The business community of Courtenay was born on the east side of the Courtenay River in the 1880s, surrounding the Courtenay Hotel that was finally demolished in the 2007.
With the construction on Reginald Pidcock’s sawmill on the west side of the river, and the subsequent erection of the first bridge, Joseph McPhee (known as the ‘Father of Courtenay’) laid out the first subdivision on the west side circa 1900. Thus Downtown Courtenay began its development, providing the many services and supplies required for a growing population.
The City of Courtenay was incorporated January 1, 1915. A massive fire destroyed a large part of its main street in 1916, as did a second fire in 1919.
Today Downtown Courtenay is a vibrant and unique downtown, which still boasts a quaint and friendly “small town” atmosphere, offering big city style shops, galleries, eateries and more.