Courtenay is a city on the east coast of Vancouver Island, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is the largest community and only city in the area commonly known as the Comox Valley, and the seat of the Comox Valley Regional District.
Archaeological evidence suggests an active Coast Salish fishing settlement on the Courtenay River Estuary shores for at least 4,000 years. Due to its gentle climate, fertile soil and abundant sea life, the Coast Salish residents eventually became anglicized to Komoux and then to Comox.
From the outset, the Courtenay economy has been heavily dependent on the extraction of natural resources such as coal, logging, fishing and agriculture. Over the years, as this production of natural resources has declined, Courtenay has focused its economic growth on supplying services to the large retired community and military families in CFB Comox, which is the largest employer in the Comox Valley, providing about 1,400 jobs. Tourism is also growing steadily and has now become an essential part of the Comox Valley economy.
Approximately $57,3800,000 is spent in the Comox Valley retail industry, with half of the sales coming from supermarkets, gas stations and car sales. The average household income is $59,136, 16% lower than the BC average and 18% lower than the Canadian average. In Courtenay, 60% of the sources of income are employment, 19% from pensions, and 6% from investments.
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