Known locally as the Isle of the Arts, Gabriola Island is nestled in the Strait of Georgia, between the mainland and Vancouver Island.
Gabriola Island is serviced by a 20 minute ferry from the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Floatplane service from Vancouver and Victoria to Silva Bay, on the south end of Gabriola, is also available.
Gabriola Island is just over 50 sq. km (20 sq. mi) and home to about 4, 000 permanent residents. The island has an active Arts community, with festivals celebrating arts, theatre, poetry, music, gardens, boating and fishing held throughout the year.
Gabriola Island inspires with its beauty. The only broadleaved evergreen tree native to Canada, the Arbutus, prefers rocky outcrops along the shore.
They have a unique bark which falls away to reveal a red skin. In Autumn, the red skin peels away to reveal new green bark.
Unique sandstone formations along parts of Gabriola’s coastline are known as the Malaspina Galleries.
Plenty of deer, racoons and other land animals call Gabriola home, but the sea birds and, especially , the sea mammals, are the real treat for nature lovers.
The local seagulls are the most versatile fliers, but the Gulf Islands are home to a large number of bald eagles, and they seem to get the most attention.
And, of course, the local and transient Killer Whale pods are popular members of the Georgia Strait.