Clayoquot Island revellers line up at the dock for a boat to take them back to Tofino. (Westerly file photo)

Tofino’s Clayoquot Island May Long Weekend cancelled

Clayoquot Island will not be open to the public this upcoming Victoria Day long weekend, May 16-17.

Horticultural experts and managers of the paradisiacal island, Sharon Whalen and Chris Taylor, told the Westerly via telephone that winter storms caused extensive damage to the dock this year. It would be a million dollar job to do the repairs, notes Sharon.

“We sincerely apologize for any disappointment or plans made for including us on your visit to Tofino,” reads a statement from Sharon, Chris and Susan Bloom, the lady who owns the private island located short boat ride from Tofino.

For over 20 years, the Clayoquot Island Preserve or as some Stubbs Island as many locals call it, has opened its lavish gardens, sea sculpted sand dunes, and enchanted forest trails to West Coast residents and visitors alike for two days during the May Long weekend.

Tofino mayor Josie Osborne said she has visited the special island at least 15 times in the last 20 years.

“I will certainly miss my annual visit to beautiful Clayoquot Island, but I understand why the event is being canceled this year. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and so it will simply leave us longing for a visit in Spring 2021. And maybe someone will post photos on social media of the beautiful gardens and blooms,” said Osborne in an email.

Jen Dart, executive director of the Tofino Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, offered these kind words.

“Residents of and visitors to Tofino have been so lucky over the years to visit Clayoquot Island, the original Clayoquot town site, through the generous hospitality of the owner and caretakers on the May long weekend. Thanks to Chris, Sharon and Susan for welcoming us in the past, and I hope it will be possible to visit again in the future,” said Dart.

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