Tahsis | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Tahsis, British Columbia, incorporated as a village in 1970, population 248 (2016 census), 316 (2011 census). The village of Tahsis is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island at the end of Tahsis Inlet.


Tahsis Inlet leads north from Nootka Sound. Captain Cook anchored here in 1778. “Tahsis” is from the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) word “tashees,” meaning passage or gateway. Tahsis was the winter home of the Nuu-chah-nulth and of Chief Maquinna. In 1972, Maquinna hosted a meeting at Tahsis between Governor Bodega Y Quadra of Spain and Captain Vancouver of England (see Nootka Sound Controversy).


Tahsis was founded in 1945 when the first sawmill opened. In 1970, a new mill with a deep-sea dock was built. In 2001, the mill closed and the population declined. Since then, restructuring of the economy has focused on tourism, including attracting cruise ships, and outdoor recreation.