The little Town That Did
Chemainus Travel Blog› entry 3 of 17 › view all entries
This morning I woke up to some sunshine, and I already planned my trip to Chemainus. I was going with my friend and I was waiting for her to get to my place. 7:30 am away we went on our adventure to this great little gem of a place. I had not been to chemainus for quite a few years, and I had forgotten just how great the little place was.
So many great little funky shops, and the buildings are just like walking in the past. We got there around 8:30am and all was still very quiet. Hardly a car or person in sight. It was great to see all of the murals, and revisit this great little town.
Chemainus earned the nickname "The Little Town That Did" after the residents decided to expand their forest industry past into a vibrant tourisim-driven future.
Chemainus is located on Vancouver Island's east shore, it is a little town snuggled between a mountain range and the ocean. It is located south of Nanaimo and about 1 hour North of Victoria. The town is serviced by Island Coach Lines (Greyhound Canada), or a spectacular route can be taken with VIA Rail, taking you through some of the most beautiful scenery, and provides panoramic views of the Gulf Islands. It is a town that was born of the hands of laborers, with the industry failing it achieved great fame through the hands of many artists. Artists from around the world were invited to paint huge heritage murals on the sides of buildings, transforming the small coast mill town into the world's largest outdoor gallery.
In 1982, the first five murals were created-today there are 37 murals, and 12 sculptures.
In the summer of 2002 Chemainus claimed independence, as the commonwealth of Chemainus, with a festival of Independence held to celebrate the marketing occasion. The flag colors are green, blue, and brown---symbolising the forest, sea, and farmland. The offical animal on the flag is a Unicorn. Residents and visitors can become citizens of the new state, with passports available by donation from the Visitor Information Centre and many of the shops in downtown Chemainus (Only in Canada) (I couldn't find a shop open today, but then I got there early). I must go apply for this citizenship.
There is the Chemainus Theatre, which is a professional regional theatre company, features classics (like the nutcracker), musicals, comedies and many favorities.
There is a small car ferry run from downtown Chemainus to nearby Thetis Island, Kuper Island, home of the Penelakut First Nation.
There are many things to do there like sampling the legendary ice cream cones, there are antique dealers, gift shops and art works. Pottery and native local art works. You can fish or swim in Fuller Lake, and campsites. You can just relax at the beach on Clark beach or Kin Beach.There is the waterwheel park where you can find a quiet place to sit.
Resturants, coffee shops, golf and the BC forestry Museum.
I love this little town that did. I only spent a few hours there today, but I must go back in the summer to see all inside these funky shops, sit on the beach, watch the sunset...with a good friend, some stories to tell...and a hot chocolate....AHHHHHHHH Heaven.