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Descanso Bay terminal

Terminal Development Plan for Gabriola Island (Descanso Bay)


The Descanso Bay Terminal Development Plan was approved in March 2019. The purpose of this Terminal Development Plan is to set out the long-term vision for the future of this important terminal by providing the framework for the phased implementation of strategies and actions over the next 25 years. This will enable BC Ferries to develop terminals in a cost effective, organized and efficient way.

The Terminal Development Plan involved planning, conceptual design options and the development of an implementation schedule and budget estimates for future terminal upgrades. After careful consideration of the issues identified by comments received from the community engagement, internal Working Group and stakeholders, the design options were refined into a preferred option that meets terminal design requirements. It addresses some of the key issues within the terminal area, improves accessibility and enhances the travel experience of ferry users. The preferred option can be viewed in the Terminal Development Plan.
PDF 11,144 KB | 68 pages
PDF 1,575 KB | 27 pages

Official Community Plan and Zoning Amendment Application

In April 2019, BC Ferries submitted an Official Community Plan (OCP) and a Zoning Amendment application to the Islands Trust. It is expected that the applications will take 18-24 months to process by the Islands Trust. A copy of the application and the latest update on the application can be viewed here on the Islands Trust website.

BC Ferries hosted an information session on February 26 at Nanaimo Harbour terminal and on February 27 on Gabriola Island where we presented further information on the application and the new Island Class vessels which are scheduled to go into service in 2022.

View the information presented and summaries of what we heard at the events here:

Next Steps

The OCP and Zoning amendment application is in progress with the Islands Trust.
If you have any questions or require further information, contact us directly at

For more information about BC Ferries’ privacy policy and related information practices, visit To access or correct your personal information, contact or write to us at British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., Strategy and Community Engagement, Suite 500 - 1321 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 0B7