Situated at the northern edge of the Cowichan Valley on Canada’s 49th parallel is the enchanting town of Ladysmith.

Founded at the turn of the century by industrialist James Dunsmuir as a place to house mine workers, the town is chock full of restored heritage buildings – vestiges of a frontier past financed by coal and lumber.

The downtown core is also home to a wide variety of shops, boutiques, bookstores, antique dealers and more eateries than you can shake a stick at: bistros, bakeries, Chinese, Indian, sushi, vegetarian, pizza, seafood and more.

A walking tour of Ladysmith’s heritage route will take you past the heritage artifacts lining First Avenue and then ultimately to the Waterfront Art Gallery and BC’s only floating museum.

Nearby is Transfer Beach, a scenic park that features swimming beaches, a giant playground and a place to rent paddleboards and kayaks.

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