Campbell River, BC, incorporated as a city in 2005, population 31 186 (2011c), 29 572 (2006c). The City of Campbell River was formerly a village (1947) and a district municipality (1964) before receiving civic status in 2005. Campbell River is located on the east coast of VANCOUVER ISLAND, about halfway between Victoria and Cape Scott, at the northern end of the Strait of GEORGIA.
Captain George VANCOUVER of the Royal Navy surveyed the waters here in the early 1790s when the region was inhabited by the Southern Kwakwaka'wakw (KWAKIUTL). During another survey of the area in 1860, Captain Richards named the river after Dr Samuel Campbell, the surgeon on his surveying vessel, the HMS Plumper. The community took the name in 1907 with the opening of its post office.
By 1900 European settlers, engaged chiefly in logging, had occupied the area, using the estuary of Campbell River as a booming ground. A hydroelectric development at Elk Falls in 1948 led to greater prosperity 4 years later when Crown Zellerbach (later Catalyst Paper) established a pulp and paper mill. After more than 50 years of operation, the pulp and paper mill was shut down in stages beginning in November 2008 when the pulp mill ceased operations; the paper mill was mothballed 3 months later.
Forest-related industry continues to be a major component of the local economy, along with commercial fishing, mining and tourism. Its strategic location also makes Campbell River an increasingly important service centre for the northern area of Vancouver Island. Campbell River, calling itself the "Salmon Capital of the World," is famous for the tyee salmon caught in the waters of nearby Discovery Passage. The region has many good fishing lakes and provides numerous outdoor recreation opportunities - all of which have greatly increased tourism over the years.