But the town's population has remained stable around 13,000.
A mix of young people, urban real estate refugees and retirees seeking a relaxed and inexpensive place to live has moved in, replacing jobseekers who have left.
There's even a Vancouver connection-the seats came from the Orpheum when it was refurbished in 2009.
The Patricia also hosts wedding ceremonies, and there was one in Townsite while we were visiting.
Downtown Powell River boasts a brand new marina and updated ferry terminal (with routes to Comox or Texada Island), as well as a short stretch of locally owned shops and restaurants, with, refreshingly, no chain outlets or franchises in sight.
North of downtown is Willingdon Beach Park, with a wellappointed campground and a great sandy beach, and above that, our destination: Townsite.
For more active vacationers, there is a weeklong canoe route that follows a circle of lakes surrounding the town.