Chemainus is located just east of the TransCanada Highway #1 on Vancouver Island, on the east coast of Vancouver Island, and 32 km South of Nanaimo, and 80 km north of Victoria.

View of Chemainus Waterfront, from Waterweheel ParkChemainus is 4 km up the road again, and has a population of 4,000. This community was named in 1871 for the Tsimminis, a Salish tribe, whose name is derived from the island Halkomelem phrase “bitten Breast”, referring to the crescent shape of Chemainus Bay, which according to legend was a bite taken from a bystander by an excited shaman during a tribal ceremony.

The town even has a public 18 hole golf course. Chamainus is also the departure point for Ferry rides to Thetis and Kuper Islands. While Kuper is mostly Indian Reservation and private land, Thetis is a pleasant place for a drive, bike ride, paddle or a swim.

View of one of Chamainus'es many murals
Chemainus has Canada’s largest outdoor art gallery. After the shutdown of the town’s only art gallery in the early 80s, the town revitalized its core by painting murals of the area’s history around its downtown. Over 250,000 visitors come each year to view the 32 large murals, making the town a must for both art lovers and artists.

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Chemainus Attractions

Waterwheel park in Chemainus

Whaterwheel Park

3828 Croft St, Chemainus, BC V0R 1K1

Has outdoor concert/theatre stage, and great views of waterfront, statue of HR MacMillian, the timber tycoon.

Chemainus Valley Museum

3828 Croft St, Chemainus, BC V0R 1K1
at Waterwheel Park

Showcases the early forestry industry. Located beside Tourist information office.

The Chemainus Theatre

9737 Chemainus Rd, Chemainus, BC V0R 1K0
250-246-9820 or 1-800-565-7738

Offers great dinner theatre with both matinee and evening performances. Professional theatre showcasing year-round performances & featuring a dining room & art gallery. Attend the anual festival as well.

Murals around Chemainus

Chemainus Festival of Murals

Mailing: Box 131, Chaminus BC, V0R 1K0
Murals located all around town

32 large murals on downtown buildings, illustrating the area’s history. While begun with local artists, the murals have since attracted artists from around the world. For $1 you can get a map for a self-guided tour, for $2 you can take a guided tour and for $5 get a carriage guided tour. The actual festival is held over July and August and includes street dances, parades, stage entertainment and artists at work. Start your tour at Waterwhell Park, where the map of murals is posted.

Chemainus, British Columbia Area Map