Ladysmith is located on the east side of Vancouver Island, right on the 49th parallel, just south of Nanaimo. It is a small but very picturesque town that is built on a hillside overlooking the waters of Ladysmith harbor. It is one of the older communities on Vancouver Island. In its early days, it was known as Oyster Harbor. The harbor was at one time just a miners camp and shipping port for coal, now its economy runs on tourism.
Ladysmith has a population of about 7200. The whole area has such history and the natural beauty of this part of the island is incredible.
At the turn of the 20th century, the town was renamed Ladysmith. The town is a beautiful community that has many of its original buildings still in operation and most have been restored or are in the process of being fully restored. Just look down 1st ave and you can see the results of all this work, such a wonderful little place. In the year 2000, Harrowsmith magazine named Ladysmith as one of the 10 prettiest towns in Canada.
The community is surrounded by snow-covered mountains, lakes and roaring rivers, the area is a great place to go hiking, you could hike into Christi Falls, or walk the holland creek trail system, hike to hart lake or go fishing at one of the many lakes or rivers in the area.
Down at the harbor you can go swimming, have a picnic and if you have kids, there are numerous activities going on all the time and a great kids park. You can rent a kayak here and go paddle around the harbor, you explore dunsmuir and woods islands or head up to the lagoon at the head of the harbor and go bird watching. The estuary is one of the nicest on the island with plenty of trails to take you around to see all it has to offer.
This year, my wife and l went to see the Christmas lights display in the town, incredible, a must-see. They put on this display every Christmas season and it’s wonderful.