Located only 30 kilometres northwest of Vancouver, British Columbia, Gibsons has all of the advantages of small town living: no traffic jams, low crime rates, preservation of a natural setting, and a community that fits on the landscape. Its urbane, highly educated population, excellent amenities, proximity to Vancouver and progressive culture all helped Gibsons to be selected as one of Small Business BC’s 2019 “Open for Business” award finalists.
The Town of Gibsons is a very compact municipality of just over four square kilometres and almost 5,000 residents – a social, commercial and services hub for the 13,000 population who live in the immediately adjacent rural regional districts, stretching from Port Mellon to Roberts Creek.
The Town’s commercial area is split between the historic Gibsons Landing area on the waterfront, and Upper Gibsons just a few blocks away at the top of the escarpment. The civic buildings (town hall, library, and school board offices) are located in the “lower town” while most services (health unit, medical clinic and lab, pharmacies, banks, schools, recreation centre, shopping malls, light industrial area) are situated along Highway 101 in the “upper town.”
Recognized as one of the world’s most liveable communities (2009 UN LivCom Award – Communities Under 20,000), Gibsons offers a picturesque harbour with a spectacular ocean-rainforest-mountain backdrop, with easy access to year-round outdoor recreation including trail riding and hiking, open-water sports, equestrian evening, and winter backcountry activities.
|Form||Mayor and Council|
|Number of Elected Officials||5|
|Next election date||October 16, 2021|
|Chief Administrative Officer||Emanuel Machado|
|Total Population||4,605 (2016 Census)|
|Number of Employees||37|
|Neighbourhoods and Official Community Plan||Gibsons OCP,
OCP – Part ABC Smart Plan: Town-wide policies and all Development Permit Areas
OCP – Part D – Upper Gibsons Neighbourhood Plan
OCP – Part E – Harbour Area Plan
OCP – Part F Gospel Rock Neighbourhood Plan
|Zoning Maps||2015 Zoning Map|
|Water||Lower Town: Untreated from Town’s artesian well system; Upper Town: Treated from SCRD Chapman/Gray watershed|
|Sanitary||99% of Town on sewer (exception: properties geographically separated from Town infrastructure)|
|Schools||Gibsons Elementary, Elphinstone Secondary, Gibsons Alternative School|
|Special Events and Attractions||Gibsons Landing Jazz Festival (June), Sea Cavalcade (July), Music in the Landing (June-Sep.), Community Labour Day Picnic (Sep.), Art Crawl (Oct.). See also: Festivals & Events|
In the summer of 2014 the David Suzuki Foundation hailed Gibsons as “the first municipality in North America, and possibly in the world, to consider nature as an asset and give natural assets the same consideration as traditional capital assets.” The Town of Gibsons’ groundbreaking commitment to operate, maintain and replace its natural assets, such as wetlands and forests, just as it does traditional capital assets, such as roads and sidewalks emphasizes that nature comprises its own distinct asset class central to the town’s municipal asset management policy. The Town recognizes that the natural services provided by these systems in the form of rainwater management, flood control and water purification have tangible value to the community equal to that of the engineered infrastructure.
The Town of Gibsons’ pure, unchlorinated and unfluoridated drinking water is mainly supplied by its own aquifer. Its quality was recognized with a 2009 Best Drinking Water award. The Town’s groundwater mapping project also won worldwide attention as a model for resource management.
Gibsons is also a leader in sustainable development, regularly attracting national and international attention for its initiatives. The Town implemented one of the first residential neighbourhood geothermal heating projects in Canada (in Parkland subdivision).
In 2013 the Gibsons Landing Harbour Authority opened a sea plane float and a drive-on concrete float with a commercial grade ramp at the main wharf. This is the first phase of a planned harbour expansion with additional floats and a breakwater which will create opportunities for additional marine services, tourism and retail enterprises.
The Town is served by the newly-built Gibsons Elementary School. Elphinstone Secondary School draws students from the entire Lower Coast with a rich curriculum of academic and technical subjects. Coast TV’s local access television channel broadcasts from Elphinstone, encouraging students to participate in all aspects of program production and jump-starting careers in this growing and competitive field.
© Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization. Content and images may not be copied without written permission.