EXPLORE Ladysmith Cedar Saltair Chemainus 2023

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Welcome to the heart of the island!

Welcome to the 2023 Explore Guide featuring Ladysmith, Cedar, Saltair, Chemainus and area. This is the premiere guide for the area in print and online format for central Vancouver Island.

Here you will find the best of what our area has to offer, insider ps and maps to make sure you won’t miss a thing.

We are pleased to work with talented local photographers to capture the natural beauty of our outdoors, and the charming shops and services that our friendly communi es offer.

While COVID-19 pandemic concerns have lessened, this con nues to be an ideal year to be a hometown tourist and discover the wonders that are right here in your backyard. We invite you to explore mid Vancouver Island’s shops, services, restaurants, parks and waterfront and make this year a “stayca on” that will create las ng memories of joy, while suppor ng your local economy.

There is much to do and see here. The annual HomeTown Tourist Weekend held this year on June 17 & 18, 2023, offers a sample of the fun to be had from kayaking and bike riding to arts and culture and fantas c boa ng, with a few fes vals that rival big ci es.

Please visit us online for extra features, including videos, and direct links to resources (take5.ca). Follow us at facebook.com/ ExploreLadysmithCedarSaltairChemainus and at facebook.com/ take5publica ons or subscribe to YouTube.com/take5newstv for updates and news about our communi es.

For more informa on, check in with our local Visitor Centres.

We would like to thank the business community for their support in producing this guide, as well as the contributors who generously have shared their passion and talents and love of this community.

We acknowledge that we are on the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples.

The 2023 EXPLORE GUIDE is available in print at Visitor Centres, shops and services throughout the mid-Island area. The online edi on with live links and embedded video is available everywhere at www.take5.ca and the digital universe.

On the Cover: Stz’uminus Elder Beverly David at Transfer Beach.

Photo: Marina Sacht

Inset Photos: Yellow Point Farm, Bob Burgess, Cindy Damphouse, Design: Angie Haslam

Photography/Contributors: Bob Burgess, Cal Gourlay, Carolin Cnossen, Cindy Damphousse, Gerry Beltgens, Clinton Charlie, Andrew Gunson, Ken Healey, Gordon Howe, Irene Harford, L. Pinn, Marina Sacht, Nick Longo, Quentin Goodbody, Vic Duffhues, Virginia Perrson, Yellow Point Farms

Publisher: TAKE 5 Print & Digital Media

Assistant Publisher: Elly Smith

Art Design & Maps : Angie Haslam

Editor: Marina Sacht PO Box 59, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1A1, T 250-245-7015 F 250-245-7099 info@take5.ca take5.ca facebook.com/ExploreLadysmithCedarSaltairChemainus/ youtube.com/take5newstv

©2023 TAKE 5 (541806 BC Ltd.) All rights reserved. We plant a tree for every ad in the EXPLORE GUIDE

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Exploring the coastline by kayak. Photo: Quentin Goodbody (below) Showing the love of beaches. Photo: Carolin Cnossen
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#Explore Ladysmith

Ladysmith sits pre ly between the ocean and mountains on the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. Known as Oyster Harbour, prior to incorpora on in 1904, the town is famous for its large sheltered harbour and its award-winning heritage downtown core.

Ladysmith’s main street is First Avenue featuring unique shops and a streetscape steeped in history. In 2017 it won Canada’s 2017 Greatest Street.

The town is located on the 49th parallel and you will find the markers in front of the Agricultural Hall, which celebrated its centennial last year. The town’s economy was built on oyster farming, mining, and logging. Forestry is s ll a part of the economy today, with several mills in opera on. The long-sheltered harbour is a focal point for the town’s ac vi es, commercially as well as recrea onally. Ladysmith is known for its community spirit and hosts many celebra ons, such as the Fes val of Lights, Ladysmith Days, and marine fes vals such as Kids’ Pirate Day, Heritage Boat fes val and Sea Life Fes val.

An Active Lifestyle

Ladysmith’s Mediterranean-like climate features mild winters and warm summers, allowing for outdoor ac vi es year-round. A treasure of Ladysmith is the Holland Creek Trail, running through the

centre of town, with sec ons of the trail suitable for all fitness levels. The Crystal Falls and Colliery Dam are great places to take some photos. For indoor ac vi es, the Frank Jameson Community Centre houses a fitness centre, swimming pool, sauna and hot tub.

A Rich History

The first inhabitants here were the Stz’uminus First Na on. For thousands of years, the Stz’uminus People used Ladysmith Harbour and its environs as a rich source of fish and shellfish. They established numerous fishing camps around the harbour, where they prac ced tradi onal food-gathering techniques. Their lifestyle was severely disrupted when the European colonists arrived.

Ladysmith has the dis nc on of being the only community on Vancouver Island designed as a “company” town by its founder industrialist James Dunsmuir who served as the premier of Bri sh Columbia from 1900 to 1902 and the lieutenant governor of British Columbia from 1906 to 1909. In 1897, when the coal mines’ seams in Nanaimo were depleted, Dunsmuir relocated the miners and their families to work his new source of coal at Extension Mine.

(left-right) First Avenue roundabout. Photo: Marina Sacht Ladysmith Community Marina. Photo: Gerry Beltgens Transfer Beach Park. Photo: Bob Burgess. Sealegs Kayak rentals. Photo: Marina Sacht. Lions Club volunteer. Photo: Marina Sacht. Downtown at sunrise. Photo: Cal Gourlay

The Wellington miners dismantled their homes, put them on railway cars and moved them to Ladysmith. Included in the move were some of the hotels, churches and business blocks that you can s ll see today. You can pick up an Historic Buildings map at the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce for a self-guided tour or download the Ladysmith Heritage and Investment A rac on App.

Managed by the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, the app allows you to explore key development zones and business opportuni es, as well as offer cultural insights about the First Na ons and industrial heritage of Ladysmith. Search for “Ladysmith Heritage” in your App store or download it free from Google Play or use the web version available at app.tourismladysmith.ca.

People o en wonder how Ladysmith got its name. During the Boer War, the Bri sh troops under General Buller broke the fourmonth siege of Ladysmith, South Africa, on March 1, 1900. Upon hearing the good news, Dunsmuir decided to name his new community “Ladysmith.” Hence the streets crossing First Avenue are all named a er generals who fought in the Boer War.

Ladysmith played an important role in the early labour movement and s ll takes pride in being a “workers’ town.” A vigil to the gravestone of labour martyr Joseph Mairs at Ladysmith Cemetery happens every year. A walk through the cemetery will unfold the tragedies of lost lives in mining accidents. In September 1912, the Vancouver Island Coal Strike began. Violent riots broke out in Au-

gust 1913, and the mili a was called. The strike would not end un l the start of the First World War.

In the 1930s, with the boom of coal on the decline Ladysmith was struggling un l a violent windstorm blew over 7,406 acres of mature mber held in trust by the Rockefeller Founda on of New York.

Western Canadian Lumber, the parent company of Comox Logging & Rail Co., purchased the mber from Rockefeller in 1935. This would start a long rela onship with the forest industry in Ladysmith.

Today you can visit the former Comox Logging site by the waterfront, and s ll see ar facts from the town’s industrial and mari me heritage.

Oysters of Ladysmith Harbour

Originally named Oyster Harbour, Ladysmith Harbour has always been an oyster-growing area, going back to 1884. The warm, calm waters in the summer months provide ideal growing condi ons.

Although the oysters are now grown elsewhere, two oyster farming pioneers remain, Timothy Oysters and Limberis Seafood.

Peter Limberis immigrated from Greece to Canada in 1939. Shortly a er his arrival, he imported seeded Pacific oyster cultch from Japan. This imported cultch, along with small numbers of natural sets occurring in Ladysmith Harbour, became very prolific throughout the harbour, and the Strait of Georgia. Then in 1943, another shipment from Japan was responsible for the accidental introduc-

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on of Manila clams. Both the Pacific oyster and the Manila clam have flourished, becoming the primary bivalve species harvested and farmed in Bri sh Columbia. It can be said that the oyster and clam industy in BC was founded in Ladysmith Harbour.

Unique Shopping and Dining

Ladysmith has a medley of independent businesses from trendy shops to thri stores. Post Office An ques, a former customs and jailhouse, and quality consignment stores o ffer treasures at bargain prices.

A trip along First Avenue would not be complete without a stop at the Old Town Bakery for their famous cinnamon buns. People come far and wide to sa sfy their sweet tooth here. From cafes and diners that specialize in Bri sh, Chinese, Mexican, Vietnam-

ese, Indian, and Japanese to vegan, gluten-free to neighbourhood cafés serving up homemade-style baking, there’s something for every taste.

Transfer Beach Park and Holland Creek Trail

Transfer Beach Park is where the locals go for fun. With its grassy slopes, shady trees and sheltered coastline, it’s an ideal place for a family picnic. Facili es include a water spray park, playgrounds, basketball court, sand volleyball, horseshoe pitch, picnic shelter, offleash dog park, and kayak and SUP boat rentals. Some of the best swimming to be had is here noted for the warmest waters north of San Francisco. At 17.90 C (64.22 F), the average monthly water

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Stz’uminus Canoe races at Transfer Beach Park. Photo: Quentin Goodbody

temperature reaches its highest value in July. The Transfer Beach Dippers swim here year-round.

The park is home to Vancouver Island’s only beachfront amphitheatre, which hosts special events and summer music concerts. Food trucks provide tasty snacks or just pop across the street for many restaurants and cafes offering delicious dining op ons.

Another local favourite is Holland Creek Trail. It offers 5.8 kilometres of trail with entrances off Dogwood Drive, Sixth Avenue and Mackie Road. The historic trail offers views of the creek and Crystal Falls. Please see the Great Outdoors sec on for trails and a map.

Green and Beautiful

Ladysmith is a “green” community and has taken many ini a ves to ensure sustainable development. The town’s organic waste collec on was one of the first launched in B.C. Electric car charging sta ons are located on First Avenue, in front of the Ladysmith Museum. In the summer months, vegetables are cul vated, along with flowers at City Hall to share with the community. Ladysmith has won numerous awards, including being named “one of the ten pretest towns in Canada.”

Arts Flourish Here

The town has a thriving arts community as seen in the number of independent studios in the area. The Arts Council of Ladysmith & District is the main visual arts organiza on in Ladysmith. They operate the volunteer-run Waterfront Gallery that offers monthly exhibits for their members, a gi shop, studio space and classes. The Arts Council is located inside the former South Davis School, but a gallery will be opening in 2023 on the corner of First Avenue and High Street.

Lights, Camera & Action

It’s not surprising that Ladysmith has become popular with filmmakers given its small-town charm and its historic downtown – not to men on its most famous resident, actress and animal ac vist Pam Anderson, who has moved back to her hometown and has been restoring her grandmother’s place across from Corona on Mall. Incidentally, Pam was Ladysmith’s 1967 Centennial Baby. A number of movies and TV series have been filmed here a racted by Ladysmith’s unique wide streets and brick buildings.

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Transfer Beach Park is popular year round. Photo: Marina Sacht
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Winter festivities — a bright lights tradition

From the last Thursday of November un l the second Sunday in January, Ladysmith is adorned with thousands of twinkling lights for Ladysmith’s Fes val of Lights. The 2023 Ladysmith Light Up Night is scheduled for Thursday, November 30, marking the start of the Christmas season for many.

The Fes val of Lights was started in 1987 by a group of ci zens as a way to celebrate the season and support local shopping. Now, 35 years later, the annual Fes val of Lights has become a muchloved Christmas tradi on -- near and far with thousands of people gathering to watch the fun. The Christmas Cra Fair at Aggie Hall opens at 3 p.m, then from 4 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., locals and visitors can enjoy the street entertainment, food concessions and performers. An cipa on runs high un l the big moment when Santa arrives downtown and throws the switch to light up Ladysmith at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Kinsmen night parade.

A er the parade, head north on First Avenue and see the light-up of Bob Stuart Park, the Aggie Hall and the Chuck Perrin tree. The evening ends with a bang, a spectacular fireworks display spon-

sored by the Ladysmith & District Credit Union. While the lights may be dazzling, it’s truly the community spirit that lights the town.

Summer festivities

While winter has Fes val of Lights, summer brings a myriad of fes vals from Ladysmith Mari me Society’s Heritage Boat Fes val, Kids’ Pirate Day, and Sea Life Fes val, to Ladysmith Celebra ons Days, a weekend of fun and music at Transfer Beach. There is always something going on from Brits on the Beach, and Ladysmith’s Show and Shine, and Arts on the Avenue, to smaller events such as Music and Dine on the Docks, Sunday Concerts in the Park, and special events at the 100 year old Aggie Hall. Check Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce calendar for events, and you will never be bored.

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View of First Avenue during Festival of Lights. Photo: Gordon Howe

#Explore Cedar District

Scenic country roads do ed with century-old farms, homesteads, farm gates and ar san studios, this is Cedar District located just north of Ladysmith. Cedar Village is the centre of this district, with a grocery store, hardware, fuel sta on and some of Vancouver Island’s best restaurants and pubs. Farm co-ops, organic growers and markets provide fresh produce and products to feed your body. Cedar’s spectacular sandstone beaches and trails will feed your soul.

Cedar and Yellow Point Roads are the main roads connec ng this rural community. Enjoy the beau ful drive by car or bike. You will want to stop to explore parks, farm gates and art studios along the way. Don’t miss Blue Heron Park, Elliot Beach Park, Hemer Park or Roberts Memorial. All of these are easy hikes and offer stunning views, especially at low de. Cable Bay Trail is a great place to watch boats streaming through Dodd Narrows at slack de.

Bites of History

Cedar shares a history of coal mining with Nanaimo and its neighbours: Ladysmith, Chase River, South Wellington and Cassidy. Echoes of that past can be found along the trails and parks that follow the old rail beds. Both the Cranberry Arms Pub and the Wheatsheaf Pub have a long history of serving thirsty locals for over a century.

The Mahle House is also steeped in history and offers superb dining in a relaxed country atmosphere. They recently expanded their

outdoor sea ng -- perfect for those warm evenings.

Another fabulous outdoor dining experience is offered by the ever-popular Bri sh-style Crow and Gate Pub. It’s a great place to relax amid their gardens. In the winter, a roaring fire will warm you as will their excellent selec on of Scotches. Opened in 1978, it has the dis nc on of being the first neighbourhood pub in BC. Owned by the Olson family since 1987, their English gardens, Tudor-style architecture and tranquil rural se ng a ract locals and visitors alike.

Looking for food that ma ers? Try the award-winning Co-Co Café, a locally run non-profit co-op serving up good food, coffee and an opportunity to work for youth with developmental challenges.

Family Fun

Looking for a li le family fun and something good to eat? Check out Yellow Point Farm. They offer a pe ng area where you can visit their Nigerian Dwarf goats, Babydoll Sheep, Kune Kune Pigs, and miniature donkeys. Check out their gi shop offering in-season produce. Their dried garlic and blueberry tea is superb! You can’t miss it - watch for their goat yoga classes and immerse yourself in goat therapy.

Another family favourite is McNab’s Farm. The farm was home to

(left to right) Country-style sunset. Photo: Bob Burgess. Baby goats. Photo: Bob Burgess. Wildwood Ecoforest. Photo: L. Pinn. Cedar Farmers Market Veggies, Carriage Driving, Quennell Lake. Photos: Marina Sacht

a popular corn maze which may return in the future. In the meanme, they are offering a giant pumpkin patch to visit in the fall. Looking for some ac ve fun? Drop by the Cedar Skate Park, on Walsh Road, east of the Cedar Community Secondary School and try out one of the finest skate parks on the Island.

World Renowned Eco-Forest

Tucked between Cedar and Stuart Channel is picturesque Yellow Point, whose name comes from the flowering orange and yellow sedum that once grew here.

Along Yellow Point road is the world-renowned Wildwood Forest, a 77-acre eco-forest nestled along the shores of Quennell Lake. Wildwood expanded last year with the addi on of six acres of old-growth forest. The Stz’uminus and Snuneymuxw of Coast Salish have cared for these lands and waters for countless genera ons. Today, the unique demonstra on eco-forest is home to original coastal Douglas-firs, represen ng a vanishing ecosystem once abundant on Vancouver Island. These ancient, original trees stand among a profusion of western red cedar, bigleaf maple, flowering dogwood and arbutus trees, and bring an amazing pres-

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ence to the forest, stately in their towering height and size. Established in 1938 by Merv Wilkinson, it is operated by the Eco-forestry Ins tute which hosts vaca on stays, workshops, tours, and volunteer opportuni es. They are working with local Indigenous carvers and knowledge keepers to bring workshops and programs focused on canoe carving tradi ons and the power of Cedar.

Farmers & Artisan Markets

The award-winning Cedar Farmers’ Market is one of the most popular markets on the Island. It runs Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from Mother’s Day through to the end of October, at the former Woodbank School site on Woobank Road, just off Cedar Road.

The market features locally grown fruit and vegetables, baked goods, goodies from food producers, ethically raised meat, sustainable seafood, po ed plants, fresh-cut flowers, po ery, jewelry, food trucks, locally roasted coffee, homemade ice cream, all-natural bath and beauty care, home décor and more. Pets on short leashes are welcome. A small stage features free music performers.

Another popular market on Sundays is Carol’s Ar san Cra Market located at the

North Oyster Community Centre, a heritage building.

The Cedar Community Centre which celebrated its centennial in 2022 also offers ac vi es such as pickleball and more.

Nanaimo River

From its source, the Nanaimo River flows east then north into the southwest corner of Nanaimo Harbour. The river has a canyon, which is the site of WildPlay bungee jumping a rac on, as well as an area known for its rock-climbing opportuni es. Along the river’s banks are pockets of oldgrowth Douglas-fir.

The Nanaimo River is regarded by anglers as one of the best steelhead rivers in the country. On a warm summer day, the riverbanks hold many popular spots for swimming, tubing and picnicking. You can launch by the bridge on Cedar Road. The beach is on the Snuneymuxw Reserve, so access is a courtesy, not a right. The Nanaimo Lakes, made up of First, Second, and Third Lakes, are located on the upper Nanaimo River. There are four popular but rus c campsites owned by TimberWest.

The Nanaimo River Hatchery is run by the non-profit Nanaimo River Stewardship Society. The area offers a wonderful walk or bike ride. The hatchery relies heavily on

fundraising. Annually, on the first Sunday in November, the hatchery hosts ‘Spawning Day’.

The Nanaimo River Estuary is the largest estuary on Vancouver Island and the fi h largest in Bri sh Columbia. It is an important tradi onal use area for the Snuneymuxw First Na ons and supports a large number of plant life, fish and wildlife species. A viewing pla orm is a great place to do some bird watching. Bring your binoculars and spot the eagles, trumpeter swans, herons, red-tailed hawks, Canada geese, ducks, ravens, crows and owls.

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#Explore Chemainus

Picture a town colourful in history, alive with art with people who are crea ve and resilient, throw in unique shops, tasty eateries, and a world-class theatre, and you have Chemainus.

Chemainus is unique in having two downtown sec ons. Willow Street runs through the centre of town while Old Town is off Oak Street. Old Town was the original downtown and s ll has an early boomtown feel about it. A ferry terminal connec ng The s and Penelakut Islands is at the foot of Oak Street by the government wharf. Bargain hunters will find lots to rummage through at the Chemainus Thri Store. Treasures await at several an que stores and the eclec c indoor Chemainus Public Market offering shops, eateries, and an old-fashioned arcade.

Near Askew Creek Park is Chemainus Village featuring shops, a restaurant, liquor store, pharmacy, grocery store and an awardwinning brewery where you can sit and sip while planning your next adventure.

Chemainus Origins

The town’s name comes from a legend that tells of a Shaman called Broken Chest (Tsa-meeun-is) who survived a chest wound and became a strong chief. He was so loved by his people that they adopted his name and became known as Stz’uminus.

As the area’s abundance began to be discovered by English-speak-

ing and island inhabitants, a small town began to form on the site of Old Town.

Today, Chemainus is a picture-perfect ar san village along the ocean. Founded as a logging town in 1858, Chemainus was once the heart of the early forestry industry and boasted the world’s largest mill, but today it is most famous for its outdoor murals and works of art.

In the early se ler days, Vancouver Island with its giant coastal forests offered unlimited logging and Chemainus would prove to be an ideal loca on for forestry. Founded as an unincorporated logging town in 1858, a giant sawmill was completed in 1862, and Chemainus with its deep seaport became home to one of the largest sawmills in BC, opera ng for over 120 years.

When the mill closed, the popula on dropped. The town reinvented itself by commissioning ar sts to paint the history of the town in the largest mural pain ng project undertaken in Canada at one me.

Thriving as a small-town tourist des na on, those who come are charmed by the local ar stry that can be seen everywhere. Storefront windows hold local handmade objects and gi s, the parks are lovingly adorned with carvings in homage to the heritage of this

(left to right) Photo credit left to right: Bob Burgess wildlife at the beach , Irene Harford Chemainus Labyrinth , Marina Sacht Kin Beach Lighthouse, Gordon Howe Askew Creek Park, Irene Harford Downtown public piano

community. A slew of fes vals and events happen throughout the year entertaining locals and visitors alike. Keeping large chain businesses away, the authen city of this town stays true to its values of being a small town.

World Famous Murals

Welcome to Canada’s Mural Capital!

Let 61 murals and ten sculptures tell the story of Chemainus from its Indigenous roots to its pioneer se lement and beyond. Admin-

istered by the Chemainus Fes val of Murals Society, the mural project con nues with new murals being added regularly – seven were added in 2021 and 2022.

The new murals are as follows: Rebirth, The Double Spinner and Twisted Oval wind sculptures, Chemainus Road – Circa 1945, Service Above Self, Mount Brenton Golf Course 1991-2021- Vancouver Island’s Hidden Gem, The Siren’s Song, In Tune With Nature, and A Joyful Spring in Chemainus.

The sculpture “Stefan” of In Search Of Snipes which had been de-

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stroyed, was re-cast in bronze in 2021. You can pick up an Official Mural Guide at several loca ons, including the Chemainus Visitor Centre and Museum and start your tour.

It is easy to explore the charming downtown by foot – follow the yellow footsteps - but if you want to tour in style, check if the horse and carriage tours are opera ng. Whichever way you want to explore, give yourself plenty of me to enjoy Canada’s largest outdoor art gallery and quaint shops.

Waterwheel Park Festivities

The Waterwheel Park is located in the heart of Chemainus and bridges the newer downtown area of Willow Street to Old Town with a short footpath. A replica pays homage to the old waterwheels once used to power the mill.

Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society hosts performances at the Waterwheel Band Shell throughout the year, including “Music in the Park” during the summer. A playground for children, a labyrinth, electric car chargers, and a walking trail make this a pleasurable spot to relax. There’s plenty of parking, public washrooms, the

Chemainus Museum with its collec on of ar facts and photos of the early days and the Visitor Centre is also located here. This is also the loca on of a market on Wednesdays in the summer.

Theatrics & Art Inspired

As well as having a large arts community, Chemainus boasts a world-class performing arts centre. The Chemainus Theatre draws visitors from all over Vancouver Island. The theatre is also home to the Playbill Restaurant and a deligh ul store/gallery.

Waterfront Fun

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the parks, trails and coastline. There are several beaches to swim and picnic in. Easily accessible Kin Beach is located in Old Town. It has a playground and a nice beach. At low de, you can walk out to the lighthouse on Bird Rock.

Boa ng is a popular ac vity here. A boat ramp at Kin Park is usually a busy place as residents and visitors explore the many small islands in the area. Off the shores of Chemainus is the world’s only sunken Boeing 737 diving reef. This aircra draws divers from around the world.

Just south of town is Fuller Lake, prized for its sandy beaches, warm water and good fishing. Tennis courts, playgrounds and a boat ramp for non-motorized boats make this an enjoyable place to spend a day. In the winter, you can ice skate at Fuller Lake Arena.

Chemainus Lake Park, located west of town, is a great place for fishing off the dock or hiking the trail that encircles the lake. Askew Creek Wilderness Park, at the corner of Oak Street and Chemainus Road, is a jewel and one of Chemainus’ best-kept secrets. Here you can wander amidst oldgrowth mber and imagine what life was like when trees were giants.

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Diver exploring. Photo: Andrew Gunson

#Explore Saltair

Saltair is a serene coastal community with beau ful sunsets and sweeping ocean views. Tucked between Ladysmith and Chemainus, it is a predominantly rural community of approximately 2000 people. Many are a racted to Saltair because of the panoramic ocean and mountain views and laid-back ambiance. Its loca on, along with its natural coastal beauty, allows for a healthy country-side lifestyle, with close access to many parks and recrea on opportunies. Shops and services are clustered around the ny commercial centre on Chemainus Road. More shops and services are a short drive away in neighbouring Ladysmith and Chemainus.

Sal ar belongs to Cowichan Valley Regional District, and its three areas make up Saltair: North Saltair is north of the Davis Lagoon to Ladysmith town boundary, Central Saltair is from Davis Lagoon to the Boulder Point area, and South Saltair encompasses the rural residen al and agricultural areas in the south to Chemainus. While these sub-areas each have unique characteris cs, one thing most residents have in common is their high regard for the peaceful, rural nature of the community where gardening is king. And not surprisingly, as “Sunny Saltair” was once called the “breadbasket” of the island, supplying other areas with fresh fruits. Some of the heritage trees, along with mul -genera onlly operated farms, can s ll be seen today.

Saltair’s name is closely ed to the railroad. Over a century ago,

the E&N Railroad stop here was named Saltair Landing. While the trains are not running, walking the rails is one of Saltair’s pleasures. The Saltair Rail with Trail is a 4.3-kilometre mul -user stretch of the Trans Canada Trail. Bring your bike or go for a stroll.

Davis Lagoon

Probably Saltair’s most famous landmark is the Davis Lagoon and its bridge. This is a special place where Stocking Creek meets the ocean, and the de fills it up and emp es twice daily. This area is a popular spot to observe the weekly self-dumping log barge. O en, you will see cars pulled over by the Lagoon Bridge, watching the

(left to right) Fun on the water. Photo: Gerry Beltgens. Sunflowers and Stocking Creek Waterfall.Photos: Bob Burgess. Big Rock Beach.Photo: Irene Harford. Stocking Creek Trail. Photo: Carolin Cnossen. Bald eagles. Photo: Bob Burgess (Below) Tug with self-dumping log barge. Photo: Quentin Goodbody.

barge p on its side un l thousands of logs slide into the ocean. Several unique barges work in this area, including the Seaspan Phoenix and Survivor, some of the last barges of that type to work the coast. Watching them in ac on is a special treat, not to be missed.

Sandy dal zone at this ocean lagoon teems with an abundance of wildlife. Living in Sunny Saltair is a coastal adventure.


Saltair’s Centennial Park is located on South Oyster School Road. This large mul -sport community park has ballfields, a picnic shelter, a playground, sports and tennis courts, and washroom facili es. This is a great place to stretch your legs and let the kids play. The park is a community hub and a venue for many events.

The Saltair Community Centre, located next to Centennial Park, is where the community gathers. This site has a long history; the first school, South Oyster School, was built in 1885 and replaced in 1905, where it was used for Sunday School and community func ons. In 1949, another school was built on the same site and renamed Mount Brenton Elementary School. In 2002 the school closed and sat vacant un l a group of local ci zens formed the Saltair Community Centre. Today, several exercise classes are held here. The centre is the home of the Chemainus Sketch Group and Saltair Quilters & Fibre Ar sts. A daycare also operates from here. You can check their website for upcoming events.

Boulder Point is just a stone’s throw away, also known as Big Rock

Beach. You will want to visit this beach at low de when you can walk along the shore, beachcombing and admiring the sand dollars. Children will enjoy trying to climb the landmark rock.

A variety of hiking trails are found at beau ful Stocking Creek Park. This is Saltair’s jewel, offering many kilometres of trails through a rainforest. The south entrance is off Thicke Road (off Chemainus Road), and the north is off Finch Place. The park has nature trails, picnicking and a gorgeous waterfall.

If you are looking for less of a challenge, take a deligh ul stroll through an old-growth forest at Diana, Princess of Wales Park, between Olsen Road and Rocky Beach Road.

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Explore Parks, Trails & Special Places

For outdoor fun, you’ve come to the right area. With proximity to four golf courses, you’re minutes away from swinging your personal best. In 2023 the Mount Brenton Golf Course celebrates its 75th anniversary. Watch for details.

Looking for an adrenaline rush? WildPlay Elements Park at the Bungy Zone, north of Ladysmith, offers zip lines, bungy jumping and an obstacle course in the tree canopy.

There are many parks and walking trails here from a leisurely seashore stroll to a heart-pounding hike to Heart Lake. The steep climb has been known locally as “Heart-A ack Lake” but a switchback installed a few years ago offers a more civilized route. Enjoy some of the best walking, hiking and biking trails the Island has to offer. Here’s a sample of some of our favourite parks and trails.

In Ladysmith:

Holland Creek Trail, with entrances off Dogwood Drive, Sixth Avenue at Methuen and Mackie Roads, offers an a rac ve walking route on both sides of the creek. The trail is unique for its views of Crystal Falls. Approximately 5.8 km long, the trail has connectors on either end if you wish to make the walk more challenging. The trail is suitable for different fitness levels from the well-groomed path with some sec ons wheelchair accessible on the north side of the creek, while the south side is rugged with plenty of eleva-

on changes. The creek exits into flat grassy lowlands by the ocean, crea ng an estuary that provides habitat for birds in a small delta.

Branching out from the Holland Creek Trail are several other trails. Rotary Lookout Trail is a short 1.2-km walk, which is accessed close to the log bridge on the Holland Creek Trail. Heart Lake Loop Trail is a challenging 6.4-km hike but rewards you with a panoramic view of the ocean and islands. Stocking Lake Loop is a 9.3-km trail that begins at Davis Road Park and takes about 2.5 to three hours to complete. Please note: restricted access due to construc on of crossing at Colonia Drive. Anyone wishing to hike to Heart Lake is asked to use the Ryan Place Gate.

Marine Walk can be accessed from the Fishermen’s Wharf, Ladysmith Community Marina or by the parking lot at the amphitheatre. It crosses Slack Point, which gets its dis nc ve black colour from the remnants of loading coal at the turn of the century. The sec on between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Ladysmith Community Marina follows an old railway track used to bring in coal from Extension Mines.

Gourlay-Janes Park, off Chemainus Road, is just a short walk through the woods to the ocean and is an off-leash park.

(left to right) Boat at Ladysmith Community Marina. Photo: Marina Sacht. Family kayaking. Photo: Gerry Beltgens. Bob Burgess Purple Martin Swallow, Local Roosevelt Elk. Photos: Bob Burgess. Avid photographer Bob Burgess. Photo: Marina Sacht. Beach fun. Photo: Bob Burgess.

In Saltair:

Saltair Centennial Park is located on South Oyster School Road. Stocking Creek Park, with the south entrance off Thicke Road (from Chemainus Road) and the north entrance off Finch Place, has nature trails, picnicking and a waterfall. The Cowichan Valley Trail also runs through the park offering a connec on south to Chemainus and north to the Town of Ladysmith. Finch Place offers access to the Cowichan Valley Trail.

Saltair Rail with Trail starts at North Wa s Road and goes to Chemainus. This is a sec on of the Cowichan Valley Trail that once com-

pleted will be a con nuous 120-kilometre non-motorized mul -use trail. The 4.3 km Saltair Rail with Trail opened in 2019, connec ng the communi es of Ladysmith, Saltair and Chemainus with a threemetre wide compacted gravel surface that is gently-graded and suitable for walking, cycling and equestrian use. The trail includes a single span bridge crossing Stocking Creek and scenic views of Mount Brenton and the Gulf Islands. Side trips into Stocking Creek Park and its waterfall are readily accessible from here.

Diana, Princess of Wales Park, between Olsen Road and Rocky Beach Road, has a pleasant and very easy level walking trail that

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leads you through beau ful natural landscapes.

In Chemainus:

Cook Beach Park- access through Island View Close.

Daniel Street Park- residen al green space with access to waterfront.

Chemainus Skate Park- located next to Chemainus Secondary School.

Kinsmen Beach Park- washrooms, playground and boat launch

Askew Creek Wilderness Trail, with access from Oak Street, is an eight-kilometre trail system that the whole family can enjoy.

Waterwheel Park- Playground, washroom and outdoor stage.

Wul’aam (Echo) Park- Rugged trail network at the end of Channel boulevard.

Doc Lewis Park- Large ballfield with 4 pitches.

Caswell Park- residen al green space.

Gerry Smith Park- Landscaped gardens with steam train on display.

Chemainus Lake- fishing and trails.

Bannon Creek Falls- Hike in off Grace road.

Fuller Lake- fishing, swimming, life guard during summer.

Fuller Lake Arena Park- hiking, biking, dog friendly.

In Cedar, Yellow Point, and south Nanaimo:

Blue Heron Park is on Westby Road, off Yellow Point Road. Beauful sandstone beach, restrooms, and a picnic area.

Cable Bay Nature Trail at the end of Nicola Road. A er the bridge, the trail will take you past Dodd Narrows, a favourite spot to watch marine traffic navigate the narrows. This is an off-leash trail.

Elliots Beach Park on Elliot Way, off Shell Beach Road, offers picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.

Extension Ridge Trail is part of the Trans-Canada Trail system. It offers stunning views of the Strait of Georgia. The 8.9 km loop trail features a great forest se ng. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and mountain biking.

The Abyss Trail, Extension Ridge a rac on is a seemingly bo omless fissure in the earth. Known to locals as The Abyss, Extension Ridge – a 4.5km sec on is a playground for mountain bikers, hikers and dog walkers alike.

Haslam Creek Trail and Suspension Bridge to Spruston Road is part of the Trans-Canada Trail system. The trail is accessed at the end of Timberlands Road in Cassidy.

Hemer Provincial Park, off Holden-Corso Road, has easy walking trails. Mainly forested, this trail is a peaceful se ng for walkers, paddlers, boaters and anglers. A bird-watching pla orm is available.

Morden Colliery Regional Trail offers walkers a chance to walk parts of the coal railway route that once linked the mines of South Wellington to the coal ships docked at Boat Harbour. The trail connects Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park with Hemer Provincial Park and runs along with an old rail grade that was used to move coal during the early 20th Century. See the historic Morden Tipple and headframe being restored, take a short walk to the Nanaimo River, or head to Hemer Park from the Cedar Plaza kiosk.

Raven Park on Shell Beach Road is a small but pre y beach park.

Roberts Memorial Park off Yellow Point Road has bathroom facilies and a day-use area, picnicking, fishing, biking and hiking.

Yellow Point Park on Yellow Point Road features numerous nature trails do ed with wildflowers in spring me. The 5.3 km loop is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching.

Enjoy the outdoors

Outdoor opportuni es lie north of Ladysmith. Follow Chris e Road un l it turns to a logging road and winds deep into the backcountry. Visit the Bush Creek Hatchery, operated by Ladysmith Sportsmen Club members for the past 30 years. Members are usually there Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Please observe COVID protocols of social distancing if approaching volunteers. The gravel road leads to Holland Lake, 2.5 km, a part of Ladysmith’s water supply and a protected area. Timberland and Cassidy offer back roads that access several lakes for outdoor wilderness adventure.

Our community is truly blessed with an abundance of outdoor ac vi es. So grab your hiking boots, and make a safety plan before se ng out to explore nature’s playground.

Enjoy the best walking, hiking and biking trails the Island offers.

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Holland Creek trail. Photo: Carolyn Cnossen
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Adventures on the Water

If you enjoy kayaking or paddleboarding, you will love it here. Large tracts of shoreline and small islands are within easy reach. Ladysmith’s Transfer Beach Park offers the perfect launch site or stopover. Bute Island, just across the harbour, is a marine park with a community dock, a walking trail and several spots for excellent swimming. Beyond the inner harbour, Evening Cove and Elliot’s Beach Park offer a reprieve from the more open waters of Stuart Channel. Saltair has an expansive beachline, and Chemainus offers oceans and lakes to discover.

Make sure you bring your binoculars and watch for harbour seals, sea lions, o ers, sea stars and sea anemones. Look up and see oystercatchers, ospreys, bald eagles and great blue herons.

A pod of orca occasionally visits Boulder Point.

Kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals can be found at Transfer Beach’s Sealegs’ Eco-Adventure Centre. Alterna vely, wildlife kayak tours or weekend adventures are available with local operators such as Let’s Go Kayaking and Saltair Ocean

Adventures. This area is truly a paddler’s paradise.

- Excerpt from Sheryll Bell, Sealegs Kayakking Adventures

Boating community

A large boa ng community is centred around the four marinas in Ladysmith Harbour: Ladysmith Community Marina, Raven Point Marina, Ladysmith Marina and Fisherman’s Wharf. Addi onally, the Boat Harbour Marina is in Cedar, and a Government Wharf is in Chemainus. Visitor moorage can be found at Ladysmith Community Marina and the government wharves. Ladysmith Yacht Club offers reciprocal moorage. Boat launch ramps are available at Ladysmith Fisherman’s Wharf, Cedar by the Sea, and Chemainus Kin Beach Park. There is a fuel dock in Chemainus. The volunteeroperated RCM-SAR serves the area. World-class diving is available here, with the world’s only sunken Boeing 737 and the famous Robert Kerr shipwreck nearby. Don’t have a boat? The Ladysmith Marime Society offers harbour boat tours and several lovingly restored heritage rowing vessels are available for use..

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Elliots Beach is a popular spot for a kayak launch, and water sports. Photo: Marina Sacht

Ladysmith Community Marina - a people place

Ladysmith Community Marina is known as the friendliest marina on the coast. Just a short walk from downtown or Transfer Beach Park, it’s located in the future Art & Heritage Hub. The marina offers heritage and hospitality for permanent and travelling boaters. Operated by the Ladysmith Mari me Society, the community marina welcomes non-boa ng visitors to walk its docks and enjoy its many ameni es. The beau ful Welcome Centre offers a fireside lounge, mee ng rooms, washrooms, showers, laundry facility and pumpout service.

Just south of the Welcome Centre, the Sea Life Centre houses displays, touch tanks and an underwater video camera monitoring the undersea life. Here you can learn about local sea stars, mussels, oysters, and seagrasses and how early inhabitants relied on our ocean’s resources.

One of the must-do a rac ons is a guided harbour tour aboard the restored lifeboat Mari mer. Thousands of people have enjoyed the 90-minute cruise, listening to salty stories and viewing wildlife. This family-friendly event operates daily during the summer peak season and on the weekends beforehand. Check the website for tour info.

A paddling centre houses the Dragon Boat and kayaks and is a convenient place to launch from. And while you are admiring the beau ful boats on the docks, make sure you look up. You’ll see nest boxes — part of the largest recovery colony of Western Blue Marns. You can watch the chicks with the webcam just beyond the Welcome Centre.

During the summer, the docks are very busy with many events and ac vi es. Heritage Boat Fes val, Kids’ Pirate Day and the Sea Life Fes val are held here, as well as Dine on the Dock, Music on the Dock and more. The Oyster Bay Café is open for the summer season and has the best views in town. Try their tuna burgers -- you won’t be disappointed.

You will find plenty of “Heritage by the Sea” at the award-winning floa ng Mari me Museum and the Bill Adair Boathouse that shelters their heritage boat fleet. Make sure you visit the Saravan, the C.A. Kirkegaard, and the Songbird. These award-winning beaues are just some of the dozen vessels owned by the society. The Dorothy, one of BC’s oldest sailboats afloat, is here, having been refurbished by LMS volunteers. The boat is from the BC Mari me Museum. Volunteers work to preserve our mari me history. You are welcome to pop in and visit them at the LMS Boat Shed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the morning un l noon. Visit www.lmsmarina.ca for details.

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Ladysmith Community Marina is the site of several maritime festivals and the popular Harbour Tours aboard the Maritimer. Photos Marina Sacht

Let’s Get Creative!

This area is home to many performers, ar sans and interna onally acclaimed ar sts such as actress Pamela Anderson, musicians David Gogo, Ryan McMahon, Nate Harris, and ar sts Mary Fox, Michael Dean, and Stz’uminus carvers John and Luke Marston.

Visit Cedar and Yellow Point’s ar sts, cra ers, and farmers by taking family and friends on a relaxing self-guided Country Christmas Tour held annually over several days in November. During the summer, ar sans keep their own hours. Call ahead to make sure they are open. For more informa on visit www.cyar sans.com.

Saltair is home to the Chemainus Sketch Group and Saltair Quilters, which operate out of the Saltair Community Centre. The Sketch Group has a long history and a large membership.

The Rainforest Gallery on Willow Street in Chemainus features local ar sts’ work and is run by the non-profit Chemainus Valley Cultural Centre Society.

The Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery, operated by the Ladysmith Arts Council, houses working studios, classes and monthly exhibits. This year they will be opening a gallery in the old Temperance Hotel, located on the corner of High Street and First Avenue in Ladysmith. Arts on the Avenue is a street fes val a rac ng thousands of people. This will be the 25th anniversary of the fes val. Watch for details. A Light Up the Night market is held the day before. info@ ladysmitharts.ca

You will find inspira on if you enjoy arts, heritage, performing arts, or culture.

Go Live With Performing Arts

Ladysmith Li le Theatre offers cabaret-style sea ng and some great entertainment. They are in the former old Diamond School House, built in 1912. The group also offers workshops and par cipaon in an improv group. h ps://www.ladysmiththeatre.com/

The Yellow Point Drama Group is the second oldest drama group in the province. The group was started in the early 1950s by Anne Mossman; in the years since, the amateur troupe formed Yellow Point Drama Group in 1953, winning numerous awards. The group performs at the historic Cedar Community Hall, celebra ng last year’s centennial. For show schedules, please visit their website. h p://yellowpointdramagroup.org/

The Chemainus Theatre Fes val offers professional plays, a summer program, a restaurant, a gallery and a gi shop. They are an economic driver for Chemainus, proving the business value of art. The non-profit society offers upli ing performances and is known for its musicals.

Please visit their website for their show season. h ps://chemainustheatrefes val.ca/

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(left to right) Indigenous Ceremony at Transfer Beach. Photo: Bob Burgess. Jamming at the Ladysmith Community Marina, Photo: Bob Burgess Heritage boats restored by Ladysmith Maritime Society. Photo: Marina Sacht Stz’uminus First Nation dancers. Photo Clinton Charlie. Dancing the Night away at the Ladysmith Eagles Hall, Photo: Marina Sacht Josee Duffhues at JoVic Studios. Photo: Vic Duffhues.

Hometown Heritage

Before me immemorial, there were Indigenous Peoples. The mid-island has an eons-long history of Coast Salish people whose way of life is centred around the coast and forests with abundant natural resources. The area was se led by Europeans seeking new opportuni es afforded by black gold (coal) and tall mbers. Relics of the past are s ll evident, especially along the waterfront. Even nowadays, the forestry industry remains important, although the economic base has broadened.

While this area has enjoyed considerable growth, it has retained

its small-town charm and community warmth.

Take a stroll along award-winning First Avenue in Ladysmith and enjoy what the stores and restaurants offer and the heritage buildings they are located in. As you walk downtown, look at the industrial ar facts on display. Refer to the online Community Heritage Register and the Heritage App for individual histories. Visit the Ladysmith Museum and Archives for more informa on on the community and its forma on. The featured exhibit for 2023 is Treemendous - Our Fantas c Forests.

Head down to the harbour and visit Transfer Beach Park, the cen-

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tre of the coal port a hundred years ago, with massive bunkers, extensive wharves, shrieking steam engines and cla ering coal. Today it is a haven of tranquility, with beau ful vistas, a children’s playground and an open-air amphitheatre for summer concerts. Stroll the paths along Oyster Bay Drive and visit the Ladysmith Community Marina, with its heritage boats and floating museum. Climb the steps to see the Comox Logging & Rail Co Depot, s ll with its railway tracks, heritage buildings and enormous steam engine. The Baldwin loco-

mo ve 11 celebrates its 100 years in 2023, and an arts & cultural heritage fes val is planned for May 27, 2023.

A stroll through Chemainus offers a different experience. Here the story of the original murals brings the town’s history to life. The original downtown is Old Town, where the commercial heart of the town was located. Waterwheel Park is the heart of the community. This area was once part of the grounds of the mill manager’s house, located about where the statue of HR MacMillan now stands.

The present Waterwheel is a replica of the original that powered the early mills. This wheel and the park’s first phase were constructed as part of the 1967 Canadian Centennial celebra ons.

The park has a band-

stand where concerts take place in the summer. Adjacent to the park is the Public Washrooms and the Chemainus Museum and Visitor Centre. The Chemainus Museum has a variety of exhibits and events.

Mining past relics

There were a large number of mines in the vicinity star ng from 1897. You will find mining relics in the Timberlands–Cassidy and Extension area. A must-visit is the Morden Colliery Historic Park, once the loca on of the Morden Mine. A grant enabled the stabiliza on of its pple and headframe, one of only two surviving examples of concrete headframes worldwide.

The Extension Miners Community Park is worth the visit to explore the area’s mining past and view the restored Dunsmuir coal cart, along with other ar facts and interpre ve signs.

The Cassidy area is a gateway to the backcountry, with many trails and back roads to explore, including access to the Trans Canada Trail off Timberlands Road. Buried in vegeta on is Granby, now a ghost town but once a thriving community with its recrea on hall.

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A Ladysmith & District Historical Society volunteer working on steam locomotive 11 for its 100th anniversary. Photo: Marina Sacht Headframe and tipple at Morden Mine. Photo: Nick Longo

#Explore More

If you want to know something, it’s always best to ask the locals. And that is what we did. Here are some of their sugges ons to help you have a great day trip.


There are tasty treats here. Chemainus Bakery is known for its “snail,” pastry, and Old Town Bakery’s Cinnamon Buns are legendary. Meet food producers at Cedar Farmers Market. Looking for seafood? Pick up some oysters from Timothy’s or fresh caught seafood on the local docks. Fredrich’s honey is available at the local grocery stores, but for a truly unique experience, visit them in Cedar. Looking for the first neighborhood pub and a true English style pub? Try the Crow & Gate for cold pints and tasty menus. Like the Bri shtheme but have kids? The Fox and Hounds is your solu on. Michele ’s Kitchen produces tasty home cooked baking, soups and more plus has a selec on of frozen food for taking home. Dietary restricons? Try vegan op ons at Plan tude, serving up “kind” food. Best pizza in the neighbourhood? Roberts Street Pizza wins that dis ncon. Delivery, take out, and a great summer pa o. For authen c tacos try Canteen on the Green’s Baja Fish Tacos.

Thirsty? Try Riot Brewing and Bayview Brewing for local microbreweries or one of the local pubs with good food and a colourful past, such as the Wheatsheaf, Crow & Gate, Cranberry Arms and Horseshoe Pub. Meet your friends here or make some new ones.


The Rainforest Art Gallery, the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery, and the Ladysmith Museum showcase local talent. Looking for po ery?

Visit Mary Fox Po ery, JoVic Po ery, or Jane Wolters Po ery in Cowichan. Pick up a copy of Mary Fox’s book, a must-read. Michael Dean is well known for his marine and heritage pain ngs and drawings. Local art events include Arts on the Avenue on the last Sunday in August and the Cedar Yellow Point Ar san Tour in November. Outdoor art is everywhere in Chemainus, and a mural walk is a must. Check out the Salish Wind canoe made by Stz’uminus carvers at Transfer Beach. Shops carrying local art include Bayview Framing, Canvas Plus, 49th Café, and In the Bean me. Take in a show at the local theatre and pick up a handmade cra at Carol’s Ar san Cra Sale on Sundays at North Oyster Community Centre and don’t miss

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Rural blooms in Cedar. Photo: Bob Burgess. Sealife Festival. and Fresh seafood. Photos: Marina Sacht

the Wednesday Market in Chemainus. SPECIALTY SHOPPER

Shopping here is refreshing. Most small shops are unique “ma and pa” shops that you won’t find in large malls. Check out Salamander Books, Saltair Book Stop and Nics Café. Pick up used vinyl records at Uforik Sounds, and visit Hansel & Gretal Candy Company. Beads Etc offers the largest range of beads and supplies along with local ar san treasures.


Download the Ladysmith Heritage App or follow the ar fact route. See page 38-39. Dive into heritage at Ladysmith Museum, the Ladysmith Community Marina’s floating museum, visit the former Comox Logging & Rail Co heritage site and watch boat and industrial ar facts being restored. Visit the Metal Collage on First and Gatacre, then walk downtown Ladysmith and read the plaques on the buildings. Hike historic Holland Creek trail or the Marine trail or take a Harbour boat tour. Visit the Chemainus Museum and listen to Bob Swanson’s memorable steam whistle -- a sound s ll heard all along the coast.

Need to refuel? Pick a pub with a colourful past


Treasure hunters won’t be disappointed here. There is an excellent collec on of stores, including Willow Street Mall, Highway An que Emporium, Vin quity. Post

Office An ques in what used to be the Customs and Post Office Building featuring three floors of collectables. A number of consignment shops and upscale recyclers

offer great bargains and unique gi s. Visit Purple Pigeon, Top Drawer, Li le O ers and Govinda’s Thri Store. A visit to the Chemainus Healthcare Auxiliary and the Ladysmith Healthcare Auxiliary Thri Store is a must.


Families will find no shortage of things to do with their wee ones. Do a drop-in to a LaFF program, visit Fuller Lake or the Frank Jameson Community Centre pool. Explore the playgrounds at Kin Park. Get ice cream at Scoops by the Sea. Read the storyboards or ride the mountain bike trail at Brown Park. Get wet at Transfer Beach Spray Park. Visit the Ladysmith Community Marina and view the Sea Life Educa on Centre underwater camera and the Purple Mar ns nest box cam. Take a harbour boat tour. Bike the Saltair-Ladysmith Rail Trail. Visit Yellow

Point Farm’s pe ng farm. Do the Labyrinth at Waterwheel park and visit the family arcade at Chemainus Public Market.


Rent a kayak, visit Bute Island Marine Park, snorkel, swim at Elliot’s Beach Park, and dive the Boeing 737 underwater reef. Buy locally-made products at farm stands, markets and local shops. Prac ce catch & release fishing at Fuller and Chemainus Lake, explore hiking trails, bird watch at the Chemainus and Nanaimo Estuary, visit The Raptors Centre and catch a flying demo.


Visit the off-leash area at Transfer Beach. Go on a hike, and get supplies at For Pet’s Sake. Explore Slack Point, unleash the wild side on the Cable Bay Trail, and visit the pet-friendly Ladysmith Museum. Grab a bite with your four-legged companion at one of the outdoor pa o restaurants, or get takeout and enjoy the picnic tables in downtown Ladysmith or any of the parks. Check for pet-friendly retailers.


If you’re looking for cozy off the beaten path accommoda ons that will fill your nature side, have a look at Inn at Raven Point and By the Bay Lavender Villa.

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