CUMBERLAND, VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC
Located in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, Cumberland (population 3,398) is stepping out of its past. Once a coal mining city, Cumberland is climbing to its feet and putting on new duds as niche community and dynamic tourist destination. It's wooing newcomers with colour, character and wide-open spaces for activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, freshwater fishing, camping, skiing and snowboarding. Cumberland's past defines its striking looks. Its buildings are a coffee-table book of late 19th and early 20th century architecture. It's a community rich with the textures of time and hardship, of Queen Anne and Victorian manses, cedar-shingled cottages and sagging porches. Newbies say that entering town is like driving on to a movie set. Cumberland remained an active coal mining town until 1966 and an important centre for local trade and commerce As the coal industry declined, the local population decreased, until Cumberland reverted to a quiet village. Today, it has grown into a dynamic tourist centre.