A Look At The Comox Valley
Cradled between the Beaufort Mountains and the Strait of Georgia (Salish Sea), the Comox Valley is a place of bucolic beaches, fertile farmlands, luxuriant forests, crystal clear lakes and rivers that rush from lofty peaks, capped by Comox Glacier.
The diverse alpine-to-ocean landscape and year-round temperate climate furnishes an exceptional diversity of outdoor adventures, including hiking, boating, mountain biking, skiing, swimming, diving, horseback riding and camping. How about skiing, golfing, kayaking and then going to the theatre—all in the same day? Between December and April, it really is possible here.
Situated on the east side of Vancouver Island, the Comox Valley stretches about 50 kilometres (30 miles) along the coast from Fanny Bay northward to Saratoga Beach, with a total area of about 1,600 square kilometres (625 square miles). Just offshore are the islands of Denman and Hornby. The valley is home to the municipalities of Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland and several rural settlements.
As the urban and cultural centre of the Comox Valley, Courtenay is a dynamic city with galleries, theatres, shops and restaurants. The city’s downtown has been revitalized and improvements include the new Courtenay & District Museum, the four-hectare (nine-acre) riverfront Simms Millennium Park, a new library, The Comox Valley Centre for the Arts, the new pavilion at Simms Park and the recently renovated Sid Williams Civic Theatre.
The wharf at Comox Harbour, which traces its beginnings back to the very birth of the community in the mid-1880s, has grown into an extensive marina with a boardwalk promenade. It’s a pleasant place to view the many fishing and pleasure boats. The wharf is backed by a bustling seaside community, home to the Canadian Forces Base. Founded in 1942 as a Royal Air Force Base, 19 Wing—CFB Comox has played a major role in shaping the community.
Cumberland was founded in 1888 by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir and quickly grew to become a bustling coal mining community, with workers streaming in from Europe, China and Japan. It soon boasted one of the largest Asian populations north of San Francisco.