From the Government Wharf, if you look towards town you will see a
gravel parking lot with picnic benches; this is Grice Road. This was
the village of Tofino began.
Many settlers by-passed what is now Tofino because of the daunting
hills and bush that grew down to the water’s edge. Instead they
went to Bear River, Vargas Island, Elk River and Tofino harbour islands.
John Grice, Tofino’s first white settler, arrived in the early
1890’s and settled on what is now called Grice Point.
In 1901 Sing Lee, who had been working in the Bear River mines, opened
Tofino’s first store on Grice Road. After his death in 1905, Mr.
Lum ran the business until 1907 when the partnership of Sloman and McKenna
purchased the business.
Sloman bought out his partner and expanded the business to include
fur buying. The store changed hands several times between 1923 and 1947
when Vincent Hardy bought it. He operated the store until 1964 when
the building was wrecked to make way for a “modern” hotel
that was never built.
The earliest records of the Tofino Board of Trade date
from 1929. The village of Tofino was incorporated in 1932. Several Tofino
pioneers, including the Grices, Reese Riley, the McLeods, the Larkins
and the Monks built houses on Grice Road.
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)