Tofino is a district of approximately 1,932 residents on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The district is located at the western terminus of Highway 4 on the tip of the Esowista Peninsula at the southern edge of Clayoquot Sound.

A popular tourist destination in the summer, Tofino's population swells to many times its winter size. It attracts surfers, hikers, nature lovers, bird watchers, campers, whale watchers, fishers, or anyone just looking to be close to nature. In the winter it is not as bustling, although many people visit Tofino and the west coast to watch storms on the water. Close to Tofino is Long Beach, a scenic and popular year-round destination, at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. With its natural hot springs, Maquinna Marine Provincial Park[2] is a popular day-trip destination for tourists. Reachable by boat or floatplane, the park is located about 45 kilometres (28 mi) north of Tofino.

District of Tofino[1]
View toward Meares Island
View toward Meares Island
Tofino is located in British Columbia
Location of Tofino
Tofino is located in Canada
Tofino (Canada)
Coordinates: 49°08′38″N 125°53′30″W / 49.14389°N 125.89167°W
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional DistrictAlberni-Clayoquot
 • MayorJosie Osborne
 • Total10.53 km2 (4.07 sq mi)
10 m (30 ft)
 • Total1,932
 • Density183.1/km2 (474/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Postal code span
V0R 2Z0
Area code(s)250


The settlement acquired its name in 1909 with the opening of the Tofino Post Office, named after the nearby Tofino Inlet.[3] This geographical feature had been named in 1792 by the Spanish explorers Galiano and Valdés, in honour of Admiral Vicente Tofiño de San Miguel y Wanderiales (or Vanderiales), under whom Galiano had learned cartography.[4]


Tofino Airport, 11 km south of the town, is accessible to private and commercial aircraft. Floatplanes land on the inlet in town. Coastal fog is a common morning phenomenon in the summer, complicating access by air until the weather clears.

Tofino is located at the western end of Highway 4 that connects the community with Port Alberni and the population centres on the east coast of Vancouver Island. There are no roads connecting Tofino along the west coast of Vancouver Island except to the nearby community of Ucluelet.

Boat services connect Tofino with coastal communities such as Ahousat and Hot Springs Cove. Wildlife-watching tour boats operate in the area. In October 2015, a whale watching vessel capsized off the coast of Tofino resulting the deaths of 6 passengers.

Festivities and events

Every March, the migration of thousands of grey whales is celebrated with the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. The last weekend of April is the Tofino Shorebird Festival. The first week-end of June brings the Tofino Food and Wine Festival, featuring British Columbia wines and showcasing the creations of Tofino chefs. The end of August brings the Tofino Lantern Festival (voted Tofino's most popular event by Tofino Time Magazine), early September has the week long Race for The Blue Tuna Shoot-Out[5] from September 7th – 15th, and mid-September brings "Art in the Gardens," a two-day arts and music festival. The O'Neill Coldwater Surf Classic was held 25–31 October, the first professional ASP surf event ever held in Canada. In November is the Clayoquot Oyster Festival,[6] as well as the Queen of the Peak all-female surf competition.[7] Rip Curl Pro Tofino, the official Canadian surfing championship, has been held each year in May, since 2007.[8]


Pebble of the morning, on Long Beach in late summer, near Tofino

Due to Tofino's mild winters yet cool summers, the location is the very definition of temperate. Tofino's winters are mild enough that it can grow palm trees. Summers are the driest season with 76.8 mm of rain in July - still more than most other locations in BC for that month.[9] During the cooler season, however, there is a lot of precipitation, with 492.1 mm in November alone. Nearly all of the precipitation that falls throughout the course of a year is rain, with 203 days with rain and only 7.8 days with snowfall. Due to its location on the westernmost part of Vancouver Island, Tofino faces the Pacific Ocean, unimpeded by any mountains to the west (and therefore not subject to a rain shadow effect like much of the eastern island and the BC interior). Winter cyclonic storms frequently pass over the town deluging it with rain, making it one of the wettest locations in Canada. The month of November alone brings more precipitation to Tofino than that received for more than an entire year in parts of the BC interior such as Kamloops and Penticton.[9] Like the rest of BC, summer brings relative dryness; even so, it still receives much more summertime precipitation than the interior or even the coast (which can often be susceptible to drought-like conditions until the onset of autumn).[9]

The highest temperature ever recorded in Tofino was 33.9 °C (93 °F) on 15 July 1941.[10] The coldest temperature ever recorded was −15.0 °C (5 °F) on 30 January 1969.[11]

A cold front edge moving over Cox Bay


Tofino has modern cell phone and land line access (including Internet and ADSL).


Tofino has one newspaper, the Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News. Radio stations heard in Tofino are CHMZ-FM on 90.1 FM, and CBC Radio One on 91.5 FM.

Health and education

Public education is offered by the School District 70 Alberni, through the Wickaninnish Community School in Tofino and Ucluelet Secondary School in Ucluelet. The town's hospital is the Tofino General Hospital, operated by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA).[13]

Cultural references

Sand dollar on a Tofino beach


Film and television

  • Tofino was a filming location for the film The Twilight Saga: New Moon in March and April 2009. South Beach, located near Wickaninnish Beach inside Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and Incinerator Rock at Long Beach were used.[16]
  • Going the Distance (2004 film)


  1. ^ "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  2. ^ "redirect". Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Tofino". BC Geographical Names.
  4. ^ Dionisio Alcalá Galiano: The Canadian Adventure of a Spanish Naval Hero, Malaspina University-College
  5. ^ "Blue Tuna Shoot-Out". Tofino Resort + Marina. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Trefler, C., ed. (2008). Fodor's Vancouver and Victoria (illustrated ed.). Fodor's Travel Publications. p. 262. ISBN 1400019184.
  7. ^ "Storm watching is catching on". Toronto Star, November 5, 2016, page T1, Emma Yardley.
  8. ^ "Rip Curl Pro Tofino - Announces Dates for 2017". Rip Curl. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". Environment Canada. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  10. ^ "Daily Data Report for July 1941". Environment Canada. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Calculation Information for 1981 to 2010 Canadian Normals Data". Environment Canada. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Clayoquot". Environment Canada. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  13. ^ Tofino General Hospital. Retrieved 2011-10-24
  14. ^ Steve Huey. "The Life of the Party". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  15. ^ "Prairie Dance Club - Prairie Dance Club | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  16. ^ "Tofino provides perfect setting for Twilight's vampires". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  1. ^ Extreme high and low temperatures in the table below were recorded at Clayoquot from December 1896 to June 1943 and at Tofino Airport from July 1943 to present.

External links

  • Media related to Tofino at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 49°08′38″N 125°53′30″W / 49.14389°N 125.89167°W

British Columbia Highway 4

Highway 4 is the longest east-west main vehicle route on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, with a total length of 162 km (100 mi). It known locally as the Alberni Highway to the east of Port Alberni and the Pacific Rim Highway to the west. The original highway from Parksville to Alberni and Port Alberni was completed in 1942 and was originally designated as Highway 1A. It was re-designated as Highway 4 in 1953, and was extended in 1961 to the small community of Tofino, on the west coast of the Island.

CCGS Cape Ann

The CCGS Cape Ann is one of the Canadian Coast Guard's 36 Cape class motor life boat. Cape Ann was built in the Victoria Shipyards, in Vancouver, and was dedicated at Victoria, British Columbia in June 2005 and is stationed at Tofino. The Cape Ann was profiled in a segment on this class of motor life boats on the television show How things work.


CHMZ-FM is a Canadian radio station that broadcasts at 90.1 FM in Tofino, British Columbia. It is rebroadcast via and Internet stream on 99.5 FM CIMM-FM in Ucluelet. Collectively, the stations are labelled as Long Beach Radio. Programming targets regional news and events as well as a focus on emerging Canadian artists. Both stations are on-air twenty four hours a day, year round.

Currently the station has a daily morning show hosted by Tofino resident, JJ Belanger. There are also a number of local, mostly volunteer hosts who provide themed programming. Long Beach Radio also imports some nationally syndicated programs and Vancouver Canucks hockey. Daily information programming includes local and national news and sports, tide reports, weather, driving conditions, marine weather and surf conditions.

CHMZ received approval in 2004 and signed on August 16, 2005.In 2016, McBride Communications has dropped the Long Beach Radio simulcast on CHMZ-FM 90.1 Tofino and CIMM-FM 99.5 Ucluelet replacing it with local programming on both stations. CHMZ-FM is now known as TUFF CITY RADIO 90.1 and sister station CIMM-FM is now known as UKEE RADIO 99.5. Both stations have retained their Eclectic Rock & Variety formats.


Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp. is a Canadian manufacturer of an electrically-powered microcar. The company was established in 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia by Henry Reisner of Intermeccanica and Jerry Kroll, a former race-car champion and the former CEO of CRAiLAR Technologies. Kroll was also an MLA candidate in 2017 for the Green Party. He has previously developed electric drive systems in race cars for five years at the NASA Research Park in Mountain View, California.Components for Meccanica vehicles are supplied from China, including a partnership with Zongshen Industrial Group. The assembly is performed in British Columbia in New Westminster. Retail stores are located in Vancouver, British Columbia and Los Angeles, California, with plans for expansion across major cities in the USA and around the world.

Gord Johns

Gord Johns (born November 29, 1969) is a Canadian businessman and politician. Since 2015, he has served as the New Democratic Member of Parliament for the federal electoral riding of Courtenay—Alberni in the House of Commons of Canada. He previously served as a town councilor for Tofino, British Columbia and founded a number of small businesses.

KD Air

For the Russian airline company, see KD Avia.

KD Air Corporation is an airline based in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada offering both scheduled and charter service.

List of airlines of Canada

This is a list of airlines of Canada which have an Air Operator Certificate issued by Transport Canada, the civil aviation authority of Canada. Please see lists of airlines by provinces or territories for sorted lists.

Note: Airlines in italics have scheduled passenger service.

List of airports on Vancouver Island

This is a list of airports on Vancouver Island.

No. 115 Squadron RCAF

No. 115 Squadron was a Royal Canadian Air Force Canadian Home War Establishment (HWE) Squadron. It flew anti-submarine patrols on the British Columbian and Alaskan coasts as part of Western Air Command. On 7 July 1942, F/Sgt. PMG Thomas and the crew of his Bollingbroke attacked the Japanese submarine Ro32 damaging it badly and they then directed U.S. Destroyers to the scene which sunk it. The squadron disbanded at Tofino, British Columbia in August 1944.

No. 4 Squadron RCAF

No. 4 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron was a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron that was active during the Second World War. It was formed on 17 January 1933 at RCAF Station Jericho Beach and flew civil operations until 1939. During the war it was primarily used in an anti-submarine role with Western Air Command and was based at Tofino, British Columbia. The squadron flew the Blackburn Shark, Supermarine Stranraer, Consolidated Canso and Consolidated Catalina before disbanding on 7 August 1945.

Orca Airways

Orca Airways was a scheduled and charter airline based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The airline provided scheduled commercial service, cargo and charter services, and aircraft management in Canada and the western United States. Orca operated a fleet of that includes 14 Piper PA-31-350 Chieftains, 1 Fairchild SA227s and 2 Beechcraft Model 100 King Air. The company operated from the south terminal at Vancouver International Airport.

RCAF Station Tofino

RCAF Station Tofino (ADC ID: C-36) was a Second World War and Cold War, Royal Canadian Air Force, Radar station located in British Columbia. It was located 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi) southeast of Tofino, British Columbia, Canada.

School District 70 Alberni

School District 70 Alberni is a school district on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The board office and the majority of the schools are located in Port Alberni but the district extends to the west to include Ucluelet, Tofino, and Bamfield.

Surfing in Canada

Surfing in Canada is practised on its east and west coasts, as well as via lake surfing on the Great Lakes, and river surfing on standing waves and tidal bores.

Tofino/Long Beach Airport

Tofino/Long Beach Airport, (IATA: YAZ, ICAO: CYAZ), is a regional airport that is located 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi) southeast of Tofino, British Columbia, Canada.

It is used by private and small commercial turboprop planes. Coastal fog is a common morning phenomenon in the summer, complicating access by air until the weather clears. Several IFR approaches are available including GPS and NDB types. This airport is not equipped for night time operations. A golf course is just west of the runway.

Tofino Air

Tofino Air is a small Canadian airline offering floatplane service from Tofino, British Columbia. Tofino Air offers scheduled services, scenic tours, and specialized charters.

Tofino Harbour Water Aerodrome

Tofino Harbour Water Aerodrome (IATA: YTP, TC LID: CAB4) is located in Tofino Harbour adjacent to Tofino, British Columbia, Canada.


Ucluelet (, also Ukee locally) is a district municipality (population about 1,717) on the Ucluelet Peninsula on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Ucluelet means "people of the safe harbour" in the indigenous Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) language.

Climate data for Tofino Airport, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1896–present[a]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.1
Average high °C (°F) 8.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.3
Average low °C (°F) 2.3
Record low °C (°F) −15.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 486.6
Average rainfall mm (inches) 477.4
Average snowfall cm (inches) 9.2
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 22.7 18.7 21.7 18.4 15.7 13.8 10.0 10.9 11.7 19.4 22.9 21.9 207.8
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 22.1 18.4 21.5 18.4 15.7 13.8 10.0 10.9 11.7 19.4 22.6 21.6 205.9
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 1.9 1.5 1.3 0.4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.9 2.0 7.8
Average relative humidity (%) 83.6 76.7 75.6 73.2 71.3 71.7 71.7 74.8 73.2 79.3 82.9 84.6 76.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 58.6 81.6 126.3 170.3 203.1 190.9 226.7 199.6 175.8 116.1 62.5 56.5 1,668.1
Percent possible sunshine 21.7 28.5 34.3 41.5 42.9 39.4 46.4 44.8 46.4 34.6 22.7 22.0 35.4
Source: Environment Canada[11][12]
Communities on Vancouver Island
Flag of British Columbia Subdivisions of British Columbia
Metro areas and
District municipalities

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