Ladysmith BC on Vancouver Island is only a 85
km (53 mi) drive north of Victoria BC on Hwy 1...a short trip filled with ocean
and mountain views. Ladysmith BC is 26 km 16 (mi) south of Nanaimo BC. South of
Nanaimo, closer to Ladysmith is Cassidy, home to the Nanaimo Airport and the Duke
Point Ferry Terminal providing various easy access points to the Ladysmith BC
includes water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, diving, boating,
golfing, and water-skiing. The archipelago of islands around the Ladysmith area
makes it one of the most popular paddle sport destinations in N. America. There
are three marinas: two are public, and one is commercial. Attractions include
Skateboard park, par 3 golf courses.
Beach Park is a popular spot for swimmers, picnics and large gatherings. Popular
attractions are the amphitheatre, logger sport facilities, horseshoe pitch, barbecue
huts, kids playgrounds, sand volleyball and basketball courts, concession stand,
and kayak rentals. It is a well-planned and attractive park with acres of grass
and flowerbeds, surrounded by big trees.
Ladysmith in the hills is a 4-kilometer hike through a rainforest with bridges,
wildlife and waterfalls. This area includes Stocking Lake, one of the two main
sources of Ladysmith's drinking water.
has focused its interest on attracting tourism by setting up world-renowned annual
festivals and events. In spring there is a two-day festival which attracts hundreds
of paddle sport enthusiasts for boating fun, food and music. On Canada Day there
is cake, fun and music on Ladysmith's historic waterfront. On BC Day there is
a daylong weekend parade, a soapbox derby, logger sports, games, rides, music,
entertainment and fireworks.. Ladysmith Fall Fair in late August or September,
showcases Ladysmith and area talents in horticulture, arts and crafts, home economics,
beer and winemaking.
are two main shopping areas: the First Avenue in the downtown area and the modern
Coronation Mall on the Island Highway, with a wide variety of shops, services
with its downtown heritage buildings, was named one of the ten prettiest towns
in Canada by Harrowsmith Country Life magazine. Ladysmith has been given the National
Communities in Bloom Award with a 5-Bloom rating, with a special mention for Heritage
was originally known as Oyster Bay, formed in the late 1800s...then came the coal
mining and logging industries. In 1986 the logging industry pulled out, and in
2003 Ladysmith introduced the Festival of Lights, which displays thousands of
lights, from the last Thursday of November till the New Year, attracting over
10,000 people in one night and continuing to the present day. An official light
-up ceremony includes a parade, spaghetti dinner and fireworks.
Dunsmuir, owner of the mines, was laying out his new township of Oyster Harbor
in 1900 when he received news that British troops under the command of General
Buller had broken the four month siege of Ladysmith in Natal province, South Africa
and decided then that his new town would be named Ladysmith to honor this British
victory of the Anglo/South African war of 1899 to 1902. Ladysmith was used as
a dormitory and recreation complex for the miners and their families and as a
shipping port for coal from the Extension Mines in Nanaimo. It was incorporated
in 1904 and the town grew rapidly over the next few years mostly due to the coal
industry, but also because of copper excavated from Mount Sicker, which continued
'till 1912. The following year the coal miners up and down the Island went on
strike. Bombs targeted equipment and homes, prevailing for over a year when the
military was called in and the riots were crushed. Ten years later the mines were
shutting down as the demand for coal was dissipating and the coal getting harder
to find. The areas residents turned to logging and other forms of employment after
the mines closed in the 30s, but in 1933 1000s of trees toppled in a massive windstorm
[known as the Big Wind] and the logging industry was born when the Comox Logging
& Railway Co used the harbor as a shipping port.
Guide: The Holland Creek Loop, The Heart Lake Loop, The Stocking Lake Loop, The
Rotary Lookout Trail, The Estuary Trail, The Marine Walk. Developed through the
collaboration of volunteers, government grants, and staff.