The District of Metchosin is a coastal community of just over 5000 people in the metro Greater Victoria region of British Columbia. It is part of theWestern Communities and one of the 13 regional municipalities. Many Metchosians are operators of small farms (vegetables, orchards, poultry, sheep, some pigs and cattle). Most are retired or work outside the community. There are also many home based businesses (everything from massage and dentistry to international consulting). Located on the edge of a rapidly growing urban area, Metchosin is subject to a variety of pressures. While the municipality has maintained its slow population growth, traffic has exploded due to growth in the larger region.
Metchosin is known for its many regional nature/recreational parks, such as Devonian, Witty’s Lagoon, Albert Head, and Matheson Lake. Their well-maintained trails and scenic vistas are popular with tourists and locals. While these outdoor attractions do not offer souvenirs, Victoria itself has most of the region’s money-spending opportunities (e.g. souvenir shops and museums). As many Metchosians work in Victoria, the tourists do indirectly benefit Metchosin’s economy.
The name Metchosin is the anglicized version of the native “Smets-Schosen”, which means “place of stinking fish”. Local legend maintains that many years prior to the Europeans’ arrival, an orca beached and died, and that everywhere that could smell it rotting became part of Metchosin. The town’s museum, which was once its one-room school before an increasing population necessitated a larger building, claims to have vertebrae from the animal on display. Metchosin’s community symbol is, perhaps unsurprisingly, an orca.