Denman Island Community Page

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Welcome to Denman Island's Community Page!

This page is a space for community members and those that travel on the route to offer suggestions, comments and questions to the BC Ferries team to help shape our community drop-in sessions. You can also provide feedback via written comment cards available at the terminal.

The input you provide will help us determine the topics that are of most interest to your community so we can bring answers, information, and topics for dialogue when we're in your neighbourhood next.

Dates of community drop-in sessions will be listed in the 'Key Dates' section on the right-hand side of this page.

Welcome to Denman Island's Community Page!

This page is a space for community members and those that travel on the route to offer suggestions, comments and questions to the BC Ferries team to help shape our community drop-in sessions. You can also provide feedback via written comment cards available at the terminal.

The input you provide will help us determine the topics that are of most interest to your community so we can bring answers, information, and topics for dialogue when we're in your neighbourhood next.

Dates of community drop-in sessions will be listed in the 'Key Dates' section on the right-hand side of this page.

  • Capital Planning Update March 2024

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    As an essential public service, it is our job to keep people moving safely and reliably. We review our capital plan regularly to ensure it’s helping us achieve those goals. Inevitably, that means some tough decisions as we must work within our budget.

    During this year’s annual review, we prioritized two main aspects of our capital investment plan:

    1. The work required to ensure the maintenance and continued reliability of our infrastructure
    2. The delivery of vessels to replace our aging fleet and meet the growing capacity demands of the communities we serve, and the replacement of berths required to support new vessel introductions.


    As a result, we have had to defer or adjust the scope of some of our previously planned projects to work within available funds. For more on project impacts for Denman Island and Hornby Island, please read on.

    Although some adjustments have been made, our plans continue to include $356 million in capital investments this year, and approximately $2.2 billion over the next four years (Performance Term Six). We also plan to pursue additional funding opportunities that would allow us to re-evaluate capital expenditures before the end of the next performance term (March 31, 2028). We will keep you updated as we continue to re-evaluate.


    What does this mean for Denman East and Shingle Spit terminals?

    As we note above, we have prioritized the work required to ensure the maintenance and continued reliability of our infrastructure for Denman and Hornby Island residents. As a result, the terminal upgrades planned for both Denman East and Shingle Spit have been deferred for the foreseeable future.

    We’ve heard from the community the importance of safe vehicle travel across the islands. For that reason we will continue to stay connected with our partners including Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Islands Trust, and other stakeholders to work on operational improvements for vehicle staging, traffic control and communication.

    In addition, the intention is to provide year-round increases in service beginning in 2026, once a vessel is available to be deployed full-time to route 22 (Denman East – Hornby Island). In the interim, we will continue to provide increased peak-season service as we did last summer; utilizing the Kahloke alongside the Baynes sound connector on route 21 (Buckley Bay – Denman West), and positioning the Quinitsa on route 22. These adjustments showed considerable improvements in service and decreased wait times last summer. We remain interested in the community’s feedback on changes to summer service and will provide an online survey in the coming weeks.

    At Shingle Spit terminal, we continue to work with K’omoks and Qualicum First Nations on remediation measures for the archeological site. We will continue to keep the community updated as these efforts progress. In addition to this remediation work, we are aware of the hatching on the trees surrounding the Denman East terminal and have contacted an arborist to explore means to ensure that the ecosystem remains healthy.

    We thank you for your understanding as we make the challenging decisions required to ensure the maintenance and continued reliability of our infrastructure. We will reconnect as plans for these terminals evolve should funding become available.

  • Temporary Vessel Replacement

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    Denman Island West – Vancouver Island (Buckley Bay)

    April 2, 2024 – April 11, 2024

    As part of our summer readiness planning, the Quinitsa will be providing service for the Denman Island West – Buckley Bay (Vancouver Island) route between Tuesday, April 2 and Thursday, April 11, 2024, while the Baynes Sound Connector undergoes annual maintenance.

    During this period, the sailing schedules will remain the same, but maximum permitted gross vehicle weight (GVW) will be reduced to 39,500 kilograms due to load limits of the berth infrastructure.

    We recognize some customers will be impacted when travelling on this route, and we thank the community and local businesses in advance for your patience as we complete this necessary work.

    For up-to-date sailing and departure information, visit bcferries.com or follow @BCFerries on X.

  • Removal of Danger Tree at Denman West Terminal

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    BC Ferries is removing a dead tree that poses a risk to the cistern building at the Denman West terminal. In the interest of safety, and given the arrival of winter storm season, BC Ferries has contracted an arborist to safely remove the tree. No other trees will be removed.

  • Charting the Course: A Vision for Coastal Ferries

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    Now is the time to shape the vision of the coastal ferry service in BC.

    Transportation, transit and ferry systems around the world are under pressure resulting from the pandemic, population growth, climate change, inflation and other factors. BC’s coastal ferry system is no exception, and BC Ferries is responding with actions to address current operational issues. We are also embarking on a long-term transformative journey to reshape our coastal ferry services in response to the evolving needs of the communities we serve.

    We invite you to participate in Charting the Course, an initiative that aims to define what is needed to keep people, goods, and services in coastal communities connected and moving through to 2050 and beyond.

    Hearing from you is an important part of this initiative to help us build a more sustainable and resilient ferry system. The first phase of engagement is open until November 28. Learn more and participate here: https://www.bcferriesprojects.ca/bc-ferries-charting-the-course

  • Engagement Summary Report Available

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    The engagement summary report is now available for the Denman and Hornby engagement sessions held in late May.

    • View the report HERE.
    • View verbatim comments from the online survey HERE.


    Once we are able to resume in-person engagements, we'll be back out to the Denman and Hornby Island communities to continue our discussions on both the Denman East terminal upgrades and the evaluation of this summer's increased service. Stay tuned to this page for more details.

  • FAC Meeting September 29 Moved to Virtual

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  • National Indigenous Peoples Day

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    Today marks National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day we celebrate and recognize the diverse cultures, traditions and immeasurable contributions of First Nations, Inuit, & Métis across Canada. Indigenous Peoples are the traditional stewards of the rivers, lakes, land & sea where we are privileged to live and work.

    #NIPD2023 serves as an opportunity to learn and deepen our understanding of the Indigenous cultures throughout Canada.


    • Learn more about Indigenous Peoples land, languages, history and culture: https://maps.fpcc.ca/
    • The First Peoples’ map highlights BC's Indigenous language regions, artists & artworks, place names & landmarks: https://native-land.ca/
    • Native Land is an app that allows users to map Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages: https://ow.ly/1pUt50OPX10
    • Use the @BCGovNews map to find events happening in your community celebrating National Indigenous History Month: https://ow.ly/fif850OPX4l
    • Learn more about the history, cultures, and experiences of Indigenous Peoples in Canada: https://ow.ly/mJ4250OPX91


    Learn about National Indigenous People’s Day and how you can participate in celebrating their culture and heritage.

    #BCFerries remains committed to fostering meaningful relationships with the Indigenous communities we serve. We recognize the importance of collaboration and partnership as we work toward a future of mutual respect, reconciliation and inclusivity.

  • Responding to what we've heard

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    Thank you to everyone who participated in our engagement sessions and online over the past several weeks. We heard from:

    • 170 people at our round table conversations on Denman Island
    • 90 people at our round table conversations on Hornby Island
    • 399 people through our online engagement


    Our online engagement is now closed and our third-party facilitators are busy compiling all the feedback we’ve received into a comprehensive report. You can expect to see it in a few weeks’ time.

    The team has already started to review the feedback, and while we explore longer-term changes, we’re working on some immediate changes in response to what we’ve heard, including:

    Supporting safe travel on Denman

    In the coming weeks, you will begin to see messaging on our digital signs at the Buckley Bay and Hornby Island terminals, in BC Ferries’ social media feeds, and in the travel tips and advisories we issue for routes 21 and 22 asking all our customers to please drive safely and respectfully while on Denman Island. This is just one way BC Ferries can support safe travel on Denman, and we are exploring other opportunities to work with partners and stakeholders in the longer term.

    Getting ready for the busy summer season

    We clearly heard about the challenges of peak summer season for Denman and Hornby travellers. Here’s what we’re doing this season:

    • We have enhanced sailing schedules with two-ship service on Route 21 Monday-Friday, and have placed the Quinitsa on Route 22. During the round-table conversations you asked us look at the Monday to Friday schedule for two-ship service, more on that below.

    • We have doubled the support staff available at terminals this summer season to improve traffic management. We need to ensure our staff are safe and in compliance with WorkSafe BC regulations, so traffic control off of BC Ferries’ property will occur only during daylight hours and from the shoulder of the road/passenger side of the vehicle as much as possible.

    • We will not shuttle between Hornby and Denman when there is only one ship sailing between Denman and Buckley Bay. This is to help prevent major back-ups at the Denman West terminal.

    Planning our next conversations with you

    Denman East terminal project. We will be back later this year to discuss options for the Denman East terminal design. We will look at these options together and discuss the benefits and tradeoffs involved with different terminal layouts, including how designs will impact the environment and terminal safety. You can expect to hear more detail about these sessions later this summer.

    Hornby Island terminal project. We are looking ahead to upgrades at the Hornby Island terminal and would like to walk the site with community members as a starting point for this work. We will be using the Terminal Development Plan that was created for the Hornby Island terminal as an initial guide, however we need to better understand how these plans fit with current community needs. The site visits at the terminal will bring us together to discuss plans and how to adjust them to mitigate impacts and preserve community character in the work we do. You can expect to hear more about this work in the fall.

    Answering your top-of-mind questions

    What is the process for Hornby Islanders who do not make the 15-car priority loading on the first sailing of the day, i.e. what do you do when you reach the terminal if you’re the 16th car?

    We heard from Hornby Islanders that it can be confusing for people who do not receive one of the 15-car priority loading passes to know what to do when they reach the Denman West terminal. We are working with our terminal and vessel staff to update and simplify this process in response to what we’ve heard. We’ll communicate an updated process to the community later this summer.

    In the meantime, the current policy remains in place and we will situate staff at Denman West terminal to facilitate a safe and smooth 8:00am sailing. The current policy for vehicles without a priority pass on the first sailing of the day is as follows:

    • If the light is green, please proceed into the terminal holding lanes in the order you arrive and fill the holding lanes until they are full.
    • If the light is red, please hold on the hill behind the priority pass customers.

    What is the policy on transporting livestock to prevent long waits at the terminal in hot weather?

    Those transporting livestock will be loaded on the next available sailing with a maximum one sailing wait. Those transporting livestock should make themselves known to terminal or vessel staff when they arrive at busy times so that they can be accommodated accordingly.

    Can we change the days of operation for two-ship service?

    During round-table conversations last month, you asked us to look at shifting the days we offer two-ship service from Buckley Bay – Denman West from the current Monday – Friday sailing schedule, to Thursday – Monday. This was to provide service on Sundays, which you noted are experienced as peak travel days during the summer.

    We have taken this request back to the teams for consideration and although we will not be able to make the change for this summer, we will explore a Thursday-Sunday schedule for next year.

    Why can’t we make the change this year?

    Changing the schedule at this time represents a risk to reliably crewing the second vessel. We recruited crew to run the second ship on the basis of a Monday-Friday work week. Our crew are a vital part of our operations and some of them are returning from retirement to help us make this additional service happen. We wish to respect the commitments we’ve made to our crew, and operate a service that is as reliable as possible this summer.

    How was a Monday – Friday schedule chosen?

    A Monday-Friday schedule was established for several reasons:

    • It provides service on the busiest days of the week based on the data we have. We know the community experiences very busy times on Sundays in the summer, and the data we have shows Tuesdays and Wednesdays are as busy, and sometimes busier. We used these statistics when making a decision about the days of service for the second vessel.
    • We were able to reliably crew a second vessel because a Monday – Friday schedule is attractive for recruiting and retaining staff.
    • The schedule services the needs of residents by providing increased service during weekdays when commuting, shopping, business trips, and medical appointments are most likely to occur.

    We will be evaluating the service throughout the summer, and have requested community input on how they would like to be involved in this evaluation. We are still reading through online survey results, and what we heard from the community, on this topic. A plan to involve the community in evaluation will be forthcoming.


    Once again, we thank everyone who has taken the time to participate. The changes above are initial steps, and there is more work to be done. We look forward to being back out with the Denman and Hornby Island communities this fall to continue our conversations.

  • Shore Stabilization Project at Denman East Terminal

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    We wanted to let the community know of a remediation project they will see happening at the Denman East terminal in the coming weeks. This work is unrelated to the terminal upgrades and will not involve the removal of trees at any point.

    We need to remediate 70 metres of shoreline at the terminal to keep our structures safe. Work is expected to begin mid-July and continue through to mid-August. You’ll see big rocks (called rip rap) being placed along the west side of the terminal. Work is focused only on our current shoreline structure.

    There will not be any operational impact or any changes to traffic patterns while our contractor works. Work will be completed during the day and in accordance with the regulations and bylaws of the Islands Trust and Comox Valley Regional District. The use of equipment means there will be some additional noise during the day, and we will do everything we can to minimize impact to our nearby neighbours.

    If you have any questions about the project, please email us at engagement@bcferries.com.

  • Project Survey update - May 30, 2023

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    UPDATE: Thank you to all those taking the time to respond to the survey, we have already received over 90 responses to date!

    We have recently been made aware that some participants are receiving an error message when attempting to complete the survey. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate the frustration this has caused. We have addressed the issues and participants should no longer be required to enter email addresses. We have also removed a link we believe was leading participants away from the survey before they were able to complete it. We will continue to monitor to ensure everyone has the opportunity to provide their comments and feedback and we have extended the survey until June 16 to provide additional time for community members to give their feedback.

    If you continue to receive an error and cannot complete the survey, or you would prefer to leave your feedback via email, please reach out to us at engagement@bcferries.com

    Note: While logging in is not required, if you would like to do so to complete the survey, you will need to create a login profile for this engagement portal (bcferriesprojects.ca), which will be different than your bcferries.com login.


    BC Ferries is working to improve ferry service for residents of Denman Island and Hornby Island. As part of this work, we want to hear your thoughts, concerns and aspirations for two key initiatives: the Denman Island East Terminal Project and enhanced summer service on Routes 21 and 22.

    Visit the project page to participate in online engagement and share your thoughts: https://www.bcferriesprojects.ca/denman-east-terminal

Page last updated: 22 Mar 2024, 02:40 PM