Deadman Island is connected to Stanley Park via a small vehicle bridge which spans over the water. This Island operates as the HMCS Discovery, Vancouver's Naval Reserve Base.
Visible from Coal Harbour and the Stanley Park Seawall, Deadman Island's heritage is true to its name. Although it's current role is as the site of the Naval Reserve unit HMCS Discovery, its past was afflicted by epidemics and circumstance.
When one of the first settlers in the Vancouver region visited the island he noticed cedar boxes lashed to the tops of the trees. After examining it was discovered the island was used as a tree burial ground by local natives as well it served as a site for a deadly battle between two tribes.
In the late 1880s the island was used as a burial site and cemetery for early settlers. This use ended when Mountain View cemetery was opened on the mainland after Vancouver became a city. However, its former use was reinstated during the deadly smallpox epidemic in the late 1880s where it became a quarantine site for victims of the disease and a burial ground for those who did not survive in order to contain the disease from the unaffected population.
It is hard to believe its past was so sinister as the island currently houses a fenced off and guarded bridge, a small grassy area with trees and an older red brick building which serves as the base of operations for the Naval Reserve which is not accessible to the public.
This current arrangement may be changing as the federal land use agreement ended in 2007 after a one hundred year term and Deadman Island is now technically classified as city property.
Use the interactive map below to locate and explore the areas around Deadman IslandAlong the Stanley Park Seawall near Hallelujah point
Click the brown GEMS on the map to navigate to the other activities within this region