Desolation Sound General Store & Restaurant for sale: (Listed 2010-11-15)


Oceanfront General Store & Restaurant, Cortes Island, BC

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  • Sold on 2016-02-29
  • Property AddressOceanfront General Store & Restaurant, Cortes Island, BC, Canada
  • TypeGeneral Store & The Cove Restaurant

Desolation Sound

Oceanfront General Store & Restaurant, Cortes Island, BC, Canada


2.4 acre revenue generating commercially zoned oceanfront including Squirrel Cove General Store & The Cove Restaurant. Store operations include groceries & hardware, liquor sales, post office, fuel sales, video rentals, atm and attached 9 bedroom accommodation. Separate buildings include restaurant, garden center, laundry & shower facilities. Large foreshore lease with dock, ramp, and boat launching facilities

The Squirrel Cove General Store & Cove Restaurant are located on the East side of Cortes Island facing world renowned yachting destination Desolation Sound. The operations cater to the local community along with the endless supply of tourists and boaters visiting/mooring in the immediate area. The Squirrel Cove General Store has been a successful business since the 1970’s & is the only business of its type on the island and within this yachting area. It is a “true general store” offering a one stop shop for all.

The location of the store is perfect for the yachting community as the government wharf is located next door to the property and within easy walking distance. The Government Dock provides all tide docking for big and small boats.
During the economic downturn the revenue for the various operations remained strong and have increased some in the past year. There are also additional revenue possibilities by further utilizing the property adding to the current viable business.
CLICK HERE to View A 360° View Of The Property
The location of The Cove Restaurant is one of the most spectacular you'll find anywhere. It is right at water level and looks out to the glory of Desolation Sound. From the large patio, you can frequently see eagles soaring and fish leaping. If the day is chilly, you can sit inside around a fire and gaze through any window to astonishing beauty. Currently The Cove Restaurant is leased out from May to September. A capable new owner could increase revenue by operating the restaurant rather than leasing it out. It is licensed for 108 capacity accommodating large groups.
The current MENU is based on local seafood and fresh vegetables, comfort food and daily specials. There are often home made desserts and always homemade soup and organic salads. The Cove is licensed to serve alcohol, so you can enjoy a bottle of wine with your meal or a glass of draft beer with your appetizer.

 to view the current MENU
The Squirrel Cove General Store Includes:
  • Large Walk In Fridge With Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
  • Extensive number and selection of staples & dry goods
  • A Liquor Agency
  • Hardware Department
  • Post Office
  • ATM, Video Rentals, Wireless Internet
The General Store carries just about everything you'll ever need. Current hours of operation are: 9-6 every day and 9-9 in the summer. In the summer there are 7 full time employees and 5 part time employees and 4 full time employees and 3 part time employees in the off season.

There is a large walk-in cooler with fresh (organic and regular) fruit and vegetables, tofu, free-range eggs, and dairy. Often, when in season, produce is from local farmers. There is a variety of fresh and frozen meat, fish, oysters and prawns (local when possible), and a freezer full of ice cream and other frozen treats. Bread and baking goods arrive frequently. Both cube & block ice is available.

This is a great place for locals and boaters to stock up on dried goods, organic/fair trade coffee, soft drinks and treats. You can also find detergents and paper products; repair kits, fishing tackle, licences, and bait; maps, charts and tide tables; toiletries and medicine; baby food and diapers; water purifier tablets and bottled water; stamps and newspapers; chips and dips and soft ice-cream.
Inside the General Store, there is a Government Liquor Agency in its own room. You'll be amazed at the vast selection of local and imported beer, wine, coolers, ciders, champagne, liqueurs and hard alcohol.

The Hardware Store is located in the lower level. Here, you will find areas designated for plumbing, electricity, auto, marine, oil, nails, screws, batteries, fuses, adhesives, etc.

 to view the general stores website
Other Onsite Revenue Operations Include:
  • Fuel Sales
  • A Laundromat with Showers
  • Craft Store
  • The Cove Garden Centre
  • Boat Launch
  • The Cove Restaurant
  • A high water dock for float plane or boat tie up
There are 4 types of fuel available: Propane for auto and cylinders. Marked gasoline for boats and farm vehicles. Diesel. Regular unleaded gas. They have jerry cans and a trusty wheelbarrow you can borrow if you need to replenish your fuel for your boat. The dock is directly in front of the pumps and is available for use at high tide.

There is a separate building housing coin operated commercial washers and dryers. There are also 2 coin-operated showers with plenty of hot water.

Local artists and crafts people display their work in this charming shop. It is co-operatively operated and you can learn about each artist. Prices are reasonable and new work is arriving frequently. The Craft Store is open during late June to early September from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Fertilizers, tools, bedding plants, garden hardware and fixtures, some in season, others year round.
Added revenue is generated from many boaters and kayakers embarking on day trips. Kayak people find it a useful place to organize their gear before taking off. Seasonal residents utilize it for removing their boats for the season.

Each Sunday between May 24 and Labour Day a craft/farmer market is held on site at Squirrel Cove between the Laundromat and the Cove Restaurant. Local artists, crafts, musicians, farmers, bakers, etc. will sell or perform between 11:00-3:00. This is an excellent opportunity to experience the diversity of Cortes culture and sample the wonderful local flavours.

Owners accommodations are attached directly behind the general store and include a kitchen and bathroom on the ground level and nine bedrooms above. This would be very suitable for large families or could be converted easily into a Hostel adding to the revenue.

  • Refrigerated freight truck
  • Fork lift
  • Industrial grade back-up diesel generator
  • Walk in freezer with ice maker
There are numerous other revenue generation opportunities that could be added by a new owner. This could include a untapped eco-tourism operation, construction of rental cabins, converting current 9 bedroom living quarters into a Hostel or operating a small campsite and boat storage in the offseason.


Given the properties location and surrounding natural attributes a eco-tourism business could flourish. Kayak tours & rentals would be ideal given the protected waters of Squirrel Cove and the surrounding marine Park.


The construction of small cabins would be ideal given the amount of tourist in the area as it would go hand in hand with a eco-tourism business.


The current nine bedroom living accommodation attached to the general store could easily be converted into a hostel business with minimal cost.


Currently there are 3-4 campsites on the property that are not being utilized to there full potential. All it would take is a little marketing to generate more revenue

Boat Storage

In the offseason a portion of the property could be used to store boats for the neighbouring water access seasonal residence.

Foreshore Lease
The foreshore lease was extended in size in 2008 to approximately .54 of a hectare reaching out to deeper waters as the current dock in place is tidal. The term of the lease was also extended in 2008 for another 30 years. A new owner might be able to extend the dock and create a marine fuel sales business. It is imperative that any potential purchaser independently check the likelihood of adding a fuel dock with the various governing departments including (ILMB) integrated land and management bureau now the ministry of natural resources.

Location : Cortes Island is situated in the Discovery Islands' group just east of Quadra Island across Sutil Channel and west across Desolation Sound from British Columbia's mainland near Lund. Cortes Island is around 25 km (16 miles) long, 13 km (8 miles) wide and has an area of 13,000 hectares (32,124 acres).

To reach Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island, take the regularly scheduled ferry service on BC Ferries from Campbell River (Vancouver Island) to Quathiaski Cove on Quadra Island, approximately a 10 minute sailing. Then take a short drive from Quathiaski Cove to Heriot Bay. From Heriot Bay take a BC Ferries scheduled sailing to Whaletown on Cortes Island, approximately a 40 minute sailing. Then drive a short distance across Cortes Island from Whaletown to Squirrel Cove.


CLICK HERE to view a map of the Island


By seaplane; Direct flights to Manson's Landing on Cortes Island are available during the summer months from Vancouver (1 hr) and Seattle (2 hrs). By airplane; Air Canada runs daily flights to Campbell River (on Vancouver Island) and Powell River (on the mainland) from Vancouver and Seattle. From Campbell River airport, take the airport shuttle service to the ferry terminal in downtown Campbell River. From the Powell River Airport take a shuttle to Lund and then a water taxi to Cortes. You must make arrangements in advance for this service. Pacific Coastal Airlines also flies from the Vancouver Airport South Terminal to Campbell River.

Access : (Contact Listing Agent)
Services : Hydro, Internet, Telephone, Septic, Water (Dug & Drilled Wells)
Recreation :

Salmon Fishing in the region is legendary. The waters around Quadra and Cortes Islands have yielded some of the largest salmon ever caught on BC's west coast. Although much of the activity is centred in nearby Campbell River on Vancouver Island, there's plenty of action around Quadra and Cortes Islands. Spring salmon migrate from April through to September. Bluejacks and Coho salmon arrive in May, followed by Tyee in July, August and September. Charter boat operators are available for fishing or wildlife viewing excursions.

Freshwater Fishing

If the fish aren't biting in the saltchuk ('chuk' is a Native word for water) just turn your attention to the fish in Hague Lake. The freshwater lake is partly incorporated in Manson's Landing Provincial Park, a rarity in the Marine Provincial park system.

Hiking and Biking
on old logging roads, many of which are overgrown, will take the adventuresome into seldom visited habitats. Carrington Bay and Von Donop Inlet provide a maze of trails, and Gunflint Lake and Hague Lake are surrounded mostly by parklands, with a series of marked trails at the end of Quais Bay Road and across the road from the Cortes Motel. When hiking on Cortes, please remember that most small roads lead to private residences, so take care when choosing your path.

Smelt Bay Provincial Park on the southwestern corner of the island provides a heavenly setting on this picturesque island, and your reward for going to the effort to reach Cortes Island is a great provincial park campground. Follow the island road 13 miles (21 km) from the ferry dock to the park, located near Manson's Landing Provincial Park. For a great beach walk, head south to the tip of Sutil Point from Smelt Bay Park. Identify gulls, eagles, cormorants, herons and oystercatchers while you pick up treasured shells and driftwood along the shore. The multitude of sealife provides fine dining for humans ... and seals, sea lions, seabirds and otters too.


Manson's Landing Provincial Park has blessed Cortes Island with a sublime picnic and fishing location. A wide, sandy beach beckons to those who just wish to spread a blanket beside the driftwood backrest and dig into the cooler. Manson's Landing is a great place for paddling, swimming and sunbathing. Bring your own canoe or kayak, or rent one on the island.


Desolation Sound, British Columbia's most celebrated marine destination, borders on Cothe sound. Desolation Sound Marine Park possesses a magical magnetism that draws boaters and paddlers from distant shores. Most boaters congregate in popular anchorages at Prideaux Haven, Tenedos Bay, and Grace Harbour, but with a little more imagination you'll find plenty of isolated bays and campsites throughout Desolation Sound's more than 37 miles (60 km) of coastline.


One of the prime attractions of these waters is their warmth in summer months, which makes them ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Boaters and paddlers will discover an environment nearer in spirit to the protected waters of the southern Strait of Georgia. What Desolation Sound provides that the southern Gulf Islands don't is an astonishing breeding ground for shellfish, principally oysters. Whoever penned the time-honored expression When the tide is out, the table is spread must have been inspired by these nutrient-rich waters.
Area Data : Cortes Island

Nestled at the entrance to enchanting Desolation Sound, tranquil and friendly Cortes Island is one of the most impressive of the Discovery Islands, with its placid lakes, beaches, and rugged gorges. Located between Campbell River on central Vancouver Island and the mainland coast of British Columbia, the Discovery Islands dot the intricate waterways in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.


There are three settlements on Cortes: Whaletown at the ferry dock, Manson's Landing with its sandy beaches, and Squirrel Cove, an anchorage facing Desolation Sound. The moment you step onto a ferry heading for the islands, the pace relaxes and the smiles break out.


Cortes Island is about 16 miles (25 km) long, 8 miles (13 km) wide and 13,000 hectares in area. The southern half of Cortes lies in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island, creating a drier climate than the northern half of the island. Most of the island's population lives on the southern end, along with Arbutus and Manzanita trees that cling to the bleached granite bluffs.


Native to this part of British Columbia is the Klahoose First Nation, a northern Coast Salish tribe who maintained seasonal and permanent villages from Toba Inlet south to Cortes Island. When the main villages in Toba Inlet were flooded in the 1800s, the Klahoose Band selected their traditional winter settlement at Squirrel Cove as their permanent site.


Cortes Island (pronounced Cortez) and nearby Hernando Island were named after the Spanish conqueror of Mexico, Hernando Cortes. This unlikely link was established by the Spanish cartographer, Valdez, who charted these waters in 1793. The Spanish never settled the area, but Cortes and other Spanish names remained.


The main islands in the Discovery Islands group are Quadra Island, Cortes Island and the Outer Islands, the largest of which include East and West Thurlow Islands, Sonora Island, Stuart Island, Maurelle Island, Read Island, Raza Island, and East and West Redonda Island. Visitors from around the world are attracted to the Discovery Islands for their scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.


Population: 950


  • Cortes Island is a community rich in arts and culture. Crafts stores and galleries offer drawings, paintings and sculptures by local artists. Pick up a copy of the Cortes Arts & Culture Lane brochure from island outlets; a visitor guide to Galleries, Museums and Studios on Cortes Island.


  • Cortes Island Museum, on Beasley Road next to the firehall, provides a fascinating glimpse into the cultural and natural history of Whaletown and the surrounding area. Varied displays include Windows on Whaletown and the work of naturalist and author Gilean Douglas. The museum is open from late spring until early fall.


  • Spawning Salmon: Several streams on Cortes Island are the spawning grounds of Chum salmon. They can be viewed in the Gorge Channel and Squirrel Cove in November as they journey to the rivers of their birth to spawn and complete the circle of life.


  • Thousands of smelt come to spawn on the southwestern tip of the island in Smelt Bay Provincial Park. Smelts are a green-and-silver, sardine-sized fish that frequents these waters in huge numbers and attracts salmon. Not difficult to net, they make a tasty meal.


  • There are numerous lagoons with abundant shellfish and shorebirds. Manson's landing provincial Park is the most accessible, and shellfish may be legally collected here and at Smelt Bay, Squirrel cove and the beach south of the government wharf in the Gorge Harbour. Watch for posted signs, check the legal limits and keep away from oyster and clam leases, which are marked with red concrete blocks at their corners.


  • Cortes Island is a dream destination for berry picking. Blackberries, salal, huckleberries, salmonberries and thimbleberries abound on the island in season.


  • There's a well-equipped marina in Gorge Harbour, and government wharves are maintained at Cortes Bay, Whaletown, Squirrel Cove, Manson's Landing and Gorge Harbour. Two yacht clubs supply member moorage at Cortes Bay. Quadra, Cortes and Redonda Islands provide a gateway to that sailing enchantment, Desolation Sound.
Zoning : SC - 1 (Service Commercial One)

Please CLICK HERE tofollow the link to the Comox Strathcona Regional district for zoning descriptions and information


PID 006-306-586

Taxes : $10,018.61 (2009)
Listing # : 10500


Buyers should verify any information provided that is important to them to their sole satisfaction. Our best efforts have been made to provide the most current and accurate information from sources believed to be reliable.

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