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The Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations have lived in Clayoquot Sound for thousands of years. You may recognise names of respected Chiefs and their descendants — 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 1900’s 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.

next stop in the 'walk in time'

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


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