Island Profile: Denman Island

The shores of Vancouver Island are home to many smaller gulf islands, each with their own unique character and beauty. Within the Comox Valley are Hornby Island and Denman Island. While most will only ever drive across Denman Island to reach the aquamarine waters of Hornby Island, Denman is one that should not be missed.

2009.09.10 Denman Island JSD_0788


Photo: jdww on Flickr

Safe from the perils of being a top choice destination as its easterly neighbour, Denman Island has remained mostly untouched. Home to a few more than 1,000 year-round residents, it’s a haven for artists, retirees, potters, gardeners and those who simply wish a slower pace of life. Denman Island is roughly the same shape and size as the island of Manhattan.


Map: Google Maps

barn denman island
Photo: darkthirty on Flickr

The Denman Village, a short walk uphill from the ferry, is the heart of the community. Built in 1907, the General Store serves as the island’s flagship and is flanked by the near-century old community hall, bakery, art gallery and a handful of quaint shops begging to be explored. Don’t leave out a quick stop at Denman Island Chocolate for an indulgent treat!


Photo: BillFromSpokane on Flickr

Hello D

Ze Denman Island Boots
Photo: J. Woodward | iconoco on Flickr

There’s certainly no shortage of ways to keep busy on Denman Island. Fillongley Provincial Park is a haven for hiking enthusiasts, beachcombers and campers alike. However, if you’re planning on camping on Denman Island, reserve well in advance as Fillongley is the only campground on the entire island.

Cob House
Photo: Rob__ on Flickr

Orange Flowers. Flower 04.
Photos: J. Woodward | iconoco on Flickr

Denman Island
Photo: Alex Ristea on Flickr

the hubris tree.
Photo: sal de mar on Flickr

Aside from the obvious farm animals, Denman Island is home to a number of wildlife, including seals, bald eagles, sea lions, herons and deer.

wild kingdom
Photo: sal de mar on Flickr

Hornby Island Sunset
Photo: TylerIngram on Flickr

Beach Comber
Photo: DragonWoman on Flickr

Another intriguing place to see is Tree Island – also known as Sandy Island Marine Provincial Park – dancing on the northern tip of Denman Island. Camping is allowed but note that campfires are banned year round and there’s no source of fresh drinking water.

Winter wood
Photo: Oceanwood on Flickr

Piercey's Farm
Photo: Marvilus on Flickr


Photo: ☞Ћę ®ə◗ ℘∀ℕĐ▲☜ on Flickr

Those wishing to visit Denman Island or who seek more information about planning a trip to see it should visit Denman Island Online. The island is accessible by a 25-minute ferry ride from Buckley Bay, approximately a 20-minute drive south of Courtenay and 50 minutes north of Nanaimo.

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5 Comments on “Island Profile: Denman Island

  1. Love articles like this — help s take a little trip in the middle of the day. Plus, with so many Gulf Islands, help sto choose which to visit next.

    Now, can you find me one with a great coffeeshop, groovy book store, friendly pub and reasonable land prices? I have a novel to write and need a place to hunker down to do it ;-).

  2. Great Post Keira! We always zoom across Denman to Hornby but have always been curious about Denman.

    One of the things I would like to do is take the path that leads near to Chrome Island to take photos of the Lighthouse off of Denman.

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