Sunshine Coast Hiking Harmony Islands, Photo Destination BC Albert Normandin

Powell River

Powell River is a remote community on the Northern Sunshine Coast. Its populous areas are near the eastern shores of the Salish Sea, which is part of the larger Georgia Strait between the Mainland and Vancouver Island. The geographical surroundings of the area are the reason why the community has remained remote, despite its proximity to Vancouver. The region is still heavily dominated by the lush, beautiful nature of the West Coast. The region houses several parks on magnificent waterfront locations, where viewers can see seals, sea lions, and even killer whales. The area is a desirable destination for scuba divers, who come from all around to see Canada’s first underwater statue; a 10 foot mermaid, known as the Emerald Princess, located 20 meters (60 feet) before the surface.

Designated a National Historic District in 1995, the Historic Townsite is one of only a few professionally planned, single-industry towns dating from the early modern period in Canadian town planning that has been caringly preserved and restored by its residents. Walking tours are available to see the landmark buildings including the Patricia Theatre, Dwight Hall, Rodmay Hotel and Catalyst paper mill. Sliammon First Nations art is housed in the Powell River Museum located in town. The museum traces the region’s history and development. Artifacts include stone weapons, cooking utensils, and intricately woven baskets, in addition to the many artifacts from the 19th and 20th century. All of this adds to the communities burgeoning art scene.

The sun setting over Garnet Rock RV in Powell River.

Location

Powell River is located 31 km (19 mi) north of the Saltery Bay ferry terminal on the upper Sunshine Coast. From Vancouver, take the Horseshoe Bay Ferry in West Vancouver to Langdale, drive to Earls Cove (80 km/50 mi) and board a second ferry to Saltery Bay.

A Step Back in Time

The Powell River region was once home to over 20,000 of the Coast Salish people of the Sliammon clan whose presence can be seen at various archaeological sites throughout the area. Powell River was named in the 1880s for Israel Wood Powell, who was the superintendent of Indian Affairs for British Columbia.

Logging was the major industry in the Powell River area and in 1912 the first pulp and paper mill was built on the waterfront by Brooks, Scanlon and O’Brien Company. By 1930 the company employed over 2,000 people and was the largest newsprint mill in the world. In its prime, one in every 25 newspapers around the world was printed on paper from the Powell River mill.

In 1939, when the British Columbia Credit Unions Act was passed, a study club, organised by local mill workers secured the first charter with a deposit of $48.30. The mill provided office space at a very low cost, and by 1955, the Powell River Credit Union (now ‘First Credit Union’) moved into a permanent office, with over 3,000 members and $1 million in assets.

The development of the highway, which reached Pender Harbour in the 1930s and the northwest end of the Sechelt Peninsula in the 1950s, brought the settlements closer together, and after car ferry service began in 1951, closer to Vancouver. After this date, the population increased rapidly. Powell River Townsite was designated as a National Historic District of Canada in 1995, one of only seven in Canada. A charming community remarkably intact with over 400 original buildings contained within the borders of the 1910 town plan. In 2004, Powell River was named the “Cultural Capital of Canada” in recognition of its strong arts and cultural programs.

The sun setting over Garnet Rock RV in Powell River.

Contact Information

Powell River Tourism

Powell River & Nearby Accommodations

13 Listings

Willingdon Beach Municipal Campsite
Garnet Rock Oceanside Resort

Garnet Rock Oceanside Resort

Powell River

Garnet Rock provides a quiet peaceful atmosphere with panoramic oceanfront views in a parklike setting. We are located within walking distance of Myrtle Point Golf Course. Self-contained cabins, fully furnished, equipped kitchen, 3-piece bathrooms. ... Read more
Seabreeze Resort

Seabreeze Resort

Powell River

Escape the stress of everyday life to a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere at Seabreeze Resort. Situated on the shore of Lang Bay’s sandy beach, our guests spend their days swimming and beach combing. We are surrounded by many lakes with several scenic trails for hiking enthusiasts to explore. We of ... Read more
Kent's Beach Resort

Kent's Beach Resort

Powell River

Enjoy year round waterfront cabins and camping at Kent’s Beach Resort. Situated on the beautiful west coast of BC, guests are spoiled to breathtaking oceanside views. Our self-contained cabins are furnished and feature fully equipped kitchens, perfect to fix meals. Our campground is nestled on the ... Read more
SunLund By-The-Sea RV Campground & Cabins

SunLund By-The-Sea RV Campground & Cabins

Lund

Surrounded by towering trees in a beautiful park-like setting, SunLund By-The-Sea RV Campground & Cabins is a fantastic place for families to unwind and explore the great outdoors. Located in downtown Lund, there is easy footpath access to restaurants, marina, grocery stores, beach and other attract ... Read more
Lund Resort at Klah Ah Men

Lund Resort at Klah Ah Men

Lund

Where the road ends, the fun begins, In comfort, culture and style. Our resort offers 32 luxury rooms, all newly refurbished, completely reimagined, and thoroughly inspired by Tla’amin art and culture. Even out here in paradise, the difference is found in the little extras: the turn down service, ... Read more
Pender Harbour Resort & Marina

Pender Harbour Resort & Marina

Garden Bay

Welcome to Pender Harbour Resort, where we offer a wide range of accommodation choices with 600’ of oceanfront. Vacationing with a large group? Our chalet is perfect to accommodate up to 8 guests with a full kitchen and four bedrooms. We have waterfront cottages overlooking scenic Pender Harbour, ... Read more
Ruby Lake Resort

Ruby Lake Resort

Madeira Park

Surrounded by the Caren Range Mountains and beautiful Ruby Lake, Ruby Lake Resort is a true piece of paradise to escape urban life. Our resort is ideal for romantic getaways or family vacations, so stay in our Safari Tent or well-appointed cottage suites to enjoy a relaxing retreat. The Safari Tents ... Read more
Backeddy Resort & Marina

Backeddy Resort & Marina

Egmont

Situated on 600 ft of pristine shoreline on the stunning Sechelt Inlet, Backeddy Resort & Marina is the ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts! Surrounded by lush forests and gorgeous waters, we encourage guests to discover marine life, hiking trails, and unwind to the beautiful sounds of nature. ... Read more
West Coast Wilderness Lodge

West Coast Wilderness Lodge

Egmont

Our packages are the best way to experience as much of the scenic beauty as possible during your stay with us. Each package has something special bundled in, so you can enjoy options such as kayaking tours, or guided nature hikes at great prices. Whether you’d like a quiet, romantic getaway with c ... Read more
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