Duncan is a 4,300 population town is now the commercial centre for the Cowichan Valley’s 50,000 residents.
The 2,000 member Cowichan Indian band, known for their sweaters and totems, have a reservation nearby.
Duncan is named for an enterprising farmer, William Duncan, who let passing coal trains in the 1880s make
a whistle stop on his property.
Today, Duncan is known as the “City of Totems”,
with over 41 erected since 1985, linked by a trail marked with yellow footprints.
In 1988, the world’s largest totem was carved here. The town has several fine museums and attractions.
The Native Heritage Centre
200 Cowichan Way, 1 block north of Hwy 1
Dedicated to the preservation of the culture of Northwest Coast Indians, and offers native
handicrafts and foods. See demonstrations of carving, basket weaving and interpretive dance.
Allow 1 hour. Open mid-may to mid-October daily 9:30 am to 6 pm, and 10 am to 4 pm the rest of the year. Admission charged.
The Cowichan Valley Museum
has local artifacts from homes, farms and doctor.
The Cowichan and Chemainus Valleys Ecomuseum Society
This is a museum without walls, with tours and trips to area sites.
BC Forest Discovery Centre & Museum
2892 Drinkwater Rd, Duncan, V9L 6C2
Highway 1, 2 km north of town
40 hectares (99 acres) of Douglas fir forest. Exhibits portray the history of BC’s forestry industry through indoor and outdoor displays, including a sawmill, a planer mill, a pit saw, a blacksmith’s shop, and a working narrow-gauge steam locomotive. Open May – September daily 9 am to 6 pm. Admission charged