Alert Bay Lodge


Alert Bay Lodge, Cormorant Island, BC

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  • Property Value$410,000
  • Property AddressAlert Bay Lodge, Cormorant Island, BC, Canada
  • TypeSemi Oceanfront
  • Parkingnone

Alert Bay Lodge, Cormorant Island, BC, Canada


Tourism BC Approved Accommodation surrounded by towering Cedar & Fir trees overlooking Johnstone Strait on Cormorant Island, home of the Orca. A rustic yet cozy 5 room B&B. Three years of sound financials.


Listing #: 09015

Price: $410,000

Legal Description: Plan 251981, Land District 49, Section 68. Narrative: Cormoront Island lying to S of Production W of N BNDY of Pl 7866 PID 009-866-906

Taxes: $2,937 (2007). This figure includes trash removal, water and sewage.

Zoning: R-1

Investment Features: Revenue: $73,055 (2007); $52,743 (2006); $34,595 (2005).

Description: Alert Bay Lodge was originally the United Church for Alert Bay. This legacy is reflected in the high arched cedar beams that frame the expansive common room and the former pulpit which now serves as the library. Here, guests are able to connect with each other and relax by the fire. Amenities include a south facing sundeck, a wood stove, comfy furniture and wireless Internet access.

The lodge rests on just over an acre and has a commanding, panoramic view of Johnstone Strait and the Vancouver Island Mountain Range. The lot is zoned as “residential business/other residential business/other”. As “semi-waterfront,” it sits on a bench of land overlooking Fir Street, the other side of which is beach. The waterfront is undeveloped and is owned by the Crown. The rear half of the lot is well treed including towering Fir and Cedar.

The lodge sitting on a knoll overlooks a small house on its east side; the Village playground is on the west side. There is no development on the north side.

The lodge was built in the 1960’s as the United Church for the Island. Renovations started in 2000 by the current owners upgrading it to its current state. The lodge is approximately 2900 sq. ft. including panabode (cedar log) construction on concrete foundation with 14’ cedar beamed ceilings and asphalt shingle roof.

There are 6 Bedrooms and 5 with bathrooms, the manager would live in one of the rooms. Bathrooms include 4 with showers, 1 with shower and bathtub. The lodge is heated by a central wood stove and rooms have electrical baseboard heating. Washer and dryer, convection oven, commercial fridge and freezer are also included. Wireless internet is available.

This price reflects that of a turnkey operation including all beds and bedding, appliances, most furniture, website, email account, and booking system.

Memberships/Marketing: Most of the business is pre-booked due to the lodge’s strong presence on the Internet with key phrases such as ‘accommodation Alert Bay’. The lodge is approved by BC Tourism and has been listed in its BC Accommodation Guide and website since 2003. The lodge has good reviews on Trip Advisor. Alert Bay Lodge is also a member of Tourism Association of Vancouver Island and the Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce. Its brochures are featured at the Port McNeill Visitor Centre and the Tourism BC shop in Alert Bay. Some business is also generated by a wildlife package sold by Midnight Sun Travel to European and Australian markets.

Visit to view the operations website


"One of the finest and most unique vacations I've had. Your lodge is one of the best kept secrets on Vancouver Island".
Tom Young, Chicago, Ill, USA

"WOW… great views, great Island, not enough time."
Chris & Helen, Oxford England & Vancouver

"Great location, friendly place and beautiful views",
Kathernia & Jocher, Germany

"The lodge was like a dream. I felt so relaxed and at peace while I was here. The locals, whales and guests are all so memorable. When I get back from Africa you can be sure I'll stop back for rest, relaxation and reflection."
Mark, Etna, California

"My stay here was wonderful! This lodge is one of the most relaxing places I've ever been. The island is fun too! I came for a short stay (1 or 2 days) and stayed for a week and a half! Thanks for all the fun."
Mike, Toronto, Ontario.

"I don't make many words. It's a HOME ten thousand miles from home!"
Thomas, Germany

"Thank-you for a great time. It's and unbelievable place ... one of the best places in Canada. See youlater."
Cho, Seoul

"Best place I've ever stayed in Canada!"
Michaud, Quebec

To View more guests comments go to

Location: Cormorant Island is located off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, easily accessible by a scenic ferry ride from the community of Port McNeill on Vancouver Island to the island's busy harbour at Alert Bay.

Access: Alert Bay is a village on Cormorant Island, a 30 minute BC Ferry ride from Port McNeill. Port McNeill is on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, about a six-hour drive north of Victoria. The lodge is two kilometers from the Village and marina and one kilometer from the Fire Department. There are six daily ferry sailings from Port McNeill.

Services: Hydro, community water, sewer and trash service. The Island’s 400’ well is untreated due to its good quality.

Area Data: The village of Alert Bay often referred to as “Home of the Killer Whale”, the village is located at the top of Johnstone Strait on Cormorant Island, a crescent shaped island three miles in length and a half mile wide. It is the oldest community on northern Vancouver Island.

Today, Alert Bay has a population of about 1,500 comprised of the Village of Alert Bay, the 'Namgis First Nation and Whe-la-la-u and Area Council. The island is accessible by a 30 minute ferry ride which departs six times as day from Port McNeill.

The area is rich in aboriginal history and is primarily populated by the Kwakwaka'wakw people. The U'mista Cultural Centre is an internationally-known facility that houses one of the finest collections of historical artefacts depicting the Potlatch Ceremony of the Kwakwaka'wakw. Ruins of native villages and culturally modified trees can be found on nearby islands.

The natural beauty of the island has not been altered by large developments or crowds. Travellers can sea kayak, rent a mountain bike, explore the Island's hiking trails, and rarely see other tourists. Most beaches are accessible by foot. The world-renowned Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, a favoured rubbing beach for killer whales, is just 30 minutes away by boat. Alert Bay is an ideal place to unwind and enjoy a place that appears to have stood still for half a century.

Alert Bay Lodge is located two kilometres south of the BC Ferry Terminal at 549 Fir Street, an oceanside road adjacent to the ferry terminal.

Today, this island fishing community hosts some of the region's finest historical and cultural artifacts.

Recreation: Wildlife: Cormorant Island's surrounding waterways are home to Killer Whales, Sea Lions, Porpoises and Dolphins.

Hiking & Biking: Cormorant Island boasts over 10.5 kilometres of both hiking and biking trails to explore.

Orcas: Close to Alert Bay in Johnstone Strait is the largest concentration of Killer whales in the world at Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, where up to 200 Orcas arrive each summer to rub on gravel beaches at the mouth of the Tsitika River. Whale watching companies based in Alert Bay, Port McNeill, Sointula, Telegraph Cove, Sayward and Port Hardy all operate tours to Robson Bight.

Broughton Archipelago Marine Park: To the northeast of Cormorant Island across the Labouchere Passage is the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park, a wilderness area consisting of a maze of several small islands, numerous inlets and adjacent foreshore at the southern extremity of Queen Charlotte Strait, off the west coast of Gilford Island. The islands in the marine park are undeveloped and are largely undiscovered. Facilities are limited to a day-use recreation. The numerous remote, solitary islands incorporated in the park provide unlimited and unique fishing and swimming opportunities, and are fabulous for exploring by kayak.

Fishing: Blackfish Sound east of Cormorant Island is productive for salmon fishing, offering feeder chinooks throughout the year. The first migratory chinooks appear in late May through to August, followed by the sockeye (June to August), pinks (July to August), coho in mid July, northern coho in September and chum salmon from late August through to October. Winter chinook end off the year by passing through toward the end of December. Halibut fishing commences in April to June, and continues through the summer to September - open water depths of 200 to 400 feet are most productive. Concentrate on Richards Channel, Ripple Passage and Bolivar Passage. Halibut around the 100 lb mark are brought in regularly, with monsters of over 200 lbs caught occasionally.

Island Hopping: Travelling between the Southern Gulf Islands and Northern Gulf Islands can be accomplished in small hops. Each of these islands is a world unto itself, each with its own history, culture and colourful characters - each island deserves at least a day or two for exploring. Immediately north of Cormorant Island across Cormorant Channel is Malcolm Island, location of the small, picturesque fishing village of Sointula.

Knight Inlet. Located about a two-hour boat ride south of Alert Bay, Knight Inlet is a fjord that juts 105 kilometers deep into the wilderness of the British Columbia mainland. As one of the largest fjords on the B.C. coast, Knight Inlet offers its visitors spectacular scenery amidst steep cliffs that fall away to the deep blues and greens of the glacial-fed water. Silence reigns here, broken only by the slap of the water against the shore and the thunder of nearby waterfalls, intermingled with the cries of seabirds.

This area is home to one of the largest concentrations of grizzly bears in British Columbia. Starting in late April the bears return to the estuary from hibernation and start the year off feeding on the sedges, succulents, grasses and barnacles that abound in the estuaries. This luxuriant spring growth provides the basic nutritional needs for the bears and draws them from the mountains down to the estuary. From mid August to late September, as the salmon return to the river, it is not uncommon for up to 50 bears to be seen within five miles along the shoreline. Grizzly bear watching excursions can be arranged at Alert Bay Lodge.

History: Cormorant Island off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island is the traditional home of the 'Namgis First Nation. They used the island as a place to bring their people who had passed on, and also lived on the Island on a seasonal basis for several thousand years.

Cormorant Island boasts the North Island's oldest community, the fishing village of Alert Bay, which was an important trading centre for early residents in the area.

It is now about 190 years since Captain George Vancouver anchored his vessel, the H.M.S. Discover, at the mouth of the Nimpkish River. While Captain Vancouver visited with the inhabitants of Cheslakee's village, the island, now known as Cormorant Island, lay uninhabited just a short distance away.

In 1846 the island was named for a coastal cruiser, the H.M.S. Cormorant, and later, about 1858, the Bay was named for the H.M.S. Alert which was then stationed on the North-West coast.

The period of 1865 to 1870 saw the beginning of active settlement on Cormorant Island and the nucleus of the formation of the village of Alert Bay. Two explorers and entrepreneurs named Spencer and Huson examined the possibilities of resource development at Suquash and the Nimpkish River before establishing on Cormorant Island in 1870, a small saltery, where local salmon was salted and mildcured before being sent to Victoria. At that time Spencer and Huson leased Cormorant Island from the government.

As their business grew, Spencer and Huson became aware of a need to establish a permanent work force on the Island. To this end the partners approached a Reverend James Hall, a missionary of the Church Missionary Society, who had just established a mission at Fort Rupert in 1877. They persuaded the Reverend to relocate to Alert Bay and in 1878 a mission house was built to school the native boys and girls.

By 1887 the settlement was beginning to show significant signs of progress. 1881 saw the construction of a store and a cannery while the Reverend Hall supervised the construction of "Christ Church".

Water transportation has always been an important ingredient of Alert Bay's history. In 1896, the Union Steamship "Comox", made its first regular call while en route to Rivers Inlet lying to the north. Many other ships, representing a variety of purposes ranging from the transportation of goods, to the delivery of tourists, have visited the Island over the years. In more recent years, when the community was at its peak as centre of the region, regular access was provided by ferry from Kelsey Bay via Beaver Cove. Regular ferry service is now provided from Port McNeill with direct runs to the Bay interspersed by trips to neighboring Malcolm Island.

By the early 1900's, Alert Bay was a well established and thriving community serving as the major centre to an area of abundant resources. 1902 saw British Columbia Packers Association purchase the cannery from its founders and in 1909 St. George's Hospital was opened.

The present countenance of the Alert Bay community reflects much of its past history. Visitors to the area will be fascinated by the mixing and contrasting of the cultures, the native art forms represented by their carvings, paintings and metal drafting. Artifacts and events of the past, not represented by the buildings of the village or the reservation, can be viewed in the community's attractive museum. Above all, a casual stroll from one end of the community to the other, instills one with an appreciation for the efforts of the early pioneers who carved themselves a place to live and work and created the roots of the village which now exists on the temperate south shore of Cormorant Island.

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