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North Cowichan was incorporated on June 18, 1873, and is the fifth oldest municipality in B.C. In 1912, the “big city” part of the municipality voted to secede from the rural part, which resulted in the creation of the City of Duncan.
North Cowichan spans 195 square kilometers, with 40 kilometres of oceanfront along the east side of Vancouver Island. We are bordered by the Salish Sea to the east, Cowichan Tribes IR1, Duncan and Cowichan Bay to the south, the settlements of Cowichan Station, Glenora, and Sahtlam to the west, and Saltair and Ladysmith to the north. We are a member municipality of the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD).
The Municipality of North Cowichan sits on the traditional territories of the Quw’utsun First Nation, which includes the Cowichan Tribes, the Halalt First Nation, the Lyackson First Nation, the Penelakut Tribe, and the Stz'uminus First Nation. North Cowichan also sits on the traditional, territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.
North Cowichan is a community of communities, and the municipality includes Crofton, Chemainus, Maple Bay, Quamichan, Bell McKinnon, Berkey’s Corner, and South End/University Village. Each unique area has its own history and values, as well as natural and built environments that define its character.
In 2021, North Cowichan had a total population of 31,990.