Ports & Harbors, Pacific Northwest
Cowichan Bay Harbor is located on the east coast of southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It is one of the prettiest communities on Vancouver Island and one that everyone should visit at least once.
Cowichan Bay was first settled by the Hudson’s Bay Company who built a trading post and fort here in the 1850s. Cowichan Bay was the first community settled north of Victoria by adventurous individuals who moved to Cowichan Bay to homestead, log and fish. Initially all goods were brought in by boat and off loaded in the harbor.
The economy was based on logging, lumber exports and later, for its farm produce, but word spread quickly on the incredible fishing that was available in the area, both salmon and trout fishing and tourists began coming here just to fish. It was the original salmon fishing capital of the world.
By the late 1890s, a hotel was up and running and a store had just been built, by the turn of the century, Cowichan Bay harbor was constantly filled with boatloads of visitors from the city.
The history of the waterfront is rich, the boat building companies, the fish plants, the tour companies that took folks fishing were a big part of the village and they still are today. Just walk down along the waterfront and its history is written all around you. Then take a stroll through the maritime museum, its built on the water, on one of the many piers in the bay, its something to see, very unique and full of such wonders that depict the early years of the bay.
Today, the village of Cowichan Bay harbor is surrounded by historic buildings, artists, friendly shops, bed and breakfast establishments, farmers markets and the incredible museum right in the middle.