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