Ladysmith is a 8,800 person town (2019) on Vancouver Island, about 9 km past Chemainus and overlooks a deepwater harbour. Ladysmith is the point where the 49th parallel meets Vancouver Island (the border was shifted to keep the entire Island in Canada). The town is named for the site of a British victory in the Boer War fought in South Africa. The South African Ladysmith was named for Lady Juana, the wife of Sir Harry Smith, governor of Cape Colony and high commissioner to South Africa from 1847-1852.
This town boomed when coal baron John Dunsmuir needed a port for his coal mines. The main street is lined with restored heritage buildings. The town has a free boat launch ramp and a beautiful park, Transfer Beach Park with full recreational facilities. The Ladysmith Arboretum, just past Transfer Beach, has over 25 species of trees planted in 1947-1948, and includes a “living fossil” planted from seeds of an unknown species.
Black Nugget Museum
12 Gatacre St
This former hotel today houses a collection of memorabilia from the turn of the last century. The barroom is restored with the original bar. Allow 30 minutes. Open July & August daily noon until 4 pm. Admission.