A small island between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Lasqueti is home to a little known community of off-gridders who take pride in their isolation from both mainstream culture and mainland Canada. Most of the residents live almost entirely off the land and create no carbon footprint on the environment. With its incredibly small economy, the community is a vibrant mixture of 350 residents and includes 70 children.
According to their blog, Lasqueti is “an island of individuals, with poets, artists, physicists, fishermen, loggers, tree planters, designers, professional musicians, published authors, some small scale manufacturers, some commercial agriculture as well as professional consultants in education, engineering, forestry and alternate energy.” Using a variety of old and new technologies from solar panels to water mills, the citizens there have very limited power and some even opt out of electricity all together. Lasqueti’s residents share the opinion that living in harmony with nature is not only ethical, it is how we were supposed to live.
According to Lasqueti’s website, the island’s population “is the most highly educated community in British Columbia”, according to Statistics Canada. In addition to the island’s one bar and one cafe, Lasqueti also has a free store where people can leave or collect items without any monetary exchange. Just one hour by boat from Vancouver island, Lasqueti doesn’t have a tourism industry, but those who live there say that they enjoy the sense of timelessness, community, and freedom that their home provides. Foraging for food and maintaining small farms also allows residents to maintain near complete independence.
Here are some notable messages from the residents there: “However you decide to come, and whatever you are hoping to find here, please keep this in mind: Lasqueti is not some utopian paradise, it is not an “intentional community”, and it is probably not whatever you think it is – it is just a relatively remote island, populated by a small, tight-knit community of quirky, independent-minded people, with its own unique culture and identity. Come with an open mind, a willingness to discover something a little different, and without rigid expectations. Resist the urge to project upon us your vision of what this place “should” be. It is what it is, and we like it this way, warts and all. If you can get with that, you too may find a place here.” In the short documentary film posted below, a journalist from 16×9 News travels to meet Lasqueti’s characters and discover a land people truly love living in.
"Independence is Happiness"-Susan B. Anthony