Protection Island

Home of Canada’s only Floating Pub and Restaurant!

Protection Island has a history of coal mining, with an active mine on the island from the late 1800s until 1938. Formerly known as Douglas Island, after James Douglas the first Governor of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, it was renamed Protection Island in 1960.

Today there are roughly 350 full-time residents on Protection Island, many of whom work or go to school in town and commute by boat, ferry, or kayak every day.

Take a stroll around Protection Island and you’ll find beautiful beaches, forested parks and an abundance of birds and wildlife who make their home on the island.

Protection Island is also home to the Dinghy Dock Pub, Canada’s only registered floating pub. Enjoy lunch with one of the best views in town while your kids have fun fishing through a hole in the deck, or savour a refreshing beer on the sunny deck while you watch for wildlife like otters, seals, and herons. At night the fun continues as the Dinghy Dock becomes a unique venue for live music, with the lights of downtown Nanaimo providing a backdrop.

To learn more about ferry times, fares, and service, visit the Dinghy Dock website.

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What’s Your Travel Type?

Have you ever wondered what type of traveller you are? Whether you’re more of a history buff, or perhaps a thrill-seeker? Destination Canada created this quiz to help you better understand exactly what type of traveller you are. If you’d like to see an itinerary that matches your traveller type, check out our custom itineraries.

Free Spirit

Free Spirits are most likely to be seen at a tourism hot spot, participating in a group tour, or dining out at a top restaurant.

Cultural Explorer

Cultural Explorers are most likely to be seen exploring heritage sites and museums. CE's also love to interact with locals.

Authentic Experiencer

Authentic Experiencers are most likely to be seen in nature reserves, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, at a heritage site or a museum.