Chemainus
Chemainus

Chemainus – World Famous Mural Town

Posted In: Canada

The quaint town of Chemainus is found on the Chemainus River Valley on the east coast of Vancouver Island in Canada.  We didn’t know of the town but found it as we headed from Victoria to catch the ferry to Vancouver.  Because we had some spare time before ferry left, we spent a few hours exploring the town.  If you are visiting Vancouver Island, add Chemainus to your itinerary.  Spend at least a few hours exploring the town, finding the murals and doing some shopping.

History

The Hul’gumi’num first nations people originally settled in the area because it was rich in herring and shellfish.  The original permanent village was called Shts’emines which translates to Chemainus in English.

English speaking inhabitants then discovered the area and a small town was established in the 1850’s.  In addition to its proximity to the water it was also surrounded by lush green forests so it wasn’t long before the areas natural resources started to be exploited.  From this a forestry industry was established.

Chemainus
Forestry remains a large part of the economy

Why stop in Chemainus?

The town is now a tourist destination.  Due to the work of its local artists, over 40 murals now adorn many of the buildings in the town.  It is also a great place to do some shopping with many of the shops and cafes selling local hand made wares.

A local church
A local church
Explore the local arts and crafts
Explore the local arts and crafts
Murals

The murals that have now made Chemainus famous, were actually a project to save the town from economic collapse.  It has been recognised as the world’s leading community driven art tourism experience and became a model for similar projects around the world.  Chemainus even hosted the 1st Global Mural Conference in 1998.

#2 — The Thirty-Three Metre Collage
#2 — The Thirty-Three Metre Collage
#7 — Logging with Oxen
#7 — Logging with Oxen
#13 - Billy Thomas
#13 - Billy Thomas
#28 — No.3 Climax Engine
#28 — No.3 Climax Engine
#32 — The Telephone Company
#32 — The Telephone Company
#34 — Letters From The Front
#34 — Letters From The Front
#35 — First Chemainus Sawmill
#35 — First Chemainus Sawmill

If you are visiting Vancouver Island, make sure you also add the Butchart Gardens to your itinerary.

PIN IT

Chemainus - World famous mural town
Chemainus - World famous mural town

Chemainus - World famous mural town

Chemainus is a quaint town on Vancouver Island made famous by its community driven art tourism experience including over 40 murals adorning town buildings. 

#Chemainus #Canada #travel #streetart
  • Avatar
    ANWESHA
    September 15, 2019

    I have never been to Canada and definitely never knew about Chemainus before reading your post. There are so many beautiful murals to look at.

    • Lisa
      Lisa
      ANWESHA
      September 15, 2019

      The murals are amazing to see Anwesha. It is such a quaint town and it is lovely to wonder around finding the murals.

  • Avatar
    Albína Mrázová
    September 15, 2019

    I really love the street art in the town, it looks very unique and it blow my mind with the amount of details.

    • Lisa
      Lisa
      Albína Mrázová
      September 15, 2019

      The art is beautiful Albina. It was wonderful just wandering the streets finding the art work.

  • Avatar
    Merrie Rodriguez
    September 16, 2019

    Wow!! These murals are gorgeous!

    • Lisa
      Lisa
      Merrie Rodriguez
      September 16, 2019

      They definitely are Merrie.

  • Avatar
    Alison
    September 16, 2019

    Chemainus – such a beautiful town! I have only been once, driving through on my way further north. Love the murals that saved the town from economic collapse. Love Vancouver Island.

    • Lisa
      Lisa
      Alison
      September 16, 2019

      It’s such a cute town to spend time wandering around. We loved Vancouver Island too Alison.

  • Avatar
    Cris
    September 16, 2019

    I love (love love!) little towns like this! It feels like you’ve found a treasure when you stumble upon on, doesn’t it? Absolutely adorable.

    • Lisa
      Lisa
      Cris
      September 16, 2019

      Totally agree Cris. We absolutely loved exploring the town.

  • Avatar
    Maya
    September 16, 2019

    I love to explore local murals and street art. Can’t believe I haven’t heard about this town before. These are really unique. Since Canada is already on my bucket list, I am definitely gonna add Chemainus to the list. Thanks!

    • Lisa
      Lisa
      Maya
      September 16, 2019

      Canada is so beautiful Maya. Chemainus and Vancouver Island are definitely worth adding to your must visit list.

  • Avatar
    Andrea Peacock
    September 16, 2019

    I absolutely LOVE finding murals everywhere I go. I’ve only been to Chemainus once long long ago, so I definitely need to go back and explore!

    • Lisa
      Lisa
      Andrea Peacock
      September 16, 2019

      It is such a quaint town Andrea. Definitely worth the visit.

Add Comment

Pokemon Street Lights in Kyoto
5 Foot Care Tips For Travelling