We had so many delightful surprises on our trip around Vancouver Island last summer. From the insane beauty of the Island, to the charming little towns, Vancouver Island made us want to come back for more. One of the cutest towns we discovered was Chemainus, which was settled originally by the Coast Salish Natives. Talking a stroll and drive around town, you’ll immediately notice the entire town is decorated with gorgeous murals, each telling a different story about the history and culture of the townspeople.
Chemainus was originally a mill town, and therefore was completely economically dependent on the mill. In 1982 it was announced the Town Mill would have to close, and unwilling to give up and relocate elsewhere, the town rallied together. Since other towns were also struggling, the BC government created ‘community initiative grants’ to aid in developing revitalization projects.
Graham Bruce (the Mayor of Chemainus at the time) and Karl Schutz (resident businessman) had an idea that would keep Chemainus going strong and the Festival of Murals Society came to be. Since then, Chemainus started to grow business from their outdoor wall murals. The town is now recognized world-wide for it’s incredible artistry. We were blown away as we wandered the town admiring all the different stories the murals tell.
Take a little look at some of the magnificent murals:
The town itself was also cute, with its old-fashioned architecture and myriad of small businesses to wander through. We found a cute candy shop and Baby Bear’s Ice Cream Shoppe, where you can sit back and enjoy the sculpted shrubs and the wooden carved bears. It was such a peaceful and relaxing setting to take some time to chill.
Where have you found an original little town that blew you away?