Natural Resources Canada said a 3.3 magnitude earthquake occurred at 10:36 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday evening.
It was centred in the waters off the southern Gulf Islands, 13 kilometres east of the Victoria-area community of Sidney, B.C.
Natural Resources Canada said there was no damage and none would be expected, although the agency's website listed 247 reports from people acknowledging the shaker.
Susan Atchison said she thought her Vancouver home had been buffeted by a strong gust of wind when it creaked and she described hearing a whooshing sound.
But Atchison thought otherwise when she looked outside and realized the trees weren't moving.
"It was so brief," she said.
"There was really no violent shaking or anything, so I figured it had to be quite a ways away."
Residents reported feeling the quake as far away as Sooke, on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island, on the Sunshine Coast, north of Vancouver and as far east as Abbotsford, in the Fraser Valley.
The majority of reports to the Natural Resources Canada website listed the shaker as "weak."
The same website also shows nearly 70 earthquakes of magnitude ranging from 0.9 to 4.8 have been recorded along coastal British Columbia since Dec. 1, with only a handful strong enough to generate any reports, and none causing any damage. (CKNW)