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Ladysmith

Named in April 2000 by Harrowsmith Country Life magazine as one of the "10 Prettiest Towns in Canada,” Ladysmith is perched on the hillside overlooking Ladysmith Harbour. The town has a population of 7,111 and is one of the oldest settlements on Vancouver Island. 

Arts and Culture

Find a walking tour map and head out for a stroll along First Avenue to see Ladysmith’s turn-of-the century buildings. You’ll be taken back to the town’s frontier past, which was built on coal mining and forestry. Don’t miss the house of ill repute! For more history lessons, visit the Black Nugget Museum, located in the former Jones Hotel (closed in the 1930s). The museum houses an impressive collection of antiques and regional memorabilia. 

Held from the last Thursday of November through to New Years Eve, Ladysmith’s Festival of Lights is really spectacular with thousands of decorative lights that take over 1000 volunteer hours to hang. The event kicks off with a parade and fireworks show.

 

Getting to Ladysmith

Ladysmith is located just south of Nanaimo on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

  • By Vehicle: Take the Island Highway and watch for the signs!
  • By Air: You may fly into the Cassidy Airport, 9km north of Ladysmith.
  • By Bus: Coach lines operate between Victoria and Nanaimo and will stop in Ladysmith. 
  • By Train: Arrive via the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway (VIA Rail) as it runs between Victoria and Courtenay in the Comox Valley.
Outdoor Adventure

Surrounded by lovely mountainous terrain alongside streams and lakes, Ladysmith is a convenient departure point for hiking, hunting, camping, fishing and lots of other outdoor activities. You might enjoy a few of the following outdoor areas:
• The Holland Creek Trail System (4km) winds around both sides of Holland Creek. This walking route will lead you through the centre of the municipality of Ladysmith. 
• Transfer Beach, in Ladysmith Harbour, offers warm saltwater swimming and is a great place for a picnic. You can also rent a kayak from here or watch a show in the amphitheatre on the beach. 
• Dunsmuir and Woods Islands on the north side of Ladysmith Harbour are good summer destinations, while the marshy lagoon at the head of the harbour attracts migrating birds in spring and fall. 

If you’ve got a wild streak, you may want to try North America's first and only bridge built specifically for bungee jumpers. The bridge is 140ft. above the Nanaimo River and is just a five-minute drive north of Ladysmith.

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British Columbia, Canada

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