We would like to thank the business community for their support in producing this guide as well as the contributors who added their talents to create this guide. For more information, check with our local visitor centres. Photography: G.Beltgens, William Brown, Ken Brownlow, Bob Burgess, Shirley Blackstaff, Claude Camacho, Guillermo Ferrero, Rob Johnson, Kim Lamoureux, Robert Laursen, Nick Longo, Martin Tang, Town of Ladysmith. Contributors: Jay Rastogi, Sheryll Bell, and Town of Ladysmith.
Welcome to the best of the heart of the island! Welcome to the 2019 Explore Guide featuring Ladysmith, Cedar, Saltair and Chemainus. For over a dozen years we have been producing this print and online guide of the central Vancouver Island area. Here you will find the best of what our area has to offer in stunning colour photography, useful maps, must-see events and information to make sure you wonâ€™t miss a thing. There is much to do and see here. The annual Be a Hometown Tourist Weekend held this year on June 15-16 offers a small sample of the fun to be had here. Visit us online for extra features, including videos, and direct links to resources (take5.ca). Follow us at facebook.com/take5publications or subscribe to YouTube.com/take5newstv for updates and news in our communities.
2019 EXPLORE is available in print at visitor centres, Nanaimo Airport and throughout the mid-Island area. The online edition with live links and embedded video is available at www.take5.ca and shared via social media around the world. Cover: Cindy Damphousse enjoys Transfer Beach Park. Photo: Rob Johnson Design: Angie Haslam
Publisher: TAKE 5 Print & Digital Media Co-coordinator: Cindy Damphousse Art Design & Maps : Angie Haslam Account Manager: Allen McDermid Editor: Marina Sacht Box 59, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1R4, T 250-245-7015 F 250-245-7099 email@example.com take5.ca facebook.com/take5publications youtube.com/take5newstv ÂŠ2019 TAKE 5 Publications (541806 BC Ltd.) All rights reserved.
Ladysmith sits between the ocean and mountains on the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. Originally known as Oyster Harbour, the town is located on the 49th parallel and has a rich history built on mining and logging. It’s long sheltered harbour, and its historic downtown are some of the attractions of this community where “heritage meets the sea”. Ladysmith is known for its community spirit and hosts many celebrations, such as the Festival of Lights, Ladysmith Days, Pirate Day and events held throughout the year. Ladysmith has long been recognized for its small-town charm. It’s won many awards and its historic downtown Avenue had been selected as Canada’s 2017 Greatest Street. A variety of locally owned businesses offer services and products that you won’t find in any big box store. The Mediterranean-like climate features mild winters and warm summers, allowing for outdoor activities year round. A treasure of Ladysmith is the Holland Creek Trail. It runs through the centre of town with sections of the trail suitable for all fitness levels. The Crystal Falls and Colliery Dam are great places to take some photos. For indoor activities, the Frank Jameson Community Centre houses a fitness centre, swimming pool, sauna and hot tub. Drop-in fitness classes are available. The town has a thriving arts community as seen in the number of studios in the area and the Waterfront Gallery with its monthly exhibits is a good place to get inspired. Ladysmith has a unique history. It is the only community on Van-
couver Island designed as a “company” town by its founder James Dunsmuir. In 1897, when the Nanaimo coal mines’ seams were depleted, Dunsmuir relocated the miners and their families to work his new source of coal at Extension Mine. The Wellington miners dismantled their homes, put them on railway cars and moved them to Ladysmith. Included in the move were hotels, churches and business blocks that you can still see today. You can pick up an Historic Buildings map at the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce for a selfguided tour. People often wonder how Ladysmith got its name. During the Boer War, the British 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. The streets crossing First Avenue are all named after generals who fought in the Boer War. Oyster farming started here in 1884 and continues today. You can still purchase fresh local oysters at Timothy Oysters, Limberis Seafood or at the local grocery stores. Drop by the Harbour Heritage Centre and visit the oyster farming exhibit. This peaceful town has had its share of strife. In September 1912, the Vancouver Island Coal Strike began, and the miners of Ladysmith joined in. Violent riots broke out in August 1913, and the militia was called. The strike would not end until the start of the First World War. Ladysmith played a role in the labour movement and still takes pride in being a “workers” town.
Ladysmith is where heritage meets the sea. Visit the Industrial Heritage Park and watch volunteers restoring maritime boats, and steam locie 11. Visit the Harbour Heritage Centre and the Maritime Museum at Ladysmith Community Marina. To learn more, visit the Ladysmith Archives and Museum (250-245-0100). Ladysmith is a “green“ community and has taken a number of initiatives to ensure sustainable development. The town’s organic waste collection was one of the first launched in B.C. Vegetables and herbs grow in place of flowers in beds around City Hall. Ladysmith has been named “one of the 10 prettiest towns in Canada” and won first place for the national Communities in Bloom.
Transfer Beach Park and Holland Creek trail Residents converge on Transfer Beach Park. Located across the highway from City Hall, it is one of the most beloved parks in this area. With its grassy slopes and shady trees, and sweeping coastline, it’s an ideal place for a family picnic. Facilities include an outdoor amphitheatre, water spray park, playgrounds, concession, basketball court, sand volleyball, horseshoe pitch, picnic shelter, off-leash dog park, and kayak and boat rentals. You can lounge under the willow trees or swim in some of the warmest waters north of San Francisco. The park is home to Vancouver Island’s only beachfront amphitheatre which hosts weddings, special events and during the summer, weekly music concerts. Food trucks provide tasty snacks
or just pop across the street for a number of restaurants and cafes offering delicious dining options. Just as beloved as Transfer Beach Park 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 Great Outdoors section for more information on trails and a map. We invite you to take a step back in time. Ladysmith has a medley of independent businesses from trendy shops to thrift stores. From today’s fashions to yesterday’s antiques. Be sure to make a stop at Post Office Antiques, a former customs and jailhouse, the Antique Addict, as well as a number of quality thrift stores for timeless treasures. A trip along First Avenue would not be complete without a stop at the bakery for their famous cinnamon buns – rated the best on Vancouver Island as well as the butcher shop known for their sausages. From cafes and diners that specialize in ethnic, vegan, gluten-free meals to neighbourhood cafes to old fashioned candy stores, there’s something for every taste. Historic 1st Ave. Photo submitted. Heritage boating community. Photo: Cindy Damphousse Transfer Beach Spray Park. Photo: Rob Johnson Early Days in Ladysmith. Photo: Ladysmith Archives Ladysmith Days Pancake Breakfast. Photo: Cindy Damphousse Outdoor Amphitheatre at Transfer Beach. Photo: Rob Johnson
Cedar District is the ultimate Sunday drive. Scenic beautiful country roads dotted with century old farms, small homesteads, farm gates, and artisan studios. Cedar Village is the business centre with grocery store, hardware, fuel station, and some of the mid Vancouver Island’s best restaurants, and pubs. Family farms, organic growers and markets provide fresh produce and products to feed your body. Cedar’s spectacular beaches and trails will feed your soul. Cedar shares a history of coal mining with Nanaimo and its neighbours, Ladysmith, Chase River, South Wellington and Cassidy. Echoes of that past can still be found along the trails and parks. Both the Cranberry Arms Pub and the Wheatsheaf Pub have served their thirsty clientele for over 100 years The Mahle House is also rich in history as well as being a top-rated restaurant with an excellent wine list. The British-style Crow and Gate Pub is a great place to sit in their garden or by their roaring fireplace. Looking for breakfast? Try the award-winning Co-Co Cafe, a nonprofit co-op serving up good food, coffee and opportunity for youth with developmental disabilities. Cedar Road runs through this rural community and brings out lots of cycling enthusiasts. Enjoy the beautiful drive or ride -- with plenty of beautiful stops along the way. For the younger crowd, drop by the Cedar Skate Park, at the end of Cedar Secondary School. It is one of the finest skate parks on the Island. Tucked between Cedar and Stuart Channel is picturesque Yellow
Point, who’s name comes from the flowering orange and yellow sedum that once grew profusely here. Along Yellow Point road is the world renowned 70-acre Wildwood Forest. Established in 1938 by Merv Wilkinson, it is now owned and operated by the Eco-forestry Institute that hosts tours and workshops. Sandstone beaches, lakes, rivers, and creeks vie for your attention. Don’t miss Blue Heron Park, Elliott Beach Park, Hemer Park or Roberts Memorial. All these are easy to walk and have stunning views, especially at low tide. Cable Bay Trail is worth the hike to where at slack tide you can watch the boats streaming through Dodd Narrows. Nanaimo River is popular for swimming and tubbing. You can launch by the bridge on Cedar Road. Although the beach is on the Snuneymuxw Reserve, all are welcome to use the beach. A family favourite is McNab’s Farm corn maze and produce farm. Opened in 2002, the maze changes every year. Nanaimo Estuary, is a bird-watchers paradise. Bring your binoculars and spot the eagles, trumpeter swans, herons, red-tailed hawks, Canada geese, ducks, ravens, crows and owls. In the Timberlands–Cassidy area, you will find relics from the mining days. This is the gateway to the backcountry with many trails and back roads to explore. Visit the Nanaimo Fish Hatchery and discover the world of salmon. Access to the Trans Canada Trail is available off Timberlands Road. You can obtain a brochure of the regional parks and trails from the Regional District of Nanaimo (www.rdn.bc.ca).
Fresh Farmers’ Markets Cedar Farmers’ Market is one of the most popular farmers’ markets on the Island. It runs Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from Mother’s Day through the end of October at the Crow and Gate Pub. Also on Sundays is the Cedar Swap Meet, where neighbours meet over tables filled with new and used household items and barter at the Cedar Community Hall, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Just a short drive away is the North Oyster Community Centre, a converted school house housing regular weekly craft markets
as well as other community events. There are farm stands open throughout the year. Mahle House restaurant. Photo: Nick Longo Canadian Horse, Woodmont Farm Cedar Fire Hall circa 1940’s. Courtesy of North Cedar Volunteer Fire Department Rhubarb Harvest, Photo: Jackie Moad Wheatsheaf Pub mascot Rolling Farmland. Photo submitted.
Chemainus is a picturesque artisan village nestled between the mountains and ocean directly on the coast. Founded as an unincorporated logging town in 1858, Chemainus is primarily famous for its over 40 giant outdoor murals. But it is the Chemainus Theatre, trendy boutiques and galleries,and and a thriving arts community that keep people coming back. The origin for the town 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. In the early settler days, Vancouver Island with its giant coastal forests offered unlimited logging. A giant sawmill was completed in 1862, and Chemainus with its deep sea port became home to one of the largest sawmills in BC, operating for over 120 years. When the mill shut down people left looking for work and it looked like it would be the end of the town. Not ready to give up, the town re-invented itself by commissioning artists to paint the history of the town in the largest mural painting project undertaken in Canada at one time. The murals, along with over a dozen sculptures tell the story of Chemainus from its First Nations beginning to its pioneer settlement and beyond. Supported by the Chemainus Mural Society, the mural project continues with new murals being added regularly. Pick up their Official Souvenier Map and start your walk through history.
The Waterwheel Park is the heart of Cheaminus and bridges the downtown area from Old Town with a short footpath. A replica waterwheel pays homage to the old waterwheels that were once used to power the mills. From the main parking lot there is a viewpoint with amazing views of the waterfront. A playground for children and logging displays make this a pleasurable spot to relax for all ages. The Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society hosts performances at the Waterwheel Band Shell throughout the year, including “Music in the Park” during the summer. Here you’ll find a playground for children and benches to relax while enjoying an ice cream cone or calm your spirit at the Labyrinth at Waterwheel Park. There’s plenty of parking, a public washroom, the newly expanded Chemainus Museum with a collection of historic artifacts and photos of the early pioneers. The Visitor Centre offers maps to the murals as well as advice and bike rentals. A statue of lumber baron HR MacMillan overlooking the bay makes a great photo opportunity as well as the perfect spot to view the busy working waterfront. Chemainus is unique in having two downtown sections. Willow Street runs through the centre of town while Old Town is off Oak Street. Old Town was the original downtown and still has a pioneer air about it. A ferry terminal connecting Thetis and Penelekut Islands is at the foot of Oak street by the marina. For treasure hunters you will find lots to rummage through at the thrift store.
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 to its excellent shows. The theatre is also home to the Playbill Restaurant and a delightful store/gallery. It is easy to explore the charming downtown by foot or in style with a horse and carriage tour. Give yourself time to enjoy the art installations, and the shops. There’s a number of beaches to swim and picnic. Easily accessible Kin Beach is located in Old Town by the ocean. It has a playground and a nice beach. At low tide you can walk out to the lighthouse on Bird Rock. Off the shores of Chemainus is the world’s only sunken Boeing 737 diving reef. Since its final flight, this aircraft draws divers from around the world. Just south of town is Fuller Lake which has sandy beaches, warm water and good fishing. Tennis courts, playgrounds and a boat ramp for non-motorized boats makes this an enjoyable place to spend an afternoon. 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 tiny jewel and one of Chemainus’ best kept secrets. Here you can see old growth timber and imagine what life was like when timber was king. Walk the trails and take your dog for a stroll before heading to the Chemainus Village featuring shops, restaurants and even an awardwinning brewery. Stop by for a tasting or attend one of their many events. Now that’s a spirited way to get to know the community! Chemainus is more than world class murals and the arts, it also has mountain vistas and ocean playgrounds. Prepare to be inspired. Festival of Murals Historical Series Festival of Murals Sculpture Series Local Marina by the ferry dock. Restored Locomotive Residents enjoy an active lifestyle Waterwheel park summer market. Photos Rob Johnson and submitted.
Saltair is a serene coastal community with sweeping ocean views, nestled between Ladysmith and Chemainus. It is a predominantly rural community of approximately 1800 people, many of whom moved to Saltair because of the panoramic ocean and mountain views, and ambiance. Its location along with its natural coastal beauty, allows for a healthy rural lifestyle, with close access to shopping and services. 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 residential and agricultural areas in the south to Chemainus. These sub-areas each have unique characteristics and Saltair residents place a high value on the natural, peaceful, rural nature of the community. You will find a visit to Saltair rewarding. A number of art studios, and home based businesses are to be found here, along with outstanding recreational opportunities. Saltair Centennial Park is located on South Oyster School Road. This large, multi-sport community park in Saltair has ballfields, picnic shelter, playground, sports courts and tennis court and washroom facilities. This is a great place to stretch your legs and let the kids play. Just a stone’s throw away is Boulder Point also known as Big Rock Beach. You will want to visit this beach at low-tide when you can walk along the shore beach-combing and admiring the sand dollars. Children of all ages will enjoy trying to climb the rock.
A variety of hiking trails are found at beautiful Stocking Creek Park. This is Saltair’s jewel offering many kilometers of trails through a rainforest. The south entrance is off Thicke Road (off Chemainus Road) and the north entrance is off Finch Place. The park has nature trails, picnicking and a gorgeous waterfall that you will want to photograph. If you are looking for less of a challenge take a delightful stroll through an old growth forest at Diana, Princess of Wales Park located between Olsen Road and Rocky Beach Road. Saltair has a rich history and its name is closely tied with the railroad. It was over 100 years ago that the E & N Railroad stop here was named Saltair Landing. While the trains are currently not running, walking the rails is one of Saltair’s pleasures. A sight not to be missed in the harbour is the self-dumping log barge. Often you will see cars pulled over by the Lagoon Bridge, watching the barge slowly tip on its side until a giant splash is heard as thousands of logs slide into the ocean. The Saltair Community Centre is a hub for the community with art, yoga, and other classes ongoing. There’s always something happening at the centre. Saltair Log Dump. Photo: Marina Sacht Local Artist at Saltair Community Centre. Photo: Marina Sacht Bald Eagle scoping out a meal. Photo: Ken Brownlow Local Boating Photo: Kim Lamoureux Early years in Saltair. Photo: Ladysmith Archives Big Rock Beach.
Parks, Trails and Special Places From south Nanaimo to Chemainus, you will find some of the best walking, hiking and biking trails the Island has to offer. Holland Creek Trail, with entrances off Dogwood Drive, Sixth Avenue at Methuen and Mackie Roads, offers an attractive walking route on both sides of the creek that can be a challenge for some. The trail is unique for its views of Crystal Falls, where a stone-wall area has been built on the south trail to ensure safe viewing. Approximately 5.8 kilometres, it has connectors on either end if you wish to make the walk more difficult. At the ocean end, the creek exits into flat grassy lowlands, providing habitat for birds in a small delta. Holland Creek is a fish-spawning creek where salmon return every year, and a popular spot for locals to watch salmon spawning. Branching out from the Holland Creek Trail are several other trails. Rotary Lookout Trail is a short 1.2-kilometre walk which is accessed close to the log bridge on the Holland Creek Trail. Estuary Trail, a part of the Holland Creek Trail, can be found at King Road and is a short 10-minute walk along the edge of Ladysmith Harbour to Sailing Ladysmith Harbour Photo: G. Beltgens Transfer Beach Park. Photo: G. Beltgens Sealegs Kayaking Adventure. Photo: Cindy Damphousse Duke Point Park. Photo: Cindy Damphousse Garden Allium. Photo: Nick Longo Abundance of Wildlife viewing Photo: Wildwood Ecoforest.
Transfer Beach Park. Heart Lake Loop Trail is a challenging 6.4-kilometre hike that takes about two hours, but rewards you with a panoramic view of the ocean and Islands. You can fish or swim in Heart Lake. Stocking Lake Loop is a 9.3-kilometre trail that begins at Davis Road Park and takes about 2.5 to three hours to walk. • Marine Walk can be accessed from the Fishermen’s Wharf or the Ladysmith Community Marina. You can also pick it up from Transfer Beach near the amphitheatre by following the marked trail through an arbutus grove. For a closer view of the water, you can access this trail by the gravel parking lot at the amphitheatre. It then crosses Slack Point, where you will see its distinctive black colour, the remnants from loading coal at the turn of the century. Remnants of the old pier are still visible at low tide along the shore. The section between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Ladysmith community Marina follows along an old railway track used to bring in coal from Extension Mines. • Saltair Centennial Park, 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. • Diana, Princess of Wales Park, between Olsen Road and Rocky Beach Road, has a pleasant walking trail. • Gourlay-Janes Park, off Chemainus Road, is just a short walk through the woods to the ocean and has an off-leash park. • Askew Creek Wilderness Trail, with access from Oak Street, is
an eight-kilometre trail system that the whole family can enjoy. In the communities of Cedar, Yellow Point, and south Nanaimo: • Blue Heron Park on Westby Road, off Yellow Point Road. • Cable Bay Nature Trail can be reached by taking Holden-Corso Road to Nicola Road. Park at the end of Nicola Road. After the bridge, the trail turns to Joan Point that will take you past Dodd Narrows, a favourite spot to watch marine traffic navigate the narrows and find sea lions. This is an off-leash trail. • Elliott Beach Park on Elliott Way, off Shell Beach Road, is a beach
with picnicking, warm water swimming and snorkeling. • Extension Ridge Trail is part of the Trans-Canada Trail system. It offers stunning views of the Strait of Georgia. • Haslam Creek Trail and Suspension Bridge to Spruston Road. This trail 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 setting for walkers, paddlers, boaters and anglers.
• Morden Colliery Trail offers walkers a chance to walk along parts of the coal railway route that once linked the mines of South Wellington to the coal ships docked at Boat Harbour. • Raven Park on Shell Beach Road is a pretty beach park. • Roberts Memorial Park off Yellow Point Road has bathroom facilities and a day-use area, picnicking, fishing, biking and hiking. • Yellow Point Park on Yellow Point Road features numerous nature trails dotted with wild flowers in springtime. Outdoor opportunities lie north of Ladysmith. Follow Christie Road until it turns to a logging road and winds for miles through backwoods. Watch for the Bush Creek Hatchery, operated by volunteers who are usually there Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. The gravel road leads to Holland Lake, 2.5 kilometres, a part of Ladysmith’s water supply and a protected area. Timberland and Cassidy
Jog, paddle or take an e-bike tour. Recreational opportunities abound. Photo: Marina Sacht Holland Creek Trail. Photo: Bob Burgess
area offers back roads that access several lakes for outdoor adventure.
Best places to view nature Here are some of our favorite common habitats and what you may discover there: Conifer Forests Favourite sites: Hemer Park, Holland creek trail, Yellow Point Park and Cable Bay trail. Garry Oak Woodland Favourite sites: Mount Tzouhalem Ecological reserve. Riparian Favourite sites: Nanaimo River Park and Cowichan River. Estuaries Favourite sites: Nanaimo River Estuary (largest on the Island) and Cowichan Estuary. Biggs Park, which overlooks the Nanaimo Estuary, is a nice walk among trees. Lakes Favourite sites: Hemer Park and Somenos Marsh. Ocean Favourite site: Cable Bay trail. Joan Point at the end of Cable Bay trail is great for close-up sea lion viewing at the time when salmon are passing through Dodd Narrows. -Jay Rastogi is a naturalist and educator
A boating paradise Pleasure boaters will find a large boating community based in the four marinas located in Ladysmith Harbour. There are extensive walking trails along the waterfront with easy access to downtown. Watch for osprey and bald eagle nests. The working inner harbour has two sawmills. The boom boats push bundles of logs while seals laze on the booms. Further down the bay, you will see large piles of oyster shells used to re-seed the oyster beds. You can also find moorage in Chemainus at the Municipal Marina and Boat Harbour in Cedar. Boat launches are available at Ladysmith Fisherman’s Wharf, Cedar by the Sea, and Chemainus Kin Park. There is a fuel dock in Chemainus.
Paddling adventures Within its sheltered waters, the harbor is a vibrant hub of boaters, transportation services, marinas and industry. Chances are you will see harbour seals, oyster catchers, bald eagles, sea lions, river otters, sea stars and sea anemones. Watch for Great Blue Herons, deer and raccoons foraging along the shoreline. You may even see a golden eagle leave its perch from Woodley Ridge to Seals basking on the rocks. Photo: Ken Brownlow
catch tasty morsels in the intertidal zone. Boulder Point is a landmark nearby visited by the occasional pod of Orca whales. Large tracts of pristine shoreline and six small islands rich in history are within easy reach. Ladysmith’s waterfront Transfer Beach Park offers the perfect launch site or stopover. Beyond the inner harbor, Evening Cove and Elliott’s Beach Park offer a reprieve from the more open waters of the Stuart Channel. Two favourite local launch sites, Transfer Beach and Fisherman’s wharf, are easy to access. Parking is free and each facility provides additional resources including washrooms. Kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals can be found at Transfer Beach’s Eco-Adventure Centre. Alternatively, wildlife kayak tours or weekend adventures are available. A paddler’s paradise, Ladysmith’s inner harbor is the perfect location to get your feet wet while visiting the island. - Sheryll Bell, Sealegs Kayaking Adventures
The Fun Never Stops With close proximity to four golf courses, you’re minutes away from swinging your personal best. Looking for an adrenaline rush? WildPlay Elements Park at the Bungy Zone, north of Ladysmith, offers ziplines, bungy jumping and an obstacle course in the tree canopy. There are many parks and walking trails here that fit everyone from seashore walks to a heart-pounding hike to Heart Lake. There are off-leash areas and playgrounds to make everyone happy. For outdoor fun, you’ve come to the right area.
Ladysmith Community Marina Ladysmith Community Marina is known to be the friendliest marina on the coast. Just a 10-minute walk from downtown shops or Transfer Beach Park, it’s at the heart of Ladysmith’s Art & Heritage Hub. The marina offers over 900 feet of Visitor moorage plus overflow space for travelling boaters. But you don’t have to be in a boat to appreciate the unique waterfront experience of heritage and hospitality operated by the nonprofit Ladysmith Maritime Society. Whether arriving by water or land, all visitors can enjoy many amenities. The beautiful Welcome Centre includes a reception area, free wi-fi, fireside lounge, meeting rooms, washrooms, showers, laundry facility and a pump out. Located just south of the Welcome Centre the Sea Life Centre contains informative displays, touch tanks, and a viewing portal in the floor. Learn about local sea stars, mussels, oysters, seagrasses and how our ancestors used our ocean’s resources. One of the must-do attractions is a guided harbour tour aboard the restored lifeboat Maritimer. Thousands of people have enjoyed the 90-minute cruise, listening to stories and viewing wildlife. This is a family-friendly event that the kids enjoy as much as the adults. A paddling centre houses the Dragon Boat and kayaks and is a convenient place to launch from. And while you are admiring the beautiful boats remember to look up. You’ll see nest boxes – part of the largest recovery colony of Western Blue Martins. You can watch the chicks with the live webcam, located just past the
Welcome Centre. A number of festivals are held here. Heritage Boat Festival, Kid’s Pirate Day and the Sea Life Festival bring people from all over the Island. From May to September the Oyster Bay Café serves up freshly made breakfast and lunch. In the summertime enjoy Dine at the Docks series, every second Friday, a very tasty way to get to know fellow boaters. Dine on the Dock, starts May 31, 2019 and goes until end of August. Menus range from lasagna to BBQ ribs and always include a vegetarian option. What could be better than delicious food, music, great company as you dine watching the sunset over Oyster Bay Harbour! Other free events during July and August are Open Mic Night Tuesday evenings from 7:30 – 10 pm and Featured Artist Evenings Thursday evenings from 7 – 9 pm Heritage by the sea is found here with the award-winning floating Maritime Museum, and the Bill Adair boathouse where the C.A. Kirkegaard and Saravan, are moored. Both of these beauties have been lovingly restored by volunteers. When you leave the marina, check out the Harbour Heritage Centre (in the big blue building) on Oyster Cove Road. Here, the local oyster industry comes to life. Just north of the blue building, past the Industrial Heritage Group’s collection of Comox Logging artifacts is another workshop where LMS volunteers are restoring heritage boats. This is truly where heritage and hospitality await you. Ladysmith Community Marina Photo: G. Beltgens; Harbour boat tour. Photo: Cindy Damphousse; Sea Life Centre: Photo: Shirley Blackstaff.
Festivals & Fun! Here are just a few of the many festivals and events in the area. For full updated calendar visit (take5.ca/events)
Ladysmith Maritime Festival, May 25, 2019 The Ladysmith Maritime Festival celebrates the rich history of Ladysmith harbour and local marine heritage. This is always a great event with lots of interesting activities, such as visiting heritage boats that come from all over the west coast. (250-245-0109 or www.lmsmarina.ca)
Kid’s Pirate Day, June 1, 2019 This is a fun event for everyone, especially all you latent buccaneers! Come and meet pirates, fish in the Kinsmen Bullhead Derby, let the kids enjoy a craft table and play on the giant pirate slide or octopus bouncy. Hours are from 10am to 4pm. Admission is free. Ladysmith Community Ma-
rina 250-245-0109 (www.lmsmarina.ca)
Be a Hometown Tourist Weekend, June 15 – 16, 2019 Join us for the annual Be a Hometown Tourist weekend. Take advantage of free and deeply discounted events and attractions. For details, specials and discounts visit us at www.take5.ca/hometowntourist.
National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, 2019 This event is a day celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples in Canada. The event is held every year on or near the summer solstice as this was a time that Aboriginal people celebrated their culture for many generations.
Chemainus Giant Street Market, July 6, 2019 Chemainus and District Chamber of Commerce annual Chemainus Giant Street Mar-
ket features over 100 unique vendors lining Willow Street. The vendors have a wide variety of new and used products, goods, and services. Crafts, antiques, collectables, clothing, jewelry, skincare products, food, and so much more! Hours: 8am to 3pm
Chemainus Valley Blues Festival, July 6, 2019 The 3rd annual festival promises to serve up some great blues bands at Waterwheel Park in Chemainus.
Chemainus Bluegrass Extravaganza & Festival, July 13-14, 2019 Two days of high-octane, affordable entertainment at the Annual Bluegrass Festival. Enjoy the festival from morning ‘till night, under the towering trees of Waterwheel Park in downtown Chemainus. (www.chemainusbluegrass.com or www. cvcas.com )
Ladysmith Days, August 3-4, 2019 A weekend full of fun for everyone. Pancake breakfasts, parade, bullhead derby, kids’ games and rides, craft and food vendors, live music and entertainment of all sorts and much more. And all is wrapped up with a not-to-be-missed fireworks. Sunday night at Transfer Beach. (www.ladysmithdays.com)
Chemainus Accordion Festival, August 10, 2019 This exciting event is at Waterwheel Park from 11am to 4:30pm. A great line-up of 34 www.take5.ca
accordion talent will perform on the stage at Waterwheel Park. (www.chemainusaccordiandays.com or cvcas.com)
Sea Life Celebration, August 11, 2019 Educational and fun activities take place at the LMS Welcome Centre, Social Dock, Sea Life Centre and on the Maritimer (harbour tour boat). This event provides opportunities to enrich your knowledge of Ladysmith and Stz’uminus First Nation communities. Hours: 10 am to 2 pm
Show and Shine, August 17, 2019 First Avenue in downtown Ladysmith is lined with various makes and models of classic and treasured cars and motorcycles. Hours: 10am to 3pm.
Festival of Lights - an Island tradition Ladysmith Light Up 2019 is Thurs, Nov 28 marking the start of 6 weeks of dazzling lights in downtown Ladysmith. Festival of Lights was started in 1987 by a group of citizens as a way to celebrate the spirit of the season and support local shopping. Now 30 years later, the annual Festival of Lights has become a Christmas tradition near and far. Thousands of people gather to watch the fun. The Christmas Craft Fair at Aggie Hall opens at 3 pm. From 4 pm to 6:15, enjoy the street entertainment, food concessions and performers. All this is gearing up for the big moment when Santa arrives downtown and throws the switch to light up Ladysmith at 6:30 pm, followed by the Kinsmen night parade. After the parade, head north on First Avenue and see the light up of Bob Stuart Park, the Aggie Hall and the breathtaking Chuck Perrin Christmas Tree, presented by the Nanaimo Airport Commission. The evening ends with a bang, a spectacular fireworks display sponsored by the Ladysmith & District Credit Union. And the most amazing thing about Ladysmith’s Festival of Lights isn’t the lights but the community spirit that truly lights up the town. For more info ladysmithfol.com
Arts on the Avenue, August 25, 2019 Downtown Ladysmith becomes an open air festival of art, entertainment and fun. Paintings, jewellery, pottery, carving, metalworks, photography, painted glassware, fibre arts and more. (www.artonavenue.com)
Old Time Christmas, Dec. 6, 2019 Ladysmith turns back the clock to bring the 1920’s alive on 1st Avenue. Come downtown to celebrate Old Time Christmas and Ladysmith Maritime Festival. Photo: Marina Sacht Kids Pirate Day Ladysmith Community Marina Ladysmith Festival of Lights Ladysmith days – G. Beltgens Brits on the Beach Right: Festival of Lights. Photo: Nick Longo
Whether you are looking for an intimate evening with local musicians at a coffee shop or a high kicking musical, you will find it here. This area is home to many performers, artisans and artists, including internationally-acclaimed artists such as painter Michael Dean, potter Mary Fox and glass artist Ted Jolda. Check with the visitor centres for directions to the many studios here. The Cedar Yellow Point Artisans hold a popular Christmas Tour in November as well as a self-guided tour in the summer. For more information and maps, visit www.cyartisans.com. Saltair is home to the Chemainus Sketch Group which operates out of the Saltair Community Centre. The Rainforest Gallery on Willow Street in Chemainus features local artists’ work and is run by the non-profit Chemainus Valley Cultural Centre Society. A great place to view local artists’ work is at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery operated by the Ladysmith Arts Council. The gallery has working studios, classes and monthly exhibits along with special events. The gallery is on the top floor of the Expo Legacy Building
Locomotive 11 is now undergoing renovations. Photo: Shirley Blackstaff Stz’uminus First Nations singers. Photo: Claude Camancho Ceremonial Paddles. Photo: Nick Longo Artist group at Saltair Community Center. Photo: Marina Sacht Comox Logging circa 1937. Photo: Ladysmith Archives
located above the Ladysmith Community Marina. On the south side of the building, you will find famed Coast Salish artist and carver John Marston’s studio. John is an internationally known and has created designs for the BC Ferries Salish Eagle a vessel that sails the Southern Gulf Islands. An example of his work is in the beautiful door handles of the Welcome Centre at Ladysmith Community Marina. In 2009, he was honoured with the B.C. Creative Achievement Award for Aboriginal Art. His brother Luke Marston is also an extremely talented artist. The brothers’ works are highly valued and are in many collections worldwide. Arts on the Avenue is a street festival that takes place on Sunday, August 25, in downtown Ladysmith. This is a fun all-day event with entertainment, demos and art. The event is kicked off the day before with a night market. With several local theatre groups performing, there is always a show to catch. The Yellow Point Drama Group has been entertaining the community for over half a century and is the second oldest drama group in B.C. The group started in the early 1950s by former opera singer, leading director of drama, and elocution teacher, Anne Mossman. The amateur troupe went on to officially form Yellow Point Drama Group in 1953, and in the years since, has marked a number of successful theatrical milestones, winning numerous festival awards
along the way for the quality of its acting, direction, costumes and set design. Ladysmith Little Theatre, located on Christie Road, offers plays with cabaret-style seating with refreshments. Located at 4985 Christie Road, the theatre was once the old Diamond School House. Built in 1912, it had originally been a oneroom school, with an additional room added sometime during the fifties. The building had been vacant since approximately 1985 until the hard work of volunteers lead by Judi and Terry Whittaker and
Bruce Mason converted the building to an intimate venue. Improv shows, as well as a regular season, are held there. The Chemainus Theatre Festival offers professional plays, a summer program as well as a fine dining room, gallery and gift shop. This fully professional theatre features some of the finest performers and performances in Canada. The non-profit society offers uplifting performances and is known for its musicals. They also operate a summer program and workshops. History is a very important part of the fabric of our community.
From 1898 when James Dunsmuir founded Ladysmith to the great Coal Miners Strike of 1912, to the town’s rebirth as a forestry leader, to the revitalization of downtown, our colourful past is documented and preserved at the Ladysmith Archives. The Ladysmith Museum offers interpretive displays, including a timeline that highlights important events of our past. The Ladysmith Maritime Society’s floating Museum chronicles our maritime history, along with the Harbour Heritage Centre, located in the south end unit of the Expo Legacy Building. Located at Waterwheel Park, the Chemainus Valley Museum has recently expanded to offer a larger display area.
Industrial Heritage Park Stop by the Industrial Heritage Park operated by the Ladysmith & District Historical Society, and watch volunteers preserving some of Ladysmith’s industrial past. This area once was a busy industrial centre for the railway yard and repair shops of Comox Logging and Railway Company. Now gone along with its many trains, speeders, machinery and crews. What’s left at the site is the original Machine Shop, lunch/washroom, First Aid building, Locomotive Shop, track, Steam Locomotive # 11, a log car, the Humdirgen and other forest industry artifacts. The Locomotive and Machine Shop were the heart of the forest
industry with blacksmith shop, lathes and large tools used to fabricate parts and repair the logging trains, trucks and equipment. Today, the Humdirgen, one of only two remaining, is running again. The First Aid Building, once used by Crown Zellerbach, is now a welcoming reception centre. Photos of Ladysmith’s forest industry are displayed on the walls. Volunteers have repaired the track and are refurbishing Locie #11 inside the Locomotive Shop. This site represent an era in the industrial history of Ladysmith. Volunteers are on site Saturdays from 9am to 1 pm.
Morden Mine and Trail Imagine what an active mining site must have looked like as you visit the Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park. The park features the only above-ground reinforced concrete coal tipple on Vancouver Island. A concrete arch along with other ruins can be found in the woods behind the impressive 74-foot head frame and its adjoining tipple. The arch, built by the Pacific Coast Coal Mining Company, was originally a chimney base, supporting two smoke stacks that rose about 60 feet into the air. The mine operated from 1912 to 1921. Today it makes a wonderful photo opportunity and serves as a reminder of our rich history. Well-maintained paths and interpretive signs make this one of our favorite stops. Follow the trail to the Nanaimo River for an easy walk. Watch for beavers and otters in the water. www.mordenmine.com Ladysmith Industrial Heritage Park. Photo: Shirley Blackstaff Morden Mine today. Photo courtesy of Friends of Morden Mine.
Ladysmith is located in a highly desirable location on southern Vancouver Island. Its mild climate and proximity to major urban centres and transportation networks make it a natural choice for businesses seeking a high quality of life in a well-connected, strategic location. Ladysmith boasts an impressive number of ways that residents of all ages can get involved in the community. Whether you’re looking to volunteer with a service club or join a support group, church, recreation or cultural organization, there’s probably a group for you. Known for its abundance of community pride and spirit, Ladysmith offers a wealth of support services for residents of all ages, from infants to seniors. The Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA) is a leading agency for connecting residents to the programs and services they need. The Town of Ladysmith has also been forward-looking in developing relationships with the Stz’uminus First Nation and the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group. This cooperation will bring even more opportunities to ensure the continued prosperity and well-being of all people living in this region.
A new waterfront plan, including a Arts and Heritage Hub, is being developed with exciting opportunities for the future. Protecting and preserving Ladysmith’s long and rich heritage is a priority. A number of projects and partnerships have helped council ensure our community’s history is kept alive for future generations. Ladysmith is a community that leads through continuous improvement and innovation. The municipality has received numerous provincial and national awards. Our area has a huge community spirit. Keeping with the healthy life style, residents enjoy hiking trails and many outdoor recreational facilities. We are a great community to raise a family. The schools enjoy a higher than average graduation rate. Seniors play an active role here, volunteering at many special events. You have made the decision to make the move, to become one of the lucky few who know how wonderful life can be living on Canada’s largest island in the Pacific Ocean. People who were born here don’t want to leave. People who move here love it. Welcome Home!
Relocation information Affordable homes. Photo: G. Beltgens North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department. Photo: Marina Sacht Friendly wildlife. Photo: G. Beltgens. Diving opportunities. Photo: Guillermo Ferrero Fun festivals and Events. Photo: Rob Johnson Hikers. Photo: William Brown
Here’s a quick guide to help you find services in the area.
RDN • www.rdn.bc.ca Regional Transit provides both regular transit and HandyDART custom transit service to Cedar and area. Information Line for Transit Nanaimo Area: 250 390-4531 HandyDART Nanaimo Area: 250 390-3000 RDN Garbage and Recycling www.nanaimo.ca City of Nanaimo Garbage and Recycling 250 755-5222, RDN Waste Services, 1-866-999-8227. Regional Landfill: 1105 Cedar Road, Nanaimo 250 722-2044. MonSun: 8am-5pm. Closed holidays.
NCID • www.ncid.bc.ca Services the area with fire protection, water, street lighting and issues burn permits. 2100 Yellow Point Road 250 722-3711
CVRD • www.cvrd.bc.ca The CVRD services Cobble Hill to Ladysmith, including Area G and 42 www.take5.ca
H. Services provided by the CVRD can be accessed through their website. 175 Ingram Street, Duncan BC 250 746-2500
BC Transit operates service into Chemainus and can be reached at 250 746-9899 or www.bctransit.com/regions/com
District of North Cowichan • www.northcowichan.bc.ca
Town of Ladysmith • www.ladysmith.ca
Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of the month at 1:30 pm at the municipal offices. Submissions for inclusion on the agenda should be made one week prior. The municipality is responsible for all Chemainus’ services.7330 TCH, P.O. Box 278, Duncan, BC V9L 3X4 250 746-3100 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ladysmith is governed by a Mayor and six Council members. Municipal elections are held every four years. Council meetings on the first and third Mondays of each month. BC Transit operates service into Ladysmith and can be reached at 250 746-9899 or visit www.bctransit.com/regions/com
Garbage Pick-up/Recycling and Organic Waste information and schedules can be reviewed at town web site or call 250 2456400.
Real Estate Prices for homes are much lower here than compared to Victoria or Vancouver. According to VI Real Estate Board as of December 31 for the 2018 year, annual average sale price for Single Family home (not Acreage/Waterfront/Strata/Modular/Prefab) in these subareas as follows Ladysmith $500,902, Saltair $522,483, Chemainus $476,712, Cedar $545,343, Chase River $519,968, Extension $444,763, South Nanaimo $441,602.
Ladysmith Police 250 245-2215 Ladysmith Post Office 250 245-3722 Ladysmith VIR Library 250 245-2322 Peerless Road Recycling 1-250-701-0092 Welcome Wagon Chemainus 250 246-4463 Welcome Wagon Ladysmith 250 245-0799 Wildlife Natural Care Centre 250 537-0777
Emergency Programs 1-800-663-3456 Services BC 1-800-663-7867 Looking out to Ladysmith Harbour from Transfer Park Amphitheatre. Photo: Martin Tang Back country. Photo: Robert Laursen
Community Directory Cedar Heritage Centre 250 722-2100 Coastal Animal Service 250 748-3395 Coast Guard Auxiliary 250 245-5458 Chemainus Ambulance 250 246-9122 Chemainus Fire Department 250 246-3121 Chemainus Health Care Centre 250 2463291 Chemainus Police 250 246-4382 Child & Family Services 250 741-5444 Driverâ€™s License 250 245-2268 Ladysmith Ambulance 250 758-8181 Ladysmith Community Health Centre 250 245-2221 Ladysmith Downtown Business Association 250 245-3700 Ladysmith Fire and Rescue 250 245-6436 Ladysmith Resources Centre 250 245-3079 Ladysmith RCMP Community Police Station 250 245-1118 44 www.take5.ca
Dive In! Lakes, rivers and an enchanting ocean coast...if you like swimming you will want to dive right in! Transfer Beach Park - Everyone loves Transfer Beach. Transfer Beach has it all. Playgrounds, sand volley ball, horseshoe pitch, kayak rentals, and a water spray park plus the Amphitheatre where you can listen to Sunday concerts all summer long Elliottâ€™s Beach Park - A popular swimming beach that offers some snorkeling along the rocky outcrops. Big Rock Beach - Big Rock Beach at Boulder Point in Saltair is a local favourite. Warm shallow waters and an impressive rock left behind by the glaciers make this a dramatic spot. Lots of sand dollars. Kin Park - From the shoreline one can see Bird Rock, and Tent Island. During low tides visitors can walk out to Bird Rock. Blue Heron Park - Enjoy beachcombing or sitting on a log watching the light play on the water. The sandstone warms the waÂter and makes it a pleasant swimming spot at the end of the day. Nanaimo River - offers some of the best swimming holes in British
Columbia. Deep pools of clear water warm up in the summer from the sun-baked sandstone. There is excellent swimming, however some areas are quite dangerous due to currents so it is best to stick to the public areas. Under the Cedar Bridge is a family-friendly spot where the river runs slow and there is a beach for picnicking. This is private land so please respect it. Another popular spot is by the Country Kitchen rest area (off the Highway) where you will follow a short trail. The best time for fishing in the river is February to March for Steelhead, Coho salmon, Cutthroat and Rainbow trout. The fishing is also very good in the Nanaimo Lakes area from April to June and then later in September or October with both Cutthroat and Rainbow trout present. Chemainus Lake is also a good spot to try your rod. The Nanaimo River Fish Hatchery is an interesting spot to visit. Lakes, rivers or miles of coast the choice is yours. All you have to do is grab a towel and dive in. Clockwise: Elliot Beach, Transfer Beach, Nanaimo River by Cedar Bridge, Kin Park.
Welcome to the 2019 Explore Guide for the beautiful mid-island region of Ladysimith, Cedar, Saltair & Chemainus. Inside the pages you will...
Published on Jan 29, 2019
Welcome to the 2019 Explore Guide for the beautiful mid-island region of Ladysimith, Cedar, Saltair & Chemainus. Inside the pages you will...