Travel and Tourism information for
Hornby Island, BC
View of Tribune Bay, Hornby Island.
Hornby Island, one of the northern Gulf Islands, lies off the eastern coast
of Vancouver Island, adjacent to the Comox Valley.
A community of just under 1000 year-round residents, Hornby Island became
a refuge for many American draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. These people,
along with others seeking a place to escape the pressures of urban life,
have created a distictly "alternative" culture. In addition to the small
population of year-round residents, there are a substantial number of summer
residents. In recent years Hornby has become a tourist destination and its
population swells to four times it's off-season size in the summer months.
Hornby Island is home to a thriving community
of artists, many of whom open their studios to visitors during the sumer
Hornby Island offers many outdoor recreational
opportunies including kayaking, sailing, diving, hiking, biking and swimming.
Parks on Hornby Island include Helliwell Provincial Park, Big Tribune Provincial
park, Mount Geoffrey Regional Park and Fords Cove Marina.
Before the arrival of European settlers, the island was part of the teritory
of the Pentlatch, a Coast Salish First Nations band. In 1791 the island
was named Isla de Lerena by Spanish explorers. It was given it's current
name in 1850 when the British admiralty renamed it after Rear Admiral Phipps
Hornby, then Commander of the Pacific Naval Station.
First European settlement and farming of the
island occured in the 1860's.
In 1870 a whaling company set up operations at
Whaling Station Bay, but within two years the operation was clased.
Hornby Island enjoys short,
mild winters and warm, dry summers and lower precipitation than other nearby
areas in the Comox Valley.
Access to Hornby Island by is ferry from Denman Island which, in turn, is
reached from Vancouver Island from the Buckley Bay ferry terminal.
The Old Island Highway, also known as the "Oceanside Route" ( BC Highway
#19A ) passes through Buckley Bay 20 minutes south of Courtenay, in the Comox
The Buckley Bay exit from the Inland Island Highway
( BC Highway 19 ) is less than 1 kilometer from the ferry terminal to Denman
Island at Buckley Bay.
BC Transit operates a local bus service connecting Buckley
Bay with the rest of the Comox Valley.
Hornby Festival - Summer festival of the Arts
held annually in early August
Hornby Blues - The Hornby Island Blues Workshop, one of the premier
blues instructional camps in Canada, is held yearly in May.
Hornby Island and
the Comox Valley has something for everyone: culture, scenic beauty,
numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, mild climate and a relaxed
lifestyle are all here to enjoy.