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Community Profile

Located on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, Powell River offers an amazing mixture of nature, culture and industry. The region has become a hotspot for businesses, families and retirees relocating from centres across North America and the world.

Here you will find friendly locals, unique neighbourhoods, opportunities, and a wide variety of events and art venues to keep you entertained. Neatly tucked into BC’s coastline and mere hours from Vancouver by car or minutes by plane, Powell River is an attractive option for those seeking to capitalize on a growing community with constantly expanding opportunities.

Just over 130 km from Vancouver, BC, Powell River is surrounded by forest, mountains, and many freshwater bodies of water and is part of the coastal mountain range. With the Pacific Ocean to its west, the region enjoys a temperate climate.

Fittingly, for the Sunshine Coast, there is an average of 1,900 hours of sunlight yearly. The mild winters bring plenty of precipitation, but infrequent snow, keeping the area green year round. Annual precipitation is almost 1,400 mm. The average winter temperature (December to March) is 5C, while the summer (June to September) averages a mild 17C.

In 2016, the City of Powell River had a population of 13,157, virtually no change from the 2011 census (13,165). The Powell River region did experience some growth with a 2011 population of 19,884 and a 2016 population of 20,707, approximately 1.0 per cent growth. This compares to the provincial average growth of 5.6 per cent.

The City’s land mass is 28.91 square kilometres, with a population density of 455.1 persons per square kilometre. This compares to the provincial land area of 922,509.29 square kilometres, with a population density of 5.0 persons per square kilometre.

Powell River offers a wide range of housing options at very affordable prices – whether you’re looking for heritage, modern, waterfront or farm.

Powell River lies along the shores of the Georgia Strait at the heart of the Malaspina Peninsula. A deep inlet separates the area from the rest of the British Columbia mainland, resulting in a rare unspoiled natural beauty. From Vancouver, follow the Sunshine Coast route for 145 km / 90 miles. Complete your journey with a 50-minute ferry ride between Earls Cove and Saltery Bay. The road, which runs along the coast from Saltery Bay in the south to Lund in the north, is the northernmost portion of Highway 101, the world’s longest highway, which begins at Lund and runs 14,880 miles / 24,000 km to Quellon at the south end of Chile.

Powell River is a community that relies on air and water for passengers as well as cargo. The community has developed an efficient transportation system that caters to its residents and visitors, as well as the logistical needs of the goods being shipping in and out of the community.

Named a Cultural Capital of Canada in 2004, Powell River offers a wide and varied range of activities for arts and culture enthusiasts. The City boasts the nation’s oldest continuously operating movie house, the Patricia Theatre. The community is home to International Choral Kathaumixw, which is a choral festival held every second year, featuring more than 2,500 performers from five continents. The community is also home to the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy, featuring some of the world’s finest symphonic musicians as faculty, and attracting top students from around the world to form an annual symphonic orchestra, featuring a number of performances open to the public.

Powell River boasts a stimulating blend of sport, recreation and outdoor adventure. At the heart of this active community is the Recreation Complex, which features twin ice sheets and an arena, an aquatic centre, fitness gym and studio, 720-seat performing arts theatre. Green spaces, sports fields and trails are abundant through the community and opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts include: kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, golfing, boating, hiking, biking, fishing and scuba diving. The Powell River region is home to the Sunshine Coast Trail, which is 180 kilometres in length, offering the longest hut-to-hut hiking experience in Canada. The trail can be explored in smaller sections for day hikes, or via one extraordinary, multi-day hiking vacation. There is also the Powell River Forest Canoe Route, which is a 57-kilometre, eight lake, five portage journey that takes roughly five days. A new addition to Powell River’s outdoor amenities is the YOGN-82, a concrete former military ship, which has been sunk near Willingdon Beach recreation area as an artificial reef.

See the complete Powell River Community Profile 2018.