Courtenay is a city located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, situated in the Comox Valley. The city is placed in a narrow plain in which mountains border it to the west. The K'ómoks peoples were the first peoples to occupy this territory before the arrival of European settlers. In their traditions, the first “Comox People” -- Shalhk'em and Tisitl'a -- fell from the sky and thus established and expanded the Indigenous community throughout the Comox Valley.1
Due to the abundance of fish, game, and berries in this area many settlers were enticed to settle. The first European explorers in this area were Spanish navigators in 1791. The area received its name from rear admiral George William Courtenay who surveyed the area in 1846-49. After the surveyance of Courtenay, a Hudson's Bay Company store was established in the 1850s which led to increasing non-Indigenous settlements in the 1860s.2
According to this despatch, an exploration party reported that they found a large amount of coal in the Courtenay area -- in proximity to its river.3
  • 1. Alan F.j. Artibise and Ken Favrholdt, Courtenay, The Canadian Encyclopedia, 28 November 2007 ; History, K'ómoks First Nation.
  • 2. Artibise and Favrholdt, Courtenay.
  • 3. Kennedy to Cardwell, 5 September 1864, 9634, CO 305/23, p.222.
Mentions of this place in the documents
People in this document

Courtenay, George William Conway

Organizations in this document

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

Vancouver Island