About Tofino Origins

Tofino Origins

Origins of the Tofino, BC, Canada Settlement

Initially the European settlement was centered on Clayoquot Island, just off the shore of present-day Tofino village. Soon, the residents moved across the water to the peninsula where there was more land. By 1913 Tofino was an established settlement for Europeans who joined the First Nations peoples looking to living in this beautiful environment. In 2014 people from all over the world come to Tofino to live, vacation and experience the super natural world of rainforests, ocean and wildlife. We welcome you to hang with the locals and chill west coast style.


Tofino – The European Name

Spanish hydrographer Vicente Tofino de San Miguel.

In 1792 the land was named Tofino by the two Spanish explorers Captains Galiano and Valdez after their teacher Spanish hydrographer Vicente Tofino de San Miguel. Contrary to popular beliefe, Vicente Tofino was not on the voyage but was highly regarded by his students. Learn more about Vincente Tofino de San Miguel. We love Tofino and all the First Nations names here on our west coast.


First Nations Peoples

Tla-o-quiaht nation: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council

For thousands of years, Nuu-chah-nulth people lived in harmony with the natural world: The forest protected the salmon streams and salmon are key to the intricate web of animal and plant life. One of the most important Nuu-chah-nulth teachings, a lesson learned by each successive generation, is that everything is connected and natural surroundings are a gift to be honoured with respect.


Tofino – Tough City

Tough City – Tofino, BC, Canada

The European settlers found Tofino a the rugged landscape with the strong ocean and the rainforest climate. The rain proved to be a challenge for people. Hence the nickname’Tough City’. Tofino lived from the resources of ocean and forest and remained a remote area with boats the only access option. The arrival of ships bringing supplies was an occasion to celebrate!