Denman Island is one of the British Columbia Gulf Islands located in the Georgia Strait off the east coast of Vancouver Island. Denman has an area of 51 km2 (19.7 sq. mi). It is blessed by beautiful sunny summers and mild wet winters. The natural vegetation is dominated by Douglas Fir forest and there are many wetlands and two beautiful lakes. Baynes Sound between Denman and Vancouver Island is famous for its oysters and other shellfish. There is a Marine Park, 3 Provincial Parks and other conserved lands which provide many opportunities for hiking and exploring nature. There is over 40 km of undeveloped coastline with opportunities for boating and swimming.
Denman is linked to Vancouver Island by the world’s longest marine cable-ferry route (1.9 km or 1.2 miles). Hornby Island to the east is linked to Denman by a ferry service. In the summer Hornby is a tourist mecca because of sandy beaches and spectacular parks.
Denman Island has a resident population of around 1,000 persons including many artists, retired people, ageing hippies and young people who wish to live off the land. The island is rural and remote. There is much agricultural land supporting livestock, market gardening, orchards, vineyards and offshore shellfish farming (oysters and scallops). In early spring, there is a herring run when the spawning fish create a short-lived dramatic wildlife spectacle.
Highlights for island social life include the summer farmers’ market, the recycling depot, a store of free donated items, the historic General Store, the Abraxas Bookstore, the Denman Hardware, Denman Craft Shop, and the Earth Club Factory Guesthouse and Cafe. Island events include the annual Readers and Writers Festival, the biennial Home and Garden Tour, the Blackberry Festival and a rich program of musical and other community events. There are many voluntary organisations on the island including the Denman Island Residents Association, Arts Denman, Denman Island Recreation Commission Society, Denman Seniors and Museum Society, the Denman Conservancy Association and the Association of Denman Island Marine Stewards.
The people of Denman Island are friendly and the community is almost crime-free. The population is very close to nature and very concerned with environmental issues.