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Central Coast
Regional District

Ocean Falls

Ocean Falls is a small community in the Great Bear Rainforest. It is located at the head of Cousins Inlet, west of Bella Coola in the central coast of British Columbia. The community is often proudly referred to as “Home of the Rain People” due to its annual rainfall of 180 to 200 inches.

Ocean Falls cannot be accessed by road, but can be reached by boat or seaplane. BC Ferries provides passenger and vehicular access between Central Coast communities Ocean Falls, Bella Bella, Bella Coola, and Denny Island via a connector service running off the Port Hardy to Prince Rupert major route. Flights can be chartered through Pacific Coastal Seaplane Division and Bella Coola Air.

Ocean Falls - Photo Credit: Michael Wigle
Ocean Falls - Photo Credit: Michael Wigle

Community Amenities

  • post office
  • laundromat
  • coin showers
  • café
  • guest house
  • boat rentals
  • fishing lodge
  • harbour authority and yacht club
  • general store
  • neighbourhood pub
  • full service fish camp
  • bed and breakfast accommodation
  • local artisan´s gift shop
  • deep-seaport
  • fishing licences are available

About Ocean Falls

Various estimates indicate a current core population of approximately 35-60 full-time residents. Some of these residents are original pulp mill workers while the rest are newcomers looking for an alternative life style. In the summer months the population increases to about 150.

To a large extent, the services available to the public in Ocean Falls are provided by the Ocean Falls Improvement District. The governing body supplies domestic water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, fire protection, garbage collection and disposal, a cemetery, parks and recreation services, and housing.

The sheltered fjord offers many outdoor recreation possibilities where rain gear is essential in the fall, winter and spring. Hiking trails provide access to Link Lake and to Martin Valley. Link Lake, located 29 kilometers from town, is also accessible by car and provides exceptional trout fishing. Wildlife viewing provides sightings of whales, seals, sea lions, deer, bear, mountain goat, wolves, cougars and eagles. The ecosystem is lively from the sea bed to the mountain tops.

Due to the small population and general nature of the community, employment opportunities exist in tourism, beach combing and seasonal sports fishing. As one of the major employers, the Ocean Falls power company is privately owned and provides power to Ocean Falls, Denny Island and Bella Bella.

Historic Ocean Falls

The falls formed the basis for a pulp and paper mill that went into operation in 1912. At its largest, Ocean Falls was home to about 5000 people, had a K-12 school system, its own hospital, one of the province´s largest hotels and a swimming pool where several swimming champions trained. In 1973, the paper mill once the 2nd largest pulp producing mill on the BC coast and owned by Crown Zellerbach, ceased operations. The Province of British Columbia took over the property until 1980.

For more information about Ocean Falls - Current and historical visit:
Website: Oceanfalls.ca
Facebook: Ocean Falls

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