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Youbou, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

By KC Beam

Youbou is a lake front community situated on the north shore of Cowichan Lake in the Cowichan Valley just about 38 km west of Duncan on highway 18. It’s a 25 minute drive to reach Lake Cowichan which is the gateway to some great camping, boating and hiking in and around Cowichan Lake. At the crossroads in the Town of Lake Cowichan, take the road to you right to Youbou which is another 10 km. Other communities in the area of Cowichan Lake including: Alder Bay, Honeymoon Bay, and Lake Cowichan.

There is a gravel logging road that is graded and maintained by logging companies heading west out of Youbou. The road condition, which leads to Nitinat Lake, Bamfield and Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, can vary considerably, as the maintenance and repair is determined by logging activities in the area.

Development of the area of Youbou had its beginnings in 1907 when two timber cruisers arrived here. They were working for a company that would later to be called the Empire Lumber Company. This company assured that the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway was soon to be built.

With the arrival of the E&N Railway in 1912, the Empire Lumber Company began to establish work camps. Equipment was brought in and logging was underway by 1913. The logs were transported out of the area to the coastal tidewaters on the E&N Railway.

The same year a small mill was built at “Cottonwood”, as Youbou was originally known. However it was not until after WW1 that the Cottonwood mill, also known as the Medina Mill, shipped the first load of sawn lumber.

US-owned TimberWest closed the Youbou Mill in favour of exporting the raw logs to sawmills south of the border. In a sweetheart backroom deal with the BC Government of the day (1997), the legal and contractual obligations to the Youbou disappeared with the stroke of a pen.

Youbou was named for the original mill owners, Mr. Yount and Mr. Bouton, and the towns name is a combination of the two. The Youbou Sawmill closed for good in January 2001 but not the town.

The town has an over 60 year old church, an elementary school, a volunteer fire department, and a Community Hall which was built in 1937. The Hall is a center point for community events such as dances, playschool, 5 & 10 pin bowling, sports and children’s programs and much more. You can go swimming at Arbutus Park, hiking on Bald Mountain at Marble Bay and get away from it all on the secluded beaches of Price Park and more. Other recreational opportunities would include, canoeing, kayaking, boating, and fishing.

Come see for yourself. Youbou on Vancouver Island where the people are friendly, time slows to a halt, the air is fresh and the water is blue.

Now the question that you may be asking yourself is where do you review more information on this? Click here for information on the Youbou area? To widen your research to the BC coast in general go here! Around Vancouver Island

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Beam, KC "Youbou, Vancouver Island, British Columbia." Youbou, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. 27 Jun. 2010. 4 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Beam, K (2010, June 27). Youbou, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Retrieved August 4, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Beam, KC "Youbou, Vancouver Island, British Columbia"

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