Small, in a big way.

If you travel to Duncan via the Trans Canada Highway, be sure to turn off the highway to visit the city’s charming downtown core. Here you’ll discover bustling streets that are speckled with Victorian-era buildings and over 300 unique businesses, such as art galleries, bistros, cafes, chocolatiers, clothing boutiques, and quaint shops.

Warm welcomes await in historical brick shopfronts, quirky boutiques, and vibrant stores stocking a variety of our local goods all in one place. Many of our visitors come to the region specifically for our artisans and the connection found in this distinctively Cowichan experience. 

There is more to do and see per square foot than any other city. Duncan really is ‘small, in a big way’.

The City of Totems

This eclectic city nestled in the heart of the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is known as the “City of Totems.” Downtown Duncan features over 40 beautifully carved totems by Indigenous artists from across Vancouver Island, Canada and as far away as New Zealand. Take a self-guided walking tour of the collection and learn about the unique stories and rich history behind each one. Pick-up a totem tour map at the Cowichan Valley Museum or take a virtual tour with this interactive map.

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Downtown Duncan

It’s a place where you can truly connect with the local community, uncover hidden gems, and bring home mementos that will remind you of the town’s enchanting charm. Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind gifts or locally-made souvenirs, you’ll find it here. From specialty food stores, to home décor, book stores, boutique fashion, handcrafted jewellery, antique shops and much more – there is something for everyone!

Be sure to visit the Cowichan Valley Museum to learn about First Nations history, early European settlement and the development of industries such as logging and agriculture.

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Farmers’ Market

Join us every Saturday from 9am to 2pm in the heart of Downtown Duncan.

Peruse local fare at the Duncan Farmers’ Market which takes place in the historic downtown core. Every Saturday (rain or shine) the market comes alive with vibrant energy, boasting over 100 vendors showcasing their goods under a canopy of tents spanning Craig Street and Ingram Street. This is the perfect place to get a taste of Cowichan while shopping from our local farmers, makers, artisans and producers.

New for 2024, visitors can also experience the Duncan Farmers Market Night Market! On the third Thursday of each month from June to November, Downtown Duncan will transform into a lively hub of excitement, featuring live music, delectable food, fresh produce from local farms, and endless fun for all ages. Don’t miss this vibrant celebration of community and culture!

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Along with the authentic Indigenous culture Cowichan offers, check out what other quirky and unexpected things there are.

Explore Cowichan