Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
Crofton, British Columbia, Canada is located just east of Hwy 1,
75km (45mi) north of Victoria on Vancouver Island.
[Crofton Business Directory]
Population: (2006) 2,500 people
Location: Latitude / Longitude - 48:51:56 N. / 123:38:13 W
Elevation: from 1 to 1,178 ft [0.25 to 359 m] above sea level
Native Bands: Halalt First Nation
Name Place and History:
R26;An extinct group of First Nation peoples known as the Tliyamen (translated means 'people of the mountain') once hunted, fished and lived in and around the Crofton area. However, they vanished several hundred years before the arrival of white explorers.
R26;In the mid-1800s, the area was cleared and settled by several homesteaders who farmed the land and cut lumber, on parcels of land provided by the government.
R26;In 1873, what would become Crofton was incorporated as the District of North Cowichan.
R26;Crofton was founded in 1902 by Henry Croft, who owned the nearby Mt. Sicker copper mine. He built a smelter on the coast so he could ship refined copper. In 1906 Henry Croft sold the smelter to Britannia Mine, but then it closed in January 1908. Instantly, rumours began that a large sawmill would be built. When Henry Croft died in 1917, the rumours were still just rumors, and Crofton itself was struggling to survive. This stagnation lasted until the mid-1950s.
R26;In 1955, a wharf was built and began a ferry service to cross the water to Saltspring Island. BC Ferries now controls the route, which has in recent years had to improve the local roads due to backed up traffic. Crofton continues to have small amounts of tourists in the town each year, mostly on their way to Saltspring Island.
R26;British Columbia Forest Products Ltd. saw the potential of the area with its deep sea, stable workforce, abundance of lumber, and began construction of a pulp and paper mill in 1956. The mill opened in December 1957, and continues to work today. Once owned until 2001 by Fletcher Challenge, it is now owned by Catalyst Paper Corporation.
R26;The pulp mill, which has operated for over 50 years, is likely to be the last operating pulp mill on Vancouver Island by 2015. Nothing is being planned to replace the mill, which is the source of employment for around 1,000 people and a major part of the local economy in Crofton and the surrounding area.
Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Information Centre for Crofton
R26;Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce
Cathy Mailhot, Manager
381 Trans Canada Hwy
Duncan, BC V9L 3R5
R26;Visitor Centre (Community and Tourism Information)
Alison Philp, Visitor Services Coordinator
381a Trans Canada Hwy
Duncan BC V9L 3R5
Toll Free: 1-888-303-3337
Nestled into the protected waters of Osborne Bay, Crofton is a community that is bustling with activity. This is a deep sea port that services the Catalyst Mill. Deep sea freighters come from all over the world to load paper from the mill, while tugboats haul logs and barges for chips or rail cars. There are no tours at this time of their production facilities.
Early in the 1990s a vision was conceived by the Crofton Community Centre Society to create a scenic walkway along the Crofton shoreline. In 2002 phase one of the seawalk was completed on Crofton's 100th anniversary. The seawalk will stretch from the wharf and ferry terminal to Crofton Beach, a distance of over one kilometre. Currently, the first two phases have been completed, with the third phase in the process. While visiting Crofton, make sure to take a stroll along the sea walk.
R26;Old School House Museum
The first Crofton school was a one-room school house built in 1905. Henry Croft himself donated two full lots for the school to used; that land is in use as of 2006. The original school continued to serve the town until 1950. In 1985 the then derelict original school house was moved four blocks down the hill and located near the shoreline where it was restored and is now used as a museum. A visit will illustrate some of the colourful past of this vibrant community.
Play area, ferry terminal, and picnic area. Newly added foot bridge along the shoreline. Access from downtown Crofton.
R26;Crofton Farmer's Market:
Crofton has a Saturday morning market from the first weekend in May to the first weekend in October, located in the green space next to the ferry terminal.
R26;The Brass Bell Pub with its outdoor deck offers good food with spectacular views of Saltspring Island. If the weather conditions are right, you will be rewarded with a picture postcard view of snowy Mount Baker.
Other places worth exploring in or close by to Crofton in North Cowichan include; Maple Bay and the hike up Maple Mountain, beachcombing at Crofton's Osborne Bay, discovering private swimming holes on the Chemainus River Provincial Park.
Crofton is also where you catch the ferry to Saltspring Island.There are many places to take some great walks, view wildlife and lots of beachcombing along the ocean shoreline.
R26;There are a number of B&B's and RV resorts in the area.
Parks and Trails:
R26;Chemainus River Provincial Park:
Access to the park is on the Hillcrest Payne logging road, off the Cowichan Valley Highway 18, 4 miles (6 km) west of Highway 1.
R26;Crofton Beach: Play area, ferry terminal, and picnic area. Newly added foot bridge along the shoreline. Access from downtown Crofton.
Crofton is the northern Vancouver Island ferry link to Saltspring Island. This interesting 20 minute ferry ride passes by picturesque Thetis and Kuper Islands. From this vantage point you can really see the full range of port and paper manufacturing activities.
R26;BC Ferries Routes and Schedules
R26;VIA Rail Train Station
R26;Island Coach Lines
R26;Nanaimo Airport, Cassidy
Hospitals: Serving Crofton BC
R26;Cowichan District Hospital:
3045 Gibbins Road
Duncan, BC V9L 1E5
Cities, Towns, Villages & Communities near Crofton:
R26;Maple Bay, BC
R26;Thetis Island, BC
R26;Yellow Point, BC