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Arbutus trees at Yellow Point

Ladysmith

Geography

Ladysmith is the westernmost Canadian population on the 49th parallel, which serves as the Canada-US border.

The town is due west across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver at the north end of Vancouver Island's fertile Cowichan Valley, which with its long growing season is a hotbed of organic farming, wine, and food production.

Victoria is 88km/55mi southeast along the Trans-Canada Highway, while Nanaimo is a half-hour's drive to the north. The area surrounding Ladysmith also includes the rural communities of Cedar and Yellow Point to the north and the residential oceanfront homes of Saltair southward on the road to Chemainus.

Climate and Weather

Cowichan means "the warm lands" or "basking in the sun" in the language of the Coast Salish, who originally inhabited this temperate corner of southeastern Vancouver Island. In fact, the area surrounding Ladysmith (which also includes Duncan, Cowichan Bay, Chemainus and Mill Bay) is renowned for having the warmest mean average annual temperatures in Canada.

Spring, summer and fall are usually dry and daytime highs during these seasons typically hover around the 20°C/68°F mark. Like the remaining west coast, winters are wet here (about 1,000mm/39in precipitation annually), but less so than other parts of Vancouver Island. The average winter high is 7.6°C/45°F.