Explore life & real estate options on Bowen Island, B.C.


A “country” lifestyle on Bowen doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice many amenities you’d enjoy in Greater Vancouver.

Village Square on Bowen Island

Local shops. Include general food & liquor store, organic foods market, bakeries, hardware and building supplies store, garden centre, pharmacy, gift shops, clothing shops, flower shop, chocolatier, art studios, pet supplies, organic coffee, private beer & wine store, butcher shop, and the Knick Knack Nook (our local “re-use it” store).

A ``country`` lifestyle on Bowen doesn't mean you have to sacrifice many amenities you'd enjoy in Greater Vancouver.

General food & liquor store.

Local restaurants & cafes. In Snug Cove: Doc Morgan’s Inn & PubRustique Bistro, Snug Café, Barcelona Tapas & Wine Bar, Tuscany Restaurant, Bowen Island Pub, Ruddy Potato Cafe, The Village Baker, Bowen Sushi To Go, and a burger stand on the boardwalk at the Union Steamship Marina. At Artisan Square: Artisan Eats Cafe, Cocoa West Chocolatier.

Bowen's full-service bank and Automated Teller Machine (two different locations)

Local banks. First Credit Union (full-service bank). BlueShore Financial (formerly North Shore Credit Union) (automatic banking machine).

Other services. Include a post office, public library, gas station, automotive repairs, tow truck, barber shop, hair salons, spas, insurance office, courier and office services, notary public, video store, veterinary services and a variety of plumbers, electricians, builders, landscapers and contractors.

Municipal services. Bowen Island Municipality provides land use planning, building inspection, bylaw enforcement, fire protection, garbage removal, community recreation, and public library services — and operates/maintains six water systems, a sewer system, public roads, public trails, municipal parks, beaches, and three public docks in Snug Cove and Galbraith Bay. The Municipality has developed a Newcomer’s Guide. The Municipal website includes a Community Profile page that provides a lot of information about Bowen Island that is included in the Community Profile document produced by the Economic Development Committee.

On-island transportation. TransLink Community Shuttle buses provide local daily service for commuter ferry runs (morning and evening) for much of the island (Routes C10 and C11). Plus weekend service during the summer. Call 604-947-0229 for schedule information. Zoom Zoom Bowen has rental scooters that you can use to explore the island.

Guest accommodation. Provided by dozens of Bed & Breakfast operations (there are no hotels on the island, and overnight camping is not permitted).

Daycare. Daycare is available at the Bowen Children’s Centre or at several privately run daycares. Playcare is a program run by Bowen Island Community Recreation every weekday morning for young children from newborn to 5 years — parents can drop off their children for up to 3 hours while they attend fitness classes, go for a walk, or just catch up with friends. After-school care is provided by the After School Club operated by Bowen Children’s Centre.

Gym facility

Sports and exercise facilities. Include:

  • Work-out facilities, a weight-room and a tennis court operated by Bowen Island Community Recreation;
  • The baseball field in Snug Cove which is home to the popular men’s fastpitch league (see this group’s Facebook page—you’ll need to login to Facebook to view the page);
  • An artificial turf field and a grass field at the Community School which is home to the Bowen Island Football (Soccer) Club;
  • The gym at the Community School in which many sporting events take place, including the Gymnastics Club who have placed well in B.C. tournaments;
  • Private gym facilities;
  • Fitness, martial arts and dance classes held at various privately run locations.

On-island health care. Provided by physicians, nurses, pharmacist, physiotherapists, acupuncturist, chiropractor, dentist, massage therapists (and a veterinarian for pet care). Weekly medical laboratory services for routine tests are provided on island by LifeLabs BC. You can get more information at the Caring Circle.

Emergency. Bowen Island has its own Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachment and its own BC Ambulance station. Fire and rescue service is provided by Bowen Island Municipality through a group of local, well-trained volunteers who respond the minute an emergency call comes in. If required in an emergency, patients are transported off island to hospital by ambulance, water taxi, or BC Ambulance helicopter.

Bowen Island Recycling Depot

Garbage and Recycling: Organic garbage is picked up “road side” every week by a Municipal contractor. Non-organic garbage is picked up every 2 weeks by the same contractor. Recyclable materials are brought by residents to the Bowen Island Recycling Depot which is assisted by volunteers. Garbage and recyclable materials are all transported off island. The Knick Knack Nook sells donated items in good condition (another way to “recycle”).

Utilities on island. BC Hydro provides electricity by way of underwater cabling from West Vancouver; distribution is mostly by way of overhead lines. Telephone and cable service are provided by way of radio tower on island, distributed mostly by overhead lines. Telus provides telephone and high-speed internet service, and Shaw provides cable and high-speed internet services.  (All Bowen telephone numbers start with 604-947 – only the final four digits are different — so if someone tells you their telephone number is a 4-digit number, they presume you know to dial 604-947 before dialing the last 4 digits!) Cellular reception varies depending where on the island you’re using your cell phone. Natural Gas is not available on island but many homeowners use propane for heating and cooking. Propane is delivered by truck most Wednesday’s on the Dangerous Cargo sailing.

(You can read about other “amenities/services” on these pages of the website: Community, Education, Natural Playground.)