Comox Valley

Originally developed as an agricultural settlement in the 1860s in the wake of the Fraser Gold Rush, the area became the centre of one of the British Empire's largest private railway concerns, the Comox Logging & Railway Company. Comox Logging owned Block 29, one of the world's best stands of Douglas Fir timber, stretching from south of Courtenay well to the north of Campbell River. This stand is now owned by TimberWest and is being cut for the second time. For many years, logging provided the largest single paycheque in the community, but since most workers in the industry commuted to camps and logging operations further north on the Island or the mainland Coast, the Field lumber mill in Courtenay was disassembled in the fall of 2006. The legacy of the Comox Valley's once proud forests is scattered amongst small woodlots on individual farms, or in isolated parks that give a sense of the timber wealth once drawn from the region.

The wealth of today lies in its combination of natural beauty and rich cultural scene. Besides the many music and arts festivals the region has a legacy of dramatic and musical instruction in its high schools and through the Comox Valley Youth Music Centre (CYMC), which draws students from around the world. The community is also rich in its numerous volunteer and non-profit organizations devoted to cultural pursuits. The many small communities in the region also boast a wealth of education and skills, and a devotion to 'place' that gives each neighbourhood and hamlet an inviting texture and atmosphere. For these reasons, as well as relatively mild (for Canada) climate, the Comox Valley is very attractive to people looking for small town and rural alternatives to suburban homogenization and urban congestion.

The Comox Valley's most recent claim to fame is having been home to Arcade Fire's Sarah Neufeld, another of the Valley's musical talents.

In 2008 the area was designated a "Cultural Capital" of Canada.