Chemainus, Vancouver Island, British Columbia - "The Little Town That Did"

By
Industry Observer

One of the highlights of our visit to Vancouver Island, BC was stopping in a small Cowichan Valley town called Chemainus, "The Little Town That Did".Gateway to Old Chemainus, BC

Chemainus has been settled for over 140 years and thrived as a mill town until the 1980s when the slowing of the forestry industry caused the mill to close down. Chemainus, Vancouver Island, BC

Faced with devastating unemployment and a possible demise of their industrious community, Karl Schultz sought to save the town by creating the 'Chemainus Mural Project'.
Chemainus Cattle Driving Mural
Artists came from far and wide to paint detailed murals depicting the town and surrounding area's history on the exterior walls of the buildings.
Soon tourists started to flock in by the thousands to view the murals and the town was saved.Hon Hing's store mural in Chemainus

Take a tour of all of the murals here.

If you visit Vancouver Island, don't forsake the hour's drive north of Victoria to visit this lively and curiously beautiful little town. Take a stroll around and try to see as  many of the fascinating murals as you possibly can.Post Office mural in Chemainus

Stop in and shop at some of the unique little shops and boutiques. There's an especially good coffee place called the Book Nook Coffee Shop that doubles as a used bookstore and the day we were there I noticed that it was a drop-in for many locals who seemed right at home in the comfortable atmosphere.
I have a dairy allergy and was very grateful to find that they offered soy milk for the delicious cup of coffee I had ordered.Cowichan People Mural in Chemainus

Chemainus has a very picturesque harbour and many day trips for viewing Ladysmith Harbour, wineries, totems and more.

Chemainus, British Columbia is one of the most fascinating and picturesque places you will visit on Vancouver Island and will live on in your memory and heart for long after you return home.

©2009JoSmith

Jo-Anne Smith, the author of this article, is a REALTOR® with Brekland Realty Group, Oakville, Ontario and welcomes your real estate inquiries. To contact her, visit www.oakville-burlingtonhomes.com

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Comments (16)

Deena Cottingham
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography - Calgary, AB
Home Stager & Photographer

It's such a beautiful spot in our great country! It also goes to show that one can reinvent oneself with enough determination and creativity!

Jan 03, 2010 04:26 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Jo, I don't know if this would be a day trip for me....I'd have to stay overnight there.  I can get caught up in these incredible murals and stair at paintings for hours (and hours).  I'm so glad it brought that little town back to life, that's what good artwork is all about!

Jan 03, 2010 06:27 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Deena,

You aren't too far away from there! Well, closer than me anyhow....we drove all the way from Victoria to Tofino to Kelowna to Valemont and then to Edmonton to catch our flight home in September. It was a wonderful trip.

Jo

Jan 03, 2010 08:00 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Carole,

I can picture you getting totally engrossed in this town for days....there's so much to see and do and the energy there is wonderful.

Jo

Jan 03, 2010 08:01 AM
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Jo - wall murals are very popular in many places some depicting local historic events and buildings while others are just pleasant pictures. The post office one is a nice portrayal of their TV spots on History

Jan 03, 2010 03:21 PM
Trace Galle
Designs by Trace - Kelowna, BC

Hi Jo,

Happy New Years! Great post on a dying little town that changed it's outlook. I love your post's on BC. Sounds like you love Tofino, beautiful little place. Or I guess I shouldn't say little place it probably has grown a lot since I was last there....too many years ago. Maybe time to head out to the island for a summer vacation.

Jan 04, 2010 01:06 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Kathy,

I do remember seeing them in other towns too however never so many as in Chemainus. I really like the post office one too...very beautifully done.

Jo

Jan 04, 2010 01:07 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Hi Trace!

How are you doing?  Are you in Winnipeg or off in some exotic locale?

I want to visit BC at least once every year....it's so beautiful and there's so much to do and see. The Tofino area is just amazing....

Jo

Jan 04, 2010 01:09 AM
Trace Galle
Designs by Trace - Kelowna, BC

HA!!

I knew you would be hooked!! teeheehee!!

Hi Jo,

Oh how I enjoyed reading your comment! I am well, I promise by the end of this month is not sooner I am going to blog about my past year! I am in Winnipeg....as known as Winterpeg and believe me winter is here. I am not sure there will be any exotic locales this winter! We have had a bad year so we think we might just stay put this winter. We did 2 major trips last year. We have a wedding coming up this spring down south so that might be the extend of our travel. We do have to get out to Kelowna to see our house we are hoping for this summer or fall. We do have a property manager but it is still nice to see for yourself. We have friends who have a place out there also with a property manager and it was not pretty.

Take care,

Trace

Jan 05, 2010 07:09 AM
John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana

Never been there but WOW does it look nice and clean.  Might have to put that one on my bucket list.

Jan 06, 2010 05:44 AM
ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779
REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK - Asheville, NC
CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com

Hi Jo~

I'm sending the link to your post over to my Friend who has been deeply involved in the museum...He will love seeing your photos...and reading your account.

Jan 06, 2010 08:59 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Trace,

Sorry to hear  you've had a bad year. I hope you're keeping warm in Winterpeg. I just met some people who moved there last week and they weren't looking forward to the cold weather.

I'm looking forward to reading your post!

Jo

Jan 07, 2010 06:10 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

John,

British Columbia is very clean and beautiful....definitely put it on your bucket list.

Jo

Jan 07, 2010 06:10 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

hi janeAnne,

What museum is he involved in?  Thanks for forwarding it on....

Jo

Jan 07, 2010 06:12 AM
Trace Galle
Designs by Trace - Kelowna, BC

Hi Jo,

Poor poor people for even moving here! Actually the weather these past couple of weeks has been really good surprise!             

I am working on my post I have started it but did some work last week and Monday for the Salvation Army just helping with relief calls for that horrible earthquake. What a terrible thing to happen to those poor people. We truly are so lucky!

Trace

Jan 21, 2010 07:51 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Trace,

I'm on my way to visit your blog right now!  How exciting...you're blogging!! Yipee.....

Kudos to you for giving of your time and big heart to help those in need....

Jo

Feb 01, 2010 12:11 PM