Please visit Tourism Tofino for more information about accomodation, activities and planning your trip to our community.
On the District of Tofino website, learn more about:
The community of Tofino (population approximately 2,000) is situated at the tip of the Esowista Peninsula in Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island’s west coast. The geographical region called Clayoquot Sound is comprised of about 400,000 hectares of land and marine inlets, all draining into a central marine catchment area.
In 2008, Tofino received “Resort Municipality” status from the province. The B.C. Resort Municipality Initiative was created to provide resort-oriented municipalities with new finance, development and business promotion tools to enhance the resort sector in B.C. This strategy will enhance British Columbia's competitive edge in resort development and lead to the creation and expansion of all seasons resorts in this province.
Tofino is located in a geographical region called Clayoquot Sound, comprising about 400,000 hectares of land and marine inlets, all draining into a central marine catchment area. The Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations have made Clayoquot Sound their home for several thousand years and the Tla-o-qui-aht Village of Opitsaht (across the water from Tofino on Meares Island) is thought to have been continuously inhabited for at least the past 5,000 years, according to carbon dating of a long-buried stash of discarded clamshells. The word "Clayoquot" comes from an anglicised version of "Tla-o-qui-aht".
The current townsite of Tofino was officially established in 1909 on the Esowista peninsula. Until this time, the outpost called Clayoquot was the main European settlement in the area. Located on Stubbs Island, about 1.5 km across the water from the current site of Tofino, Clayoquot had been a fur trading post on and off since the late 1850s. By the turn of the century it boasted a store, post office, hotel, saloon, dock, and a small resident population. The settlement of Tofino acquired it's name with the opening of the Tofino Post Office, named in association with Tofino Inlet nearby. Tofino Inlet was named in 1792 by the Spanish commanders Galiano and Valdés, in honour of Admiral Vicente Tofiño de San Miguel y Wanderiales (or Vanderiales).
An increasingly popular tourist destination in the summer, Tofino's population swells to many times its winter size. Our beaches and old-growth rain-forest attracts surfers, nature lovers, campers, whale watchers, fishermen, and anyone just looking to get close to nature. In the winter, though not as bustling, many people visit Tofino and the west coast to watch storms on the water.
The District of Tofino has experienced significant change and growth from a predominantly resource-based economy to an increasing profile as an international destination. Resource-based industries such as aquaculture and logging are still present and form part of Tofino's identity. Industry in Tofino is constantly adapting to the increased demand for sustainable and environmentally sensitive practices. Our population has increased from 1,222 in 1996 to 1,876 in 2011 with future population projections suggesting that Tofino could grow to over 2500 people by 2020! Although we were one of the fastest growing communities in British Columbia during the 1990's, Tofino's Official Community Plan sets the direction for future growth.
Literally at the end of the road, Tofino is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, accessed via Highway 4 from Parksville, 26 miles (42 kms) north of Ucluelet and 81 miles (130 kms) west of Port Alberni. Driving time from Victoria is approximately 4 to 5 hours. To reach Tofino by car from the British Columbia mainland, you'll first need to take the ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, from either Horseshoe Bay, north of Vancouver, or Tsawwassen, south of Vancouver.
Tofino is situated within one of the most dramatic and pristine landscapes on the southern coast. It is part of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, an internationally recognized area that includes terrestrial and marine environments and extends from the southern boundary of the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to just north of Estevan Point. The Reserve includes approximately 350 000 hectares, of which nearly 83 000 hectares are marine.
Tofino was named the best surf town in North America in Outside Magazine's 2010 Editors' Choice awards. Tofino is popular for fishing, kayaking, whale-watching, bear-watching, bird-watching, camping, hiking, storm-watching and First Nations cultural touring. The community is bordered on three sides by water and to the south by the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The community is accessed by road on Highway 4 and by air via a small landing strip and airport at Long Beach. Experience BC's pristine wilderness first hand, come explore our temperate rainforests, abundant wildlife, long clean sandy beaches, beautiful surf and amazing people.