Life on the Rocks in Tofino, BC.

Tofino - a small district of less than 2000 residents - is located in Clayoquot Sound (home of Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations) on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

A popular tourist destination for nature lovers, Tofino's coming of age had a rocky start. Established in the late 1800s - mostly by Norwegian, Scottish and English homesteaders - the area was nicknamed "Tough City", reflecting the long winter season full of relentless gusty rainstorms, making even steamship transportation for trading purposes difficult.


Photo courtesy of Island Village


The first road was built in 1959 to serve the logging industry. In 1972 it was paved, becoming Canada's first and only paved road to the open Pacific Ocean, boosting not only the logging industry but tourism as well. In fact, Tofino became one of Canada's best surfing capitals. These surfers, who tended to be a younger, environmentally-focused, outdoorsy demographic clashed with the logging industry, creating a conflict of interests. In 1993, a large environmental protest movement resulted in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history when 856 protesters were apprehended, putting the area and its issues in the international spotlight.  


Photo courtesy of The Telegraph


Today, Tofino continues to be a place of tourism and summer homes, hosting up to one million visitors from all over the world each year to enjoy the serenity of its vast untouched wildnerness and its unparalelled biodiversity. Many retirees-turned-B&B Hosts stay true to Tofino's rocky past and environmentally-focused present including, for example, Tony and Carol Janzen, owners of Frank Island accomodations.


Image courtesy of Global Road Trippers


A 5 minute stroll from Tofino's busiest beach is the hidden island home and guest accomodation of Tony and Carol Janzen. Perched on a large rock formation off of Tofino's famous Chesterman Beach, Tony and Carol, with the help of their daughter Jeannie, run the Tombolo Sweet and Tombolo Studio, in addition to their residence.


Image courtesy of Frank Island


The Tombolo Studio was built right into the rocks. Privately owned, it's only accessible by foot at low tide when the beach is exposed. The studio honours the west coast vernacular, built in a post and beam construction with recycled local driftwood. It features solar powered lighting, an outdoor shower and a composting toilet. Featuring breathtaking panoramic views, urban development is so far away that starry nights are abundant, and viewing whales and other marine wildlife from the bedroom windows are commonplace.


Image courtesy of Frank Island


Experiencing Tofino - and perhaps even these unique accomodations on Frank Island - is entree into one of Canada's most compelling natural landscapes.

Want to learn more? Check out this Frank Island link.


Researched and written by Kristine Krynitzki, a recent real estate graduate specializing in green homes in Vancouver, BC. 

Posted In: British Columbia

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