Many towns and cities around the world have fairly common names. Washington comes to mind. There are 88 places in the US with this name. Within Canada, Mount Pleasant is fairly common. This is not the case with Comox. Google the name of this small seaside town and google does not come back with any other towns or cities with the same name. Comox is an anglicized name of Komoux which was the name given to the area by the Hudson Bay Company when they set up a post in the area by the middle of the 18th Century. At the time the area offered settlers abundant sea life, fertile soil and a moderate climate. These qualities are still part of the allure of this area. There is, of course, much more offered by this currently quaint little seaside community located on the Eastern shore mid-way up Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island was named the best island in Canada in 2017 by Travel and Leisure Magazine’s readers and it was recognized at their annual World’s Best Awards ceremony. The nearby city of Courtenay often gets more attention than the adjacent town of Comox because of its size. For example, Courtenay was named by Amazon Canada as the fourth most Romantic City in Canada in 2017. This was not for its actual romantic setting but based on sales data on a per capita basis for romance novels, romantic comedies and other products. Hokey? Yes. Having said that, Courtenay and Comox are very popular destinations by travelers to Vancouver Island.
Let’s start with the climate. Daytime temperatures vary, on average, from 6 in December and January to 23 in July and August while overnight temperatures for the same periods range from 1 to 14. Total average rainfall is about 1187 mm (47 inches) and total average snowfall is about 75 cm. Some years the area gets more and others less. The rainiest months are October through March. Having said this, take today (10 April 2019) as an example. It was 16 and sunny in Comox while Ottawa was getting a dusting of snow and 1 C. Yes, the late fall and winter can be wet but often the rain comes in bursts and there are some nice days in between. It does snow but some years we rarely get any. Next is the scenery. Ocean views, mountain vistas and green most of the year round. Some parts are spectacular.
Getting outside to enjoy the seemingly endless outdoor recreational opportunities is a draw for many people. But so is the skiing, golfing, ocean and freshwater fishing which often can all be done in the same weekend and even in the same day. A short drive to the Comox marina and wharf to buy the catch of the day from local fisherman tied up at the Comox Fisherman’s Wharf or a stroll down the wharf to enjoy the scenery and sunset along with views of the Comox Glacier? Perhaps a short drive to the Comox Spit to enjoy views of the Strait of Georgia along with the Coastal Mountain range? How about having a great meal and a glass of your favourite beverage with a seaside window seat at a local pub? Nine holes of golf in downtown Comox while walking next to the local deer who seem to be residents of the local course? These are just a few of the many things to do in the local area.
It is nice to have an airport located about 5 minutes away from downtown Comox ready to provide you with a gateway to the world when the desire takes you away to places like the Caribbean and Hawaii. If you prefer to drive, take the scenic seaside island highway south to the ferry or the four-lane expressway there to save time. About an hour and 15 minutes later and you will be waiting for the ferry while enjoying your Starbucks or other favourite beverage. The ferry crossing is about an hour and 40 minutes which gives you time to relax, have a meal and enjoy the ocean scenery and wildlife. Going to the US? Then take the ferry about 15 further south to Duke Point, across to Tsawwassen, and then about 20 minutes drive to the US border. Seattle is another couple of hours south.
After visiting the area, you may just decide to relocate to the Comox area. If you do, there are a wide variety of homes available for sale each year. As with most local real estate markets they do change from year-to-year and they are often cyclical as they vary from buyers to neutral to sellers’ markets. Over the past couple of years, average and median home prices have risen but they are still a relative bargain compared to mainland BC. Where else can you be so close to the ocean and yet far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Vancouver and its suburbs?