Bamfield is populated by Huu-ay-aht of the Nuu-chah-nulth, the local indigenous people. Europeans founded a small fishing community sometime in the late 1800s.

Bamfield was named after the first government agent of the area, Edder Banfield. The name "Bamfield" with an "m" is said to be either due to how the local first nations people had trouble pronouncing the letter n in his name, or a mistake made by the postal organization. In 1902, the Bamfield cable station was constructed as the western terminus of a worldwide undersea telegraph cable called by some the All Red Line as it passed only through countries and territories controlled by the British Empire, which were coloured red on the map. The cable initially went to Fanning Island, a tiny coral atoll in the mid-Pacific, and from there continued to Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. A second building, made of concrete was built on the site in 1926 to replace the old wood structure. This building, designated a historic site in 1930, is now used by the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.

In 1953 the cable was extended up the Alberni Inlet to Port Alberni and the local station was closed on June 20, 1959. Following the closure, only the large concrete building, two cable storage tanks and an adjacent building survived, as all the rest were demolished.

Commercial fishing was based in Bamfield up to the mid-1980s. Bamfield is now home to several sport fishing lodges, which pursue primarily salmon and halibut. Bamfield is also the northern terminus of the West Coast Trail, a hiking trail built in 1907 along the west coast of Vancouver Island to help survivors of the area's many shipwrecks find their way back to civilization. The trail runs 77 km (48 mi) kilometres along extremely rugged terrain.

Today Bamfield is primarily a tourist destination, either for the West Coast Trail, ocean kayaking or sport fishing. Bamfield also receives many university students who attend semesters at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.


13 °C

Clouds, overcast clouds

Wind4.46 m/s
Cloudiness100 %
Temperature (min/max)13/15 °C
Pressure1008 hpa
Humidity97 %
Last update: 26 Sep 2021 @ 21:41

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