Gabriola Island (population of 4,500) lies just off the coast of Vancouver Island, a 20 minute ferry ride from the city of Nanaimo. Spanish explorers “discovered” the island in 1792, although the island had been populated by Aboriginal people for thousands of years before that date.
Gabriola is a diverse community, home to famous artists, musicians, writers and people who love nature, birding, hiking, and golf (Yes! On this small island, we boast a fabulous 18 hole golf course) There are public tennis courts, a newly built gym/and aerobics facility and several yoga studios and a very new, lovely convention center – “The Haven”. We have a full-service marina – Silva Bay – restaurant, laundry, store, showers etc. And if you visit between May and October, you will be thrilled with the local produce, home-made jams, breads and beautiful local crafts at the Saturday and Sunday Farmers’ markets. We boast about our incredible grocery and deli that rivals many that we frequent in Victoria and Los Angeles (where we abide). You can get just about anything you can think of to make gourmet meals (or hamburgers.) On the culinary topic – Gabriola also has phenomenal wine and liquor stores, pubs and restaurants. You won’t starve for anything here. Other more serious amenities include a good elementary school, four doctors, dentists, attorneys, hardward & building supply stores, an excellent fire department, police (Royal Canadian Mounted Police – the best! My dad was RCMP for 35 years) Most of all – you can’t beat the local beauty. Petroglyphs, kayaking, rain-forest hikes – it’s all here. And if all you want to do is rest and look at the ocean, this is the perfect place for you. Best regards, Jack and Rebecca