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North Vancouver's Mosquito Creek Marina empties as eviction date looms

Sunset at the Mosquito Creek Marina captured by Weather Watch by CTV Vancouver app user Dkenz Yap in North Vancouver in May 2020. Sunset at the Mosquito Creek Marina captured by Weather Watch by CTV Vancouver app user Dkenz Yap in North Vancouver in May 2020.

A six-month battle to evict boats moored at Mosquito Creek Marina has left the boatyard a ghost town, with those few who remain fighting for a sense of community.

In the weeks before Christmas, Nch’ḵay̓ Development Corporation, run by the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), announced it would be closing a number of its docks at its North Vancouver marina for repairs.

The 500 boats and 38 boat sheds moored would have to vacate the marina by May 31. Those deemed residents – moorage customers of live-aboard boat sheds and live-aboard boats – have since been offered an extension, but will have to vacate at a later date, no earlier than September of 2025. The owners of the 65 floathouses at the marina are not facing eviction and will continue to receive the same 12-month moorage licence extensions they are accustomed to receiving, according to an update on the Nch’ḵay̓ website.

Scott Burwood, one of a large number of ex-Mosquito Creek Marina tenants to have relocated to Point Roberts in the United States, considers himself “one of the lucky ones.”

“There are about 50 of us who have moved to Point Roberts, and we’re grateful we managed to secure that, but there are still a lot of people in real trouble,” he said. “This is not just wealthy people’s boats that are down there, it’s a real community, an incredible community, and it’s sad that that would be discarded.”

The promise of an extended stay offers small consolation to the live-aboards and floathouse owners that are adapting to living in a floating neighbourhood with far fewer neighbours, said floathouse owner of eight years Ginger Gosnell-Myers.

“It is really empty right now, so many people have up and left," she said.

With around 130 boats left remaining, and just 17 boat sheds, more than half of the marina’s boating population has already moved on, said Gary Muuren, executive vice president of operations at Nch’ḵay̓.

Muuren said Nch’ḵay̓ had tried to assist boaters in any way it could, extending eviction dates where possible and making it a “real necessity” to aid boaters in finding a new home.

“We reached out to approximately 100-plus marinas and they were all wonderful. There were people in Nanaimo, in Duncan, in Salt Spring Island that reached out … it’s a whole community with wonderful people,” he said.

Addressing the speculation among boaters that penned development is the reason for the mass eviction, Muuren said there is nothing at play other than a necessity to improve the safety of the marina.

“We have not taken any steps in determining what the future would be,” he said. “This was driven by safety concerns, there are no other plans for [the marina] at the moment. It’s going to take time, at least a year, before we know what’s going to happen going forward.”

An update to the Nch’ḵay̓ website states anyone who has not removed their property by May 31 will be mooring in an unlicensed slip, and Mosquito Creek Marina will "deal with the vessels" at the owners’ expense.

Correction note: This story has been updated to clarify the status of floathouses at Mosquito Creek Marina. A previous version of this article stated that floathouses were facing eviction in 2025. According to Nch’ḵay̓ Development Corporation, the 65 floathouses at the marina are not facing eviction.

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative. Top Stories

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