Alert Bay

" Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world. "

Jean Vanier


Cormorant Island is a small crescent shaped island seven and a half nautical miles east of Port McNeill. This 4 kilometre long island is serviced by BC Ferries out of Port McNeill. Cormorant Island has a population of approximately 1,200 with 50% of the Island's residents living in the fishing community of Alert Bay.

The Namgis First Nation have called Alert Bay home for several thousand years and are enjoying a welcome resurgence of their rich cultural heritage. Alert Bay was first settled with a seafood cannery in the late 1800’s and over time evolved into a trading centre for the area. Alert Bay is considered to be the oldest community in the North Vancouver Island region. 

Today, Alert Bay is world renowned for its Native culture, artefacts, and totem poles, including the world’s tallest totem pole, which visitors have the opportunity to see and experience. After you have enjoyed one of the many dances and singing ceremonies at the Big House, explore Cormorant Island by bike or on foot. Be sure to stop at the Alert Bay Ecological Reserve, loved by bird watchers and botanists alike. The ecological reserve can be accessed by a series of trails, including a boardwalk that crosses the marsh, enabling you to have a wonderful close up experience of this important ecosystem. 

Still a great place to go fishing, Alert Bay is once again the centre of the area, but now better known for its eco-tours, kayaking, scuba diving, and of course, whale watching. Close to Cormorant Island is Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, the summer home of the largest concentration of Killer whales in the world. 

Alert Bay has an elementary school providing kindergarten through to grade seven, a two-doctor medical clinic, a pharmacy, three churches, and a credit union. Other services include a gas station, liquor store, laundry, full service salon, a gym, and a variety of gift shops, galleries, and studios. There are several privately owned restaurants to choose from. The government wharf and breakwater provide for safe moorage. Services there include laundry, shower services, and marine fuel.

If you are considering calling Alert Bay home, BC Island has detailed listings of homes and properties for sale in Alert Bay.

Your West has an Accommodations Directory with a complete list of the bed & breakfasts, cabins & cottages, condos & suites, farm stays, hotels, inns & motels, lodges, resorts & retreats, and vacation homes available to welcome you to Alert Bay and Cormorant Island. Alternatively, a complete list of campgrounds and rv parks can be found in the Your West Recreation & Leisure Directory.

While staying on Cormorant Island, what better way to learn about the community than to seize the opportunity for some fun, food, and education! Your West has a complete range of directories for you to enjoy everything Alert Bay has to offer. Plan out your day, your weekend, or your week on Cormorant Island using Your West Coast directories that include Arts Culture & HeritageFarms Farmers & FoodFestivals & EventsRecreation & Leisure, and Business & Services.

Community Events:

Check the Alert Bay community calendar on Your West every day for upcoming annual events, arts, meetings, recreation, music, and education in your community.