Nestled at the entrance of Desolation Sound, Cortes is one of several islands that form the the north end of the Strait of Georgia, known as the Discovery Islands. With placid lakes, driftwood scattered beaches, rugged gorges, and mystic rainforest trails, Cortes is steeped in natural beauty.
The Klahoose (ƛohos) and Tla’amin Nations are, and continue to be the original caretakers of the land. Today, there are three settlements on Cortes: Whaletown at the ferry dock, Manson’s Landing with its sandy beaches, and Squirrel Cove (T’oq) facing tranquil Desolation Sound. Most of the population live on the southern half of the island, along with Arbutus and Manzanita trees that cling to the bleached granite bluffs.
Cortes Island is about 25 kilometers (18 miles) long, 13 kilometers (8 miles) wide and 13,000 hectares in area. Resting in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island, Cortes enjoys a moderate climate with plenty of sunshine.
The island is an intriguing mix of old and new. Along with deep ancestral roots of the Klahoose, Tla’amin, Homalco Nations, people of all ages and backgrounds continue to settle here in search of a more independent and casual lifestyle. Find out more about the Cortes Island community, visit Our Cortes, or flip through the Cortes Island Information Book. For current activities and events on the island, please check out Tideline.
Hollyhock sits on the sunny, southeastern beach of Cortes. You’ll find our campus at the end of Highfield Road about 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the Whaletown ferry terminal and just 3 kilometers from Manson’s Landing.
* Our organization is committed to renewing our relationships with the First Nations peoples on whose territories we are guests.