Port Alberni

Port Alberni

Location

Port Alberni is located within the Alberni Valley at the head of the Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island. Port Alberni is the gateway to British Columbia's west coast and boasts a magnificent deep-sea port that opens to Alberni inlet, Barkley Sound and the Pacific Ocean. This Vancouver Island city has a moderate climate and is well known for its breathtaking scenery.

History

Alberni Inlet was named after Don Pedro de Alberni, a captain in the Spanish Army who commanded Fort San Miguel at Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island's west coast, from 1790 to 1792. In 1860, a tall-masted schooner named "Meg Mirrilies" moored at the Alberni Inlet and the ship's crew constructed the first saw mill in what became British Columbia. This Vancouver Island mill was managed by Captain Stamp and Gilbert Malcolm Sproat. The economic activity generated by the mill opened doors to the development of a local economy and an influx of European settlers.

In 1912, Port Alberni was incorporated with the arrival of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway, and planned arrival of the Canadian National Railway, as well as, the trans-Pacific telegraph cable Bamfield.

The Alberni Valley was inhabited by the Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations prior to the arrival of the Europeans.

Attractions

Port Alberni is home to the McLean Mill National Historic Site which incorporates a steam railway from the downtown harbour to the saw mill up the valley.

The Alberni Harbour Quay features waterfront shops, galleries and eateries. The clock tower which provides panoramic views of the Alberni Inlet is also in the Harbour Quay. The boarding area for the MV Frances Barkley which is a passenger freight vessel that offers scenic journeys to Bamfield and Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Victoria Quay is located at the foot of Johnston Road (Highway #4) and runs parallel to the Somass River. It is flanked by two Welcome Figures created by local Hupacasath First Nations carvers.

The Robertson Creek Fish Hatchery is the most successful hatchery on Vancouver Island. The Vancouver Island fish hatchery produces chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead smolts.

The Martian Mars water bombers which are the world's largest aerial firefighting flying boats are housed at Sproat Lake which is nearby.

Della Falls being the tallest falls in Canada is accessible by boat from Great Central Lake or by helicopter.

Activities

Port Alberni and its encompassing valley is surrounded by freshwater lakes and streams. This Vancouver Island area is popular for its salmon sports fishing. Fishing charters operate year round and the rewards include steelhead, halibut, cod and of course, salmon.

Additional outdoor activities include scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, hiking, golfing and wildlife viewing.

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Courtenay, British Columbia
Canada