Galiano Island is one of the
Islands between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada.
the west side of the Strait of Georgia, it is 27.5 km long, 6 km at its widest point, and
1.6 km across at its narrowest point and is separated from Saltspring
Island by Trincomali Channel.
On the western side of the island there are
a series of sandstone caves. The island is northwest of Mayne Island, northeast of Saltspring Island and southeast of Valdes Island.
It is part of the Capital Regional District Electoral
, and has a population of 1258 inhabitants.
after the Spanish explorer Dionisio Alcalá Galiano, who
explored the area in 1792, the island is twinned with his home city
- Cabra in Córdoba
Galiano was long inhabited by aboriginal people from the Penelakut
First Nation and used by other Coast Salish
nations. Midden pits
at Montague Harbour suggest 3000
years of inhabitance. According to the 2001 Canadian census,
Galiano Island has 1,071 full-time residents. Industries of the
past were logging and fishing, although today tourism and the arts
are the most common methods of employment.
Government bodies that oversee the island include Federal
Regional agencies as well as the Islands Trust whose mandate is to
establish land-use bylaws to "preserve and protect" the island,
most notably in terms of development. For most of the twentieth
century roughly half of the land on Galiano was owned by the
logging firm MacMillan Bloedel
a result, Galiano was not as extensively developed as neighboring
islands. When the firm sold its holdings on Galiano, debate about
development issues sharpened, and the Islands Trust set minimum lot
sizes to limit development.
Local elections are held every three years to determine who will be
the island's 2 Trustees.
Island is accessible by vehicle via BC
Ferries; the terminal is situated at Sturdies Bay, in the southeast corner of the island.
vehicle and passenger scheduled ferry service runs from Tsawwassen (Vancouver) on the mainland and
Bay (Victoria) on Vancouver Island.
Sturdies Bay, the BC Ferries
Moorage is available at several public wharfs for boat traffic:
Sturdies Bay, (walking distance to the Village), Montague Harbour,
Whalers Bay and Retreat Cove.
Daily, regularly Scheduled floatplane service is offered from
Downtown Vancouver and the Vancouver International Airport through
and Salt Spring Air
to Montague Harbour. New in
2009, there is now regularly scheduled floatplane service from
Seattle daily through Kenmore Air, either through Seattle-Tacoma
International Airport, Kenmore Air Harbor and Seattle Lake
Parks and Wildlife
Bodega Ridge offers views over
Galiano Island has a large variety of animals and plants. In a
major flight path for migrating birds, Galiano has hundreds of bird
species. Commonly sighted are eagles, herons
. Off its shores are
resident orca whales (J pod lives in the waters of Active Pass,
dividing Mayne and Galiano Islands), seals, otters, sea lions and
many varieties of sea life.
Harbour Marine Provincial Park is one of the most popular parks in the Gulf
It is unique for its Shell Beach, which is a
west-facing beach with worn shells covering the whole expanse of
the beach instead of sand. For thousands of years, it was the
location of a midden used by Coast Salish people.
Montague Harbour is popular with the recreational boating
community; the harbour is often crowded with yachts
the warmer months of June, July, and August. The Park's mooring
buoys are in limited supply and cannot be reserved, but the harbour
is well sheltered if one chooses to anchor. A marina with moorage,
gas dock, several small stores, and a cafe (summer only) is located
at the southern end of the harbour. A public dock is near the
Provincial Park is a rugged natural park at the north end of the
island with beautiful beaches that the local islanders call Coon
Here you will find a unique shoreline with artistically
sculpted sandstone formations, a sand beach for swimming, tidal
pools, and colourful wildflowers and forests that fill this
beautiful provincial park.
Mount Galiano is Galiano’s highest point of land. The top will
provide hikers with views over the Gulf Islands, the U.S. San Juan
Islands and the distant mainland mountains.
is essentially the shoreline of Mount Galiano,
and is important in protecting the marine life of the approaches to
Provincial Park consists of a ridge rising several hundred metres
above sea level, with views over many of the Gulf Islands' hundreds
of islands and islets and beyond to the mountains of the Olympic
High cliffs are home to raptors like peregrine
falcons and bald eagles, as well as trees like cedars and Douglas
The view north along the shores of
The white of the shells can be seen in the distance.
There are several beaches along the shorelines of the island.
Pebble Beach is a beach with large pebbles in place of sand. The
pebbles, after sitting under the sun for hours, help not only warm
up the water when the tide rises but warm the beach goers as they
lie directly on them.Several beaches have fine grey sand instead of
coarse sand or shells.
People on Galiano Island
- Galiano Island, BCGNIS