Rosewall Creek Provincial Park Trail by Graham Photo Courtesy Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism

Travel Spotlight

Fanny Bay

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Fanny Bay is a small hamlet in the Canadian province of British Columbia.  The region is well known as a source of farmed shellfish, specifically Pacific oysters, manila clams, savoury clams, and mussels, for both domestic and global markets. Nature abounds in this beautiful region, offering numerous hiking trails as well as great opportunities for water activities. The region is perhaps best known its fine oysters along with other shellfish.

Location

It is located on Baynes Sound on the north-center, east coast of Vancouver Island, 14 km (8.5 mi) north of Bowser and 9 km (5.6 mi) south of Union Bay, along the Island Highway.

A Step Back in Time

There is no consensus on the original of the name “Fanny Bay” and none of the various explanations – comical, romantic, local, or historical – can be considered without skepticism. In 1913, the name first appeared on maps of British Columbia. In 1923, the name was officially adopted by the government. This adoption was based on British Admiralty charts of the 1860s, taken by Royal Navy Captain G.H. Richards.

A popular and persistent local theory holds that Fanny Bay was named by Captain George Vancouver in 1792. However, Capt. Vancouver’s nautical charts and journals only describe the east side of the nearest body of water, the Strait of Georgia (including Texada Island).

Oysters were introduced to the area as early as 1912 or 1913, with further seedings around 1925. As a result of the lack of Pacific oysters from Japan during World War II, further seeding occurred in 1942.

The first major oyster and clam seeding in Baynes Sound at Fanny Bay occurred about 1947, by Joseph McLellan, a pioneer in oyster aquaculture. McLellan imported his first batch of oyster seed from Japan and seeded the beach areas around Fanny Bay – Mud Bay, Ship Point, Buckley Bay and Denman Island. His work started what is now a primary industry in the South Coast of British Columbia, Canada, employing over hundred people and contributing significantly to the economy of the Baynes Sound region.

McLellan’s descendants still own and operate the oyster and clam farm located in Fanny Bay, Mac’s Oysters Ltd. A fourth-generation family shellfish farm, Mac’s Oysters is the only shellfish processor situated in Fanny Bay, though there is another company by that name, located in Union Bay approximately 11 km to the north. Mac’s Oysters is a significant player in the Canadian farmed shellfish industry, processing approximately 34% of all of British Columbia’s farmed oysters and clams from this area.

Within food circles Fanny Bay is synonymous with oysters. Manila clam seed was inadvertently included in Joseph McLellan’s initial seed shipments from Japan. The manila clam is as important as oysters to British Columbia’s shellfish economy.

Contact Information

Lighthouse Country

Fanny Bay & Nearby Accommodations

22 Listings

Whiskey Creek RV Campground
Deep Bay RV Park

Deep Bay RV Park

Bowser

Quiet, scenic beach front, family-oriented RV park and campground. Full-service camp kitchen, cable-vision, laundry, hot showers, boat launch, salmon fishing, boating, water sports, wildlife viewing, beaches, clams, oysters, adjacent to modern government private marina and sandy beach. No public pho ... Read more
Sea Flame Beach Resort

Sea Flame Beach Resort

Qualicum Bay

Situated on the ocean shore with spectacular views of mountains and islands, Sea Flame Resort is an escape from urban life to a relaxing oasis. We offer fully-equipped family cottages that feature WiFi, cable TV, picnic tables and gas barbecues. One cottage and the log house features a fireplace to ... Read more
Horne Lake Regional Park

Horne Lake Regional Park

Qualicum Beach

Located near Horne Lake Caves, this regional park has kilometres of lake and riverfront to explore. The campground has private wooded and lakefront sites and offers a range of programmed recreation and nature interpretation. ... Read more
Lighthouse Motel

Lighthouse Motel

Qualicum Bay

Situated on the shores of the ocean overlooking the Strait of Georgia, Hornby Island and the Coastal Mountain Range, Lighthouse Motel is the ideal destination for guests wanting to relax in paradise. We pride ourselves on offering clean, affordable and exceptionally comfortable sleeping units for fa ... Read more
Qualicum Bay Resort

Qualicum Bay Resort

Qualicum Bay

Discover the renowned attractions of Vancouver Island at Qualicum Bay Resort. Only minutes from Qualicum Beach, our resort provides guests with comfortable accommodations and excellent amenities. Less than an hour from Nanaimo and Courtenay/Comox Airports, and two hours from Victoria, we are easy to ... Read more
Riverside Resort Motel & Campground

Riverside Resort Motel & Campground

Qualicum Beach

Bordering the beautiful Qualicum River and only five minutes from the beach, Riverside Resort is seven acres of landscaped property for families to spend their holidays. Our resort is the perfect getaway to relax while creating fun filled memories with family and friends. We offer a wide array of ac ... Read more
Paradise Sea-Shell Motel

Paradise Sea-Shell Motel

Parksville

Located a short walk away from one of the sandiest and safest beaches on Vancouver Island, Paradise Sea-Shell Motel is the ideal accommodation to stay in while visiting Parksville. Offering clean, affordable rooms at great rates, guests can pick the best room to suit their needs. The different types ... Read more
V.I.P. Motel

V.I.P. Motel

Parksville

Situated in beautiful Parksville, V.I.P Motel is the perfect base for your Vancouver Island exploration. Consistently recognized as “Motel of the Year,” our motel is the preferred accommodation for guests to stay when visiting Vancouver Island. Known for its sandy beaches, temperate rain forests ... Read more
Paradise Sea-Side Resort

Paradise Sea-Side Resort

Parksville

Deluxe RV Park and motel located on the edge of beautiful Parksville Bay. Acres of safe sandy beach. Adjacent to world famous Paradise Fun Park, two 18-hole mini-golf courses, bumper boats and arcade. Easy walk to several fine restaurants. Watch for giant Old Woman's Show and Castle. Pets permitted ... Read more
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The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

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