• Shawnigan Lake is a small, mostly rural community nestled in a lovely valley on Vancouver Island, approximately 45 km north of Victoria. Over 7500 residents live in the area year round and the population swells further with summer vacationers.

    The local commercial centre is a tiny village with a variety of businesses that can provide for most of the needs of residents and visitors. New development in the area has been steady over the past decade and the population and the amenities continue to grow. Shawnigan is a large unincorporated area with the Cowichan Valley Regional District as its main governing body.

    Shawnigan Lake has been a popular recreation destination for over a century. In the early days visitors arrived by train. This is still an option but most people arrive by car of floatplane. Even though much has changed, people continue to flock to Shawnigan with recreation in mind.

    Visitors enjoy several beaches and small day-use areas are scattered around Shawnigan Lake and visiting the Kinsol Trestle which is one of the largest and highest wooden trestle bridges in the world. A complete restoration of the Kinsol Trestle was completed in 2011, retaining 60% of the historic timber. The bridge now allows hikers and bikers to see more of The Cowichan Valley Trail and Trans Canada Trail.

    Forestry, ranching, tourism, service industries, value-added wood manufacturing and government agencies

    • Population

      Town Population: 3,945 (2016 Census)

    • Health Administrative Information

      Health Authority: Island Health

      Health Service Delivery Area: Central Vancouver Island

      Regional District: Greater Victoria

      Rural Designation: RSA community

      RRP Designation: C

      RRP Points: 6.0

    • Practitioners

      General Practitioners: 7 (www.cpsbc.ca)

    • Clinic

      Shawnigan Village Family Clinic
      Box 240, 2749 Dundas Road
      Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W0
      P: 250 743-0793 | F: 250 743-0754

    • Ambulance

      BC Ambulance Services provides coverage to this community.

    • Pharmacy

      Shawnigan Lake Pharmacy
      #1 - 1770 Shanigah-Mill Bay
      Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W0
      P: 250 743-6977

    • Extended Care

      Acacia Ty Mawr (35 beds)
      Box 100, 2655 Shawnigan Lake Road
      Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W0
      P: 250 743-2124

    • Home Nursing

      Adult Home and Community Care
      Acacia Ty Mawr
      Box 100, 2655 Shawnigan Lake Road
      Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W0
      P: 250 743-2124
      WeCare Home Health Services
      205 - 149 Ingram Street
      Duncan, BC, V9L 1N8
      P: 250 746-9224 F: 250 715 0703

    • Midwifery

      Cowichan Midwifery Group
      Matraea Centre
      170 Craig Street
      Duncan, BC V9L 1V9
      P: 250 709-2040 | F: 250 746-0253
      Danielle Enskaitis
      DEME Pre and Postnatal Services
      P: 604 339-6621

  • Airlines

    Victoria International Airport is the closest airport serving Shawnigan Lake. Shawnigan Lake travelers use the airports in Victoria and Nanaimo to access the island.

    Bus Services

    Pacific Coach Lines has a stop at Mill Bay which is about 10 km from Shawnigan Lake. Click here for rates, services and schedules.

    Public Transit

    There is a local bus service throughout Shawnigan Lake and area provided by BC Transit.

    Ferry Schedules

    BC Ferries provides service from Mill Bay to Brentwood Bay. Click here for the schedule.

    Car Rentals

    The closest car rental companies are located in Nanaimo.

    Taxi Services
    Cobble Hill Taxi
    1120 Shawnigan Mill Bay Road
    Cobble Hill, BC, V0R 1L0
    P: 250 743-5555

  • The South Valley Chamber of Commerce provides valuable information about the community, relocation and local businesses. Visit their website here.


    Currently Shawnigan Lake residents use Lake Cowichan’s Royal Bank and an Island Savings Credit Union.


    Shawnigan Lake is in Cowichan Valley School District #79.

    Discovery Elementary (K-5, 235 Students)
    Box 99, 2204 McKean Road
    Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W0
    P: 250 246-3181 | F: 250 246-9107
    Dwight International School (6-12, 115 Students)
    2371 Shawnigan Lake Road
    Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W5
    P: 250 929-0506 | F: 250 743-3664
    Shawnigan Lake (8-12, 448 Students)
    1975 Renfrew Road
    Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W1
    P: 250 743-5516 | F: 250 743-6200
    Visitor Center
    Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre
    Box 824, 125C South Shore Road
    Lake Cowichan, BC, V0R 2G0
    P: 250 749-3244
    F: 250 749-0187

  • The Koksilah River runs through some of the island’s rugged wildnerness and is popular with swimmers and anglers. The provincial park brings hikers and campers to the Shawnaigan Lake area as well as visitors wishing to see the historic Kinsol Trestle. Built in 1920 to span the river, the trestle is one of the highest wooden bridges in the world and is under restoration. To get to the Kinsol Trestle from Shawnigan Lake, access is off Glen Eagles Road, on the right of Renfrew Road.

    Old Mill Park is a popular recreation place for families and nature enthusiasts. This park has many easy walking trails, an enclosed swimming area, a playground, picnic areas, and portable washrooms.

    In June support The Shawnigan Lake Walk for charity by walking, biking or kayaking.

    Art and history lovers will appreciate the pocket sized E.J. Hughes gallery and the Last Spike cairn.