Gabriola Island is home to about 4500 people, a couple of hundred horses, many, many dogs and cats lovingly cared for, deer, peacocks, wallabies and assorted other critters like river otters and raccoons. Wonderful birds (eagles and hummingbirds and everything in between). No bears or cougars.
It is a very active and caring community and a glance at our weekly calendar of events only hints at what is going on. We have organizations of every stripe and a volunteer Ambulance Society and Volunteer Fire Department that would put some cities to shame.
What don't we have? No hospital, no middle school or high school. No more than 3 street lights and not a lot of water. We are careful with it. We are indeed a desert Gulf Island.
No municipal government. Just a strange mixture of Islands Trust and the
Nanaimo Regional District.
Do we like it here? Absolutely. We get the best of laid-back country living with the convenience of a large city (Vancouver) a few minutes (by plane) or a few hours by ferry.
Gabriola is a beautiful rural island enjoying a temperate climate, a strong sense of community, and a pastoral natural setting. Surrounded by the best cruising grounds that lure yachtsmen, kayakers and scuba divers from around the world, it offers an abundance of wildlife including reclusive killer whales, sea lions, seals, otters and bald eagles. Gabriola remains one of the places you can still pick and eat fresh oysters, mussels and clams.
Gabriola Island is a community of approximately 4500 year round residents, and a summer population estimated at 7500. The business community is made up of more than 300 businesses that have developed to service the growing number of residents as well as the seasonal visitor and tourist.
Retail Shopping and Business Services are concentrated in three main commercial areas.