Reasons to Move Here
#1 Central Location
Port Alberni is central to the business and recreational opportunities and the outdoor and cultural experiences of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
- To the west -- spectacular Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Barkley Sound, and Clayoquot Sound.
- Just 30 minutes east are the ocean side communities of Qualicum and Parksville.
- Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city, is a two and one half hour drive south on excellent highway.
- The big city attractions of Vancouver are just four hours distant by highway and ferry.
#2 Great for Families or Retirement
Port Alberni Is a great place to raise your family or retire.
- We have the most affordable housing and real estate on Vancouver Island.
- We offer good schools and a community college with university transfer, vocational and continuing education, and ElderCollege courses.
- Sports programs and recreational opportunities for kids, teens and adults are extensive, accessible and affordable.
- We have a fabulous variety of programs and activities that cater to seniors.
- Our brand new, modern hospital is anchored by first class local health care services.
- All public facilities and services are within 10 minutes and the City is serviced by an excellent public transit system.
#3 City with A Heart
Port Alberni has a phenomenal history of volunteerism and caring for others. If you are from a larger city, you will be surprised by the deep sense of community and belonging found here.
With an overflow of volunteers, enthusiasm and goodwill, the people and service clubs of Port Alberni are uniquely generous with their time, energy and funds to support worthy causes and help those in need.
#4 Rich Heritage of Arts & Culture
A community that encourages creative expression and that cares about its past makes a rich place to live. Folks here are passionate about preserving their heritage, and the community is also home to many accomplished artists, artisans, musicians and performers.
Our arts, cultural and heritage scenes are creative, varied and accessible to all. You can be a spectator or a participant in award winning dance, music and drama programs, instrumental and choral music groups, live theatre, painting and sculpting. Or volunteer with one of our many local societies formed to celebrate our diverse maritime, forestry, farming, and early homesteading history.
In addition to the several commercial galleries showcasing local arts and crafts, the Community Art Council’s Rollin Art Centre houses a fine arts gallery, a gift shop and breathtaking gardens.
The renovated heritage Capitol Theatre is home to live theatre and the performing arts.
Our Heritage Network attractions are a great places to impress your visiting friends and relatives. You can ride a steam logging locomotive, watch an original steam powered sawmill cut lumber, get an up-close view of our working harbour, or view local history first hand at our Museum, which is considered one of the best in the province.
Port Alberni is proud to be in the center of Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations territory, which goes back 10,000 years. Approximately 10% of our local population is First Nations. Both the Tseshaht and the Hupacasath are currently developing several initiatives to showcase their heritage and culture.
#5 Clean Air & Pristine Water
Clean, fresh air and safe drinking water are among the most precious resources for any community. Port Alberni has both.
The manufacturing of wood pulp in the Alberni Valley, and the odour associated with it, ceased in 1992. Our paper manufacturing plant has installed state-of-the-art emission control systems. Air quality in the Alberni Valley now among the best on Vancouver Island and around the province -- and we have the data to prove it.
Port Alberni also has an abundant supply of pristine and delicious drinking water, and a rigorous regime of ongoing testing. The City values these resources highly and is committed to protecting them.
#6 Affordable Real Estate
The Alberni Valley has some of the most affordable real estate on Vancouver Island. Many properties come with mountain or water views.
Where else can you buy a decent family home for $200,000, an executive-style home for $300,000, or live in West Vancouver elegance and quality for 400,000?
Desirable locations also include beautiful Sproat Lake, a residential and recreational paradise. Acreage is also available in the surrounding Beaver Creek area for those interested in hobby farming or extensive gardening.
#7 New Hospital
Port Alberni’s new 52 bed hospital opened in 2001. This beautiful and practically designed building includes emergency, diagnostic, ambulatory care and inpatient departments. Single and double rooms have views of the surrounding gardens and wooded areas. The four maternity rooms are designed for ultimate comfort and personal care to accommodate the mother and her baby throughout the entire delivery process and following hospital stay.
One of the many extraordinary features of the hospital building is the tranquil inner garden health square. Thoughtfully chosen seating pieces and arrangements amid lush plantings under a glass sky dome provide a pleasing and relaxing atmosphere for visitors and for outpatients awaiting treatment.
Adjacent to the hospital, in a separate building, is Westhaven multi-care facility, home to extended care residents. It’s 32 individual living quarters are at ground level, with garden views and walkways. Residents have their own private rooms and washrooms, but share a common area for meals and activities. There are also quiet visiting areas for entertaining guests. Modern detailing and soft colours give the complex a homey and comfortable feel within a village-like atmosphere.
#8 Best Sports Town in BC
Competitive and recreational sports reign supreme in Port Alberni -- hockey, curling, golf, rugby, swimming, basketball, badminton, indoor and outdoor tennis, skating, wrestling, martial arts, soccer, field hockey, bowling and lawn bowling, track and field, softball and fastball, gymnastics and squash. You name it, we’ve got it. We turn out superb amateur athletes and host first class competitions.
Port Alberni has numerous well-equipped and maintained sports fields and indoor facilities. The new Alberni Valley Multiplex, with twin 200’ x 85’ ice sheets, is home to the fast and slick competitive hockey of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, plus variety of public ice programs.
We offer a picturesque and challenging 18 hole, championship golf course with a full-facility clubhouse and a nine-hole executive golf course, plus fitness clubs, racquet sports, swimming, curling, ice skating, lawn bowling and more. Outdoor opportunities include hiking, climbing and camping, whale watching and ocean kayaking in spectacular Barkley Sound and Clayoquot Sound and, of course, salmon fishing, and boating.
#9 Salmon Capitol of the World
If you want to "limit-out" before noon, Port Alberni is for you! Recreational salmon fishing in Port Alberni is simply awesome!
The Stamp River system has over one million salmon returns annually.
The calm waters of Barkley Sound and the Alberni Inlet harbour some of the biggest salmon around. There’s also great fly fishing in our rivers. Local fishing and boating outfitters can supply all your needs, or you may want to use one of our many local fishing charter services.
The Port Alberni Salmon Festival is a major 3-day event held annually on Labour Day weekend. Join in the fun for a chance to win daily prizes of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000, as well as the grand prize of $7,000 for catching the “big one” of the derby!
#10 Strong, Sustainable Forestry Economy
For more than 100 years we have cut and milled our local forests. They provide enterprise, industry, employment and recreation for thousands of residents and their families. With each direct industry job leading to two indirect jobs, our forest industry makes a significant contribution to our local tax base. Sustainable forest management practices are key to ensuring that this renewable resource will benefit our community indefinitely.
Need More Info?
Request a copy of Invest Alberni, a Chamber-produced magazine that includes statistics of interest to potential residents and investors.
You can also contact the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce at (250) 724-6535, or our Mayor, John Douglas at (250) 735-7177.