Campbell River Photo Province of BC
Campbell River is located on the Salish Sea (Strait of Georgia) and is all about salmon. The abundance of Chinook, Coho, Sockeye, Pink and Chum is the reason it is known as the Salmon Capital of Canada. You can also view salmon from river floats and on snorkeling adventures, watching bears catch salmon and touring salmon hatcheries. But there are many other reasons to stop a while in Campbell River. The Discovery Pier, extending 45 m (145 ft) from the shore, is ideal for sightseeing and evening strolls. In summer you can watch the lighted cruise ships sail past at night. Art galleries, maritime heritage centre and museum provide a look at life in the area. And there is an abundance of outdoor adventure activities – hiking, mountain biking, world-renowned scuba diving, go-cart racing, kayaking and golfing are all close by. Take a trip to Elk Falls Provincial Park and experience thundering waterfalls and the extensive network of forest trails, plus the nearby Quinsam salmon hatchery. Campbell River is where you catch a ferry to get you to Quadra Island and on to Cortes Island and further into the Discovery Islands. South of Campbell River is the beautiful Comox Valley with the delightful communities of Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland.
Campbell River has been a focal point for salmon fishing and an important gateway to the rich wilderness of northern Vancouver Island for centuries. Old legends told of salmon running so thick, a person could walk on their backs. In the late 1800s and into the first decade of the 1900s, a small trickle of settlers followed loggers who were moving along the coast, but it was the abundance of salmon that caught the attention of aristocrats and wealthy outdoors enthusiasts from Europe and America.
Campbell River was to remain a quiet fishing and logging community until the hydro development of Elk Falls became a reality when the John Hart Dam came into operation in 1948. Since then, it has grown into a modern city of over 31,000, with a diversified economy centred around forestry, mining, fishing, farming, light manufacturing, and tourism.