The Ultimate Guide To Moving & Living in Chemainus, BC

Situated along the east coast of southern Vancouver Island, Chemainus, BC is a lively and charming town that is a popular destination for those looking to move. With a population of just over 3,000, Chemainus offers a close-knit community feel, while still providing all the amenities and conveniences of a larger city.

If you're considering making the move to Chemainus, here is some essential information to help you get started.

History of Chemainus, BC

Chemainus, BC has a storied past. The name Chemainus originates from an ancient native shaman and prophet who was said to have survived a massive wound in his chest from where he got shot with an arrow. 

In 1858 Chemainus was founded as an unincorporated logging town and years later, in 1880, the railway made its way to the area. By the early 1900s, there were roughly 600 residents of Chemainus, who slowly but surely built a small town in the area.

Presently, Chemainus is home to approximately 3,000 residents and is known for the 53 outdoor murals which are situated throughout the town.

Real Estate in Chemainus, BC

Chemainus has experienced steady growth in recent years, with most of the new residents moving to town for retirement or for an affordable lifestyle. Located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, it's a short drive to both Victoria and Nanaimo.

Real estate is primarily focused around single-family homes in Chemainus, though there are a handful of newly constructed townhome communities popping up throughout town.

Many homes for sale in Chemainus are set among beautiful forested lots or tucked along the water's edge boasting exceptional views of the ocean and surrounding areas. For those interested in building their dream home in Chemainus, there are a few vacant land lots for sale which offer a serene and natural setting.

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Living in Chemainus, BC

Chemainus is a vibrant community with plenty to offer its residents. There are numerous local shops, restaurants, and businesses which make up the charming downtown core. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the ample hiking and biking trails as well as the kayaking and swimming opportunities available close by.

Those who are looking to get outside will also appreciate that there are several farmers' markets throughout the town, showcasing locally grown fruits and vegetables. The Chemainus Theatre hosts live events in their state-of-the-art auditorium, while local artists showcase their sculptures, paintings, glass art and other works in the downtown shops.

Kayaking in Chemainus, BC

Recreation Opportunities In and Around Chemainus, BC

Having an ideal location on the shores of the Pacific Ocean allows residents of Chemainus unique and envied recreational opportunities. Hiking and mountain biking are popular summer pastimes with the trails leading through old-growth forests to panoramic ocean views.

The Trans Canada Trail also winds its way through Chemainus making it possible for long-distance hikers to walk all the way from Victoria to Nanaimo (and beyond). There are many scenic stops along the way which include Stocking Creek Waterfall, Stocking Creek Park and nearby Davis Lagoon.

Chemainus is home to a handful of parks which offer everything from open greenspace to children's playgrounds, sports fields and more.

For those who enjoy being on, in, or around the water, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy kayaking, sailing, fishing and swimming. The Chemainus River also provides residents with ample opportunity for fresh-water angling.

Education in Chemainus, BC

There are two schools located within Chemainus, both of which fall under the Cowichan Valley School District.

Chemainus Elementary School | 3172 Garner St., Chemainus, BC

Chemainus Elementary School offers education to area students from kindergarten to grade 6. Students and families can expect to find an institute that fosters a safe and welcoming environment where all students are able to develop lifelong learning skills as well as self-esteem.

Chemainus Secondary School | 9947 Daniel Street, Chemainus, BC

Chemainus Secondary School offers education to area students from grades 7 to 12. Graduating students can expect to find themselves with the skills and knowledge they need to either enter into the workforce or pursue post-secondary education.

Both schools offer a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, clubs, and sports for students to get involved in.

Schools in Chemainus, BC

Explore the Arts in Chemainus, BC

From the small seaside community of Chemainus, located in Cowichan Valley has grown a reputation for its over 40 professional murals which draw in thousands every year. Visitors can also find gift shops and art galleries with some great pottery as well as native artwork within this area’s many tourist attractions. If you want to explore the murals and sculptures in your own time one can follow the yellow footprints from site to site, or enjoy a narrated tour in an old fashioned horse and carriage.

Another great way to explore the arts scene in Chemainus is by visiting the Chemainus Theatre. Founded in 1993, the theatre resides in an award winning neo-classical, 274-seat building also features a Playbill Dining Room. Visitors can expect to find professional stage productions, concerts, musicals and pre-show dining opportunities at the Chemainus Theatre.

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Shopping & Dining Options in Chemainus, BC

Chemainus Road is home to some of the most unique stores in all of Canada. From Bound To Be Different and Beyond The Usual, you’ll find everything that makes up an unforgettable town experience! wander through downtown streets lined with historic architecture.

For everyday necessities and amenities, residents of Chemainus have a selection of stores to meet their needs. Grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, health food options and more are mixed among the unique businesses.

When it comes to dining out, Chemainus may not have a ton of options, but what can be found there is certainly worth trying. Whether it’s pizza, burgers, or seafood, there’s something for everyone. Restaurants worth mentioning include Green Lantern Pub and Horseshoe Bay Inn Cafe & Pub.

Dining Out In Chemainus, BC

Things To Do in Chemainus, BC

The people of Chemainus are a bright and lively bunch. They like to celebrate with family-friendly gatherings no matter the occasion, from Wednesday Markets in waterwheel park where you'll find local wares for sale alongside handmade objects crafted by our own proud residents; or during summer when there is one big market that attracts visitors not only from Victoria but also Nanaimo!

The town's museum is a great place to spend an afternoon on the Island. It's free, and you'll get history from local period pieces that must be seen before leaving! You can also stop in for small artist studio tours if it suits your fancy.

Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a small-town feel with all the amenities of a big city, then Chemainus is the place for you! From the beautiful scenery and friendly locals to unique shopping and dining options, there's something for everyone in this charming seaside community. Chemainus is an incredibly charming town with all the amenities you would need for comfortable living. It’s also home to some of the most interesting people on the island who are always ready and willing to meet new faces. Whether you’re here for a short time or forever, this is an amazing place to call home.

Providing Residential Real Estate services across Vancouver Island. Sims Real Estate group not only works where we invest; we live here too. Our mission is to build trust and value through genuine and meaningful connections. Our comfortable approach to Real Estate makes working with us a great experience. Our business is built one meaningful connection at a time. Your future matters.

A local Nanoose Bay, BC real estate agent is ready to help you find your dream home!

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