Where in the world is Thetis Island?
Where in the southern Gulf Islands?
Visitors' Guide to Thetis Island to download, including road map
Cycling on Thetis Island

Where in the World is Thetis Island?

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Where in the southern Gulf Islands?


A Mediterranean-type combination of mild winters and warm, very dry summers is typical. Thetis is in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island, so is at added risk of water shortage in the summer and fall months, so visitors are requested to respect our need to avoid activities that could possibly lead to wildfire. These concerns notwithstanding, visitors will discover delightful rural scenes, beautiful shoreline, crystal clear waters, and wonderful views. It is especially popular in the summer, with diverse recreational opportunities, including scuba diving, fishing, swimming, sailing, cruising and kayaking, bird watching, cycling and hiking.


A permanent population of about 450 maintains various Community Services on Thetis Island, including a community hall with library and tennis court, church, elementary (K-6) school, fire and emergency response (911) service. A more comprehensive list of these organizations can be found on the Community page.

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Thetis Island is a rural location with narrow roads, little infrastructure, elementary school children, wildlife and some tricky blind corners and driveways. Roads are shared for recreation as well as commercial and residential vehicles. This all adds up to an extra level of caution and attention required for all users. Please be safe, follow signage, and anticipate there is always someone or something else sharing the road. When accidents happen here, it is a tragedy felt around the island.

Cycling on Thetis Island:

The horseshoe-shaped road pattern of Thetis Island lends itself to relatively short out-and-back cycling trips on quiet, paved roads. The two most popular, after turning left from the ferry dock, are North Cove Road (5 km in one direction) and Pilkey Point Road (8 km). Both are inland, with Pilkey Point Road offering some ocean views, especially from atop Moore Hill and at Pilkey Point itself. The short, 300-foot climb up Moore Hill will be a challenge to most cyclists. Thetis has no bike shops or off-road biking opportunities on public land. Ocean access is on public road allowances. Because there are no commercial facilities beyond the island's two marinas, cyclists should carry their own food, drinks, spare tubes and tools. For more information, call Dave Steen at 250-246-3530.

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Fire Department and First Responders - We have a dedicated, well-trained Volunteer Fire Department that responds to all emergency situations on Thetis, including medical emergencies. We operate 2 fire engines, a water tanker, and a well-equipped Fire Department ambulance-type vehicle. Telephone 911 and state the nature of your emergency to the operator and give the lot number.

Chemainus Health Care Centre operates an Emergency Room with restricted hours, and the C.V. Regional Hospital is in Duncan, a 20 minute vehicle ride from Chemainus.

Burning permits are required for all outdoor fires from April 1st to October 31st and are issued by the Fire Department (you can apply online at https://www.thetisislandfire.ca/burn-permits.html). Thetis is a particularly dry island, with few water reserves, and most homes are built in the forest. This makes us very vulnerable to wild fire. Often, our island is in the "high to extreme" range for fire danger very early in the season. There is a forest fire danger rating sign at the ferry dock area and is updated regularly. This sign supercedes all burning permits, and notifies residents and visitors of campfire, burn pile, and complete forest closures. Please consult the sign before lighting a fire. Careless cigarette, barbecue briquette, or campfire disposal will put the entire island in danger of wildfire. Make your actions safe actions and protect our island.

If you require assistance for a medical or fire emergency, please do not hesitate to call 911. We will respond, and the sooner we know about your problem, the sooner we can arrive to help.

Garbage - Thetis is a very small island with very few "municipal services", which means we have to deal with our garbage ourselves - taxes don’t contribute to it. It is very expensive to have the dumpster bins emptied, so Thetis residents (who have to pay for it) try to minimize their use. We would really appreciate it if visitors would TAKE YOUR GARBAGE WITH YOU when you leave the island.

If you are here for too long to make that practical, please minimize the impact by doing the following:

  • Separate the recyclables. Recyclables have been banned from the garbage dumps, and if any are found in our bins, we are subject to heavy fines. These items include paper, glass, tin, aluminum, plastic bags, plastic containers, and compostables (food or garden trimmings).
  • Take the recyclables to the Chemainus depot or check the CVRD website for other recycling sites.
  • Limit garbage in the dumpster bins to small amounts of ordinary household garbage only. The Solid Waste Management site is open from 9am to noon on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • If you are a long-term visitor or a part-time resident, please contribute to the cost of garbage collection.

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If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact webmaster@thetisisland.net.