The Cowichan Valley, located between Victoria and Nanaimo, is called the “Warm Land” by Cowichan First Nations.
The Valley offers some of the best agricultural land on the west coast and hosts hobby farmers and many organic crop growers. And more than ever, it is also home to the growing Vancouver Island wine industry with more than a dozen vineyards in operation. Read more
The Cowichan Valley’s largest community is Duncan, known as the “City of Totems.” Duncan features nearly 80 totem poles, mainly located downtown. Just 3 km north of Duncan is the BC Forestry Discovery Centre featuring 200 year old, 55 metre-tall Douglas firs and a replica logging camp.
South of Duncan on Highway 1 are the small communities of Cowichan Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill and Mill Bay. These quaint, picturesque communities are steeped in fishing, logging, farming, and mining traditions.
To the north of Duncan is Chemainus which features dozens of murals painted on downtown buildings. Chemainus is also home to the Chemainus Theatre widely known for hosting some of the finest performers and performances in Canada.
At the northern boundary of the Cowichan Valley lies Ladysmith. Situated right on the 49th parallel, Ladysmith received a provincial award for most beautiful community on Vancouver Island and a national Main Street Canada award as one of the four best revitalization projects in the country. First Avenue’s restored 19th and 20th century buildings are worth leaving the highway to visit.