The First Nations People of the Cowichan Valley have inhabited this area for the last 4,500 years. In that time, a rich tradition of art, song, story, and culture developed. This tradition continues today. The City of Duncan has strong ties with the Cowichan Tribes; to recognize this union, the City of Duncan has erected over forty totem poles, many of them located downtown.
Downtown Duncan is home to one of the world's most unique outdoor collections of totem poles. These works of art stand proudly beside our roads, businesses, and parks in celebration of an ancient art, and as testament to today’s thriving First Nations Culture.
The City of Duncan offers free-guided totem tours of the collection on the streets of downtown Duncan. If you would like to discover more about these Totem Poles and their stories, join the guide on the free walking tour.
Full tours are offered every hour on the hour. Please meet at the Train Station (130 Canada Avenue):
June 15th - September 20th
Monday through Friday: 10am - 3pm (last tour starting at 2pm)
October - May
Tours can be arranged for a nominal fee.
Please contact the City of Duncan for more information: 250.746.6126, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website duncan.ca
Downtown Duncan offers 3 outdoor exhibits to those wishing to learn more about the area or brush up on their local knowledge.
Located off Station Street, between 4Cats Art Studio and the Duncan Showroom, this exhibit features 19 large panels with photos from the past giving a glimpse into what used to be know as Chinatown in downtown Duncan.
This exhibit is located off Canada Avenue in between the BMO Bank and the Community Policing office. This alleyway is decorated with beautiful historical photos, installed in 2012. Duncan's V.I. also hosts a beautiful mural, generously painted and donated by the senior art students of Queen Margaret's School.
Heritage in Duncan: Early Businesses
Heritage in Duncan: Early Businesses is a new signage initative by the Duncan BIA and the Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives. The plaques are located all over downtown, featuring stories and images of pioneer businesses and heritage buildings. They provide a brief history of the site and incorporate images of both archival photographs and related documents, such as invoices, advertisements, and business cards from the Museum's collection.
A book with further information on Duncan's heritage buildings can be purchased at the Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives located at 130 Canada Avenue.
Saturday's Duncan Farmers' Market
The Duncan Farmers' Market runs every Saturday, year-round, rain or shine. With its 'you make it, you bake it, you grow it, you sell it' philosophy, you will only find the best and freshest produce and products in town.
Regular Market (March - October)
Every Saturday from 9am - 2pm
Fall/Winter Market (November - March)
Every Saturday from 10am - 2pm
For a list of vendors please visit the Duncan Farmers' Market Website
Downtown Duncan is known for its variety and quality of food and beverage. To start your day off right, visit one of the many coffee houses in downtown. Enjoy flavourful specialty drinks, divine coffee arts, muffins and mouth watering cinnamon buns. You will find an array of delicious goodies and gluten-free pastries as well.
Whether you are looking for a simple lunch or a unique dining experience, we have it all. Enjoy the small town appeal along with pleasing and friendly customer service.
You can also find the finest handcrafted brews and local wines in downtown.
Enjoy the eclectic mix of charm, beauty, sophistication, and quality products of our downtown Duncan boutiques and shops - all within walking distance of each other!
Rest & Rejuvenate
Downtown Duncan has everything to help you relax and feel rejuvenated - from Yoga Studios to Spas and Massage Therapy to Hair Salons and a broad spectrum of esthetic services. For a list of services visit our Wellness page »
Listen to Live Music
Enjoy live music almost every night of the week at the Duncan Showroom, and at some of our beautiful downtown restaurants.
There is live music at Charles Hoey Park and City Square everyday during the '39 Days of July'!