Chemainus is a logging town located along the highway about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the town of Duncan on the east coast of Vancouver Island. The town is named after the native shaman and prophet who is said to have survived a massive wound in his chest to become the chief of the community.
Chemainus was founded in 1858 as a logging town. However, the industry shut down in the early 1980s. To avoid economic collapse and the threat of becoming a ghost town when the town’s sawmills closed in 1983, Chemainus residents gathered to figure out a new source of revenue. They decided to commission the sketching of murals in the town’s buildings to bring in tourists. The idea worked. Visitors from all over the province came to see the murals depicting the heritage and history of the town. Shops and restaurants opened to serve the tourists. The murals have since spread from the walls to even the litter bins and anything else that’s stationary. To reach Chemainus, visitors can take a ferry that connects the town with Thetis and Kuper Islands of the Southern Gulf.
Carroll, Donald. Insider’s Guide Canada. Edison: Hunter Publishing, Inc, 1996. ISBN: 1556507100.
“Chemainus.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemainus>
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