Greater Victoria, B.C.
Known as “The Garden City”, Victoria is a popular tourism destination with a thriving technology sector. Victoria is in the top twenty of world cities for quality-of-life, according to Numbeo. The city has a large non-local student population, who come to attend the University of Victoria, Camosun College, Royal Roads University, the Victoria College of Art, the Sooke Schools International Programme and the Canadian College of Performing Arts. Victoria is popular with retirees, who come to enjoy the temperate and usually snow-free climate of the area as well as the usually relaxed pace of the city.
South Island and the Cowichan Valley
Communities that lie within the actual Cowichan River/Cowichan Bay watershed include Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Cowichan Bay, Cowichan Station and Maple Bay. Other nearby communities are affiliated mainly through the Cowichan Valley Regional District. Crofton and Chemainus, lie within the Chemainus River Valley, while Cobble Hill, Shawnigan Lake, Mill Bay, and Ladysmith inhabit a coastal plain that includes the Cowichan and Chemainus River deltas.
Central Vancouver Island
Located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is the predominant city on the Central Island. To the north, are the cities of Parksville-Qualicum, Courtenay-Comox, and Campbell River. Mild, rainy winters and cool, dry summers are typical in this area giving residents access to outdoor recreation 12 months of the year. A diversified economy with a strong housing sector contribue to the overall liveability of this area. Arts, entertainment, and beaches are the main attractions here.
If you’re looking for adventure, the communities of the North Island have access to spectacular wilderness adventures, such as kayaking, caving, world-class scuba diving, nature viewing, surfing, unique saltwater rapids, fishing and camping. Head into Port Hardy for the annual FiLoMi celebration in Rotary Park to acknowledge its natural resource based economy. The three syllables, fi, lo and mi, stand for “fishing, logging and mining”. Port Hardy is also the gateway to the Queen Charlotte Islands with regular ferry service.
A popular tourist destination in the summer, Tofino’s population swells to many times its winter size. It attracts surfers, hikers, nature lovers, bird watchers, campers, whale watchers, fishers, or anyone just looking to be close to nature. In the winter it is not as bustling, although many people visit Tofino and the west coast to view the spectacular winter storms. The west shore of Vancouver Island is known for the Pacific Coast Trail, an especially challenging wilderness trail starting in Bamfield and reaching 75kms to Port Renfrew in the south.