British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide

Chemainus is a little town 90 kilometers north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. The town became recognized world wide with a revitalization project, a survival strategy, that saved the milling town from being erased from the map during the industries downfall. With the help of several artists, the murals which revealed the town's rich history; from First Nations leaders, renowned townspeople and events, are now a familiar island attraction and major tourist destination in the region.

The landscape, ocean and forest trails adventures are primed tours that are offered out of Chemainus to showcase the wildlife, the wineries and the local natural attractions to the west coast. The boutiques, quaint village, galleries, local theatre, and cafes draw the frequent island travelers who prefer to stop in for ice cream or a day trip with the family simply because of Chemainus' genuine charm. The cultural festivities happen year round and fun can be had by individuals of all ages and distinguished tastes.

Romantic escapes and evenings for couples who adore dinner and theatre will find Chemainus the perfect destination while visiting Vancouver Island.

Population: 3,900+

Chemainus Theatre
Art Galleries
Self-guided tour
Ocean adventures
Boutique Shops

As much of the coastal regions of British Columbia were inhabited around Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands by the First Nations Salish tribes, so was the area near Chemainus. The island's rich forest provided shelter, materials and berries. The oceans provided sea life and salmon fishing as a staple food resource. Their culture and spirit/legendary tales, which existed for centuries prior to the arrival of European explorers, is shared today through living ancestors and artifacts preserved in museums up and down Vancouver Island.

Around the 1860's, settlers foresaw the potential for developing this area full of huge forests and seaside harbour into a perfect site for a mill. Hence, Chemainus began to grow into a small town of 600, which included Chinese and Japanese immigrants who were brought to work with the railways and who came to discover riches during the gold rush, and Salish Natives.

Chemainus' original industries (mining, fishing and forestry), which had flourished in the late 1800, lost their importance due to limited demands, national economic change and technological advances by the late 1970's. Chemainus, however, succeeded in reinventing itself as a historic and cultural attraction. An idea created led by social entrepreneur, Karl Schutz.

Summer average 18 degrees Celsius
Winter average 6 degrees Celsius

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Chemainus Accommodations

Chemainus Things to Do