Ucluelet, British Columbia Canada

Discover Ucluelet, British Columbia: A Haven of History and Natural Beauty

Ucluelet, colloquially known as Ukee, is a district municipality nestled on the Ucluelet Peninsula, on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The name Ucluelet originates from Yuułuʔił, which translates to "people of the safe harbour" in the indigenous Nuu-chah-nulth language. As of 2021, Ucluelet, British Columbia, is home to 2,066 residents, marking a 20.3% increase from 2016.

The Geography of Ucluelet, British Columbia

Ucluelet is situated at the western edge of Barkley Sound, 288 km northwest of the British Columbia provincial capital, Victoria. The closest city is Port Alberni, approximately 100 km to the east. The District of Tofino is 40 km northwest of Ucluelet on Highway 4. Between Tofino and Ucluelet lies the Long Beach unit of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Barkley Sound, southeast of Ucluelet, is a marine area featuring the Broken Islands Group unit of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The fishing and scientific research community of Bamfield lies on its farther shore.

The Rich History of Ucluelet, British Columbia

Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of First Nations along the outer west coast of Vancouver Island for at least 4,300 years. British Columbia’s recorded history began with European explorers searching for the Northwest Passage. Ucluelet's history is intertwined with the exploration and fur trade of the late 18th century, the sealing industry of the 19th century, and the development of infrastructure and services in the early 20th century. The town continued to prosper after World War II, and in 1959, the long-awaited road to Port Alberni was finally opened. Ucluelet was incorporated in 1952 and its status was changed to a District in 1997.

The Climate of Ucluelet, British Columbia

Ucluelet has an oceanic climate, with mild, rainy winters and cool summers owing to its coastal location. Precipitation is high, averaging around 3,350 mm per year, with most of it concentrated in the winter months. Even so, precipitation is significant in all months with no month averaging below 70 mm of precipitation.

The Demographics of Ucluelet, British Columbia

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Ucluelet had a population of 2,066 living in 860 of its 997 total private dwellings. The local society is significantly influenced by the presence of the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ people, whose government is the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government. Their government is located in Hitacu, which is located 28 km from the town of Ucluelet.

The Ethnicity of Ucluelet, British Columbia

The ancestry of most residents is European (81%), with sizeable Indigenous (9%), Japanese (4%), and Filipino (3%) populations.

Health and Education in Ucluelet, British Columbia

Public education is offered by School District 70 Pacific Rim, through the Ucluelet Elementary School and Ucluelet Secondary School. Health services are provided in town by the Ucluelet Medical Clinic and larger facilities are located in Tofino and Port Alberni; all are operated by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA).

Transportation in Ucluelet, British Columbia

Ucluelet has an airport, Tofino Ucluelet Airport, about twenty minutes drive from town. Long Beach Airport is accessible to small passenger planes and the harbour in Ucluelet, Ucluelet Water Aerodrome, is accessible to floatplanes. Accessing Ucluelet by car is via Highway 4 from Port Alberni. Tofino Bus also services Ucluelet from Victoria, Vancouver, Nanaimo and Port Alberni.

Tourism in Ucluelet, British Columbia

Like its neighbour Tofino, Ucluelet has transitioned from a resource-based economy to a year-round tourism-based economy. The Pacific Rim Visitor Centre is now the second-most-visited Tourism Centre, after Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Tourist activities include surfing, stand-up paddle board, fishing, whale watching, bear watching, kayaking, canoeing, camping, hiking, biking, swimming, and beachcombing.

Activities in Ucluelet, British Columbia

The Wild Pacific Trail begins near the mouth of Ucluelet Inlet at Amphitrite Point Lighthouse and travels north along the open Pacific coastline. Various marine tours are available including sea kayaking, canoeing in the inlet, whale and wildlife watching. There has been an ongoing interest in sport fishing out of Ucluelet and there are many chartered sports fishing options in town.

Festivals and Events in Ucluelet, British Columbia

Every March, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival is a week of events hosted by Ucluelet, Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Every odd year, Ucluelet hosts a leg of the Van Isle 360. In mid-June, there is the Annual Edge to Edge Marathon. The Pacific Rim Summer Festival is held in early July with two weeks of music, word and multi-cultural concerts featuring national and international performers. The end of July or the last weekend are Ukee Days, a local celebration with several events.