Qualicum Beach had a total population of about 8,500 as of the 2015 census. The Town has the oldest average population in Canada with 47% over the age of 65. Let's not overlook that this also means that 53% are under the age of 65!
Located on the Strait of Georgia on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island in the rainshadow of Mount Arrowsmith, the community has been a popular tourist destination for residents of Victoria and Vancouver as well as a retirement community. It is served by the Island Highway (the main North-South highway on the Island) and a local airport with daily connections to Vancouver. The ferry connection from Nanaimo to Vancouver is about 30 minutes away.
Our communities are often characterized as being "quirky and unique". The Town is a destination retirement community with an impressive array of talented individuals who call Qualicum Beach home. If you are concerned about making new friends, don’t worry – just join our local Newcomers Club, after purchasing Qualicum Beach real estate. They have ongoing monthly gatherings enthusiastically appreciated by all.
The Qualicum Beach area has cool wet winters with 80 to 85% of the precipitation falling between October and April. The average annual precipitation is only about 38 inches. Mean daily temperature range from 1 to 3°C (34 to 37°F) in January with cloud and rain from north Pacific air masses dominating the winter weather. This coastal region enjoys a significant climatic benefit from being in close proximirty to nearby Vancouver Island Mountains. As the strongest winds come in from the southwest, this region lies in the rainshadow of nearby Mt Arrowsmith and Mt Moriarty. Clouds heading in off the Pacific drop their moisture over Tofino, Ucluelet and Pt Alberni (ie. about 250 inches) , thereby giving this local microclimate a significantly drier result than both Nanaimo (ie. about 50 inches) to the south and Courtenay/Comox (ie. about 55 inches) to the north. In a normal winter, the strongest winds and perhaps some snow may come in December. Usually by the end of January the crocuses and snowdrops are blooming with Spring heralded in the later parts of February with daffodils.
The area is amenable for almost year-round gardening and golf. Environment Canada rates southeastern Vancouver Island as having the most favourable climate in all of Canada, on the basis of mild winters, abundant sunshine, little fog, light winds and low humidity. Truly a golfer, gardener or sailor's paradise!
Qualicum Beach, an attractive seaside town on the east coast of Vancouver Island, began as a lumbering, summer resort and retirement area. The name "Qualicum" comes from a Coast Salish term that means "where the dog salmon run."
In May 1856 Hudson's Bay Company explorer Adam Grant Horne with a group of aboriginal guides, found a land route across Vancouver Island from the Qualicum River to the Alberni Inlet. He also discovered the Haida massacre of local Salish natives. Horne Lake is named after him. In 1864, the botanist and explorer, Dr. Robert Brown lead a group which explored the area. A road was brought to Parksville in 1886 and extended to Qualicum in 1894. The E and N Railway reached Parksville in 1910 and Qualicum in 1914. H.E. Beasley, a railway official, sponsored the creation of The Merchants Trust and Trading Company which organized the original layout of the town and built the golf links and a hotel in 1913. A private boys' residential school, the Qualicum College was established in 1935 by Robert Ivan Knight. The school grew through the 1960s but attendance diminished and it closed in 1970. The structure exists today, and though operated as a hotel for many years, is currently under re-development for condominiums. It's playing fields have been turned into a housing subdivision. Doukhobor settlers established a communal colony in the adjoining Hilliers farming district from 1946 to 1952.
Qualicum Beach was officially incorporated as a Village on May 5, 1942 and was changed to Town status on January 7, 1983.
Scenic Highway 19A, known as the Oceanside route or the Old Island Highway, runs the length of the town along the shore line of the Strait of Georgia. The quicker 4 lane inland Island Highway 19 connects with 19A just south of Parksville and extends to Campbell River. Qualicum Beach also connects to Highway 4 which runs through Cathedral Grove to Port Alberni and on to Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the West Coast of the Island. KD Air and Orca Air both offer daily service to Vancouver and other locations from the Qualicum Beach Airport. The town has no marina or harbour but does offer a launching area for trailered boats. There are 4 marinas in the adjacent nearby communities. The E&N Railway line exends from Victoria through the local region and on to Courtenay. This service has not seen trains since 2010. There is interest in modifying the railway line to support a tourism-friendly walking/hiking/cycling trail instead. Stay tuned!
Here you can find local produce, crafts, music and a highly enjoyable way to start your weekend!
In Qualicum Beach you can find single family and condominium real estate with walk-on waterfront, ocean views, homes close to walking trails, the downtown Village Centre and even acreages for your horses.
A restaurant bylaw requires food to be prepared on-site and delivered to the table, so you won’t see the much-loved golden arches here! Instead, you will find local entrepreneurs and unique family-run businesses offering pretty much everything you could need.
Ravensong Swimming Pool
This beautiful large indoor pool provides a stimulating setting for your morning laps, aerobics or swimming lessons for all ages. Also, excellent downhill and cross-county skiing is only 50 minutes away at Mount Washington.
There are a variety of cherished green spaces and walking trails in Qualicum Beach. The most notable of which is the 50 acre Heritage Forest with its pockets of impressive 400-year-old Douglas fir trees. This area was saved from residential development by a small group of dedicated volunteers who raised $1.3M from 1996 - 2004. The Town also contributed and these Lands were purchased for under $2M. Today the Heritage Forest provides easy-walking mulch trails with interpretive signage. It is intended as an ecological reserve for the public to appreciate and enjoy wildlife and nature, in perpetuity.
This is an ecological gem situated in the middle of our small Town. Volunteering as an elected Commissioner on the Heritage Forest Commission as well as serving as President of the Brown Property Preservation Society has been most gratifying to Tom. It’s been an opportunity to serve the community plus put his forest ecology background to good use.
Qualicum Beach has its own spectacular white sand beach with miles of beachcombing opportunities and a stunning white-capped Mount Arrowsmith as a backdrop.
You might not know that there are 4 tides each day. Two lows and two highs. The really low tides in summer are in the afternoon which is great for summer beach fun. In winter, the really low tides are in the wee hours of the early morning. So you won’t see the expansive white sands at their best if visiting here in the winter season while looking for real estate. However, in summer, ocean swimming is best done about an hour or so after the tide has reached its daily lowest level and is on the rise. The incoming water gets heated as it cascades over the hot sands making this this best time to enjoy a swim.
Qualicum Beach hosts an annual Brant Wildlife Festival from March to April. This is a celebration of Nature in general, but more specifically the annual migration of Brant geese. These stocky birds stop here to fatten up on herring roe spawn. They come Baja, Mexico and continue on their flight to Alaskan summer breeding grounds.
In 2012, we began a Qualicum Beach Day celebration. What’s needed is about 4 hours of very low tide to provide an expansive sand beach in the early afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday. Beach Day has become a successful annual event and continues to be the celebration and appreciation of our beach and the near shore of our community. Tom is pleased to have been a part of that inaugural organizing committee and continues to play a lead role in organizing Beach Day. Beach day is oriented to families, with two dozien organizations and over 100 volunteers offering a range of activities and displays. Events range from beach seining with a biologist to fossil rubbing with a paleontologist, face-painting, ocean 'touch' pool, skim boarding, fashion show, local music, food, and much, much more! The event is strongly supported by the Town of Qualicum beach and by the local business community, as well as by a number of local volunteer organizations. Beach Day continues to combine an opportnity to enjoy the beach, as well as informing children and adults alike of its significant environmental aspects.
Even Oprah suggests that our Classic Car show is one of the best activities to do on Father’s Day.
Our own Qualicum Beach Airport offers daily flights to Vancouver International Airport starting at 7:00 am. The 25 minute flight takes you to Terminal 2 where you board a shuttle to Terminal 1. There you can make your international connections and catch your 9:30 am flight.
To see my real estate property listings for sale located in a particular community, click on one of these links:
To see my real estate property listings of a particular style, click on one of these links: