Belterra masthead.
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“Since the early 1900s Bowen Island has been a favourite destination for Vancouverites looking for a quiet retreat.”

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Ferry Terminal and Marina

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Bike Park

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Library

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Causeway

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Tunstall Bay

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Barber

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Fire hall

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Golf course

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Killarney Lake

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Shops

Photo of the Union Steamship Company Resort.

About the Location
Bowen Island lies near Vancouver, B.C. in Howe Sound with regular ferry service from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.

Quick facts:

  • Size: 50 sq. km.
  • 20 minute ferry ride from West Vancouver to the ferry terminal at Snug Cove
  • 30 minute water taxi ride from Granville Island
  • Bowen has its own RCMP detachment and one of the lowest crime rates in Canada
  • Snug Cove has a variety of shops, restaurants, pubs, café’s, two marinas, art galleries, museum, fitness and yoga, pharmacy, auto repair, public library, grocery store, bakery, community school, farmers market and craft fairs, and offices of physicians, dentists and other health care professionals.
  • Bowen has a nine hole golf course, many hiking trails, parks and clean swimming beaches
  • Belterra is a 20-minute walk or 3 minute drive from the ferry & Snug Cove - a distance of 1.6 km (1 mi)
  • Click here for information about why Bowen Island is a great place to raise a family

Travel writer, Craig Platt has called Bowen Island “one of the most livable parts of the world’s most livable city.” Looking west from Stanley Park, beyond West Vancouver’s Lighthouse Park one can see Bowen Island where Howe Sound meets Burrard Inlet. It is one of the largest of the Gulf Islands, roughly the size of Manhattan with only 3700 permanent residents. Seen from a distance, Bowen is entirely cloaked in green above its rocky shorelines and pebbly beaches. Half of the Island is provincial Crown Land, while parks, ecological and Agricultural Land Reserves protect much of the remainder.

Like much of British Columbia’s southwest coast, Bowen Island enjoys one of Canada’s most moderate climates. Along with the rest of the Gulf Islands it shares a Mediterranean-like ecosystem. Arbutus trees clinging to moss covered rocky bluffs along the coast and deep cool forests inland.

Crippen Regional Park pathways connect the beach near Snug Cove to Killarney Lake. The scenic hiking trail that wraps around Killarney Lake is only a short distance from Belterra.

Hikers may also traverse Crown land to Mount Gardner to enjoy the panoramic view of Georgia Strait. Or explore the scenic cliffs and rocky knolls of Apodaca Provincial Park, which is largely undeveloped and serves primarily to preserve unique plant communities.

Bowen is a popular destination for boaters who wish to experience sheltered bays and safe anchorage, dive sites and clean swimming beaches. This video was produced late in the summer of 2012 for Bowen Island Sea Kayaking to let the world know what an unbelievably awesome place Bowen is for a paddling trip.

Snug Cove, and nearby Artisan Square, provide a wide range of shopping and dining opportunities. High quality restaurants entice mainlanders who enjoy an evening away from the bustle of the city, while snug, unpretentious cafes satisfy a wide variety of dining choices. A grocery store and a health food store, a weekend farmers market, a library, a golf course and a full range of medical services including physicians, dentists, a pharmacy and a wellness centre mean there is little reason to leave the island for the needs of everyday life. Nevertheless, because of ease of access to Vancouver, many Islanders commute to the mainland for work and then decompress during the 20 minute ferry ride back home at the end of the day.

There is a beautiful day care facility and multiple options for excellent schooling on Bowen. Island Discovery Learning Community is available for people looking to home-school and as well, a Montessori school, a traditional preschool, the Bowen Island Community School, and Island Pacific School are all within walking distance of Belterra.

Co-ed evening soccer games take place almost every night on the well lit artificial turf field while in the summer months, the prettiest baseball field around plays host to the Island Men’s Fastpitch League which is almost as much fun to watch as to play. Dance, yoga, gymnastics, theatre and music are also available in this vibrant island community.

Links to other websites providing information about life on Bowen Island:
Bowen Online
British Columbia Travel and Tourism
Bowen Island Municipality
Bowen Island Arts Council
Bowen Agricultural Alliance
Bowen in Transition
Bowen Heritage
Bowen Island Community School
 

Bowen Island from West Point Grey.

Taken from West Point Grey in Vancouver looking out towards Bowen Island