The Comox Valley is an amazing place to live. The many small communities in the region also boast a wealth of education and skills, and a devotion to ‘place’ that gives each neighbourhood and hamlet its own unique character. On top of that, if you’re a foodie, the Valley is the place for you. From gate-to-plate hyper-local farm delicacies to some of the best oysters on the Pacific Coast, you’ll never go hungry here.
The region also enjoys a mild climate year-round. Besides the mountains and ski hills to the west, the Comox Valley gets very little snow in the winter, while summers are mild and dry.
For these reasons, as well as relatively mild (for Canada) climate, the Comox Valley is very attractive to people looking for small town and rural alternatives to the high cost of living in the Lower Mainland.
Courtenay… Comox… What’s the Difference?
The Comox Valley lies on the east coast of Vancouver Island, about four hours by car from Victoria, or just over twenty minutes by air from Vancouver International Airport. The region combines striking alpine country on its western border with forests and farmland in the valley itself, and stunning beaches that look out on the spectacular Coast Mountains across the Strait of Georgia.
About 65,000 people live in the Comox Valley. There are three main communities: the former coal mining town of Cumberland, the commercial hub of Courtenay, and Comox itself.
Throughout the valley there are smaller hamlets and villages, each with their own unique regional flavour. Denman and Hornby islands are also just off the coast.
In short, there is a lot to do here, and lots of places to explore.
Things to Do
The Comox Valley is a quintessentially British Columbia community. Nestled between striking mountains and beautiful sea, the communities of the valley also offer a variety of services and shopping. This means that within a short drive from home you’ll always be close to hiking, mountain biking, skiing, boating, walking or just enjoying a day at the beach.
Mount Washington ski area is a short drive from town. A number of beaches and provincial parks such as Miracle Beach are nearby. It’s like being on permanent vacation.
The Comox Valley boasts a wide range of retail shops and services. The three downtowns of Cumberland, Comox and Courtenay offer a local shopping experience, while the Valley is also home to many familiar national retail chains, such as London Drugs, Canadian Tire and Overwaitea. There is also new Costco and Walmart superstores in the valley.
In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price of house in January 2017 was $400,400, up 21 per cent from a year before in January 2016. The strong real estate market is similar what has been happening on the rest of Vancouver Island. While the region has a strong mixed economy that provides plenty of high-paying jobs, another reason why house prices have increased is because people from Vancouver are just discovering how livable the valley is.
Transportation in the Comox Valley
The Comox Valley is a major transportation hub on Vancouver island. Besides being connected by the Inland Highway, there are air links to other parts of Canada. Ferry service connects the community to the Sunshine Coast.
The Inland Highway
Highway 19, known locally as the Island Highway, is the main north-south connector on Vancouver Island. North of Parksville, Highway 19 transitions into an expressway with a speed limit of 120 km/h. This stretch is known as the “Inland Island Highway”, and provides speedy access to the Comox Valley.
Comox International Airport
While it may come as a surprise to some, but Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) offers daily non-stop flights from Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. It’s a quick flight from Vancouver, and connections with other cities makes it easy to travel anywhere in North America or internationally. YQQ is served by Air Canada, Westjet, Pacific Coastal, Harbour Air and other airlines.
There is ferry service to Powell River on the Sunshine Coast from to the Little River ferry terminal in Comox. As well, there is ferry service to Denman and Hornby islands, which are popular vacation destinations in summer.
Residents of the Comox Valley will soon have access to two state-of-the art hospitals costing a combined total of $600 million. With one facility located in the Comox Valley, and the other in Campbell River about forty minutes by car to the north, the two new hospitals will open to the public in September, 2017. Besides providing world-class care, the two state-of-the-art hospitals are intended to improve the region’s ability to recruit and retain medical professionals for years to come.
Classic LifeCare is proud to now have a presence in the Comox Valley. Having acquired in December of 2016 home care agency OmniCare for People at Home, Classic LifeCare provides the office with support from Vancouver and shares the processes and policies Classic developed through the accreditation process with Accreditation Canada. The office is located at 1822 Comox Avenue #200A in Comox. Call (250) 890-7535.