North Cowichan

Last updated
North Cowichan
The Corporation of the District of North Cowichan [1]
North Cowichan Skyline.jpg
North Cowichan Coat of arms.gif
No Steps Backwards
Canada British Columbia location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
North Cowichan
Location of North Cowichan in British Columbia
Coordinates: 48°49′25″N123°43′9″W / 48.82361°N 123.71917°W / 48.82361; -123.71917 Coordinates: 48°49′25″N123°43′9″W / 48.82361°N 123.71917°W / 48.82361; -123.71917
Province British Columbia
Regional District CVRD
  MayorRob Douglas
  Governing bodyNorth Cowichan Council
   MPs Alistair MacGregor
   MLAs Sonia Furstenau and Doug Routley
  Total195.54 km2 (75.50 sq mi)
  Density163.7/km2 (424/sq mi)
Time zone UTC−8 (PST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
Area code +1-250
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

North Cowichan (Canada 2021 Census population 31,990) is a district municipality established in 1873 on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. The municipality is part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. North Cowichan is noted for a landscape including forests, beaches, rivers, and lakes. The municipality encompasses the communities of Chemainus; Westholme; Crofton; Maple Bay; and "the South End". The latter is an informal name for a built-up area which is essentially a suburb of the City of Duncan, a separate municipality.



Located on the east coast of southern Vancouver Island, North Cowichan is centrally located immediately north of and adjacent to the city of Duncan and south of Ladysmith. Spanning 193.98 square kilometers, North Cowichan includes the communities of Chemainus, Crofton, Westholme, Maple Bay and the so-called "South End" which is functionally a suburb of Duncan, a separate municipality.


The last glacial period, the Fraser Glaciation occurred between 29,000 and 15,000 years ago. The glaciers that formed carved out the Cowichan Valley and left behind glaciers up to 30 metres thick. These fertile lands and mild climate have led to a history rich in agriculture. [2]


Sheltered by the mountains of the central Island and the Olympic Peninsula, North Cowichan has a temperate, Mediterranean-like climate, with mild, damp winters with little snowfall and warm, dry summers. North Cowichan is classified as a warm-summer mediterranean climate Csb by the Köppen system.

Climate data for North Cowichan
Record high °C (°F)13.5
Average high °C (°F)6.6
Daily mean °C (°F)3.2
Average low °C (°F)−0.2
Record low °C (°F)−14.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)238.0
Source: The Weather Network [3]


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, North Cowichan had a population of 31,990 living in 13,741 of its 14,266 total private dwellings, a change of

The median family income in 2006 for North Cowichan was $62,125, which is below the British Columbia provincial average of $65,787. [5]


Canada 2006 CensusPopulation % of Total Population
Visible minority group
Source: [6]
Chinese 195
South Asian 1,015
Black 45
Filipino 125
Latin American 55
Southeast Asian 75
Arab 30
West Asian 0
Korean 70
Japanese 75
Other visible minority0
Mixed visible minority35
Total visible minority population1,730
Aboriginal group
Source: [7]
First Nations 1,880
Métis 0
Inuit 0
Total Aboriginal population1,880
White 23,705
Total population27,315100%


According to the 2021 census, religious groups in North Cowichan included: [8]



North Cowichan is serviced by the Maple Bay Airport (YAQ), which offers services to Vancouver Downtown, Vancouver Airport, Ganges on Salt Spring Island and Bedwell Harbour on Pender Island. Service is provided by Saltspring Air and Harbour Air.

The British Columbia Highway 1 traverses the municipality as a four lane arterial divided highway with signals at major intersections. The speed limit varies between 80 to 90 km/h.

British Columbia Highway 18 connects North Cowichan to Lake Cowichan as a 2-lane facility with a speed limit as high as 100km/hr.

Bus service in the municipality is provided by the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

North Cowichan has embraced roundabouts at many intersections on its network of municipal roads. As of 2021 North Cowichan has 14 roundabouts.


The original economic drivers steamed from the abundance of natural resources, including the fur trade, fishing, mining, and the forest industry. Today, the forest industry, retail, construction, manufacturing, and health care are large contributors to the local economy.


North Cowichan lies within the School District 79 Cowichan Valley. There are many elementary schools, and two secondary schools.

North Cowichan is served by one public post secondary educational institution, Vancouver Island University.

Media outlets

North Cowichan is served by three newspapers – the Duncan Journal, the Cowichan Valley Citizen, and the Chemainus Valley Courier. North Cowichan is also serviced by 89.7 Juice FM, a member of Vista Radio.


North Cowichan is home to the BC Forest Discovery Centre, the Pacific Northwest Raptors Bird of Prey and Raptor Visitor Center, and the world famous Chemainus Murals.


The Cowichan Theatre hosts many performers and shows during the year. The Chemainus Theatre Festival features classic and award winning comedies, musicals and dramas.


North Cowichan is home to many recreation centres, including the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, cowichan community Centre, Fuller Lake Arena and the Cowichan Sportsplex. North Cowichan offers numerous parks and hiking trails.

Power supply

The Vancouver Island terminal of the HVDC Vancouver-Island is found here.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vancouver Island</span> Southwesternmost Island of Canada

Vancouver Island is an island in the northeastern Pacific Ocean and part of the Canadian province of British Columbia. The island is 456 km (283 mi) in length, 100 km (62 mi) in width at its widest point, and 32,134 km2 (12,407 sq mi) in area. The island is the largest by area and the most populous along the west coasts of the Americas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saanich, British Columbia</span> Municipality in British Columbia, Canada

Saanich is a district municipality on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, within the Greater Victoria area. The population was 117,735 at the 2021 census, making it the most populous municipality in the Capital Regional District and Vancouver Island, and the eighth-most populous in the province. The district adopted its name after the Saanich First Nation, meaning "emerging land" or "emerging people". The District acts as a bedroom community immediately to the north of Victoria, British Columbia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Delta, British Columbia</span> City in British Columbia, Canada

Delta is a city in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, Canada, as part of Greater Vancouver. Located on the Fraser Lowland south of Fraser River's south arm, it is bordered by the city of Richmond on the Lulu Island to the north, New Westminster to the northeast, Surrey to the east, the Boundary Bay and the American pene-exclave Point Roberts to the south, and the Strait of Georgia to the west.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sidney, British Columbia</span> Town in British Columbia, Canada

Sidney is a town located at the northern end of the Saanich Peninsula, on Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It's 1 of the 13 Greater Victoria municipalities. It has a population of approximately 11,583. Sidney is located just east of Victoria International Airport, and about 6 km (4 mi) south of BC Ferries' Swartz Bay Terminal. The town is also the only Canadian port-of-call in the Washington State Ferries system, with ferries running from Sidney to the San Juan Islands and Anacortes. Sidney is located along Highway 17, which bisects the town from north to south. It is generally considered part of the Victoria metropolitan area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duncan, British Columbia</span> City in British Columbia, Canada

Duncan is a city on southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is the smallest city by area in Canada. It was incorporated in 1912.

Crofton is a small west coast town within the District of North Cowichan of southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia, east of BC Highway 1 about 74 kilometres (46 mi) north of Victoria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Greater Vancouver</span> Metropolitan area in British Columbia, Canada

Greater Vancouver, also known as Metro Vancouver, is the metropolitan area with its major urban centre being the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The term "Greater Vancouver" is roughly coterminous with the geographic area governed by the Metro Vancouver Regional District, though it predates the 1966 creation of the regional district. It is often used to include areas beyond the boundaries of the regional district but does not generally include wilderness and agricultural areas within that regional district.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chemainus</span> Community in British Columbia, Canada

Chemainus is a community within the municipality of North Cowichan in the Chemainus Valley on the east coast of southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cowichan Valley</span>

The Cowichan Valley is a region around the Cowichan River, Cowichan Bay and Cowichan Lake on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. There is some debate as to the origin of the name Cowichan, which many believe to be an anglicized form of the First Nations tribal name Quw'utsun.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cowichan Valley Regional District</span> Regional district in British Columbia, Canada

The Cowichan Valley Regional District is a regional district in the Canadian province of British Columbia is on the southern part of Vancouver Island, bordered by the Nanaimo and Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Districts to the north and northwest, and by the Capital Regional District to the south and east. As of the 2021 Census, the Regional District had a population of 89,013. The regional district offices are in Duncan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sechelt</span> District municipality in British Columbia, Canada

Sechelt is a district municipality located on the lower Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Approximately 50 km northwest of Vancouver, it is accessible from mainland British Columbia by a 40-minute ferry trip between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale, and a 25-minute drive from Langdale along Highway 101, also known as the Sunshine Coast Highway. The name Sechelt is derived from the Sechelt language word, shishalh, the name of the First Nations people who first settled the area thousands of years ago.

The District of North Saanich is located on the Saanich Peninsula of British Columbia, approximately 25 km (16 mi) north of Victoria on southern Vancouver Island. It is one of the 13 Greater Victoria municipalities. The District is surrounded on three sides by 20 km (12 mi) of ocean shoreline, and consists of rural/residential areas, a large agricultural base and is home to the Victoria International Airport and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.

The demographics of Metro Vancouver indicate a multicultural and multiracial region. Metro Vancouver is a metropolitan area, with its major urban centre being Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Vancouver census metropolitan area, as defined by Statistics Canada, encompasses roughly the same territory as the Metro Vancouver Regional District, a regional district in British Columbia. The regional district includes 23 local authorities. Figures provided here are for the Vancouver census metropolitan area and not for the City of Vancouver.

Westholme is a community located in the Chemainus River Valley alongside the Island Highway, between Chemainus and Duncan in British Columbia, Canada. It is part of the Chemainus Land District in the District Municipality of North Cowichan. Westholme is one of the original settlements on Vancouver Island. Once a thriving mining and farming community, it is now filled with hobby farms and upscale private estates on large acreages, many of which are owned to this day by the descendants of original settlers to this area.

The Chemainus River is located on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Its source is in the Vancouver Island Ranges, and it flows eastwards to the Strait of Georgia near the town of Chemainus, British Columbia. The valley that surrounds the river additionally includes the communities of Crofton and Westholme as well as the Halalt First Nation Reserve and several smaller reserves. Located on one of the largest islands at the mouth of the river, an old now-deserted village called Xulel-thw stands on the northeast corner; Coast Salish peoples lived there and in other now-deserted villages in the area, constantly moving throughout history.

Bill Routley is a Canadian politician who served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the 39th and 40th Parliament of British Columbia, from 2009 to 2017. As a member of the BC New Democratic Party, he was elected to represent the riding of Cowichan Valley in the 2009 provincial election and re-elected in the 2013 election. In both parliaments his NDP formed the official opposition and Routley acted as their deputy critic on issues relating to forests and natural resource operations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arbutus Ridge, Cowichan Valley</span> Designated place in British Columbia, Canada

Arbutus Ridge Seaside Community for Active Adults is an age-qualified, gated community located on the southeastern coast of Vancouver Island in the Cobble Hill Electoral Area of British Columbia's Cowichan Valley Regional District. "Arbutus Ridge was the first comprehensive retirement community built in Canada and it subsequently became the template and proving ground for what has become recognized as an accepted and commonplace age-specific form of housing." Even though the community was incorporated in 1987, it was not until 2018 that the Province of British Columbia approved the adoption of the name "Arbutus Ridge" as the official name for the community.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">South Asian Canadians in British Columbia</span>

The South Asian community in British Columbia was first established in 1897. The first immigrants originated from Punjab, British India, a northern region and state in modern-day India and Pakistan. Punjabis originally settled in rural British Columbia at the turn of the twentieth century, working in the forestry and agricultural industries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cowichan Leader</span>

The Cowichan Leader was a Canadian newspaper published weekly in Duncan, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, for 110 years until it ceased publication in April 2015. The paper not only served Duncan, but also the neighbouring Cowichan Valley communities of Chemainus, Cobble Hill, Crofton, Ladysmith, Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, Lake Cowichan, and Shawnigan Lake. The paper's closure occurred under the ownership of Black Press.


  1. "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  2. "Geological History of Vancouver Island". CVRD. CVRD.
  3. The Weather NetworkStatistics: Duncan, BC. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  4. "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), British Columbia". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  5. "British Columbia  Community Fact" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-02-15. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  6. "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision". 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
  7. "Aboriginal Peoples - Data table". 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
  8. Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (2022-10-26). "Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population". Retrieved 2022-11-09.