Tofino, B.C., where even the clocks are on island time

Residents of Tofino and other Vancouver Island west coast communities keep noticing their clocks are losing time.

It's not the Twilight Zone, it's Tofino, where locals are mystified by slow-running clocks

Twilight Zone or Tofino? Time in Canada's surf capital is running slower than in other places, for the time being. (The Canadian Press)

The pace of life on Vancouver Island's west coast has always been laid back, but now it seems time is actually slowing down.

Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne says a neighbour first pointed out the anomaly a few days ago, and when Osborne checked her clock she was surprised to find it 13 minutes behind. 

"A person begins to wonder if they're in the twilight zone," Osborne told CBC. "But then quickly realizes there's probably some logical explanation for it."

As it turns out B.C. Hydro is conducting an upgrade to Vancouver Island's west coast, switching individual areas off the larger grid to a local power generator in a procedure called — seriously — "islanding."

"The normal B.C. Hydro grid operates at 60 hertz, says Hydro spokesperson Karla Louwers. "And when an area is islanded it operates at just under 60 hertz. The variation doesn't do any damage to any electric equipment but it will cause (electric) clocks to run a little slower."

Clocks will lose anywhere from five to 15 minutes a day, according to hydro.

"You might refer to it as islanded time," laughed Louwers.

Clocks in Tofino, Ucluelet and Ahousaht will be running a little slower for at least another week. Hydro expects the work to be finished around September 24th.

Smartphones and watches are unaffected by 'islanded time.' 

With files from Madeline Green


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