K’ómoks First Nation
The Comox Valley is the traditional territory of the Puntledge, E’iksan and K’ómoks peoples. Today the three tribes are known as the K’ómoks First Nation. The K’ómoks First Nation is a key economic stakeholder in the Comox Valley. The community has always relied on the rich bounty from land and sea. Today, band owned and operated businesses focus on tourism and natural resources, weaving past and present into a strong economic future for the K’ómoks people. The businesses included are I-Hos Gallery, Puntledge RV Campground, Pentlatch Seafoods Ltd and Salish Sea Foods.
Town of Comox
The Town of Comox is a seaside community that attracts recreational mariners to the Comox Marina where the catch of the day is only a cast away. You will find the beautiful streets of downtown Comox, which is just a short stroll from the Marina, lined with quaint boutiques, cafes, restaurants, pubs and a craft brewery. Beautiful parks provide wonderful opportunities for peaceful walks, wildlife encounters and photography opportunities. When the wind blows, you’ll see sailboats tacking out on Comox Bay and kite boarders soaring at Goose Spit. On calm days you’ll also find SUP boarders and joggers all enjoying the waterfront and families having fun beach combing or enjoying the Rotary Splash Park and Playground in Marina Park. Golfers can also enjoy the convenient downtown Comox Golf Club. Comox is also home to the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ).
City of Courtenay
Courtenay is the Comox Valley’s largest urban centre, where you’ll find urban amenities wrapped in small town charm and character. Shoppers will find one of a kind boutiques, restaurants, pubs and cafes in the downtown core. The city is proud to host many walking trails for all ability levels, playgrounds, parks, and green areas. A vibrant arts and culture scene is on display in galleries, museums and at the Sid Williams Theatre with local festivals and special events taking place year round. Farm to fork selections on the menus of local restaurants highlight the city’s strong connection to our local agriculture that dates back to Courtenay’s pioneering roots in the late 1800s.
Cumberland celebrates its coal mining past while embracing the hip and contemporary. Are you a history buff? Why not visit the Cumberland Museum and Archives or take a self-guided tour. Needing to stop and smell the roses? Head to Dunsmuir Avenue and enjoy an espresso and a handmade chocolate while exploring the village, or enjoy lunch at the many restaurants. Cumberland’s numerous yearly festivals, mountain biking and hiking trails, lakeside camping and water sports on nearby Comox Lake, have turned the village into an outdoor recreational mecca.
19 WING COMOX
19 Wing is an important part of present day life in the Comox Valley operating 3 aircraft types. The Aurora (CP-140) patrols the Pacific Ocean coastline while the Buffalo (CC-115) and Cormorant helicopter (CH-159) carry out search and rescue operations from the Arctic to the Rocky Mountains. 19 Wing is also the home of the new Fixed Wing SAR aircraft (CC-295) training centre, the Canadian Forces School of Search and Rescue as well as the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Flying Program. Located right beside the base, aviation enthusiasts can head to the Comox Air Force Museum and discover the proud heritage of the RCAF on Vancouver Island and see vintage aircraft like the T-33 Canadair Silver Star, Douglas DC-3, and CF-100 Avro Canuck.
Merville is a friendly hamlet 13 kms from Courtenay, and turned 100 in 2019. This region was homesteaded by soldiers returning from World War 1 in 1919. It was a major logging hub in the 1890’s. Merville is now a beautiful rural community of farmers, many of which are ancestors of the original settlers. This fertile region is home to many of the Comox Valley’s food producers, dairy farmers, and wineries. At Kitty Coleman Provincial Park, fishermen can launch boats and campers will find delightful oceanfront sites beneath towering Douglas fir and Western red cedar. Seal Bay Regional Park boasts extensive forested trails for wandering. Be sure to keep an eye out for the local beaver at Melda’s Marsh and don’t forget to head to the beach to watch for seals and sea lions off the shore.
Black Creek & Saratoga
Just 20 kms north of Courtenay, visitors can explore the many farms of Black Creek including a Bison Farm and local Blackberry winery (formally a dairy farm). Campers at Miracle Beach Provincial Park can stroll through lush forest trails, visit the Oyster River Hatchery, do some salt water fishing for salmon, and even rent a go-cart and race around the Saratoga Speedway. At nearby Saratoga Beach during low tide enjoy over a quarter of a mile of hard packed gently sloping beach. This warm, shallow and safe swimming beach is great for beach-combing with its profusion of sand dollars, crabs and seashells.
Union Bay, Fanny Bay, & Royston
Royston was the major port in the Comox Valley for the Comox logging industry, and visitors can still see remnants of the Royston Wrecks (some of which have historical significance) that were sunk to protect the harbour. A stroll along the Royston Seaside trail allows visitors the opportunity to view wildlife and take in the views across Comox Bay. Heritage Row in Union Bay dates back to the early 1900’s, including the Union Bay Post Office, which is one of only two wooden post offices left in Canada. Not far from Heritage Row you will find a raised rail bed and a few old pilings which are a remnant of the wharves of the Union Bay Coal Company. The tranquil setting of Fanny Bay overlooks the Salish Sea and the Gulf Islands, with the Coastal mountains of British Columbia as the backdrop. Fanny Bay is famous for and home to the Fanny Bay Oyster Company, which are the growers, processors and exporters of five types of farm raised Pacific Oysters, Manila Clams, Savoury Clams and Salish mussels.
Denman Island and Hornby Island
Denman Island is home to four Provincial parks, Sandy Island Marine Park, Denman Island, Fillongley and Boyle Point. You’ll find bountiful farmers’ markets, wineries, distilleries, art studios, protected anchorages and amenities for passing mariners. On Hornby Island, the seaside bluffs of Helliwell Provincial Park provide spectacular bird viewing opportunities overlooking Tribune Bay, where the safe, gently sloping beach makes for hours of summertime family swimming and fun. Not to miss spots on Hornby Island are Mount Geoffrey Park and Mount Geoffrey Escarpment Provincial Park with have extensive trail systems for hiking and mountain biking.
Mount Washington is home to one of the deepest snow packs in North America, with a yearly average of more than 11 metres. Mount Washington Alpine Resort sports an ocean view like no other and is serviced by five lifts, five Magic Carpets, 81 marked trails, plus 55 km of Nordic trails that have attracted Olympic level athletes, not to mention the tube park for family fun second to none. In the summer months visitors are invited to take the chair lift up to the viewing areas or if looking for a little more adventure try the extreme downhill mountain bike trails, or the new 2.3 km zip line scheduled for completion in Summer 2020.