A quick 40 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay lands you on the gorgeous Sunshine Coast. Dotted with awesome little towns and packed with parks, trails and oh so many beaches, this 177 km stretch of our province stretches from the seaside town of Langdale / Gibsons (yes, that one from the ‘Beachcombers’ show) all the way up to Lund, the gateway of Desolation Sound. This traditional territory of the Squamish, Sechelt, Sliammon and Klahoose First Nations first began to be settled by non-Native peoples as a fishing and logging hub, followed by milling and mining after the turn of the century. The ferries from the mainland arrived in the 1950’s and so too came the eager crowds. Today the mix of traditional craftspeople, artists and small scale farmers share space with micro breweries, local production facilities, countless cottage B&B’s, outdoor adventure tourism operations and plenty of options for good eating and drinking. Welcome to the Sunshine Coast!
THINGS WE’VE SEEN
HERE YOU WILL FIND
Hiking & overnight camping in group cabins at Tetrahedron Park
Cross country skiing and tobogganing at Dakota Ridge
Local history & gifts at The Sunshine Coast Museum & Archives
Saturdays at the Sechelt Farmers Market
Cupcakes (lemon curd & vegan oreo for us) at Cheeky Monkey Bakery
Paddling & low tide exploration on Thormanby Island
A lazy afternoon at the Bricker Cider Orchard & Tasting Room
Impromptu picnics ocean dips at Hopkins Landing Beach
Artifacts & cultural materials at The Tems Swiya Museum
Grazing the local goods at Gibsons Public Market
Sunsets & pebble collecting at Secret Beach
Dropping rocks (or viewing from the upstairs lounge) at the Gibsons Curling Club
ESSENTIAL FOOD & DRINK
This is a big “hood” by Scout standards, so consider this a primer and not a comprehensive bible.
FASCINATING THINGS OF NOTE
When the tides are low you can pick your own oysters right off the rocks at Shelter Point Park on Texada Island.
The long running series, ‘the Beachcombers’, filmed in Gibsons, was re-aired in Germany under the name ‘Beach Pirates’ or ‘Strandpiraten’
In 1930, the Powell River Company paper mill deployed 2000 people and was the largest newsprint mill in the world.
In 2009, the UN endorsed ‘International Awards for Livable Communities gave Gibsons, B.C., the Gold Award in the “Whole City” category for best community with a population of less than 20,000 in a ceremony Monday.
Visitors to the Bonniebrook Lodge on Chaster’s Beach used to arrive by steamship and were escorted ashore by lodge staff in a rowboat.
Known as “the Cougar Lady”, Asta Bergliot “Bergie” Solberg was a larger-than-life character of the Sunshine Coast. The legendary trapper climbed mountain trails to hunt for goats, wrangled cougars, and once spent a night in the woods wrapped in the skin of a bear she’d shot.
Originally built in 1926 as a grocery store, Molly’s Reach restaurant is a landmark in Gibsons best known as a location for the locally filmed CBC –TV series the Beachcombers (1972-1990).
Popular Smitty’s Oyster Bar is housed in a former marine repair chandlery built by Henry “Smitty” Smith in 1957.
The name “The Sunshine Coast” originated with a pioneer family, the Roberts of Roberts Creek in 1914. However, it wasn’t until 1951 when Black Ball Ferries started promoting a car ferry service to the coast using the term “Sunshine Coast” that the name became popular.
Once home to one of the largest pulp & paper mills in the world, Powell River Townsite is a historic community with over 400 original buildings contained within the borders of the original 1910 town plan. It was designated as a National Historic District of Canada in 1995. It is also where the craft brewery, Townsite Brewing, gets its name.
The aptly named Skookumchuk Narrows (Skookumchuck means “Strong Water.”) is the second fastest tidal flow in the world and is the most visited landmark on the Sunshine Coast. With 200 billion gallons of water flowing through the Skookumchuck Narrows, “Skook”, as it is affectionately named, is one of the great whitewater wonders of the world, attracting thrill-seekers from across the globe.
Literally at the end of the road, Lund is the northern terminus of Highway 101. It also became became an accidental utopia for American draft dodgers, military deserters and nature lovers in the late 1960s.
Attack of Danger Bay in Pender Harbour is the biggest and longest running downhill longboarding race in Canada.
Since 1983, Sechelt has hosted the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, Canada’s longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers.
The House of Héwhíwus, or House of Chiefs, proudly documents the culture of the Sechelt (shíshálh) Nation, who have resided on the Sunshine Coast for thousands of years.
The April Tools Wooden Boat Challenge held annually in Madeira Park since 2001 features teams of up to 4 people build a boat from mystery materials provided and race around the harbour for cash prizes.
Gibsons’ got a boost in 1905 from an influx of Finnish settlers who had left behind the utopian socialist colony of Sointula on Malcolm Island.