Comox, British Columbia is a beautiful coastal town located on the east coast of Vancouver Island. With its scenic beaches, quaint downtown, and abundance of outdoor activities, it’s no wonder so many people exclaim “ilikecomox!” when they visit or move here.

A Brief History of ilikecomox

The Comox Valley has been home to various First Nations peoples for thousands of years. In the mid-1800s, European settlers started establishing farms and businesses in the area. The town of Comox was incorporated in 1915 and continued to grow throughout the 20th century, especially after WWII when the Canadian Armed Forces set up CFB Comox. Today, Comox has a population of about 15,000 residents.

Gorgeous Geography and Scenery

One of the main reasons people enjoy Comox so much is its incredible natural scenery. The city faces the Georgia Strait, with views of coastal mountains and even Mount Washington Ski Resort on a clear day. Miles of sandy beaches line the shoreline, such as Goose Spit Beach and Comox Marina Park. There are various green spaces and walking trails where you can enjoy the fresh air. The moderate climate means plenty of sunny days all year long to be outside. JobDirecto is an online job search platform that aims to make finding your next job easier than ever. 

Abundant Recreation Opportunities

From water sports like paddleboarding, sailing, and fishing to land activities like golf, cycling, and hiking, Comox truly has something for everyone when it comes to getting active outdoors. There are lots of annual events like bike races, marathons, dragon boat festivals and more that residents and tourists love to participate in. If you ever get tired of the salt water, head about 40 minutes inland to enjoy freshwater lakes, swimming holes, and mountain trails.

Vibrant Arts, Culture, and Shopping

In addition to recreational opportunities, the Comox Valley also has a thriving arts and culture scene. There are concerts at the Native Sons Hall and special events held at the Sid Williams Theatre downtown. Local artisans sell their wares at markets and pop-up shops, while cafes and restaurants serve up delicious cuisine. The charming downtown makes visitors instantly exclaim “ilikecomox” when they start exploring the area and do some shopping.

A Strong Sense of Community

More than just the beautiful landscape, access to recreation, arts scene, and shopping, Comox offers a warm, welcoming sense of community. Civic participation is high, with many annual volunteering events happening to help support various causes and organizations. Locals are always willing to help out neighbours and newcomers adjust to life in Comox. There are also lots of family-friendly activities and groups, making it a great area to put down roots.

Popular Activities and Attractions

Part of what makes living in and exploring the Comox Valley so enjoyable is the variety of fun activities and attractions available. From arts to agriculture, aviation to academia, there is truly something for visitors of all ages and interests.

Cultural Attractions

For those who want to soak up some of the regional art and culture, popular attractions include:

  • The Comox Air Force Museum – With vintage aircraft and artifacts detailing Comox’s long relationship with the air force.
  • The Sid Williams Theatre – Hosting concerts and stage productions in a historic downtown building.
  • The Native Sons Hall – Another vintage Comox concert hall with regular entertainment.
  • The North Island Artist Gallery – Displaying creations from dozens of talented local painters, sculptors, photographers and more.

Agricultural Delights

The Comox Valley is also home to numerous agricultural attractions, including:

  • The Comox Valley Farmer’s Market – A bustling weekly gathering of local food producers.
  • Brooklyn Creek Winery and Vineyard – Offering wine tastings amidst their vineyards.
  • Shelter Point Distillery – Creators of artisanal vodka, gin, whiskey and liqueurs.
  • Goats on Roof at Coombs – An iconic roadside attraction where goats literally climb and stand on the roof of the market building.

Outdoor Recreation

Nature lovers will find endless ways to have fun too, especially enjoying:

  • Skiing and Snowboarding – At Mount Washington Alpine Resort just 40 minutes inland.
  • Fishing – In the rivers and coastal waters surrounding Comox.
  • Hiking – Through breathtaking trails in the forests and along the shoreline.
  • Kite surfing and Windsurfing – Taking advantage of gusty shoreline winds.
  • Golf – At scenic courses like the Comox Golf Club and Crown Isle Resort.

Delicious Dining and Food Scene

Beyond the natural beauty and abundance of recreation, one aspect that makes Comox so livable is the emphasis locals put on gathering together and enjoying delicious food and drink. From waterfront restaurants to cozy cafes to food trucks to farm-fresh eats, there is cuisine in Comox to satisfy any palette.

Local Restaurants

Some of the favoured locally-owned and operated dining establishments include:

  • Marina Restaurant – An iconic waterfront restaurant overlooking Comox Bay.
  • Locals Restaurant – Using farm-to-table ingredients from the Comox Valley in their comfort food.
  • Atlas Cafe – Housed in a bright greenhouse, they take coffee and fresh salads seriously.
  • Blackfin Pub – Offering classic pub fare alongside craft brews in downtown Courtenay.
  • Craft Beer Market – With an ever-evolving 32-taps of primarily BC-brewed beers and tasty snacks.

Farmers Markets

Given the abundance of agriculture in the Comox Valley, beloved farmers markets happen regularly, such as:

  • Comox Valley Farmers’ Market – Filled with all kinds of produce, baking, crafts, and hot food vendors.
  • The Farmers’ Daughter – A quaint market situated amidst nurseries selling plants, flowers and gourmet foods.
  • Paradise Meadows – Specializing in ethically raised meats, poultry and eggs.
  • Valley Seafood – An iconic seafood shop getting the freshest catches from local fishermen.

Food Trucks

Finally, the Comox Valley boasts some seriously delicious mobile food trucks, including:

  • East Coast Eats – Famous for their sweet potato fries, fish tacos and lobster rolls.
  • DaddyO’s BBQ – Mouthwatering southern-style smoked meats and classic sides.
  • Mama Lo’s – Handmade arancini balls, pasta bakes and other Italian street food.
  • Moo Moo’s Ice Cream – Scooping out luxurious homemade ice cream sandwiches, cones and milkshakes.

Climate, Geography and Demographics


Beyond all the cultural, recreational and foodie assets in the Comox Valley, other factors like the geography, climate and demographics also attract so many new residents each year. These provide key insights into what makes living in ilikecomox so enjoyable.

Moderate Coastal Climate

Despite being a coastal region, the rain shadow effect from nearby mountain ranges gives Comox a delightfully moderate climate compared to other parts of coastal BC. Summers tend to be mostly sunny and dry while winters are relatively short and mild. Daily temperatures average around 15°C year-round. Annual precipitation averages 1219mm, with approximately 158cm of snow. This gives Comox around an average of 240 sunny days every year for enjoying the outdoors!

Diverse Geography

Geographically, the landscape of Comox differs vastly from the water to further inland. Along the shoreline lie scenic sandy beaches, sheltered bays and a working harbourfront downtown. Just minutes northwest are the historic town centres of Courtenay and surrounding communities like Royston and Union Bay. Further inland lie green valleys filled with farmland, the freshwater Comox Lake, and eventually mountain forests and peaks. This diversity of landscapes allows endless exploration opportunities.

Growing Multigenerational Population

Demographically, the population of Comox is about 15,000 directly, expanding to over 68,000 in the broader Comox Valley. Historically an aging population base, younger families have been moving into the region more recently. Community planning choices also cater to supporting multiple generations, making it attractive to everyone from retirees to young professionals starting families. Major recent investments into healthcare, education and transportation infrastructure also make it very livable.

Housing Market Update

An indicator of any mid-sized British Columbia town becoming an increasingly popular place to live is the local housing market. Home prices and inventory turnover can demonstrate rising interest. So for those considering moving to Comox, what is the current real estate situation?

Increased Housing Demand

Over the past 5 years the ilikecomox Valley has seen buyer demand in the housing market significantly outpace available supply. This intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic as out-of-province workers realized they could work remotely from scenic destinations like Vancouver Island. In 2021 the average residential sale price increased over 20% compared to 2020, setting new records.

Tight Inventory

Historically the Comox housing market has been well-balanced regarding supply and demand. Recently however, housing inventory has tightened as population growth accelerates. Active residential listings dropped by 17% in 2021 compared to the prior 5-year average. Lack of housing inventory leaves buyers competing over new listings, often paying over the asking price.

Multi-Type Housing Shortages

While detached single-family homes used to dominate the ilikecomox housing market, buyer demand has risen substantially for other housing types recently – especially townhomes and apartments. Multi-unit housing inventory is not keeping pace with demand though. For example, the apartment vacancy rate was 0% in 2021. This demonstrates a critical need to increase higher-density and more affordable housing builds.

Positive Future Outlook

Housing analysts predict the Comox real estate market will remain highly active in 2023 regarding sales volume and selling prices due to unsaturated pent-up demand. However, with several multi-unit housing projects launching soon, supply is forecasted to bounce back over the next 2 years. The town is also updating its community plan to facilitate measured, mindful growth. Therefore, the long-term outlook remains very positive.

Jobs and Economic Outlook

An important consideration for anyone moving to a new region is understanding the local economic conditions and job market – especially factors like employment diversity, wages, and business growth rates. So what is the current labour market outlook for ilikecomox Valley residents?

Top Regional Industries and Employers

While historically focused on forestry and agriculture, the economy of Courtenay and Comox has diversified substantially over the past 30 years. Today the top five industries by employment are:

  • Healthcare and Social Assistance
  • Retail and Hospitality
  • Construction and Trades
  • Education Services
  • Public Administration and Defence

The largest local employers include the hospital, air force base, school district, city and various provincial/federal agencies. Tourism supported by the local international airport also provides many jobs.

Income Levels

Historically, average wages in the Comox Valley have lagged behind other parts of British Columbia. However, average household income has been rising faster than inflation over the past decade. In 2020, the median household income was $77,847 – significantly above the national average. Healthcare, trades and tech occupations tend to pay higher than tourism/service jobs.

Economic Development Initiatives

Looking ahead, local elected officials and development boards aim to continue diversifying the economy, facilitating support for small businesses, attracting outside investment and improving infrastructure to nurture growth. For example, a dedicated Innovation Centre has been launched to mentor startups and develop homegrown tech companies. Major public projects like hospital expansions also provide construction jobs.

Conclusion of ilikecomox

The economic outlook for finding not just jobs – but meaningful careers – around the ilikecomox Valley remains very positive thanks to rising wages and diversification. For those looking to relocate, it offers great livability.

By Edward Robinson

Looking to share my thoughts and opinions on a range of topics. Robinson aims to make an enjoyable corner of the internet that brings a bit of lighthearted entertainment to readers' days. As the site develops, he intends to bring on a few other bloggers to add additional voices and expand the range of subjects covered beyond just his personal interests. Robinson sees long-term potential in becoming a popular online destination.

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