Royston, British Columbia Canada

Discover Royston, British Columbia: A Historical and Scenic Community

Royston, British Columbia, is a charming unincorporated community nestled in the greater Comox Valley region. Located 100 km northwest of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, this quaint community is home to just over 1,500 residents. Royston is beautifully situated next to the Trent River, across the harbour from Comox, and on the southeast municipal boundary of Courtenay.

The Rich History of Royston, British Columbia

Royston has a rich history dating back to the 20th century when it served as the major port for the Comox Valley logging industry. Logs were transported here by rail, boomed in the harbour, and then towed across to the B.C. Mainland to be processed into lumber.

The area was settled in 1890 by William Roy and his family, who collaborated with a real estate promoter named Frederick Warren to lay out a townsite. The name "Royston" could have been derived from "Roy's Town" or possibly from Warren's hometown of Royston in Hertfordshire, England.

William Roy, originally from Scotland, was one of the first to clear land in Royston. He decided on beach property that now straddles both sides of Royston Road on the east side of the Island Highway and north of the Trent River. By 1912, Royston had grown to 30 settlers, and a rail line between Royston and Cumberland provided easy daily travel between the two settlements from 1914 to 1930.

Royston, British Columbia: A Community of Resilience and Growth

Despite the hard times of the 1912-1914 Cumberland mine workers strike, Royston continued to grow. Squatters moved into the area between Gartley beach and Millard Creek (now part of Courtenay), and the Royston Imperial Pavilion was built in 1918. This pavilion, which hosted numerous community events, was unfortunately destroyed by an electrical fire in 1940.

In 1952, the Royston Community Club purchased the machine shop at the corner of the Island Highway and Royston Road for a community hall. This building, constructed in 1925, is now nearly 100 years old.

Royston, British Columbia: A Legacy of Industry

Royston's industrial legacy is evident in its waterfront oil tanks and wharf. Shell and Imperial Oil took over the government wharf in 1940, handling a heavy tonnage in oil products over the years. Initially, barrels of oil were rolled to shore on the wharf, but fuel was later pumped from barges to tanks on the Royston waterfront. The oil tanks were located on the northwest corner of Royston Road and Marine Drive from 1916 until 1997. The wharf, which was removed in 2003, has been commemorated with a viewing stand at the end of Royston Road, built with timbers and decking from the original structure.

Royston, British Columbia, is a community steeped in history and resilience. Its scenic beauty and rich past make it a must-visit destination for those exploring Vancouver Island.