Qualicum Beach, British Columbia Canada

Discover Qualicum Beach, British Columbia: A Historical and Touristic Overview

Qualicum Beach, a charming town nestled on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, is a place where history and nature converge. With a population of 9,303 as per the 2021 census, this town is situated at the foot of Mount Arrowsmith, along the Strait of Georgia on Vancouver Island's northeastern coast. Its natural environment and proximity to Victoria and Vancouver have made it a popular tourist destination, with quaint cottages dotting the coast.

The Rich History of Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

The Origin of the Name 'Qualicum'

The name "Qualicum" is derived from a Pentlatch term that translates to "Where the dog salmon (chum salmon) run."

The Qualicum First Nation and Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

Qualicum Beach is located within the traditional territory of the Qualicum First Nation. The area was a hub for gathering camas flowers in the spring and chum salmon in the fall. The traditional diet of the Qualicum First Nation included clams, geoducks, butter clams, and horse clams. The Pentlatch language was spoken in this area, but it was lost due to the smallpox epidemic and the residential school system.

European Settlers in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

The first European settlers arrived in the 1880s, following the exploration of the area by Hudson's Bay Company explorer Adam Grant Horne and botanist Robert Brown. A road was built from Nanaimo to Parksville in 1886 and extended to Qualicum in 1894.

Qualicum Beach, British Columbia in the 20th Century

The 20th century saw significant developments in Qualicum Beach, including the construction of a school house, a train station, and the Qualicum Beach Hotel. The town was officially incorporated as a village on May 5, 1942, and was changed to town status on January 7, 1983.

Qualicum Beach, British Columbia in the 21st Century

The 21st century brought challenges and growth to Qualicum Beach. In 2002, the town's primary grocery store, Qualicum Foods, was destroyed by a fire. However, a new store was built in 2003. The town also saw the construction of retirement homes and the transformation of St. Andrews Lodge into a waterfront park.

Demographics of Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

As of the 2021 Census, Qualicum Beach had a population of 9,303 living in 4,435 of its 4,763 total private dwellings. The majority (56.3% in 2021) of residents are 65 years of age or older. The median total income of households in 2020 was $76,500.

Transportation in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

Qualicum Beach is served by the coast-spanning Island Highway, the Island Rail Corridor, a local airport, and a nearby ferry to Lasqueti Island.

Geography and Climate of Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

Qualicum Beach is on the Nanaimo lowlands, a narrow plain which lies between the Georgia Basin to the northeast and the Beaufort Range to the south-west. The climate is a Mediterranean Climate, with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers.

Culture, Recreation, and Leisure in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

Qualicum Beach is home to the Qualicum Beach Museum, which documents the history of the town. The town also has a number of places on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

Qualicum Beach, British Columbia in Popular Culture

The Hallmark TV series Chesapeake Shores was primarily filmed in Qualicum Beach.

Other Notable Events in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia

In 2022, a pair of Servals escaped from a private residence in Qualicum Beach, prompting the BC SPCA to request a provincial ban on serval cats as pets. Since 1999, the town's official Town crier is Leonard Mustard.