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Detour off the Trans Canada Highway and explore the City of Totems. The streets of Duncan’s revitalized, architecturally striking downtown are lined with shops, galleries, bookstores, restaurants, cafes, and a popular brewpub and wine bar. Verse yourself in local history at the downtown museum next to the train station before taking a free, self-guided or group tour of 38 First Nations’ totems (including one of the world’s widest) that line downtown streets. Along the way sample Duncan’s water (voted best in Canada in a national competition) from a remarkable water fountain known locally as “Quench”.

Downtown shopping options include tots, fashion, books, Cowichan sweaters, and First Nations’ art. Catch live music at such festivals as Duncan Daze and the Duncan Summer Festival. And don’t miss the Duncan Farmers’ Market, a year-round Saturday tradition in city Square that features live entertainment and more than 120 vendors selling local produce, crafts, baked goods, fashion, jewellery, and more.

A short drive north of Duncan’s historic core is the BC Forest Discovery Centre. Set on generous grounds that can be circled about a steam train, the centre honours the Island’s forestry industry with exhibits, special events, and an open-air museum that houses vintage locomotives. Further down the road, birds of prey perform incredible aerial feats under the guidance of skilled handlers at Pacific Northwest Raptors. Country music fans flock to SunFest at Laketown Ranch, the largest country music festival west of the Prairies.

Visit Tourism Cowichan to learn more about this and other nearby communities.

Duncan & North Cowichan Businesses

Averill Creek Vineyard
Jacquie Gordon’s Bed & Breakfast
The Raptors