Soon after the closing of mines in 1966, Cumberland saw its charm fade and its population decline. The real estate agents completely ignored the village and often refused to have its properties listed. However, the town made an astonishing comeback after a few years. It became a hub of local cultural activities and tourism. In recent times, the property rates in this part of Canada has gone up significantly.
Between 2011 and 2016, more than a thousand new residents moved to this village. Cumberland’s population is now growing and it is estimated that it would go up to 8,500 by 2030. With some fabulous offerings in music, art, and outdoor recreational activities, your time in Cumberland would be truly memorable.
Here are some of the things that makes this charming Canadian village worth visiting:
1. The Cumberland Community Forest
The vast network of trails at this site has become a reason for its popularity among hikers and mountain-bikers. The Cumberland Community Forest is Vancouver Island’s largest community forest with diverse flora and fauna. It has two watershed systems, wetlands, and fish-bearing creeks.
This community forest connects with Coal Creek Heritage Park located on the southern border of the Cumberland village. It is managed by the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS).
2. Atmosphere Gathering
This vibrant community is devoted to music, dance, art, and personal expression. It comes alive in August by putting up a great tent within the Cumberland village. Around this tent, an exciting festival takes place with several workshops, camping activities, musical performances, and other events.
Some of the greatest talents come together to make this boutique festival unforgettable. What makes it even more delightful is the backdrop of a fascinating coastal forest and the Beaufort Mountains.
3. Comox Lake
This enchanting lake fed by the glaciers is massive and gives outdoor enthusiasts a wonderful time. They can have loads of fun by indulging in kayaking, canoeing, and water-skiing on Comox Lake. The lake campground can be a fantastic place for setting up camps and parking RVs.
A protected sandy beach along the lake’s shores allows families with kids to enjoy some exciting water-based activities. The swimming dock can give the right doses of thrills for the adventure-seekers.
4. Cumberland Museum & Archives
Originally established in the late 19th century, Cumberland village has a rich and colourful history. It began as a coal-mining town and was home to one of the largest Chinese communities in the country. The Jewish, Italian, and Japanese communities of immigrants who came to work in the mines also flourished here. Mining had its own risks and the workers who risked their lives had to be protected.
This cause was taken up by the union agitator, Ginger Goodwin. Many such interesting stories and historical events have been kept alive at the Cumberland Museum & Archives. You can get to know the intriguing past of this village through the museum’s historical exhibits.
5. The Cumberland Brewing Company
Cumberland is home to its very own brewpub called the Cumberland Brewing Company. Here, you can enjoy the locally-produced drinks and savor its jovial atmosphere. The community taproom would give you opportunities to make new friends. One of the things not to be missed during your visit is the CBC beer. The Cumberland Brewing Company also donates brew regularly to several fundraising events.