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Bowen Island is a scenic island municipality located just off the shores of West Vancouver in Howe Sound. The island is known for its seclusion, natural beauty, and accessibility. Read on to find out more about why locals are flocking to Bowen Island.

Why live in Bowen Island?

Peaceful, picturesque, beautiful… these are a few words that we would use to describe Bowen Island. Just a 20 minute ferry ride from Vancouver, Bowen Island is known for its many hiking trails, parks, and beaches. However, it’s also bursting with arts and culture, and family-friendly amenities. Despite its island locale, it offers everything that you’d find in any Vancouver suburb.

Quality and diversity of education in Bowen Island

Schools on Bowen Island are operated by the West Vancouver School District, or British Columbia School District No. 45. Between Bowen Island, West Vancouver, the Squamish Nation, and Lions Bay, the district has 14 elementary schools and three secondary schools in operation. One of these elementary schools is on Bowen Island, Bowen Island Community School. For secondary school, most Bowen Island residents attend secondary schools in West Vancouver. Further, when it comes time to attend post-secondary school, there are several options to choose from, due to the many universities in nearby Vancouver, like the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Capilano University, Vancouver Film School, the Art Institute of Vancouver, and the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Most populous cities in Bowen Island

The municipality of Bowen Island is made up of a wide variety of neighbourhoods, including Eagle Cliff, Deep Bay, Arbutus Point, Bluewater, Snug Cove, Tunstall Bay, Scarborough, Miller’s Landing, Fairweather, King Edward Bay, Cowan Point, Cates Hill, Bowen Bay, Artisan Hill, and Mount Gardner.

Quality of infrastructure for Bowen Island

Despite its secluded location, Bowen Island is surprisingly well-connected. Metro Vancouver’s TransLink public transportation system operates three bus routes on the island. In addition, BC Ferries operates several ferry routes between the island and Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. This gives residents plenty of public transit options, whether they wish to travel between Vancouver and Bowen Island or within the island itself. Meanwhile, since Bowen Island is so close to mainland Vancouver, residents will have relatively easy access to Vancouver International Airport, as well as downtown Vancouver’s Via Rail station, coach bus station, and SkyTrain system. When it comes to healthcare, Bowen Island has its privately owned and operated medical clinic, the Bowen Island Integrated Clinic. However, residents can also visit nearby West and North Vancouver, as well as downtown Vancouver, for other healthcare facilities like Lions Gate Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, and Vancouver General Hospital.

Safety and security for Bowen Island

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have a Bowen Island detachment that ensures the safety and security of the island at all times. That said, Bowen Island is below average in nearly every type of crime. In an emergency, emergency services can be accessed by calling 9-1-1.

Bowen Island property market

Living on Bowen Island has only increased in popularity, and with that comes greater demand but also greater supply. Now, buyers will find a wide range of housing options on the island. Though it was previously characterized by single-family homes, now, residents can find condos and apartments, as well as a mix of detached and semi-detached homes.

Standard of living in Bowen Island

The standard of living on Bowen Island consistently ranks among the highest in the province. This island municipality has it all - urban amenities and an excellent public transportation system, as well as natural beauty, ocean views, and an escape from city life. Given this ideal blend, it’s no wonder that Vancouver was recently ranked as one of the top ten most liveable cities in the world. The Global Liveability Index’s 2023 Liveability Report compared cities worldwide using factors like stability, healthcare, culture & environment, and education, and Vancouver, of which Bowen Island is a part, earned the fifth spot.

Something wonderful about Bowen Island

Bowen Island’s original name translated to “Fast Drumming Ground” in English. This is derived from the Squamish name for the Island, Xwlíl’xhwm, which it was believed to be named due to the sound of the splashing ocean through the Island’s passes. It is worth noting that in the Squamish creation story, Xwlíl’xhwm is also mentioned as the place where deer were created, and as the locals know today, Bowen Island is full of deer.

Population & demographics

Total population

3,862

Population age (%)

0-19 (21%)20-34 (9%)35-49 (20%)50-64 (25%)65+ (25%)

Household

Average household income

$178,638


Household composition (%)

Single person (25%)Multi person (3%)Single Family (71%)Multi Family (2%)

Owners / Renters (%)

Owners (85%)Renters (15%)

Mother Tongue (%)

English (91%)Others (3%)German (2%)French (2%)Spanish (1%)