Texada Island (49°40'00", 124°24'00), is the largest of the Gulf Islands, located in the Strait of Georgia, 80 km NW of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and 8 km south of Powell River. The island, separated from the mainland by Malaspina Strait, is 6 km wide and 50km long, with an area of 300.45 km2. Texada Island’s highest point is 881m above sea level.

In 2001, the population of Texada Island was 1,129 inhabitants. The major population areas on the island are Van Anda on the east and Gillies Bay on the west. Blubber Bay also houses a population centre.

Near Van Anda, in Marble Bay, is boat moorage. Gillies Bay has a medical clinic, and an RCMP detachment. Each August, Gillies Bay also hosts the “Sandcastle Weekend”, drawing many people to the region. BC Ferries sailings happen aboard the North Island Princess a few times a day between Powell River and Blubber Bay. Adult fare is $6 each way.

Among many other services, Texada Island has a paved-runway aeroport, an elementary school, a chamber of commerce, and two volunteer fire departments.

The largest industry resources on the island are in limestone, crabs, herring, shrimp, salmon, and timber. Limestone mining is so large an industry on Texada Island, that one particular mine currently exports three million tonnes of limestone annually.

The Sliammon First Nation name for Texada Island is Si'yi yen. Evidenced by the presence of middens and fish weirs, First Nations have long inhabited Texada Island. That said, permanent settlement did not occur due to a legend detailing that the island rose from the sea and will one day sink again. This legend has a lot of merit; read on.

Don Jose Navarez, a Spanish seaman, sighted and charted the island in 1791. The British eventually took interest in the area, engaging in fur trading, whaling, and cutting spars for sailing ships. In 1871, iron ore was discovered on the northwest coast of Texada Island, at Welcome Bay. Exploration of the island then started in earnest. In 1877, marble was found, and in 1880, gold. Van Anda became home to the gold and copper extractor, the Little Billie Mine. Logging and mining developed as industries on Texada Island and continued through to the 1900s. Shelter Point in particular displays the remains of a once thriving logging area.

By 1898, Van Anda had become a cultural centre of sorts, with three hotels each with a saloon, as well as a hospital, businesses, stores, an illegal distillery (in Pocahontas Bay), and the only opera house north of San Francisco, California, USA. In 1910, 1912, and 1917, fires burned Van Anda to the ground. In the last case, however, a single building, Al Deighton’s store, remained.

In addition to the human settlements, Texada Island is also home to black-tailed deer and raccoons. Further, 265 species of birds have been recorded in the area of Texada island, including eagles, great blue herons, loons, osprey, harlequins, cormorants, scooters, kingfishers, brant geese, rufous hummingbirds. The waters are home to many species of fish, as well as turtles, seals, sea lions, wolf eels, octopi, and otters. There are no large predators on the island.

Texada Island, and neighbouring Lasqueti Island, twice sank 100m and twice reemerged since North America’s last ice age, some species of wildlife are unique to these islands. The lakes on the island have a high alkalinity, allowing for richer conditions for aquatic life. There is also a type of rock, the flowerstone (gabbro porphyry), which can be found only on Texada Island.

Land features:

Anderson Bay Main
Balsam Avenue
Bell Road
Blair Road
Blubber Bay Road
Cedar Street
Coleborn Street
Copper Queen Street
Crescent Bay Road
Dogwood Street
Earl Street
Gillies Bay Road
Gracemere Road
High Road
Leaper Road
Nicholas Avenue
Para Street
Pine Street
Sanderson Road
Shelter Point Road
Smelter Road
Van Anda Avenue
Wall Street

Mount Davies
Mount Pocahontas
Surprise Mountain

Eagle Cove
Van Anda Cove

Favada Point
Harwood Point
Kiddie Point
Marshall Point
Northeast Point

Dick Island
Mouat Island

Powell River Electoral Area D
Powell River Regional District
School district 47
Federal electoral district of West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country
Provincial electoral district of North Powell River–Sunshine Coast
Nuclear weapon free zone

Water features:

Anderson Bay
Crescent Bay
Cook Bay
Davies Bay
Gillies Bay
Lime Kiln Bay
Marble Bay (Sturt Bay)
Mouat Bay
Pocahontas Bay
Raven Bay
Welcome Bay

Angel Lake
Bob’s Lake
First Lake
Priest Lake