Tofino, British Columbia
, is a fishing
and tourist village
, with an approximate population of 1600
over 28.6km² of land, located at the point of the Esowista Peninsula
near to the delta of Clayoquot Sound
, on the west coast of Vancouver Island
. It is 42km north of Ucluelet
, and 130km west of Port Alberni
. It is bordered to the east, north, and west by the Pacific Ocean
, and by the Pacific National Park Reserve
to the south. Its absolute geographic coordinates are 49.1° N 125.8° W.
Tofino is credited with being the westmost point reachable by automobile, and Canada's only paved road to the open Pacific Ocean, making it the official western terminus of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Originally home to the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations, in 1792, the village was named after the Spanish hydrographer and Rear Admiral, Vincente Tofino de San Miguel (1732-1795).
Although Tofino has an annual average of 3m of precipitation, the summertime population can exceed 25000. Land value in Tofino is quite high, and non-waterfront property currently costs around $247000/hectare. The average age of Tofino residents is 32.3 years. Tofino's mayor is Allen Anderson.
With great oceans and long stretches of sandy beaches, vast old-growth rainforest, burgeoning marine life, and the presence of natural hot springs, it makes sense that Tofino has had a legacy of environmental activism. Resource extraction and tourism enterprises see the region as ripe for harvest and development. Tofino's mascot, the Eik Cedar Tree, a 800-year-old Western Red Cedar, is Canada's most famous tree. When the foresters were issued a felling permit, Tofino residents joined in solidarity to protect it. Two citizens went so far as to spend 28 days suspended 25m up the tree. In 2002, a steel girdle was anchored about the base to protect it from axe and saw.
Near to Tofino is the 3000km² wilderness of Clayoquot Sound, the Clayoquot UN Biosphere, and the Pacific Rim National Park.
Activities of particular interest in Tofino include fishing, sea kayaking, windsurfing, storm watching, whale watching, hot springs, bike tours, diving, surfing, and ecotourism.
On Vancouver Island, only Jordan River and Tofino support a surfing community. In Tofino, the winter storm season produces the largest waves, attracting surfers the whole year round. The ocean stays 6-7°, and Tofino's mean annual air temperature is the highest in Canada.