Life On Cortes

Cortes Island is one of the Discovery Islands, situated between Vancouver Island and the Mainland. Cortes is quiet in the winters, with a year round population of just over 1000 people, while summers are busy with the return of seasonal residents and visitors from all over the world. Cortes has beautiful dense forests with accessible and well maintained trails, gorgeous sandy beaches, inland lakes, and an abundance of wildlife. There are several community halls that organize and host dances, concerts, theatre, craft fairs, farmers markets and other activities. 

The school is centrally located in Mansons Landing, one of the community hubs on the island. In Mansons, the Health Centre, Cortes Market, Cortes Natural Food Co-op, Mansons Hall, the Cortes Community Radio, and the Cortes Island Museum are all centrally located. Hague Lake and Mansons Lagoon, popular swimming areas, are a short walk from the town centre. Mansons is about a 20 minute drive from the ferry in Whaletown.

What is there to do on Cortes?

During the semester on Cortes Island we want the students to be able to experience everything our island has to offer. Our small community works hard to create community spaces and events to connect our community members. We would recommend familiarizing yourself with the island’s online community board The Tideline, which lists events and important notices. It is a great way to get involved in the community.

Teen Szene:

Weekly we have an after school group for teenagers called Teen Szene, which provides a space for youth to get together and hangout. Please find the link to the Teen Szene webpage here: Teen Szene

Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee & Disc Golf:

We also have multiple organized sports on the island such as soccer on Saturdays and ultimate frisbee on Sundays both at the Cortes Island School field. The times for these sports will be either word of mouth or posted on the Tideline. There is also a disc golf course located along Seaford road close to Linnaea farm.

Vancouver Island Library:

Cortes also has a library at the Linnaea Farm Education Center, located on Gunflint Lake. It is a Vancouver Island Regional Library branch, so if you already have a card for VIRL it will work here. Please find the hours here:


Cortes Island has many hiking/walking trails that are accessible and beautiful all year round. Popular walks include: Kw’as Trails, Siskin Trails and Hanks Beach. Please follow this link to view road and trail maps of Cortes: island-maps/

Skate Park:

The skate park is located in Mansons between Mansons Hall and the Cortes Island School.

Friday Markets and Cortes Community Radio:

On Fridays at Mansons Hall there is a Farmers Market 12PM-3PM, and FolkU radio from out of the Cortes Community Radio offers radio time from 1pm-3pm on Fridays.


The Free Store offers a unique shopping experience where everything is, of course, FREE!  Staffed entirely by volunteers, the freestore is a place where islanders generously drop off items they no longer need, providing potential treasures for others. Linens, clothing, books, kitchen equipment, toys… something for everyone.

For more information about Cortes Island, visit 

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