Pender Island is one of the Southern Gulf Islands located in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada. Pender Island is approximately 34 km2 (13.1 sq mi) in area and is home to about 2,500 permanent residents, as well as a large seasonal population. As part of the Southern Gulf Islands, Pender Island enjoys a sub-Mediterranean climate and features open farmland, rolling forested hills, several lakes and small mountains, as well as many coves and beaches.
Pender Island consists of two islands, North Pender and South Pender, which are separated by a narrow canal originally dredged in 1903. In 1955 the islands were connected by a one lane bridge, as it remains today. Most of the population and services reside on North Pender Island, with the highest concentration surrounding Magic Lake.
Pender Island can be accessed by regular ferry service provided by BC Ferries from Swartz Bay (near Victoria), Tsawwassen (near Vancouver), and other southern Gulf Islands. There are also scheduled seaplane and water taxi services. Pender Island also has one public grass landing strip and a helicopter pad (Pender International) located near the main shopping mall, the Driftwood Centre. Select helicopters also can land at the local R.C.M.P. Station. Bedwell Harbour is an official Canada Customs port of entry for sailors from the United States; Port Browning and Otter Bay also offer anchorages.
Pender Island is a popular destination for fishing, boating, scuba diving and other outdoor pursuits. The island also boasts a 9-hole golf course. In 1937 several Pender residents put up money to purchase a 60 acre (24.3 ha) parcel, on which to develop the course, from George Grimmer, a son of Pender pioneer Washington Grimmer. These first individuals and many others took out memberships as well as planned and developed the layout of the golf course.
There are numerous art galleries, shops, restaurants and local events to frequent on the North and South Islands. Summer is generally a busy time, while the island pace slows down considerably during the winter months. Spring and fall are pleasant times of the year, with fewer tourists and mild weather