Lasqueti Island (49°29'00”, 124°16'00”) is one of the Gulf Islands
, located in the Strait of Georgia
, 80 km WNW of Vancouver
, British Columbia
. It is at the southern tip of Texada Island
The island is 5 km wide and 21 km long, with an area of 73.56 km2. In 2001, the island had a population of 367.
In 1791, Spanish explorers named the island after naval officer Juan Maria Lasqueti. Prior to 1860, the year of the first European settlement, Lasqueti Island was occupied by natives from the Pentlach Band.
There is no hydroelectric grid, and the roads are unpaved, and not frequently used. Indeed, no cars are transported on the ferry. It is local traffic only. Taxi, fuel, and propane services are available, however. Islanders and visitors frequently walk or cycle.
The Lasqueti Island ferry, the Centurion VII, is a foot passenger ferry that sails the 17km between French Creek on Vancouver Island and the government dock at False Bay at the northwest point of Lasqueti Island. Crossing takes just under an hour, and it costs $6/adult.
Small boats can be moored at False Bay (Lasqueti Island’s commercial centre) or Squitty Bay. There are also seven points of beach access. A private water taxi service is available, departing from French Creek or Nanoose Bay. This more expensive option could set one out $100 to $150, depending on load, season, and weather. It is also possible to access the island by floatplane or helicopter.
In 2000, 69% of the land was vegetated. There are 13 farms on the island. Agriculture and industry are rather limited, and most commercial operations are run out of residents’ homes. This includes the manufacture of fishing seiners, and clam and oyster farming.
Fifty-three percent of Lasqueti Island’s labour force is self-employed. As residents without a power grid or a bustling local economy, work weeks tend to be short. Things that have to be accounted for are the time spent on the weekly grocery run to Vancouver Island, chopping firewood, and gardening. Electric power is generated through photovoltaic panels, water turbines, and waterwheels.
While the population is quite low, and the one school enrolls only 30 students from kindergarten to grade 12, Statistics Canada identifies it as the most highly educated community in British Columbia. As of 2000, 21% of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher. Professions include poets, artists, physicists, fishers, loggers, tree planters, designers, professional musicians, published authors, small-scale manufacturers, commercial agriculturists, aquaculturists, and consultants in education, engineering, forestry, and alternate energy.
Lasqueti Island is part of the Islands Trust Fund, with two trustees.
Lasqueti Island is home to the Lasqueti Mint, a cottage industry which has been striking bullion coins since 1997. It is composed of numismatist Tolling Jennings and goldsmith Ray Lopovsky.
There is a book, published in 1978, called Honey Bear on Lasqueti Island, B.C. It is a compilation of poetry, drawings, photographs, and recipes, written by Robert Sward, and illustrated by Irina Schestakowich.
Lasqueti Island has an economic diversity index of 72. In 2001, unemployment was 5.7%, and 14 criminal offences were committed.
In 2000, average annual income was $15,163, dwelling values were $180,817, and monthly rent was $320.
Church of the Good Shepherd (Anglican)
Crystals & Chamomile gift shop
Faerie Landing Café
False Bay School
Free Store (Oceanside Nanaimo Freecycle program)
Lasqueti Arts Centre
Lasqueti Island Community cemetery
Lasqueti Island Hotel & Resort
Lasqueti Pub & Restaurant
Lily's Beach Retreat
The Old Bakery Bed and Breakfast
Tolling's Jin Shin Do
Tedito's Whole Food Store
Duck Crossing Way
Maple Bay Road
Weldon Bay Road
Jelina Island (formerly Ada Island)
Mother Goose Island
Elephant Eye Point
Jedediah Island Provincial Marine Park (243 ha)
Kwel Sanctuary (21 ha)
Lasqueti Island Ecological Reserve
Sabine Channel Marine Park (95 ha)
Squitty Bay Park (13 ha)
Poor Mans Rock
Sea Egg Rocks
Trematon Mountain (320m)
Federal electoral district of Nanaimo-Alberni
Provincial electoral district of Nanaimo-Parksville
Powell River Regional District
Powell River Electoral Area E
School district 47
Nanaimo Land District
Nuclear weapon free zone
China Cloud Bay (formerly Mud Bay)
Old House Bay
Log Boom Cove
Little Bull Passage
Strait of Georgia
French Creek, British Columbia
Nanoose Bay, British Columbia