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
Town Population: 1,310 (BC Stats, 2011 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
General Practitioners: 7 (www.cpsbc.ca)
Shawnigan Village Family Clinic Box 240, 2749 Dundas Road Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W0 P: 250 743-0793 | F: 250 743-0754
BC Ambulance Services provides coverage to this community.
Shawnigan Lake Pharmacy #1 - 1770 Shanigah-Mill Bay Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W0 P: 250 743-6977
Acacia Ty Mawr (35 beds) Box 100, 2655 Shawnigan Lake Road Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W0 P: 250 743-2124
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 www.wecare.ca
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 www.demepreandpostnatal.com
Victoria International Airport is the closest airport serving Shawnigan Lake. Shawnigan Lake travelers use the airports in Victoria and Nanaimo to access the island.
Pacific Coach Lines has a stop at Mill Bay which is about 10 km from Shawnigan Lake. Click here for rates, services and schedules.
There is a local bus service throughout Shawnigan Lake and area provided by BC Transit.
BC Ferries provides service from Mill Bay to Brentwood Bay. Click here for the schedule.
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 discovery.sd79.bc.ca/ Dwight International School (6-12, 115 Students) 2371 Shawnigan Lake Road Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W5 P: 250 929-0506 | F: 250 743-3664 www.sd79.bc.ca Shawnigan Lake (8-12, 448 Students) 1975 Renfrew Road Shawnigan Lake, BC, V0R 2W1 P: 250 743-5516 | F: 250 743-6200 www.sd79.bc.ca 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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cowichanlake.ca
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.
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