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Down to Thetis Map | You are at our Thetis Island information Page from Meadow Valley Properties.
Read this page for details and map. See our "Links" page for area and Thetis links.
See "Transportation", below, for more access details. also see below and our "southern Gulf Islands" pages for more area information.
Thetis Island lies nestled amongst the idyllic Southern Gulf
Islands in the Gulf of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada.
The image, below, shows our immediate area: the Gulf of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, Vancouver Island, northwest Washington, the Gulf Islands, Victoria; (British Columbia and Washington State) from space, with points of interest overlaid. If it takes a while to load, and you see a large white area, please scroll down and keep reading! You are not at the bottom of the page until you reach the navigation text.
Please see our "Detail Maps" page for a better quality version of this image.
Situated centrally in the Pacific Northwest Coastal region, the region termed "Cascadia", Thetis combines the advantages of that bioregion with convenient access to its major centers, such as Vancouver and Seattle, whilst at the same time maintaining an atmosphere of rural seclusion and tranquility.
The Southern Gulf Islands and Saanich Peninsula (Victoria, B.C.) have the best climate in the region. A mediterranean combination of mild winters and warm, dry summers support a unique ecosystem and provide an ideal environment for gardening and outdoor recreation. Thetis Island is in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island, having an annual rainfall of about 850 mm (33 inches)- far dryer than Vancouver.
Throughout the coastal area opportunities for outdoor recreation abound, whether it be water sports, hiking, skiing, mountaineering, bird watching, fishing or golfing. The protected waters around Thetis Island are ideal for kayaking, and the Gulf Island's many marine parks make camping or day trips an inviting prospect. At the same time the convenience of the major cities of Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle mean that culture, shopping, international travel and business are all close at hand. Easy access to these vibrant cities is available by (twice daily) scheduled air service (for example 15 minutes to Vancouver downtown or airport) or by ferry and road (for example less than one hours drive to Victoria). The closer centers of Duncan and Nanaimo also offer full services, shopping and recreational opportunities.
Just the other end of a thirty minute ferry ride is the pretty town of Chemainus, well known for its murals and golf course. Chemainus provides for basic services including hospital, medical, secondary schools and shopping. The ferry service is reasonably priced and runs from 6:25 AM to 10:20 PM daily, allowing for easy commuting to nearby centers such as Duncan or Nanaimo.
We are developing a page ("Detail Maps" page) with maps of the Thetis area and Cascadia which will also have one or more marine charts of the area and higher resolution satellite images. Come back regularly and check the page, as we will be adding images on an ongoing basis.
This map, below, shows Thetis Island, with the outline of Meadow Valley Properties (in red) in relation to the Island, with roads and various points of interest shown. Please see our "Detail Maps" page for a better quality version of this image and for a sattelite overlay map. Below the image are more details on the island (scroll down). If you are waiting for this image to load, please scroll down below the blank area and read on.
Also see Google's new satellite image page which has high resolution images of Thetis and the surrounding area. This link opens in a new window, requires Active X enabled in Internet Explorer, works in Mozilla 1.7.
Thetis Island, showing roads and points of interest.
Thetis Island is about 1035 Ha (2560 acres) in area, and home to a small community of about 340 people (with summer residents in addition). The island lies about 5 miles off Chemainus on Vancouver Island and is about 35 miles west of Vancouver. Local facilities include a kindergarten to grade seven school, community center, pub and restaurant, Post Office and small store, a garden nursery, two marinas and a well-equipped volunteer fire department with paramedic support. There are no parks, but there are public access points to the oceanfront.
Thetis Island was named after H.M.S. Thetis (in turn named after Thetis the Neriad, a sea nymph daughter of Zeus) , a British 36 gun frigate that was on the Pacific station from 1851 to 1853 and surveyed the area. Pioneers first preempted land on Thetis in 1873. In 1896 Lawrence Trail was built through the center of the Island to provide access form Preedy Harbour to the Lawrence homestead on Pilkey Point. Thetis Island and Kuper Island (to the south) were originally joined by mud flats, in 1905 a "cut" was dredged for the first time to allow boat traffic to pass. This channel is clearly visible on the satellite image (see our "detail maps" page). Thetis is located about three and a half miles from Vancouver Island, near Chemainus and about thirty five miles west of Vancouver, and, by road, about fifty miles north of the capital, Victoria, and twenty miles south of Nanaimo. Thetis is nestled within the Gulf islands, with Vancouver Island to the west, Saltspring Island to the south, Gabriola to the north and Valdes and Galiano to the east.
Thetis Island is about two miles wide and three miles long. The Island is somewhat of an "H" shape. Two north-south ridges define the east and west of the Island, with Burchell Hill at 591 feet forming the high point on the west and Moore Hill at 585 feet on the east.
The majority of the Island is forested, with a Douglas Fir ecosystem. There are several wetland areas and one salt marsh. Some (relatively small) areas were cleared in the past for farming, of which some can still be seen and some have grown back into forest. On the west side of the Island areas of shallow soils over Sandstone ledges support a fragile and rare Terrestrial Herbaceous ecosystem. There are some patches of Garry Oak ecosystem, particularly on Southwest facing sandstone Bluffs.
There are three main seasonal creeks draining the Island, and several man-made reservoirs, only one of which is over one acre in size. The Island soils are mainly glacial lodgement Tills and colluvial deposits, valley bottoms and parts of the west side of the Island have blankets of marine or glacial clays overlaid by organic soils or colluvial deposits. Bedrock geology includes two main formations, the DeCourcy (coarse grained sandstone with some conglomerate and shale) and the Cedar (shale and thin bedded sandstone). Groundwater is found in fractures in the bedrock.
Public access to the shoreline and beaches is good and the west side of the island offers an attractive walk at mid to low tide, plus beautiful sunsets over vancouver island.
The Meadow Valley is at the center of Thetis Island, stretching from near to Pilkey Point Road on the south about a mile to Cufra Inlet at the North. Our 206 acre site extends the length of this valley and forms a large part of it's watershed, providing an integrated management unit for our Strata (see our page on our planning process, "Greenquest".).
On Thetis you can find privacy within the safety, acceptance and support offered by our small community. Crime is almost unknown and the Island is an ideal place for family and children. Unlike many other Gulf Islands, Thetis remains relatively undiscovered and has no public land or Parks to attract casual visitors. It's small, winding roads, over hung with trees, and it's quiet oceanfront set the tone of peace and tranquility. During the year there are many community activities, Craft sales etc. and many residents are active in one of the community organizations. At the same time you have access to many outdoor recreation activities and to urban centers from Thetis' central strategic location.
Thetis has become home to a wide variety of people who recognize these advantages, ranging from young families to artists to business people to retired and semi-retired people; and in addition serves as a holiday base or summer residence for people from B.C., Alberta and the U.S. The attractions and advantages of Thetis also hold true in relation to the San Juan Islands. For those seeking a peaceful haven from their work in the Puget Sound area Thetis Island offers an attractive unspoiled alternative, and with far lower cost of purchase, cost of construction and cost of living to take into account.
Thetis Island is, at present, relatively undiscovered. Island real estate is limited in supply. Now is the time to purchase land and obtain great value for money as well as securing an acreage as your investment for the future. For purchasers from the United States the attractive exchange rate is also an important consideration-Thetis Island offers an attractive alternative to the San Juan Islands, with far lower (about 35% lower) cost of purchase, cost of construction and cost of living.
The 1996 census showed Thetis to have 341 permanent residents. Population has
been growing since 1991 (235 permanent residents) at about 9% per annum. The
census showed 110 families with an average family size of 2.6, 140 households
and an average age of 43 with 20% over 60 years of age.
In addition to the permanent residents there are many seasonal users who have summer cabins on the Island, or who stay at bed and breakfasts, resorts or with friends.
Thetis is also home to two church camps, Pioneer Pacific and Camp Columbia, and Capernwray Bible College. About 8,000 people (in total) visit these facilities each year. They have a combined guest capacity of approx. 500 persons.
The two marinas in Telegraph Harbor also have many guests during the summer.
Planning and land use regulation on Thetis Island is the responsibility of the Islands Trust, a body established by the provincial government to "preserve and protect" the unique environment of the Gulf Islands for their residents and for the people of B.C.. The Trust has a local trust committee for Thetis area which consists of two elected members from Thetis and on extra member from the Trust Council, which is made up of all the members of the local committees throughout the Gulf Islands and which sets overall policy for the Trust.
Building regulation (i.e. the application of the building code) and other municipal responsibilities fall to the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD). Thetis Island is within area "G" of the CVRD.
Local voluntary organizations run many services on the Island, the Thetis Island Residents and Ratepayers Association (TIRRA) serves as an advocacy group for landowners and owns the boat launch ramp, runs the garbage service, cemetery, etc.(see details on our "community trail" page). The Thetis Island Community Association (TICA) owns and runs the community center and library and organizes many community functions. The Improvement District funds and manages the Volunteer Fire Department, which has two halls with two pumper trucks, a tanker and an emergency response vehicle (for paramedic use).
By road and ferry; to
get to Thetis from Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, choose the most convenient
of the three ferry routes to Vancouver Island, then make your way to Chemainus
(just off Highway One between Duncan and Nanaimo) for the Thetis ferry. From
Seattle to Vancouver Island there is Washington State Ferries from Anacortes to
Sidney; and the Coho from Port Angeles to Victoria. The Victoria Clipper links
Seattle and Victoria with a passenger only high speed ferry.
Via Rail operates passenger service from Victoria north through Nanaimo, with a station at Chemainus. This is a very pretty 1 hour ride to Chemainus from Victoria, but the schedule is rather limited.
Buses stop at Chemainus on the Nanaimo-Victoria route.
By Air; nearby hubs are Vancouver and Victoria and Nanaimo. Vancouver is probably most convenient if you want to connect to a flight to Thetis. Twice daily float plane flights from Telegraph Harbor (at Thetis Island Marina) to Vancouver, airport or downtown. Various companies offer this route. Please refer to our links page for further information.
See our "Links" page for links to schedules etc.
See our "community trail" page for information on our contribution to Thetis Island's hiking/running routes.
As we point out above, outdoor recreation opportunities abound in the immediate area of the island and also in the region that Thetis is so strategically situated to explore.
Please visit our "outdoor recreation" page for more information and links.
There is an image showing the marine parks in the area on our
"Detailed Maps" page.
What is a "bioregion"?
Bioregions are geographic areas having common characteristics of soil, watershed, climate, native plants and animals . The term has also developed to include areas of commonality of human geography. These areas, defined outside of political boundaries, and offering commonalities of commercial opportunity have come to be the focus for efforts of widely disparate groups and enterprises, be they environmental activists, writers of gardening books, or chambers of commerce and tourism associations.
What is " Cascadia"?
Cascadia refers to the coastal Pacific Northwest region of North America, including the area surrounding the Cascade mountain range extending from northern California through southern British Columbia. Thetis Island has far more in common with this area than with, for example, Ottawa. When one thinks of the area local to the island it would be very restrictive to only consider British Columbia!
We have developed pages on the southern Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, southern Vancouver Island and area. On our "southern Gulf Islands" and "outdoor recreation" pages you will find introductory information a wide variety of regional information.
Our "Links" and "outdoor recreation" pages also hold annotated directories of links to the best online information sources relevant to the area.
For information on our property and to view our lots for sale please see our "Properties" page.
To print these images it may be best to copy them to one of your image programs, printing from your browser may result in unwanted page breaks.
We will frequently update and enhance our website, so check back often. We are happy to respond promptly to any specific question, just e-mail us.
Please contact us for more information on our properties and on Thetis
Email us at email@example.com or call 250-246-4774
Meadow Valley Properties, quality planned real estate by Trax Developments Ltd., Box 9-6, Thetis Island, B.C., V0R 2Y0, Canada.
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