Gulf Islands

Pender Island

Pender Island is one of the Southern Gulf Islands located in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada. Pender Island is approximately 34 kmē (13.1 sq mi) in area and is home to about 2,500 permanent residents, as well as a large seasonal population. As part of the Southern Gulf Islands, Pender Island enjoys a sub-Mediterranean climate and features open farmland, rolling forested hills, several lakes and small mountains, as well as many coves and beaches.

Gulf Islands

Pender Island consists of two islands, North Pender and South Pender, which are separated by a narrow canal originally dredged in 1903. In 1955 the islands were connected by a one lane bridge, as it remains today.

Most of the population and services reside on North Pender Island, with the highest concentration surrounding Magic Lake. South Pender Island is generally more rural, but includes the Poets Cove Resort and Spa, formerly known as Bedwell Harbour Island Resort.

The islands, along with Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast, were named by Captain Richards for Staff Commander, later Captain, Daniel Pender, RN who surveyed the coast of British Columbia aboard the Plumper, HMS Hecate and the Beaver from 1857 to 1870.

Like most of the Gulf Islands, Pender is home to several small islets just off its shore. A medium sized restoration project is being planned for Skull Island, on the northwest side of Bedwell Harbor.

Poets Cove Resort and Spa

Pender Island is a popular destination for fishing, boating, scuba diving and other outdoor pursuits. The island also boasts a 9-hole golf course. In 1937 several Pender residents put up money to purchase a 60 acre (24.3 ha) parcel, on which to develop the course, from George Grimmer, a son of Pender pioneer Washington Grimmer. These first individuals and many others took out memberships as well as planned and developed the layout of the golf course. Incorporated as a society in 1945, with the exception of a brief hiatus during World War II, Pender Island Golf Course has existed ever since. There is also a 27-hole Disc Golf (frisbee golf) course (Golf Island Disc Park) based around Magic Lake. This course is well known in the Disc Golf community and is the site of many tournaments including the Pender Classic and the Pender Island Invitational.

There are numerous art galleries, shops, restaurants and local events to frequent on the North and South Islands. Summer is generally a busy time, while the island pace slows down considerably during the winter months. Spring and fall are pleasant times of the year, with fewer tourists and mild weather.

The Pender Post, Islands Independent, and the Island Tides are locally-published independent newspapers.

Pender Island can be accessed by regular ferry service provided by BC Ferries from Swartz Bay (near Victoria), Tsawwassen (near Vancouver), and other southern Gulf Islands. There are also scheduled seaplane and water taxi services. Pender Island also has one public grass landing strip and a helicopter pad (Pender International) located near the main shopping mall, the Driftwood Centre. Select helicopters also can land at the local R.C.M.P. Station. Bedwell Harbour is an official Canada Customs port of entry for sailors from the United States; Port Browning and Otter Bay also offer anchorages.

An interactive map of Pender Island, part of the Gulf Island Maps collection, is available through That map is produced by Kenneth Fersht of Kmax Multimedia. The Pender Island interactive map is an Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) file. The map is compatible with Adobe Acrobat readers version 6 and later.