Tofino

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Tofino
District municipality
District of Tofino[1]
View toward Meares Island
View toward Meares Island
Tofino is located in British Columbia
Tofino
Tofino
Location of Tofino in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°08′38″N 125°53′30″W / 49.14389°N 125.89167°W / 49.14389; -125.89167
Country  Canada
Province  British Columbia
Regional District Alberni-Clayoquot
Incorporated 1932
Government
 • Mayor Josie Osborne
Area
 • Total 10.53 km2 (4.07 sq mi)
Elevation 10 m (30 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,876
 • Density 178.2/km2 (462/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
Postal code span V0R 2Z0
Area code(s) 250
Climate Cfb
Website www.tofino.ca

Tofino is a district of about 1,876 residents on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada, 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, nature lovers, bird watchers, campers, whale watchers, fishermen, 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. Maquinna Marine Provincial Park,[2] with its natural hot springs, is located about 45 kilometres (28 mi) north of Tofino, a popular day-trip destination for tourists only reachable by boat or float plane.

Etymology[edit]

The settlement first 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]

Transportation[edit]

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.

Accessing Tofino by car from the North American mainland involves taking a ferry to Vancouver Island (from the Canadian ports of either Vancouver or Powell River, or the American ports of Seattle, Anacortes or Port Angeles), landing at either Victoria or Nanaimo, then driving a little over three hours northwest across the island, along Highway 4. Ferry access from Vancouver to the island is provided by BC Ferries. Ferry access from Anacortes is provided by Washington State Ferries, stopping at Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands.

There are bus services from Victoria, Vancouver, Nanaimo, Parksville, Coombs and Port Alberni.

Festivities and events[edit]

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), 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.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]

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

Due to Tofino's warm winters (warmer than either Victoria or Vancouver) yet cool summers, this makes the location the very definition of temperate. Tofino's winters are so mild that it can grow some of the most exotic palm trees in Canada [1][2]. Summers are the driest season with only 76.8 mm of rain in July - still more than most other locations in BC for that month.[5] 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 9.8 days with snowfall. However, this is only an average; the median snow amount is 0, meaning most years do not receive any at all, making it the least snowy town in Canada.[6] 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 - behind only Prince Rupert on the mainland coast, and other small coastal BC communities. The month of December 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.[5] Like the rest of BC, summer brings relative dryness due to the differential heating patterns of the land and ocean; sunshine heats the land much faster than the sea which creates an area of high pressure that tends to linger for most of the summer.[citation needed] Even so, it still receives much more summertime precipitation than the interior or even the coast (which can often be susceptible to drought conditions until the onset of autumn).[5]

Climate data for Tofino Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high humidex 18.3 18.4 18.1 23.0 27.6 32.9 35.5 42.7 33.6 25.9 20.6 15.2 42.7
Record high °C (°F) 20.1
(68.2)
18.9
(66)
18.7
(65.7)
22.8
(73)
28.2
(82.8)
32.2
(90)
32.8
(91)
32.8
(91)
29.4
(84.9)
23.9
(75)
21.1
(70)
15.6
(60.1)
32.8
(91)
Average high °C (°F) 8.3
(46.9)
9.0
(48.2)
10.1
(50.2)
11.9
(53.4)
14.5
(58.1)
16.8
(62.2)
18.9
(66)
19.1
(66.4)
17.8
(64)
13.6
(56.5)
10.0
(50)
8.1
(46.6)
13.2
(55.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.3
(41.5)
5.4
(41.7)
6.5
(43.7)
8.0
(46.4)
10.5
(50.9)
12.9
(55.2)
14.7
(58.5)
15.0
(59)
13.4
(56.1)
10.0
(50)
6.8
(44.2)
5.0
(41)
9.5
(49.1)
Average low °C (°F) 2.3
(36.1)
1.9
(35.4)
2.7
(36.9)
4.0
(39.2)
6.5
(43.7)
8.9
(48)
10.5
(50.9)
10.8
(51.4)
9.0
(48.2)
6.3
(43.3)
3.6
(38.5)
1.9
(35.4)
5.7
(42.3)
Record low °C (°F) −15.0
(5)
−9.2
(15.4)
−5.5
(22.1)
−1.7
(28.9)
−0.2
(31.6)
2.2
(36)
3.9
(39)
4.4
(39.9)
−0.6
(30.9)
−3.5
(25.7)
−12.7
(9.1)
−12.2
(10)
−15.0
(5)
Record low wind chill −17.9 −16.7 −8.7 −6.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 −5.9 −13.8 −16.1 −17.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 486.6
(19.157)
336.1
(13.232)
329.8
(12.984)
269.9
(10.626)
153.0
(6.024)
129.7
(5.106)
71.0
(2.795)
88.1
(3.469)
132.8
(5.228)
341.9
(13.461)
492.1
(19.374)
440.0
(17.323)
3,270.7
(128.768)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 477.4
(18.795)
327.3
(12.886)
325.7
(12.823)
269.2
(10.598)
153.0
(6.024)
129.7
(5.106)
71.0
(2.795)
88.1
(3.469)
132.8
(5.228)
341.8
(13.457)
489.4
(19.268)
432.0
(17.008)
3,237.2
(127.449)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 9.2
(3.62)
8.7
(3.43)
4.0
(1.57)
0.7
(0.28)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.1
(0.04)
2.8
(1.1)
7.9
(3.11)
33.3
(13.11)
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 0.0 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: [7]
A cold front edge moving over Cox Bay

Telecommunications[edit]

Tofino has modern cell phone and land line access (including Internet, ADSL) -- as well as television relays of CBC-SRC.

Health and education[edit]

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).[8]

Cultural references[edit]

Sand dollar on a Tofino beach

Music[edit]

Film and television[edit]

  • 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.[10]

Sinking of the Leviathan II[edit]

On 25 October 2015, a 20 metres (66 ft) whale watching boat, Leviathan II, sank in the vicinity of Plover Reef off the coast of Vargas Island near Tofino during calm seas killing at least five of the 27 people on board with one remaining missing.[11][12] The dead were identified as four men and one woman ranging in age between 18 and 76, all British citizens though two were Canadian residents. The missing man was described as an Australian citizen.[13] The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said a wave flipped the ship when most of the passengers and crew were on the top deck, raising the center of gravity and making it easier to capsize.[14]

References[edit]

  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. ^ a b c "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". Environment Canada. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "Statistics: Tofino - Ucluelet, British Columbia". www.farmzone.com. Farmzone. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Calculation Information for 1981 to 2010 Canadian Normals Data". Environment Canada. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Tofino General Hospital. Retrieved 2011-10-24
  9. ^ Steve Huey. "The Life of the Party". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  10. ^ "Tofino provides perfect setting for Twilight's vampires". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "5 dead, 1 missing after whale watching vessel sinks off Tofino, B.C.". CBC News. 26 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "Canada whale-watching tragedy: Five dead as Leviathan II boat sinks". BBC News. 26 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Leviathan II whale-watching boat sinks off Tofino, killing 5 britons; 1 missing - CTV News". CTVNews. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  14. ^ Ed Payne and Stephanie Elam, CNN (28 October 2015). "Couple recalls horror after whale-watching boat sank". CNN. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Tofino at Wikimedia Commons

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