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Cumberland, British Columbia

Cumberland is an incorporated village municipality in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

The Corporation of the Village of Cumberland[1]
Cumberland is located in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°37′8″N 125°01′53″W / 49.61889°N 125.03139°W / 49.61889; -125.03139
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Regional districtComox Valley
 • Governing bodyCumberland Village Council
 • MayorLeslie Baird
 • Total29.11 km2 (11.24 sq mi)
160 m (520 ft)
 • Total3,753
 • Density128.9/km2 (334/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
Postal code span
Area code(s)250
WaterwaysComox Lake


The village was originally named Union, British Columbia after the Union Coal Company, which was in turn named in honour of the 1871 union of British Columbia with Canada. The town was renamed after Cumberland in Great Britain by James Dunsmuir in 1891. Robert Dunsmuir had the town built in 1888.[2]:187 The Union Coal Company was begun in 1871 to exploit a coal discovery made the previous year on Coal Creek which flows into Comox Lake. By 1874 the company had built a tramway and a road to Comox Harbour at what is now Royston but after this initial work, the high cost of opening a mine proved too high for the original partners and work stopped. In 1884, the same year he received the land grant related to the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway, Robert Dunsmuir bought the Union Coal Company. He bought the nearby Perseverance Mine at what is now Union Bay in 1888 and the Baynes Sound Mine in 1881. Two slopes were open at the Union Mine by 1893. By 1897 the mine was producing 700 to 1000 tons per day, employed 600 men and supported a town of 3000.[2]:198 In 1946, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake demolished chimneys of houses in Cumberland.[3]

There are many old company houses and structures still intact in Cumberland, and at one point it boasted the second largest Chinatown on the west coast of North America.


Cumberland had a population of 2,762 people in 2006, which was an increase of 4.9% from the 2001 census count. The median household income in 2005 for Cumberland was $43,464, which is below the British Columbia provincial average of $52,709.[4]


  1. ^ "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Mackie, Richard Somerset (1995). The Wilderness Profound, Victorian Life on the Gulf of Georgia. Victoria, BC: Sono Nis Press. ISBN 1-55039-058-9.
  3. ^ The M7.3 Vancouver Island Earthquake of 1946 Archived 2006-04-18 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2008-06-11
  4. ^ "Cumberland, British Columbia - Detailed City Profile". Retrieved 2009-09-09.

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