Place:Metchosin, British Columbia, Canada

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NameMetchosin
TypeCommunity
Coordinates48.367°N 123.533°W
Located inBritish Columbia, Canada
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


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The District of Metchosin is a small, coastal community (just over 5000 people) in the metro Greater Victoria region of British Columbia. It is part of the Western Communities and one of the 13 regional municipalities. Many Metchosinites are small farmers (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). "Dogless in Metchosin" by Tom Henry is a first-hand account of life there; as the title indicates, dogs are popular pets and people without at least one stand out. 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.

Metchosinites, especially the younger ones, are traditionally friendly rivals of neighbouring communities Sooke, East Sooke, Langford, and Colwood. A 1995 move to merge Metchosin and East Sooke, which has a similar rural-utopian character, failed; some East Sookese adopted the slogan "East Sooke Forever, Metchosin Never!" as they saw the proposition not as a merge but as an assimilation into larger Metchosin. Since then, several pieces of E.Sooke have been assimilated into its urban neighbour, Sooke. Remaining rural residents are seeking to join Metchosin, and a new set of studies and consultations started in 2007 and is ongoing.

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 Metchosinites work in Victoria, the tourists do indirectly benefit Metchosin's economy.

The name Metchosin is the anglicised 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.

As a result of the municipal elections (November 15, 2008), Metchosin's Council-elect is John Ranns (Mayor), Larry Tremblay (Councillor), Bob Gramigna (Councillor), Jo Mitchell (Councillor), and Moralea Milne (Councillor).

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