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Title: Belcarra  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Metro Vancouver, Port Moody—Coquitlam, Indian Arm, List of villages in British Columbia, Lions Bay
Collection: Belcarra, Villages in British Columbia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Village of Belcarra[1]
Boat Launch at Belcarra
Boat Launch at Belcarra
Motto: "Between Forest And Sea"
Location of Belcarra in British Columbia
Location of Belcarra in British Columbia
Country  Canada
Province  British Columbia
Region Lower Mainland
Regional district Metro Vancouver
Incorporated 1979
 • Governing body Belcarra Village Council
 • Mayor Ralph Drew
 • MP James Moore (Conservative)
 • MLA Linda Reimer (Liberal)
 • Total 5.50 km2 (2.12 sq mi)
Elevation 30 m (100 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 644
 • Density 117.1/km2 (303/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
Waterways Indian Arm of Burrard Inlet
Website Village of Belcarra

Belcarra is a village on the shore of Indian Arm, a side inlet of Burrard Inlet, and is part of Metro Vancouver. It lies northwest of Port Moody and immediately east of the Deep Cove area of North Vancouver, across the waters of Indian Arm. Isolated by geography on a narrow peninsula, Belcarra is accessible by a single winding paved road or by water. Before incorporation it was commonly known as Belcarra Bay.

It is largely a residential bedroom community for Vancouver and its suburbs. Belcarra is the only community in this area that is not growing substantially. Even neighbouring Anmore, another tiny community has grown and changed, but Belcarra has remained a relatively small community. This is a result of its small size, carved out of a major regional park, and zoning only for single family residential homes. With a population of 690 as of 2010,[2] it has the lowest population of any independent settlement in the Vancouver area. Many residents in Belcarra have private docks and boats; even houses that are not on the water are sometimes able to procure a shared dock. Belcarra Regional Park winds its way through the village.


  • History 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Emergency services 3
  • Transportation 4
  • Twinning of Village 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Belcarra was a traditional camping area for the Tsleil-waututh, the First Nations people whose territory it is in. Its beach and exposed westerly view give it a fine outlook and afternoon sun. The site was abandoned sometime between 1858 and 1864 when smallpox ravaged the aboriginal population. The remaining people moved their main permanent village across the inlet. The site at Belcarra was pre-empted early by European settlers, who were involved in an unfortunate murder in 1882. In turn, the land was deeded to the defending solicitor, who named the place Belcarra. A summer cabin was subsequently built. In time more cabins were built, and the local ferry company built a pier, park and campsite, for vacationers. Admiralty Point was a government naval reserve, and was thus saved from development. The area is now a regional park.

Belcarra adjoins several islands, and so it is a favourite spot for boaters. Bedwell Bay and Sasamat Lake also are nearby, increasing the appeal.


As of the census of 2001, there were 682 people, 260 households, and 220 families residing in the village. The population density was 124.91/km² . There were 293 housing units at an average density of 53.66/km². The racial makeup of the village was 95.91% White, 2.91% Asian Canadian, 0.05% Iranian. The 2010 census show spopulation at 644, and residents have noted a decline in population as the residents children have moved away and it is becoming a community where only the wealthy retired can live.

The linguistic makeup of the village was English as the first language of 91.2% of the population, and 8.0% first learnt other languages. 94.2% of the population can speak only English, 5.1% can speak both English and French.

In the village the population was spread out with 17.6% under the age of 14, 11.0% from 15 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 40.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 101.5 males.

For every 100 females age 15 and over, there were 107.3 males. There were 260 households out of which 26.9% had children living with them, 69.2% were married couples living together, 4.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average married-couple family size was 2.7.

Christians made up 55.1% of the population, or 22.8% Catholic, 27.2% Protestant, 0.0% Orthodox, and 5.1% other Christian. Other religions in the village include 1.5% Jewish, and 1.5% other religions. 41.2% of the population claimed to have no religious affiliation.

The median income for a household in the village was $100,995, and the median income for a family was $105,016. Males had an average income of $61,200 versus $34,840 for females. About 3.7% of the labour force was unemployed. The largest occupation categories were 23.5% employed in social science, education, government service and religion occupations, 17.3% business, finance and administration occupations, 17.3% sales and service occupations, and 16.0% in management occupations.

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding of data samples.
Canada 2006 Census
Groups Population % of Total Population
Visible minority groups
South Asian 10 1.5%
Chinese 30 4.4%
Latin American 10 1.5%
Japanese 15 2.2%
Other visible minority 0 0%
Total visible minority population 70 10.4%
Aboriginal groups
First Nations 0 0%
Métis 20 3%
Total Aboriginal population 20 3%
European Canadian 585 86.7%
Total population 675 100%

Emergency services

Belcarra contracts out its police service to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, with the main police station at Coquitlam Town Centre. Since 1978, Belcarra has had its own volunteer fire service, known as the Sasamat Fire Department, with two main halls and five fire apparatuses shared between it and the neighbouring community of Anmore. Belcarra's ambulance service is run by the British Columbia Ambulance Service.

In addition, Coquitlam Search and Rescue is responsible for urban and wilderness search and rescue for the area between Indian Arm and Pitt Lake, and encompasses the local communities of Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Belcarra and Anmore.


As part of Metro Vancouver, Belcarra is served by the TransLink public transit system, and is on bus route C26.

Twinning of Village

Belcarra in June, 2007 twinned with its original namesake, Belcarra, County Mayo, Ireland.

William Norman Bole, a successful criminal lawyer (and later a judge) in New Westminster was an immigrant from that county in the 19th century. As payment for his defense of the Irishman John Hall, Belcarra’s first European settler, Mr. Bole acquired the land that would become the Village of Belcarra, naming it after a village in his native Ireland.[5]


  1. ^ "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" ( 
  2. ^ a b Government of British Columbia. Community Facts
  3. ^ [3], Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision
  4. ^ [4], Aboriginal Peoples - Data table
  5. ^'s_and_Canada's_Belcarras.pdf

Echoes Across the Inlet: Sparks,Border: 1989

External links

  • Village of Belcarra - official website
  • Aerial view of Belcarra (L) and Bedwell Bay (L), looking towards Indian Arm
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