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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > The Islands  > Chemainus

Chemainus is a small seaside community which is located just off the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 around 20 km (12.5 miles) north-east of Duncan and 11 km (7 miles) south of Ladysmith. Chemainus along with the other communities of Crofton, Genoa Bay, and Maple Bay all belong to the Municipality of North Cowichan.

"The Little Town That Did"
Know for it's slogan as "The Little Town That Did", Chemainus is famous for the murals depicting historic Chemainus life shown from buildings around the community. The brain child of local businessman Karl Schutz, after the worlds largest sawmills closed in 1983, to help stimulate the Chemainus economy.

The Mural Capital of North America
You will marvel at the larger than life size portraits of the men and women who settled and built Chemainus. There is a self guided tour that takes you around following footprints plus a walking tour map to view the murals. Chemainus is now considered the Mural Capital of North America

Chemainus Valley Museum
Although you'll find that the town of Chemainus seems like one big museum there is in fact a small museum. The Chemainus Valley Museum is located in Waterwheel Park which is just across from the Visitor Info Centre. The highlights include a tribute to Mr. Bob Swanson a local mill engineer with rare artifacts of Chemainus's regional history including displays of logging, mills and stevedoring.

Chemainus Tours
If you prefer to have a guide when visiting Chemainus there is the Chemainus Tours "heritage tour" which utilizes a trolley to view the historic paintings. Also horse-drawn carriages are available which take you around the various murals.

Dinner Theater
Chemainus is also well known for its fabulous Dinner Theater. The Chemainus Theatre Festival package serves you up an excellent dinner plus great entertainment. Reservations are recommended because of the strong demand of the season ticket holders.

Mount Brenton Golf Course
Open all year Mount Brenton is a 18-hole course set in a grove of towering Douglas Fir trees. The course features spectacular greens, with various creeks and ponds found throughout creating a scenic gem for golfers. The course is very reasonably priced and you'll find yourself being challenged on every hole.

Horseshoe Bay Inn
Located near the Mount Brenton Golf Course is one of Vancouver Island's oldest pubs the Horseshoe Bay Inn. Situated within a short walking distance of town the pub features decent pub style food with a favourite being the dry garlic spareribs.

Fuller Lake Park
If you enjoy trout fishing, swimming or canoeing there is also a small lake close by to Mount Brenton Golf Course called Fuller Lake. Only minutes from Chemainus, Fuller Lake Park has an arena, picnic area and a small beach. For notoriety Fuller Lake also serves as the swimming portion in the Cowichan Challenge Triathlon.

Walking Trails
Chemainus also has a number of nice walking trails in the near vicinity. A few favourites include Askew Creek, Chemainus Lake and Stocking Creek.

Other places worth exploring close by to Chemainus in North Cowichan include; Maple Bay and the hike up Maple Mountain, beachcombing at Crofton's Osborne Bay and discovering private swimming holes located at Chemainus River Provincial Park.

Penelakut and Thetis Islands
Chemainus is also where you catch the passenger only ferry to Penelakut Island and Thetis Island. These islands are located in Stuart Channel between Vancouver Island and Valdes-Galiano Islands. Situated within view of Chemainus you have access to some great walks, wildlife viewing and plenty of sunshine along the ocean shoreline.

RV Resorts
There are a number of RV Resorts around Chemainus if you enjoy camping. Country Maples features a pool and Chemainus River Campground on Hwy 1 has walks along the Chemainus River. Chemainus Garden Holiday Resort on River Road and Bald Eagle Campground 5 km (3 miles) south of on the Chemainus River are little closer to Chemainus.

Information on Chemainus




Map of Chemainus
click map for larger image


"Mural Capital of North America"
"Mural Capital of North America"


"Mural Capital of North America"
"Mural Capital of North America"


Self Guided Tour
Self Guided Tour


"Mural Capital of North America"
"Mural Capital of North America"


Horseshoe Bay Inn
Horseshoe Bay Inn

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