BY: ZOE MELNYK
Wedged in between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Lasqueti is home to some 400 people who’ve decided to escape the rat race and enjoy life off grid.
The island is roughly the same size as Manhattan, but with a completely different feel. The entire population on the island lives off of solar power and generators, receiving no power from BC hydro.
Many residents build their homes with a very simplistic outline, often including outdoor plumbing, which means having to go outside in any weather condition to have a shower.
Along with not having to worry about power outages, people on the island can live off of very little money and sometimes no money at all. Firewood and water are typically taken from the island itself, food is naturally grown and traded, and the island has a free store, where items can be taken or left there with no exchange of money.
On the island, people generally govern themselves, leaving the members of the community to live any kind of lifestyle they desire.
Tikki Smith, born and raised on Lasqueti, is one of the many island residents who have taken advantage of the free lifestyle. She shares her home with her husband, her two sons, and a whopping 42 Saint Bernard dogs.
The island is also home to the Earth Ship, a house built completely with natural materials including walls made from old tires. The home is complete with a full working kitchen, lighting, and indoor plumbing, making it one of the more modern homes on the island.
Lasqueti can appear to be the ideal getaway for anyone looking to detox from the stressful city life, but work doesn’t stop after reaching the remote island. According to the Lasqueti Island website, it takes at least three full days of work a week just to gather supplies for the home such as firewood, clean water, and food.
After the long hours of physical labour required to maintain their homes, residents on the island are known to gather and socialize at the island’s one bar and one café.
The islanders are content with keeping the island simple with no large industries or bustling economy. Tourism is not a popular business for the isolated destination, but anyone wishing to stay on the island is welcomed to volunteer through WOOF.
This rustic island takes anyone who visits a step back in time, and residents on the island are not looking to change that any time soon.