'We bought an island': Cowichan Valley tax dollars purchase pristine island
An aerial view of Bute Island, off the coast of Ladysmith, B.C. (YouTube/Chace Witson)
A privately owned island off the coast of Ladysmith will be protected in perpetuity after a deal was cut with the regional district.
Bute Island, a 2.2-acre forested outcropping, was purchased by the Cowichan Valley Regional District and will be added to its roster of regional parkland.
According to the district, staff watched closely for months as the price of the privately owned island dropped.
A high-end Youtube video posted by a real estate agent in 2016 pushed potential buyers towards the opportunity to own their own coastal paradise.
This year the Cowichan Valley Regional District used $ 750,000 of its new Regional Park Acquisition Fund to close the Bute Island deal.
“We bought an island,” said district chair Ian Morrison. “This an exciting opportunity for CVRD to expand its regional parks for the benefit of residents, and further strengthen the tourism sector of the southern Gulf Islands and Ladysmith area,”
The park will be intended for day-use and will accommodate kayaks, canoes and smaller vessels at a public dock. Once on the island, travellers can take a rustic trail hike to scenic views of the Cowichan Valley’s many harbours and neighbouring islands.
In celebration of the taxpayer purchase the CVRD will be offering free shuttles to the island on Sun., Aug. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ferry service will leave Ladysmith Harbour.
Guided tours will provide visitors with unique knowledge of the parks wildlife, natural features and Indigenous history.