The Inn began as the childhood dream of Bruce, to live in the wilderness, and to help people to connect with and care for the natural environment. Bruce became the “guardian” of this site in the Broughton Archipelago in 1980 when he bought his first float-house, and began welcoming people to his wilderness homestead.
The first year of commercial operation was in 1990, under the name The Buffer Zone Wilderness Resort & Kayak Tour Company. This was the year Bruce and Josee met. They had one guest cabin, with one double bed, known today as the Float-house Cabin, and a baby on the way.
Given their lifelong plan to live in the Broughton Archipelago, they had Billy Proctor clear a small path where he could pull their float-home ashore using his D-4 caterpillar tractor. The house survived the move, which took a few hours, cost $400, and lacked government approval, not something to stop Bruce from pursuing his dream to live in the wilderness. Their only form of transportation for many years was kayaks, which they used like some town folk use bikes, to get around the community and do virtually everything, including rocking the kids to sleep.
The lodge grew slowly over the years, as kayakers and nature enthusiasts learned of it, and slowly more accommodations were built. The facility was also used to run tree planting contracts in the spring months. Due to their commitment to create and provide local employment, and to keep their forestry company functioning, the lodge stopped being used for summer tourism activities in 1996. They had 18 people working for their silviculture company; at least half were local folks, many that they had trained. After almost 20 years of human-powered boating, and a need to be out on the water more often, the water taxi was purchased. The lodge was used to house their employees, and rented yearly for several years, before reopening its doors to tourism activities and welcoming the world again in the early 2000s. With the decision to re-open the lodge began the process of rebuilding all of the docks and floats, as well as upgrading all of the facility to successfully attain BC’s “Approved Accommodation” status.
Billy Proctor’s mill had been shut down by the government, and so Bruce went to work in the winter months operating the small one-man sawmill for the Sointula Woodlot, where he milled all of the wood that was needed for the extensive rebuilding projects at the Inn.
Paddlers Inn continues to grow, one imaginative idea and project at a time, providing simple & sweet accommodations for guests, within a doorstep of nature.
Many people that show up at the Inn state that their visit is part of accomplishing the things that are on their bucket list. We take great pleasure in filling your bucket, so please feel welcome to visit, and to feel at home here in the wilderness, Awakening in Nature.