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Dock in Browning Harbour, Pender Islands.

(Adrian Dorst photo)

Pender Islands

Geography

Pender Island is one of BC's southern Gulf Islands, a collection of green gems in the Salish Sea (the Strait of Georgia) between the southern end of Vancouver Island and the BC mainland.

Pender clusters with its island neighbors Mayne Island and Saturna Island at the eastern edge of the Gulf Islands archipelago near the Canada/US maritime border (offshore from South Pender's Gowlland Point, from which the US San Juan Islands can be seen). The Swanson Channel separates Pender from Salt Spring Island to the west.

One Island Made Two

Pender Island (as its known by most islanders, who refer to themselves as Penderites) is divided by a short wooden bridge into two land masses: North and South Pender. For navigational purposes, a canal was created in 1903 through the narrow isthmus separating Bedwell Harbour from Port Browning.

Approximately 90% of the island's population lives on the larger North Pender, which is home to its original pioneering communities of Port Washington and Hope Bay, as well as most of the island's farmland (in the fertile valleys intersected by Port Washington and Bedwell Harbour roads).

Two sizeable chunks of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve surround Mount Norman (Pender's highest peak at 244m/800 ft) and Greenburn Lake.

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