Year Event
---- Gabriola Island was home to the Snuneymux Nation for thousands of years.
1791 Spanish explorers arrived on the Canadian west coast.
1792 The Spanish sailed up the north side of Gabriola and around Orlebar Point, anchoring in what is now Pilot Bay.
1862 Scot Thomas Degnen and his First Nations wife Jane Jeameya moved to Gabriola.
1872 There were 18 families living on Gabriola. The first school was located at “The Maples” near the present Community Hall. There were 15 school-age children.
1882 Land was donated by the first settlers for a community cemetery.
1883 John Silva, a Portuguese sailor, settled on Gabriola with his Lyaksen First Nations wife Louisa Hoiowaat.
1884 Mail service officially began on Gabriola.
1887 Sandstone quarrying commenced on Gabriola, and ceased in 1936.
1888 The first federal voters’ list was compiled for Gabriola. It listed 47 men, 34 of them farmers.
1910 A multi-party telephone service was established, with 30 subscribers.
1911 Brick manufacturing began on Gabriola and continued until 1952.
1919 The first community hall was built with free labour and materials, on land donated by the Shaw family, at the site of the present hall. Sunrise Lumber Company began operations in the Silva Bay area, but was destroyed by fire in 1925.
1925 The log church at Silva Bay was dedicated.
1931 The first subsidized vehicle ferry, the Atrevida, began servicing Gabriola. Capacity was 6 cars.
1938 The “big fire” burned for more than three weeks, destroying more than 2,000 acres of forest.
1945 Withey’s Shipyard began building various water craft until 1974.
1948 Gabriola’s population was 300.
1955 Hydro-electric power came to Gabriola.
1960 Gabriola Sands Provincial Park was established.
1971 Drumbeg Provincial Park was established, approximately 50 acres of land.
1988 Sandwell Provincial Park was dedicated.
1992 Folklife Village was established.
1995 The Gabriola Museum opened.
1996 Gabriola's population, 3,479
1997 Petroglyph Park opened on the Museum Grounds
2004 On November 20 Gabriola residents voted 87% against incorporation as a municipality
2006 Gabriola's population, 4,050
2008 Elder Cedar Nature Reserve was established
2009 Quamichan First Nation potlatch with Degnen descendants
2010 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Gabriola Museum's completion
2010 707 Park was established
2011 Construction of a new community health clinic began, built entirely by volunteers
2011 Gabriola's population, 4,045
2012 Gabriolans voted 57% in favour of constructing a new firehall