Small Harbour on the Sunshine Coast, Photo Destination BC Local Wanderer

Travel Spotlight

Garden Bay

The Garden Bay community is a small village tucked away between the waters of Garden Bady and Hospital Bay, on the North Side of Pender Harbour. Located on the Sunshine Coast, it is part of the Pender Harbour grouping of communities, along with the communities of Madeira Park, and Irvine’s Landing. Garden Bay has a naturally beautiful landscape, complimented by gorgeous ocean view. The ocean offers great opportunities for swimming, fishing, diving, and even sailing. A popular diving site is the 366-foot wreck of the HMCS Chaudiere located at the mouth of Salmon Inlet.

This community is the gateway to Garden Bay Marine Provincial Park, which features 200 m (650 ft) of shoreline, and Mount Daniel towering in the background. Open all year, the park is a popular boating area, with many marinas and other services, as well as excellent fishing, swimming and picnicking.

Location

Garden Bay is located in Pender Harbour, 71 km (44 mi) north of Langdale ferry terminal on the Sunshine Coast. From Vancouver, take the Horseshoe Bay Ferry in West Vancouver to Langdale and drive Highway 101 and follow signs for Garden Bay Road.

A Step Back in Time

Garden Bay is a small community of some 330 people located on the Sunshine Coast. Along with Madeira Park, and Irvine’s Landing these three communities are known as Pender Harbour.
The Pender Harbour area was originally occupied by the Coast Salish First Nations. The first European settler was a man named Charles Irvine who built a log trading post and became involved in the gold rush. In 1904, he sold his property to “Portuguese Joe” Gonsalves and his Salish Coast Nation wife, Susan Harris. Together, they further developed the area building a dock, general store, post office and hotel/saloon.
The historic Sundowner Inn was built in 1929, and originally served as a hospital for the Columbia Coast Mission. Known as St. Mary’s Hospital, the injured, sick, and expectant mothers came here. In 1964, the hospital was closed down and the original building converted into a hotel which can still be visited today.
Garden Bay was named after a government surveyor, a Mr. Garden, who was assigned to mapping and naming the area, and it seems was lacking in imagination, leaving the community with Garden Bay Road, Garden Peninsula and Garden Bay Lake.

Contact Information

Sunshine Coast Tourism

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989