British Columbia

Travellers gear up for busy B.C. Day long weekend

Travellers are being warned to expect long lineups at BC Ferries terminals and U.S. border crossings over the B.C. Day long weekend.

Travellers are being warned to expect long lineups at BC Ferries terminals and U.S. border crossings over the B.C. Day long weekend.

By 4 p.m. PT Friday, vehicle traffic for the remaining Tsawwassen to Southern Gulf Islands sailings — at 4:25 , 6:25 and 8:25 p.m. — was fully booked. The next available sailing was at 8:40 a.m. Saturday.

There was a one-sailing wait on many of the major routes for much of the day Friday including Tsawwassen–Swartz Bay in both directions, Nanaimo to Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay to Bowen Island.

BC Ferries warned travellers to expect heavy traffic at all major terminals.

Officials said the busiest days historically were:

  • Tsawwassen–Swartz Bay: all day Friday, Saturday and Tuesday.
  • Tsawwassen–Nanaimo: 12:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. leaving Nanaimo.
  • Horseshoe Bay–Departure Bay: all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday leaving Horseshoe Bay; all day Saturday, Monday and Tuesday leaving Nanaimo .
  • Horseshoe Bay-Langdale: busy Friday and Saturday leaving Horseshoe Bay.

U.S. border lineups expected

Meanwhile, border officials advised all long weekend to travellers to check wait times before heading out.

Officials expected long lines heading into the United States on Friday and heading back into Canada on Monday and Tuesday.

"Last year over the B.C. Day long weekend, we processed over 50,000 vehicles coming into Canada through our four mainland border crossings, and one-third of those came through on the holiday Monday, so we're expecting a really busy weekend," said Holly Stoner with the Canada Border Services Agency.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, there were no major lineups at any of the B.C.–U.S. border crossings in any direction. The longest was a 25-minute wait at the Peace Arch crossing for traffic heading into the United States.

In addition, two new border wait signs were installed for the Aldergrove and Sumas crossings in time for the long weekend. Officials said the signs were aimed at helping travellers make "more informed route choices."