Our history makes us who we are. We are a community whose roots go back over six thousand years, manifesting today in a diverse, culturally-supportive city that hasn't forgotten where it came from as it forges a pathway into the future.


Heritage & Nature Facilities

Dig deep into our history or just scratch the surface while enjoying high-quality heritage facilities. Immerse yourself in the stories of days gone by and be inspired by the actions of everyday people who shaped our present day experience.

McLean Mill steam powered sawmill building in Port Alberni

McLean Mill Historic Site & Park

A full-scale logging camp and steam-powered sawmill nestled up against the Beaufort mountains in the wilderness of Cherry Creek. The site is managed by the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce and hosts year round programs and events, a campsite, and a gift shop. A great location for history and forestry buffs, and a safe outdoor play space for families. Venue rentals available.

McLean Mill was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1989. Its vast collection of buildings, artifacts and equipment relating to logging, sawmilling, transportation and labour, commemorate its significance to the development of BC's forestry sector.

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Flower boxes at entrance of Echo Centre

Alberni Valley Museum

Considered one of the finest community museums in BC, its ‘visible storage’ style of exhibits ensures the majority of the artifact collection is available for viewing at all times. The historical collection includes stunning Nuu-chah-nulth basketry and carvings, tools and equipment from the earliest days of logging, farming, and fishing in the valley, handmade textiles and folk art. Check back frequently to see the latest rotating exhibit, arrange for a group/class tour, or do some research into the archives.  

Photo credit Tayu Hayward

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Closeup of salmon

Robertson Creek Fish Hatchery

A coho and chinook salmon enhancement facility that started out as the largest pink salmon spawning channel in North America. The hatchery regularly provides educational visits for school groups teaching the basics of salmon enhancement. Visitors can experience and observe activities year-round involving the research of local salmon species. Attend the annual Open House held every Fall - an excellent event for families!

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Lighthouse of Maritime Discover Centre building at Fisherman's Harbour, Port Alberni

Maritime Discovery Centre

A bright, lively interpretive centre next door to the Harbour Quay showcasing the maritime heritage of the west coast. Visit Hutcheson Gallery and the replica lighthouse building at the end of the pier to view seasonal exhibits, take part in special events and programs, or watch projects unfold such as the restoration of the Bamfield lifeboat. 

On either side of the pier get your fix of boat watching at Fisherman's Harbour or watch the big ships load and unload at Port Alberni Terminals, the deep sea port.

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Antique industrial machinery

Industrial Heritage Centre

A workshop and display area dedicated to the acquisition, restoration, and operation of historic machinery. In other words, a great place for people with a penchant for machines and history, and tons of fun for little ones! The Industrial Heritage Society operates the Alberni Pacific Railway, a six mile railway line connecting the historic E&N Railway Train Station at the Harbour Quay and the McLean Mill National Historic Site in Cherry Creek.

IHS members are actively restoring Port Alberni's iconic 1929 #7 Baldwin 2-8-2ST Steam Locomotive.

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The MV Songhees, historic tugboat moored at Centennial Pier at the Harbour Quay and home of local business Swept Away Inn.

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