The Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations have lived in Clayoquot Sound for
thousands of years. You may recognise names of respected Chiefs and
Maquinna and Wickaninnish.
Today, Nuu-chah-nulth people live within Tofino and in outlying communities.
From Government Wharf you can look across the harbour to one such community,
Opitsaht, on Meares Island. Long before trappers and settlers arrived
on these shores, the Nuu-chah-nulth utilised the land and resources
including the present location of Tofino.
In the early 1900s the only way to travel to Tofino was by boat.
The waterfront area by the wharf and along Grice Road was the heart
of town. In 1959, when a dirt road from Port Alberni connected to the
Tofino-Ucluelet road, the waterfront lost some of its vitality as the
centre of town moved up the hill.
The S.S.Maquinna, known as Old Faithful, served the west
coast from 1913 to 1952. Through west coast storms and fair seas, she
arrived every ten days with passengers, mail and supplies from Victoria.
Touring the coast by ship became quite popular, and starting in 1928
during the summer months, a smaller ship, the S.S. Norah, made the run
as well. With the two ships running, Boat Day was every
five days a social highlight for those living in Tofino.
text & illustrations are excerpts
from ‘a walk in time’ courtesy of the raincoast education
society. used with permission. ‘a walk in time’ is a booklet
with history of landmark buildings on main street. worth reading, best
in combination with a leisurely stroll down main street. available
atthe rainforest interpretive centre
for two dollars.
Rainforest Interpretive Centre
452 Main Street, Tofino, BC
(the big yellow building at fourth