A village of approximately 664 (2016 census) located off Neroutsos Inlet, northwest of Port McNeill, on Vancouver Island, originally built by Whalen Pulp and Paper Mills of Vancouver. The community is known for its natural environment, pulp mill, and salt water fishing. Port Alice is known as “the Gateway to the Wild West Coast”.
It was named after Alice Whalen, the founders’ mother. The brothers Whalen began their construction of the mill at its present site in 1917, with first pulp produced in 1918. The mill at Swanson Bay, on the Inside Passage farther north, was also a Whalen operation. Port Alice bears a resemblance to Port Annie, the fictional town described by Vancouver Island author Jack Hodgins in his novel The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne. The new orchid hybrid “Port Alice” has been officially listed at London England in the Royal Horticultural Society’s “Book of Registered Orchid Hybrids”. This slipper-type flower is the result of crossing a complex hybrid Paphiopedilum “Western Sky” with a species Paphiopedilum appletonianum.
Port Alice has an oceanic climate (KöppenCfb) and is one of the mildest and wettest places in Canada, receiving 3.3 metres (130 in) of actual rainfall per year and exceptionally little snow, which amounts to as much as 33 percent more rainfall than infamously wet Prince Rupert and only marginally less than Southeast Alaska’s wettest cities of Ketchikan and Yakutat which each average around 3.8 metres (150 in) and receive much more snowfall.
The town and many of its businesses offer various services to the always growing number of visiting tourists. The town serves as a base camp for expeditions via boat or logging road to such remote getaways as Side Bay, Gooding Cove, Harvey Cove, Brooks Peninsula and Klaskino Inlet. Public launching facilities ensure accessing the ocean is easy for travelers towing their own boats or getting out on the water with a local charter fishing or wildlife-viewing guide.
The forest industry remains the economic mainstay of Port Alice. Neucel Specialty Cellulose Ltd. had a peak workforce of more than 400 producing high value cellulose that exported to a global market for use in the manufacture of synthetic fibres, plastic materials, lacquers and other specialty products. Western Forest Products employs locals at its busy dry-land log sort on the shores of the inlet. Trucking of logs remains consistent.
While logging and milling dominate the local economy, the entrepreneurial spirit is also alive and well in Port Alice; a small business community supporting the local forest sector thrives alongside retail outlets, contractors, and tourism operators featuring several lodges, B & B, restaurants, hotels and boat charters.
Visitors to Port Alice will find beautiful and modern B&B’s, vacation rental homes, a hotel and a full-service RV Park, numerous bed & breakfast operators, and several apartment/townhouses available for short-term rentals.
The local grocery store has a deli counter, delicious hot food options, and sporting goods. The Rumble Beach Marina was built in 2013 to provide 12-20 boat slips for visiting boaters. Neroutsos Inlet provides locals and tourists access to prime fishing and recreation areas on the West Coast.
Housing is relatively affordable, with the average price of a single family home ranging between $150,000 and $200,000, and two-bedroom apartments or townhouses renting for approximately $650 per month. Designated green space surrounds the existing residential area, as well as large amounts of land within the municipal boundary zoned for comprehensive development, commercial and residential.
The Village continues to invest in its infrastructure and works hard at securing partner funding whenever possible. Recent improvements include the new marina ($600,000), renovations to the arena ($100,000) and upgrades to the public water system of approximately $200,000.
Port Alice has a healthy selection of residential real estate for sale and for rent: mobile homes, strata condos, townhouses, and single-family detached homes. Council continues to engage new ideas for the Village of Port Alice and Port Alice residents to prosper. Our doors are always open to you and your ideas!