Weekend Window: Telegraph Cove

The tiny town of Telegraph Cove, population 20, is built on stilts and located on the northeastern shore of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

In 1912, the town was one-room station and today many of its original buildings remain standing.

"This is a nice little town, and then when you get on over to the water, the beauty and the abundant wildlife is even better," said Gordy Graham of Telegraph Cove Resorts.

The area is known for its outdoor activities, including boating and whale watching. And Graham said each day the location holds a wonderful surprise.

"If you look out in the marina, there's a whole marina full of boats. Nobody takes the key out of their boat," he said. "There's not many places left where you can do that. But that's Telegraph Cove."

Telegraph Cove is one of the premier places to watch orcas, according to Capt. Wayne Garten of Stubbs Island Charters Whale Watching.

"There's this mystique. They're wonderful and they're visual and they're so intelligent," he said. "I'm amazed by them and I see them almost every day."

But, whales aren't the only wildlife form you'll find in waters around Telegraph Cove.

"[You can] see the whales, the dolphins, and just be out in open water by yourself," said kayaker Carey Sather. "Telegraph Cove is a great place to kayak."

Sather said the idea a large mammal slides underneath a boat and comes up beside it is elegant and beautiful.

"People that come here are just blown away," Garten said. "I've had people say that it's one of the best places they've been around the world."

Tourist Attractions

Victoria Clipper

With bigger summer lines at the border crossing, one great way to get to Telegraph Cove and Vancouver Island is aboard the high-speed Victoria Clipper ferries. Get on board on Seattle's waterfront, then choose either a straight shot to Victoria or a slower boat through the beautiful San Juan Islands. Once in Victoria, rent a car and head north through some of the most spectacular scenery Canada has to offer.

Telegraph Cove Resorts

Voted one of the 10 best towns in Canada by travel writers, Telegraph Cove is one of the last virtually untouched areas of the North American continent. This tiny sawmill and cannery community was important to the development of the North Island and has a rich and colorful history. Stay in cozy cabins in the Cove, or camp in the forest and RV campground. But get out on the water because the Cove opens to the some of the most incredible marine wildlife habitats in the world.

Stubbs Island Whale Watching & Charters

Jim Borrowman and his wife Mary run British Columbia's first whale watching operation. Their veteran skippers and all-around whale know-how make for both an exhilarating and educational experience. And their two 60-foot boats offer a comfortable and family-friendly way to get out to Johnstone Strait and see the wildlife. And of course getting more people on bigger boats means less impacts to the whales. Click here for more information on Stubbs Island Whale Watching & Charters.


If you'd like to help protect Johnstone Strait's orcas, visit OrcaLab's Web site, Canada's top shop for non-invasive killer whale research.