The Cowichan Valley is a region anchored by the Cowichan River and Cowichan Lake on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. The valley (“The Warmland”) is comprised of the geographical area that extends as far south as Mill Bay, as far north as Ladysmith and as far west as Lake Cowichan which includes
& Youbou. The city of Duncan is basically in the center of the Cowichan Valley. The inclusive communities include Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill, Cowichan Bay, Maple Bay, Crofton & Chemainus.
There is some debate as to the origin of the name Cowichan, which many believe to be an anglicized form of the First Nations tribal name Quw’utsun. This word in turn may be derived from Hul’qumi’num, meaning “warming your back against the sun.”
Let me start by saying that the Cowichan Valley is one of the most beautiful places on earth to live. The climate is fantastic! If you like gardening...game On! You also get to enjoy all 4 distinct seasons. The summers here are unbeatable. We are surrounded by lakes, rivers, ocean, mountains & forest. The Chemainus river water is crystal clear (and a little cooler) and the Cowichan river is a translucent green. Both rivers have several swimming holes. Ask the locals to find the “gems”...they’re all around. Fishing options are endless - trout, steelhead, even bass, salmon, cod, crabs, prawns...ahhh, don’t get me started! :o) If you enjoy fish and/or seafood, you’ve come to the right place. Mountain biking, golfing, kayaking, boating, water-skiing, snow-skiing, camping, the list goes on.
Even from a real estate perspective the Cowichan Valley is pretty amazing. Duncan is about 45 mins to Victoria and 40 mins to Nanaimo. Even with its proximity to our province's capital city, the real estate prices here are considerably lower than in Victoria. Many people buy homes up this way and commute for work simply because they can get so much more for their dollar here. There’s even a larger spread in the real estate prices when compared to Vancouver. Many people sell their homes in Vancouver and move to the island, simply because they can get so much more bang for their buck. I’ve heard some mainlanders say “I couldn’t handle having to take the ferry back & forth all the time.” The truth is that the majority of the folks who live on Vancouver Island rarely travel across on the ferry because there’s no need to. The Island is a big and greatly unexplored island. You could spend your whole life traveling all over the Island finding new camping spots, hiking trails, fishing holes, etc. You get what you pay for and a whole lot more here...the island lifestyle, value, temperate climate, and gorgeous surroundings...not too many comparisons.