Nestled in the Valley of Trails is the City of Port Alberni. Once two cities, Alberni and Port Alberni amalgamated in 1967 to form one strong, resilient community. With a population of approximately 18,000 people, the city is the largest municipality in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, in the middle of Vancouver Island.
Port Alberni is named after Don Pedro de Alberni, a Spanish explorer from the late 1700S. But prior to European contact, the area was home to a number of Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations, with Tseshaht and Hupacasath spending winters in the area now known as Port Alberni.
B.C.’s first sawmill was built in Port Alberni in 1860, establishing an industry that would flourish for more than a century. The city grew quickly at the turn of the century, and soon it was taking advantage of the resources at its doorstep. It became well established in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, industries that to this day form a strong foundation for the community’s success.
But as times are changing, Port Alberni is finding a new path to follow. The industries that once made it a powerhouse in British Columbia are now declining. And so Port Alberni is finding new ways to stay strong. Perhaps its best feature is its stunning beauty. The city lies in the Alberni Valley, which is surrounded by stunning mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers. Few hikers, bikers or outdoor enthusiasts can resist the lure of nature that surrounds the city. Port Alberni also lies at the mouth of the Alberni Inlet and is the only deep-sea port in the region.
The city has been designated the Salmon Capital of Canada and Canada’s Ultimate Fishing Town, and every year thousands of hopeful anglers set out to catch the big one. Something is always in season, and often a whale will swim by to say hello. Port Alberni has so much to offer, from affordable housing to a way of life that is just right!