Last updated

District of Tofino [1]
Tofino.Vue vers l'est.JPG
View toward Meares Island in August 2005
Canada Vancouver Island location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Tofino
Canada British Columbia location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Tofino (British Columbia)
Canada location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Tofino (Canada)
Coordinates: 49°09′11″N125°54′16″W / 49.15306°N 125.90444°W / 49.15306; -125.90444 [2]
Province British Columbia
Regional District Alberni-Clayoquot
  MayorDan Law
   MP Gord Johns
   MLA Josie Osborne
  Total10.53 km2 (4.07 sq mi)
10 m (30 ft)
  Density238.3/km2 (617/sq mi)
Time zone UTC−08:00 (PST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−07:00 (PDT)
Postal code span
V0R 2Z0
Area code 250
Climate Cfb
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Tofino ( /təˈfn/ tə-FEE-noh, Nuu-chah-nulth: Načiks) is a town of approximately 2,516 residents on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The District of Tofino is located at the western terminus of Highway 4 on the tip of the Esowista Peninsula at the southern edge of Clayoquot Sound. It is situated in the traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and is called Načiks in the Nuu-chah-nulth language.


A popular year-round tourism destination, Tofino's summer population swells to many times its winter size. It attracts surfers, hikers, nature lovers, bird watchers, campers, whale watchers, fishers, or anyone just looking to be close to nature. Despite its small population, the town attracts a number of chefs and culinary professionals, which has resulted in a burgeoning choice of restaurants and specialty shops. In the winter, it is not as bustling, although many people visit Tofino and the West Coast to watch storms on the water. Close to Tofino is Long Beach, a scenic and popular year-round destination, in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. With its natural hot springs, Maquinna Marine Provincial Park is a popular day-trip destination for tourists. Reachable by boat or floatplane, the park is located about 45 km (28 mi) north of Tofino.


Sand dollar on a Tofino beach Sanddollaronbeachtofinokjfmartin.jpg
Sand dollar on a Tofino beach

The settlement acquired its name in 1909 with the opening of the Tofino Post Office, named after the nearby Tofino Inlet. [4] This geographical feature had been named in 1792 by the Spanish explorers Galiano and Valdés, in honour of Admiral Vicente Tofiño de San Miguel y Wanderiales (or Vanderiales), under whom Galiano had learned cartography. [5]


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Tofino had a population of 2,516 living in 945 of its 1,205 total private dwellings, a change of


According to the 2021 census, religious groups in Tofino included: [7]


Tofino-Long Beach Airport (YAZ), 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi) southeast [8] of the town, is accessible to private and commercial aircraft. Floatplanes land on the inlet in town. Coastal fog is a common morning phenomenon in the summer, complicating access by air until the weather clears.

Tofino is located at the western end of Highway 4 that connects the community with Port Alberni and the population centres on the east coast of Vancouver Island. There are no roads connecting Tofino along the west coast of Vancouver Island, except to the nearby community of Ucluelet.[ citation needed ] A monument in the city declares Tofino to be the western terminus of the Trans-Canada Highway as part of a 1940s campaign by local residents; the highway ends instead in Victoria at the terminus of Highway 1. [9]

Boat services connect Tofino with coastal communities such as Ahousat and Hot Springs Cove. Wildlife-watching tour boats operate in the area. In October 2015, a whale watching vessel capsized off the coast of Tofino, which resulted in the deaths of six passengers.


Festivities and events

Fireworks on August 15 at the Tofino pier Tofino - Panorama 02.jpg
Fireworks on August 15 at the Tofino pier

Every March, the migration of thousands of grey whales is celebrated with the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. The last weekend of April has, up until 2020, been the Tofino Shorebird Festival. The first weekend of June, for 14 years, brought the Tofino Food and Wine Festival, featuring British Columbia wines and showcasing the creations of Tofino chefs. The Tofino Market takes place on the Village Green on every Saturday, from the Victoria Day long weekend through early October. The Tofino Lantern Festival (voted Tofino's most popular event by Tofino Time Magazine), was a Raincoast Education Society fundraiser each August, with its cancellation announced in 2021. Since 2018, early September has the week-long Race for The Blue Tuna Shoot-Out [10] hosted by Tofino Resort + Marina, and Queen of the Peak Women's Surf Championship typically takes place toward the end of the month. [11] In 2010, the O'Neill Coldwater Surf Classic took place on Cox Bay Beach, as the first professional ASP surf event ever held in Canada, with Tofino surfer Pete Devries winning the competition. [12] November has typically hosted the Clayoquot Oyster Festival,[ citation needed ]. [13] Rip Curl Pro Tofino, the official Canadian surfing championship, has been held each year in May, since 2007. [14]

Poole's Land

Between 1988 and 2020, Tofino was home to Poole's Land, an ecovillage and "Hippie Commune" run on Anarchist principles. The Commune provided free accommodation to seasonal workers who would come to Tofino in the summer months as well as being a centre of counterculture in the region.

Freedom Cove

Located within the Tofino vicinity is the man-made floating Island of Freedom Cove. Constructed by Wayne Adams and Catherine King in 1992, the mostly wooden structure is both home to Adams and King as well as a tourist attraction and an art gallery. Freedom Cove attempts to live as sustainably as possible by such means as by using solar power, recycling waste, composting, drinking rainwater, and eating locally grown or caught food. [15] [16] [17]


Pebble of the morning, on Long Beach in late summer, near Tofino

The climate is marine west coast (Köppen: Cfb, clearly included in the temperate zone). Precipitation is concentrated in the winter, which is a characteristic of Coastal British Columbia; however, the annual amount of 3,270.7 mm (128.77 in) far exceeds nearby areas. By comparison, Victoria, British Columbia, which is located only 203 km (126 mi) away, receives only 607.6 mm (23.92 in).

Proximity to the Pacific Ocean keeps temperatures cool in the summer and mild in the winter. Average high temperatures in the summer and winter are relatively stable and cool, coming in at 19.1 °C (66.4 °F) and 8.1 °C (46.6 °F), respectively. Compared to the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, which rests on a similar latitude, Tofino's average high temperature is 6.8 degrees cooler in the summer and a whopping 19.4 degrees warmer in the winter.

During the cooler season, there is a lot of precipitation, with 492.1 mm (19.37 in) in November alone. Nearly all of the precipitation that falls throughout the year is rain, with 203 days with rain and only 7.8 days with snowfall. Due to its location on the westernmost part of Vancouver Island, Tofino faces the Pacific Ocean, unimpeded by any mountains to the west (and therefore not subject to a rain shadow effect like much of the eastern island and the BC interior). Winter cyclonic storms frequently pass over the town deluging it with rain, making it one of the wettest locations in Canada. The month of November alone brings more precipitation to Tofino than that received for an entire year in parts of the BC interior such as Kamloops and Penticton. [18] Like the rest of coastal BC, summer brings relative dryness; even so, it still receives much more summertime precipitation than the interior (which can often be susceptible to drought-like conditions until the onset of autumn). [18]

The highest temperature ever recorded in Tofino was 35.4 °C (95.7 °F) on June 28, 2021. [19] The coldest temperature ever recorded was −15.0 °C (5 °F) on January 30, 1969. [20]

Climate data for Tofino (Tofino-Long Beach Airport)
Climate ID: 1038205; coordinates 49°04′56″N125°46′21″W / 49.08222°N 125.77250°W / 49.08222; -125.77250 (Tofino/Long Beach Airport) ; elevation: 24.5 m (80 ft); 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1896–present [lower-alpha 1]
Record high °C (°F)20.1
Mean daily maximum °C (°F)8.3
Daily mean °C (°F)5.3
Mean daily minimum °C (°F)2.3
Record low °C (°F)−15.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)486.6
Average rainfall mm (inches)477.4
Average snowfall cm (inches)9.2
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)22.718.721.718.415.713.810.010.911.719.422.921.9207.8
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)22.118.421.518.415.713.810.010.911.719.422.621.6205.9
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)
Average relative humidity (%)83.676.775.673.271.371.771.774.873.279.382.984.676.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 58.681.6126.3170.3203.1190.9226.7199.6175.8116.162.556.51,668.1
Percent possible sunshine 21.728.534.341.542.939.446.444.846.434.622.722.035.4
Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada [20] [21] [22] [23] [19]
A cold front edge moving over Cox Bay Frontedgetofinocoxbaykjfmartin.jpg
A cold front edge moving over Cox Bay


Tofino has modern cell phone and land line access (including Internet and ADSL).


Tofino has one newspaper, the Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News . Tofino Time is a monthly magazine that publishes local new and articles about Tofino and the surrounding areas. CHMZ-FM on 90.1 FM, nicknamed Tuff City radio, is a local radio station. Tofino also receives CBC Radio One via CBXZ-FM on 91.5 FM.

Health and education

Public education is offered by the School District 70 Alberni, through the Wickaninnish Community School in Tofino and Ucluelet Secondary School in Ucluelet. The town's hospital is the Tofino General Hospital, operated by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA). [24]

Cultural references


Film and television

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vancouver Island</span> Largest island in British Columbia, 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 32,100 km2 (12,400 sq mi) in total area, while 31,285 km2 (12,079 sq mi) are of land. The island is the largest by area and the most populous along the west coasts of the Americas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Clayoquot Sound</span> Body of water on the west side of Vancouver Island, Canada

Clayoquot Sound is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is bordered by the Esowista Peninsula to the south, and the Hesquiaht Peninsula to the North. It is a body of water with many inlets and islands. Major inlets include Sydney Inlet, Shelter Inlet, Herbert Inlet, Bedwell Inlet, Lemmens Inlet, and Tofino Inlet. Major islands include Flores Island, Vargas Island, and Meares Island. The name is also used for the larger region of land around the waterbody.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pacific Rim National Park Reserve</span> National park reserve in British Columbia, Canada

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a 511 km2 (197 sq mi) national park located in British Columbia, Canada, which comprises three separate regions: Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. It is located in the Pacific Coast Mountains, which are characterized by rugged coasts and temperate rainforests.

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

Port Alberni is a city located on Vancouver Island in the province of British Columbia, Canada. The city lies within the Alberni Valley at the head of the Alberni Inlet, Vancouver Island's longest inlet. It is the location of the head offices of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District. Port Alberni currently has a total population of 18,259.

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

Gabriola Island is one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia (BC), Canada. It is about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, to which it is linked by a 20-minute ferry service. It has a land area of about 57.6 square kilometres (22.2 sq mi) and a resident population of 4,500.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ucluelet</span> District municipality on the west coast of Vancouver Island

Ucluelet is a district municipality on the Ucluelet Peninsula, on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Ucluelet comes from Yuułuʔił which means "people of the safe harbour" in the indigenous Nuu-chah-nulth language and is the homeland of the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ. As of 2021, its population was 2,066, a 20.3% increase from 1,717 in 2016.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gold River, British Columbia</span> Village in British Columbia, Canada

Gold River is a village municipality located close to the geographic centre of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. In terms of the Island's human geography it is considered to be part of the "North Island", even though it technically is on the Island's west coast.

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

Maquinna was the chief of the Nuu-chah-nulth people of Nootka Sound, during the heyday of the maritime fur trade in the 1780s and 1790s on the Pacific Northwest Coast. The name means "possessor of pebbles". His people are today known as the Mowachaht and reside today with their kin, the Muchalaht, at Gold River, British Columbia, Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tofino-Long Beach Airport</span> Airport in British Columbia, Canada

Tofino-Long Beach Airport is a non-towered airport that is located within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Immediately adjacent to Long Beach, it is 6 nautical miles southeast of Tofino, British Columbia, Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kennedy Lake (Vancouver Island)</span> Lake on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Kennedy Lake is the largest lake on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Located north of Ucluelet on the island's central west coast, the lake is formed chiefly by the confluence of the Clayoquot and Kennedy Rivers. Outflow is via a short stretch of the Kennedy River into Tofino Inlet. The lake includes an extensive northern arm called Clayoquot Arm.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fort Defiance (British Columbia)</span>

Fort Defiance was a small outpost that the crew of the Columbia Rediviva built as winter quarters during 1791–1792 on Meares Island in present-day British Columbia, Canada. American merchant and maritime fur trader Captain Robert Gray was in command.

Wickaninnish was a chief of the Tla-o-qui-aht people of Clayoquot Sound, on what is now Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, in the 1780s and 1790s, during the opening period of European contact with the Pacific Northwest Coast cultures. His main name is also transliterated as Wickaninish, Wickananish, Wikinanish, Huiquinanichi, and Quiquinanis, and he was also known as Hiyoua.

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

Opitsaht, spelled also as Opitsat and Opitsitah, is a Tla-o-qui-aht settlement/community in the Southwest area of the Meares Islands, Clayoquot South, British Columbia. This peninsula-like region is the home to the Tla-o-qui-aht people from the Nuu-chah-nulth nation, a tribe from the Pacific Northwest region in the lower Vancouver area, known for their lifestyle revolving around the marine life trade and culture within the community.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Long Beach (British Columbia)</span> Beach in British Columbia

Long Beach is the largest and longest beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It is on Wickaninnish Bay between Tofino (NW) and Ucluelet (SE) and is adjoined by campgrounds and picnic areas. The Tofino-Ucluelet highway parallels the entirety of the beach. The beach's consistent surf, exposed to the open Pacific Ocean, established it as one of the earliest and most popular surfing locations in British Columbia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Surfing in Canada</span> Emerging Canadian pastime

Surfing in Canada is practised on its east and west coasts, as well as via lake surfing on the Great Lakes, and river surfing on standing waves and tidal bores.

Howard Richmond McDiarmid was a physician and political figure in British Columbia. He represented Alberni in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia from 1966 to 1972 as a Social Credit member. He was defeated when he sought a third term in 1972 in the Oak Bay electoral district.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Clayoquot protests</span>

The Clayoquot protests, also called the War in the Woods, were a series of blockades related to clearcutting in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia. They culminated in mid-1993, when 856 people were arrested. The blockades in the summer of 1993 against logging of the temperate rainforest were the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history until the 2021 Fairy Creek blockades.

Clayoquot, Stubbs Island, is virtually a ghost town on the west coast of central Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The former steamboat landing is about 1.5 kilometres (0.9 mi) by boat northwest of Tofino, which is by road about 172 kilometres (107 mi) west of Parksville at the terminus of BC Highway 4.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amphitrite Point Lighthouse</span> Lighthouse in British Columbia, Canada

Amphitrite Point Lighthouse is an active lighthouse in Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, named after Amphitrite, the sea goddess and wife of Poseidon in Greek mythology. It is also known for one of the sample pictures in Windows 7.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Josie Osborne</span> Canadian politician

Josie Osborne is a Canadian politician who was elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the 2020 provincial election. She represents the electoral district of Mid Island-Pacific Rim as a member of the British Columbia New Democratic Party. She has served in the cabinet of British Columbia since 2020, currently as Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.


  1. "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  2. "Tofino". Geographical Names Data Base . Natural Resources Canada.
  3. "Tofino". Geographical Names Data Base . Natural Resources Canada.
  4. "Tofino". BC Geographical Names .
  5. Dionisio Alcalá Galiano: The Canadian Adventure of a Spanish Naval Hero, Malaspina University-College
  6. "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), British Columbia". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  7. Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (October 26, 2022). "Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population". Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  8. Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901 Z 16 July 2020 to 0901Z 10 September 2020.
  9. Fuhrmann, Mike (July 29, 2012). "Road across Canada ends in Tofino, locals say". Times Colonist . Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  10. "Blue Tuna Shoot-Out". Tofino Resort + Marina. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  11. Tapp, Fiona. "Learn To Surf At The World's Largest Female-Only Instructor Surf School". Forbes. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  12. Windh, Jacqueline (November 2, 2009). "How a Tofino Guy Earned a Surfing Crown". The Tyee. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  13. Trefler, C., ed. (2008). Fodor's Vancouver and Victoria (illustrated ed.). Fodor's Travel Publications. p.  262. ISBN   978-1400019182.
  14. "Rip Curl Pro Tofino - Announces Dates for 2017". Rip Curl. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
  15. "Freedom Cove, B.C. Float Home, Is A Whole New Level Of Off-Grid Living" . Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  16. "Freedom Cove A floating sanctuary provides artistic inspiration" . Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  17. "Living on water: Welcome to Freedom Cove" . Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  18. 1 2 "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". Environment and Climate Change Canada . Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  19. 1 2 "Hourly Data Report for June 28, 2021". Environment and Climate Change Canada. March 27, 2024. Retrieved May 8, 2024.
  20. 1 2 "Canadian Climate Normals 1981-2010 Station Data". Environment and Climate Change Canada. September 25, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  21. "Clayoquot". Environment and Climate Change Canada. October 31, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  22. "Daily Data Report for July 1941". Environment and Climate Change Canada. October 31, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  23. "Daily Data Report for March 2019". Environment and Climate Change Canada. March 27, 2024. Retrieved May 8, 2024.
  24. Tofino General Hospital. Retrieved October 24, 2011
  25. Huey, Steve. "The Life of the Party". AllMusic. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  26. "Prairie Dance Club - Prairie Dance Club | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  27. Drews, Keven (March 23, 2009). "Tofino provides perfect setting for Twilight's vampires". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  28. "Long Beach Lodge Resort Tofino | Apes invade Tofino!". Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  29. Quill, Greg (March 6, 2009). "One Week: Canada rides along on this odyssey | The Star". The Toronto Star. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  30. Drews, Keven (April 13, 2010). "Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson have Tofino chef checking recipes". CP24. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  31. "Going the Distance (2004)" . Retrieved September 17, 2022.
  1. Extreme high and low temperatures were recorded at Clayoquot from December 1896 to June 1943 and at Tofino Airport from July 1943 to present.