Comox, BC, incorporated as a town in 1967, population 13 627 (2011c), 12 136 (2006c). The Town of Comox is located on the east coast of VANCOUVER ISLAND, 223 km north of Victoria, overlooking Comox Harbour. Together with the city of COURTENAY and the village of CUMBERLAND, Comox lies in the Comox Valley, situated between the mountains of STRATHCONA PROVINCIAL PARK and Comox Glacier on the west and the Strait of GEORGIA on the east. The adjacent ski slopes of Mount Washington make it a popular winter sports centre.
The Comox First Nation are members of the Northern Coast SALISH peoples, who came in contact with Europeans in 1792 when George VANCOUVER surveyed the coast. When the area was inhabited by settlers in the early 1860s, Comox slowly became a service centre and shipment point for the Comox Valley. It is in the centre of a rich agricultural area, producing potatoes, fruit and dairy products. The name is derived from the Kwakwala (see KWAKIUTL) word Komuckway, meaning "plenty," a reference to the abundant game and berries in the valley.
The area's mild climate has made it popular with retired people. Nearby Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox, 5 km northeast, is important for the local economy. Founded in 1942 as a Royal Air Force base, the primary responsibilities of CFB Comox are search and rescue operations, maritime patrols, and support of naval and air force defences. There is a related aircraft museum. Several marinas are home to pleasure boats and a commercial fishing fleet. There is a ferry service from the Comox peninsula to POWELL RIVER on the mainland.