Government Street starts at the intersection of Canada Avenue and Trunk Road and then goes north west to Gibbins Road, where it becomes Cowichan Lake Road.
Until 1955 Government Street was called Island Highway and was part of the main north-south highway route between Victoria and Nanaimo. That changed with the opening of the Trans Canada Highway through Duncan in 1955, when the Trans Canada Highway replaced the Island Highway as Vancouver Island’s primary transportation corridor.
Here is a map of suggested sights, shopping and services on Government Street:
We have included this digital map of Government Street on a separate page in case you want to keep it open in a separate tab of your browser while you’re exploring Government Street
Here are some noteworthy sights to see on Government Street.
Government Street at Craig Street
70 Government Street, Jim’s Pools & Spas
This building is now Jim’s Pools and Spas. It was originally built in 1922 by architect Douglas James for Charles Mains, who ran his butcher shop here until his retirement in 1951. Douglas James also designed the building that is now Just Jake’s Restaurant, half a block north at 45 Craig Street….Read More….
The Cowichan Merchants Building is on Craig Street between Government Street and Station Street. It was built in 1912 for the Cowichan Merchants Ltd., and, at that time, was Vancouver Island’s largest department store outside Victoria. It was an Eaton’s department store from 1949 until 1995. It is now shops and offices…..Read More….
Craig Street Brew Pub
The Craig Street Brew Pub at 25 Craig Street is a popular downtown pub and restaurant. The building was originally built in 1929 as a garage and service station….Read More….
Wragg Building, 127 Government Street
The Wragg Building at 127 Government Street was designed in 1929 by architect Douglas James as an investment property for James C. Wragg, who became Mayor of Duncan from 1947-1955. The Wragg Building has frontage on both Government Street and Station Street….. Read More…
Government Street at Station Street
Joe’s Tire Hospital, 176 Government Street
Joe’s Tire Hospital at 176 Government Street is one of the oldest operating businesses in Duncan. It has been operating at this site since 1930 and its present building, built in 1940, is interesting both for its history and for the classic car display in the front window…..Read More…
Government Street intersects Station Street
Totem Poles at Government Street and Station Street
The Sea and Sky totem pole is part of the City of Duncan totem pole collection. It was carved in 1990 by Harold Alfred and is located at the corner of Government Street and Station Street…Read More….
The Gwa’yasdams Flood Story totem pole is part of the City of Duncan totem pole collection. It was carved in 1988 by Basil James and is located outside the Valley Seniors Center at 198 Government Street…..Read More…
Government Street at Jubilee Street
The Cedar Man Walking Out of the Log totem pole is part of the City of Duncan totem pole collection. It was carved in 1988, from a log estimated to be 750 years old, by carver Richard Hunt…..Read More….
The Peaceful Boundaries totem pole is part of the City of Duncan totem pole collection. It was carved in 1988 by carver and is displayed out side the Provincial Courthouse on Government Street, near Jubilee Street….Read More…
231 Government Street – Magnolia
231 Government Street is now Magnolia fashion accessories but the building was originally built in 1929 by architect Douglas James for Thomas Pitt, who used the building as part of his automobile dealership…..Read More….
Government Street and E.J. Hughes Place
At the corner of Government Street and E.J. Hughes Place is a small green space called China Gardens, in memory of Duncan’s Chinatown, which stood near this site until it was demolished in 1971.
There are three totem poles displayed in China Gardens: Cedar Woman and Man, Pole of Wealth and Transformation of Man.
There are three totem poles from the City of Duncan collection displayed one block from E.J. Hughes Place at the intersection of Government Street and Kenneth Street.
Government Street at Kenneth Street
There are three more totem poles from the City of Duncan collection displayed at the intersection of Government Street and Kenneth Street: Chief’s Pole, The Guardians and Dzunuk’wa.
Wedgwood House and Sherwood House
Other buildings visitors may find interesting at Government Street and Kenneth Street are the seniors facilities at Wedgwood House, 256 Government Street, and Sherwood House, 280 Government Street. These facilities were built in 2005 and are indicative of a trend toward retirees moving to Duncan and the Cowichan Valley. Wedgwood House and Sherwood House are well sited as seniors’ facilities because they are within easy walking distance of downtown Duncan shopping and services as well as being close to Cowichan District Hospital and other health facilties.
If you continue along Government Street you will be leaving downtown Duncan but there are some more sights to see on or near Government Street.
- Centennial Park is a City of Duncan park on the east side of Government Street. It is a popular recreation area. If you are travelling with young children there are playground facilities for them in Centennial Park;
- Fisherman’s Pole is a another totem pole in the City of Duncan collection. It is displayed at Government Street and College Street.
- If you are interested in exploring some of Duncan’s residential districts, the Cairnsmore residential district is near the Fisherman’s Pole.
See our digital map of Government Street if you would like to continue exploring Government Street.
Here is a digital map of Kenneth Street in case you want to head back downtown along Kenneth Street:
Would you like to leave a comment or question about anything on this page?