Beach on Denman Island.

(Margie Gang photo)

Denman Island


Denman Island is one of BC's northern Gulf Islands.

Baynes Sound separates this relatively small island (approximately 51sq km/19sq mi) from the east-central coastline of Vancouver Island. A 10-minute trip delivers cars and passengers from the Buckley Bay BC Ferries terminal. Hornby Island is off Denman's southeast coast across Lambert Channel.

Nanaimo is 86km/54mi to the south along either the scenic Oceanside Route or the multi-lane Highway 19. Courtenay is a 20-minute drive to the north. The distance from Buckley Bay to Victoria is 197km/122mi.

Island Topography

Lacking any major peaks and once thickly forested, Denman's northwestern and southeastern coastlines were cleared as farmers settled here in the late 19th century. The island today features a mix of farmland, apple orchards, small residential lots and forest. Arbutus and second-growth western red cedar and Douglas fir groves are dominant, though precious remnants of the ancient coastal forest can be found in the Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve.

About 25% of the island is protected through two provincial parks (Boyle Point and Fillongley at Denman's south and mid-eastern compass points respectively) and such Denman Conservancy/Islands Trust acquisitions as Central Park in the island's mid-section. The largest of eight bodies of water here are Chickadee Lake at the north end and Graham Lake in the south central region. The island is approximately 19km/12mi long and 6.5km/4mi wide.

Climate and Weather

Sheltered from the more dramatic meteorological extremes on Vancouver Island's west coast, Denman enjoys mild and largely dry weather in spring, summer and fall. The closest Environment Canada weather station at Comox Airport pegs average regional summer highs in the mid 20°C/70°F range and winter lows a few degrees above the freezing mark.