EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE
Make your time on Hornby Island unforgettable
Our little secluded beach is about half way between Shingle Spit and Phipps Point and is accessible from the waterfront side of our property. Since Hornby's west side is all high bank waterfront, a hike down a number of flights of stairs is required to get to our small beach deck and beach. We think the reward is worth the effort. The beach itself is a "tidal pool" beach (nice warm water on sunny days at high tide) and great for kids. Ours often spend much of the day here.
BREATHTAKING HELLIWELL PARK
Helliwell Provincial ParkHelliwell Provincial Park sits on a rocky headland forested with a beautiful stand of old-growth Douglas fir. Located on St. John’s Point on Hornby Island, the park was a gift to the people of British Columbia from John Helliwell. The stunning Helliwell bluffs guard the northern entrance to Tribune Bay. Spectacular views of marine life, the Strait of Georgia and the Coast Mountains can be had from any point along the bluffs. As you explore the park’s meandering hiking and walking trails, you will find weather-beaten old-growth Douglas firs and gnarled Garry oaks, as well as flora and fauna which may seem more at home in a desert than in a Northwest rainforest. The best times to visit are in late April and early May, when colourful wildflowers carpet the hillside along the cliffs. Please stay on designated trails to protect these fragile areas.
Hornby Island is situated in the calm protected waters of the Georgia Strait making it an excellent place to experience ocean kayaking. Depending on the time of year, you will see eagles, seals, sea lions, whales, interesting inter-tidal life and diverse bird species.
Hornby has out-of-this-world riding! The best part is that once you park your vehicle, you won’t need to start it up again until you leave as trails are accessible from almost anywhere on the island. A multitude of XC and DH trails, over 60 to be exact, flank the Mt. Geoffrey Escarpment and Nature Parks. Pedaling uphill is a must and the reward; fun, flowy downhill tracks, is worth every pedal stroke.
BEACHES & MORE BEACHES!
Tribune Bay Beach is considered to be one of the warmest and most beautiful saltwater swimming areas in the province. The bay showcases nearly a kilometre of fine white sand and has been affectionately dubbed as “Little Hawaii.” And this is not the only fabulous beach on Hornby! Locate a number of Hornby's beaches on the map below. Each has its own flavor.
SNORKELING & DIVING
British Columbia is widely recognized as the #1 dive destination in North America. The waters around Hornby Island offer some of the most colourful waters in the Pacific Northwest, with a rich variety of marine life. This includes Giant Pacific octopus, wolf eels, harbour seals, large ling cod and rock fish, and colourful fauna. Hornby Island waters offer good visibility and gentle currents, with the terrain offering a full range of drift dives, wall dives, deep dives, and underwater sculpted sandstone reefs. In the shallower depths, reefs are accessible from shore, or jump off the back of a boat, for some pretty amazing snorkeling, too. In the winter, incredible visibility makes frolicking with massive Sea Lions an unforgettable experience.
Hornby has an outsized reputation in the arts and may have the highest per-capita density of artists in all of Canada. The Hornby Island Arts Council (HIAC) promotes the arts and delivers a multitude of events annually that allow the appreciation, enjoyment and participation in artistic and cultural activities.
Below a few of our favorite Hornby Artists
ARTIST - Vaughn Neville
Vaughn is a prolific painter and has been dedicated to his full time painting practice for the past 40 years. He shares his life on Hornby Island with his wife Susan Cain, who is also an artist.
ARTIST - Tom Burrows
Tom Burrows is an internationally recognized artist whose primary medium is cast pigment polymer resin. His current practice focuses on colour fields, which play with opacity and surface texture to give the illusion of a panel lit from within. Tom does not have a studio on Hornby Island, but his work can be seen at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver.
POTTER - Wayne Ngan
One of Canada's most recognized potters who received a B.C. Award of Distinction in 2013 for his lifelong pursuit of perfection in pottery, still opens his studio for guests on occasion - a definite must for art lovers and anyone interested in ceramics.
PHOTOGRAPHER - Phil Ives
Phil Ives has a great eye as a look at his images of the world he encounters bear witness. After a creative career that spanned photography, film making, graphic design and woodworking, Phil moved to Hornby Island where he spent his leisure time with his family enjoying the local culture and exploring and photographing the diverse landscapes and geology that make up this unique island in the Salish Sea. Phil's work is currently only visible online as he passed away suddenly in 2019.
THE JEFFREY RUBINOFF SCULPTURE PARK
First opened to the public in 2008, the 200 hectare Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park is home to a collection of over a hundred of Jeffrey Rubinoff’s sculptures. The Park is situated on a farm purchased by Rubinoff in 1973 for the purpose of the creation and storage of his work. Rubinoff repurposed its barn, originally built in 1889, into a fabrication and casting studio, and worked there from 1980 until his death in 2017.
ARTIST - Gordon Payne
Gordon Payne began painting in the 1950s, and was associated with the avant-garde scene in Vancouver during the 1960s. Born in 1933, he studied at Washington State College and the University of British Columbia. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at institutions such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, the University of British Columbia Fine Arts Gallery, the Charles H. Scott Gallery and the Burnaby Art Gallery. A long-time resident of Hornby Island, Gordon has continued his painting practice, making abstractions informed by a dynamic relation to the natural world.
The Hornby Island Herring Festival takes place early March during the annual herring run. The event has been created to honour the herring and sea life and to raise awareness of the plight of marine life as a result herring roe fishery practices. The herring run is otherwise one of the most phenomenal spectacles of wildlife activity on the West Coast and certainly worth a visit to Hornby Island.
HORNBY ISLAND BLUES WORKSHOP
Since 1999 the Hornby Island Blues Week and Music Camp (end of April, beginning of May) has grown to become a world class event with a reach far beyond Hornby. With a dedicated program that keeps the class numbers small and the instruction world-class, The Hornby Blues Society provides an intimate experience and a great opportunity for blues students and musicians to enhance their skills in this very special music genre. The ambition has always been to bring great blues artists to Hornby Island and to create a greater awareness of Canadian Blues music for everyone involved.
HORNBY ISLAND MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Hornby Festival goes far beyond its main stage performances. You might be walking down a forest trail and stumble upon a performance of one of the world’s greatest mbira ensembles from Zimbabwe, as part of Hornby Festival’s “Art In Unusual Places” program. A morning kayak paddle might lead you to a classical violinist who played at Carnegie Hall last week and is now performing Bach to a cliff-top audience of enthralled children with the Festival’s “Classical Kids” program. If you are an emerging musician yourself, you can sign up for the Hornby Festival School for Emerging Musicians that runs concurrent to the Festival. Lovers of literature are welcome to attend our one-day Writer’s Festival. The art show adds a visual element for the senses to savour as well.
The Hornby Island Fall Fair is an annual event that more than anything celebrates the diverse island community in September. Celebrations include a parade, farmer’s market, family games and competitions, live performances, and exhibitions. It’s “local bounty proudly on display” set along the Salish Sea on a working farm.
COMFORT FOOD WITH A WEST-COAST FLARE. "The Breeze" is a beautiful waterfront restaurant with an ambiance of refined-rustic elegance and charm. There are ocean views from all points of the dining room, and a large wrap around patio that offers breathtaking nightly sunsets. Talented chefs offer thoughtfully created, home-style cuisine with a local, west coast flare.
VORIZO, FORAGE & OTHER HORNBY EATERIES
Stop by at Vorizo, or Forage for a lazy breakfast or make these your "refuel" stops after a beach day or island bike tour. Don't forget to stop at Lix Ice Cream & Espresso for an extra zing. Check out some other Hornby nourishment options on our map below.
ISLA de LERENA VINEYARD
Isla de Lerena offers a tasty selection of wine and opens its tasting room open daily. Live music can be enjoyed weekly during the summer in a licensed picnic area! Wood fired pizza is also available.
FOSSIL BEACH FARM
Nestled above Fossil Beach, with panoramic ocean views, Fossil Beach Farm is a perfect place to chill out and sip their farm produced craft cider. Cider samples are available in the tasting room or can be enjoyed in the outdoor picnic area.
MIDDLE MOUNTANIN MEAD
Mead is wine made from honey and water, often flavoured with herbs, fruits, spices and other botanical elements. Middle Mountain Mead is an artisan honey winery combining the best of ancient and modern techniques to create small lots of premium handcrafted mead. As well as being a superb wine, mead has been central to rituals of celebration and remembrance down through the ages. The tasting room boasts spectacular ocean & mountain view vistas. Always worth a visit!
BEULAH CREEK NURSERY
Across the road from the Hornby Island Ringside Market is the Beulah Creek Nursery, with a not only great selection for gardeners of all kinds, but a great little store of knick knacks and crafts, a fruit stand, a juice bar, and clothing boutique.
A great way to experience some of what the makes the island tick. The farmers market is situated in a shaded woodland beside the Community Hall. A great family outing - frozen mangos, chocolate covered bananas, organic produce, fantastic crafts, live music... The market happens Wednesday and Saturday mornings during the summer months.
GET IN TOUCH
Let us know if you have any questions about how and when best to explore the various activities on Hornby.
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