – via Prince George Newspapers.
  22. ^ "Marine Investigation Report M92W1022". Transportation Safety Board of Canada. 24 May 2007.
  23. ^ NanaimoNewsNOW Staff (19 Oct 2019). "Ferry worker injured on Queen of Cowichan hospitalized, 2 sailings cancelled". NanaimoNewsNOW.
  24. ^ "Parkade Closure - Horseshoe Bay Terminal". BC Ferries. 18 Mar 2022.
  25. ^ "Total Vehicle and Passenger Counts by Route for December 2021" (PDF). Connecting the Coast | BC Ferries. January 7, 2022. Retrieved August 7, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)