Have questions about visiting Tofino? We’re here for you.
Our coast is a place of sun and storms. While you’re here, prepare yourself as any Tofitian would by checking the weather conditions. This includes tides and wind, as the ocean is a powerful force. Learn how to be CoastSmart while you’re by the water to stay safe.
Call 9-1-1 for police, fire, ambulance, Search and Rescue, and Coast Guard services.
Read this information page on tsunamis + notification methods from the District of Tofino before your Tofino stay.
Tofino General Hospital
261 Neill Street (at First Street)
Tonquin Medical Clinic (open Monday-Friday)
220 First Street
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
400 Campbell Street (at 3rd Street)
The usual predictor for a tsunami is a major earthquake. Tofino is located within the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which makes it susceptible to earthquakes and consequently, to tsunamis. If you feel shaking, move to high ground as quickly and as safely as possible. There are Tsunami Evacuation Route signs along Highway 4, and your accommodation provider will have information on the nearest high elevation point for you – we recommend inquiring upon your arrival. The District of Tofino offers more information here.
If you’re a U.S. citizen, make sure you have a valid U.S. passport when traveling by plane. If you plan to re-enter the U.S. by boat or car instead, you must have a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Driver’s License or another Western Hemisphere Travel initiative-compliant document.
If you’re visiting from a country other than the United States, keep in mind you might require other documentation in addition to a valid passport, such as a travel visa. If you’re planning to enter Canada for an extended stay, for work or for certain types of business activities, additional regulations may apply as well. You can check with the nearest Canadian Consulate well before your trip to find out what is required.
For more information, consult the Canadian Border Services Agency or call us toll-free within Canada at 1.888.502.9060.
Find information on updated health + safety protocols here: Tourism Tofino Covid19 Info Apr 2022
While Canada is officially a bilingual country (French & English), Tofino is primarily an english-speaking town. You will see bilingual signage driving through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve as it is a federal institution. With Tofino situated in traditional Tla-o-qui-aht territory, some of our street signs have names in the Nuu-chah-nulth language.
Credit + Debit Bank Cards
Credit card and debit card use is widespread throughout Vancouver Island and Tofino. VISA, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted at most Tofino shops and services as are bank debit cards.
C.I.B.C. (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)
301 Campbell Street, Tofino (intersection of First Street)
Monday – Friday
Coastal Community Credit Union
368 Main Street, Tofino (located in The Shore building, water side)
Tuesday – Saturday
The Canadian dollar is the currency of exchange. It is similar to American currency with coins including nickels (five cents), dimes (ten cents) and quarters (twenty-five cents.) Our one dollar coin is commonly referred to as a Loonie (for the embossed image of a Loon on one side) and the two dollar coin is called a Twoonie (or toonie.) Canadian currency also comes in bills of various denominations, all in different colours.
You will be able to exchange currency at a bank or credit union. Many restaurants, accommodation properties and shops will accept US dollars, but exchange rates will vary.
Currently, the following tax rates apply:
Taxes are generally not included on listed prices for goods or services.
As in all of North America, we drive and park on the right-hand side of the road.
We use the metric system for distances and speeds, in kilometres/hour rather than miles/hour. Visitors may drive in BC for a period of up to six months with a valid drivers’ license from another province, state or country. In BC, seat-belts and other safety devices such as child restraints are mandatory and must be worn when vehicles are in motion. Bicycle helmets and motorcycle helmets are required by law. It is prohibited to use cell phones or other handheld electronic devices while driving. Winter tires or/and chains are required by law from October 1 through March 31 on some mountain passes and highways in BC, including Highway 4/Pacific Rim Highway.
The legal drinking age in BC is 19. Anyone under 19 is considered a minor and not permitted in drinking establishments and cannot purchase alcoholic beverages. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and is strictly enforced.
Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings in British Columbia, including restaurants and bars. Please respect any posted signage while visiting the area. As of June 2018, smoking and vaping are prohibited within 6 metres of outdoor public places, including beaches and parks, in Tofino.
We love a good celebration but the calm of these surroundings makes Tofino the haven it is today. Fireworks (which include display fireworks, pyrotechnic special effects fireworks and consumer fireworks like roman candles and pin wheels) and firecrackers are prohibited, except on these five dates, between the hours of 5:00pm and midnight:
January 1, July 1, July 4, October 31 and December 31.
Get the details of this local bylaw on the District of Tofino website.
Did you know that Tofino is a No Drone Zone? Due to our proximity to the Tofino Harbour Water Aerodrome and to the Tofino-Long Beach Airport (YAZ), drone use in the District of Tofino is restricted. Here are the Transport Canada regulations.
Enjoying the warmth of a beach fire can be a quintessential part of being in Tofino. Beach fires:
What is a clean burning or reduced smoke fire appliance?
Campfires are permitted on private land (e.g. private homes, vacation rentals, resorts) as long as a fire ban is not in effect for the Coastal Fire Zone or put in place by the District of Tofino Fire Chief.
Get more information via the District of Tofino.
Reservations at an authorized campground are required on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. There are no serviced camping sites on backroads or highway pullouts, and there is zero tolerance for unauthorized camping and unauthorized overnight parking within all communities.
Where can I camp for free?
As per the statement above, there is no free camping in Tofino;
Camping in RVs, trailers, cars, & tents is prohibited in parking lots, on beaches or on streets.
Which campgrounds have showers?
Due to Covid-19, many campgrounds have limited amenities including showers. Please check with individual campgrounds.
Which campgrounds have laundry facilities?
Please check with individual campgrounds to ensure laundry facilities are open.
Where is there wilderness, boat in, camping?
Wilderness, boat-in, camping sites are located throughout Clayoquot Sound, however there are currently some restrictions in place in Ahousaht and Hesquiaht Territories including Flores Island and Hot Springs Cove. Find more information here.
Where is the sani-dump?
The sani-station in Tofino is located at the Co-op Gas Bar. If you also purchase gas, then the use of the sani-dump is free. Green Point Campground in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve has one, reserved for on-site campers.
Like the United States, Canada operates on 110V, 60 cycle electric power. We use a two- or three-pronged plug. Visitors from outside North America should bring a plug adaptor if you are travelling with small appliances from home.
We’re often asked how and where it is possible to harvest shellfish near Tofino. It is possible, though most permitted areas may only be accessed by boat. It is your responsibility to carry the appropriate licence(s) and to be aware of regulations and restrictions. Here are some helpful links:
BC tidal areas 24 and 124 – Tofino and Meares, Vargas, Flores Islands: Recreational fishing limits, openings and closures
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Pure, fresh water is one of Tofino’s greatest and surprisingly limited natural assets. Help our community conserve with a few simple practices:
Review the water conservation stages practiced in Tofino.
Print the Every Drop Counts Poster.
Much like the rest of Canada, tipping is standard practice in Tofino. Whether it’s for your fishing charter guide or a great meal at a restaurant, we recommend tipping between 15-20% of the total cost. When service taxes are included, such as at a restaurant, calculate your tip based on the total amount before the taxes have been added. And of course, how much you choose to tip should also reflect the quality of service you receive.
Dogs are some of our favourite visitors, always in the moment! As per District of Tofino bylaw, all dogs entering and within the Corporation of the District of Tofino shall be under the control of their owner or handler and be leashed, tethered or contained within a vehicle. (And don’t forget a pocket full of poo bags!). Get more info on our dogs in Tofino page.
In Pacific Rim National Park Reserve:
Dogs are permitted in the Long Beach area of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and they must be on-leash at all times. This includes beaches, trails, parking lots and in the water. The beaches and trails here are important habitat for wildlife, including wolves and shorebirds, whose very survival is impacted by dogs off leash.
This regulation is actively enforced under Canada’s National Parks Act, with fines and further penalties if needed. It is also illegal to harass wildlife, therefore a visitor can be charged if their pet chases a wild animal.
Get more updated information here.
Tofino businesses no longer provide plastic checkout bags, polystyrene packaging for prepared foods, plastic straws – and as of 2022, plastic utensils to customers. This is to reduce waste from single-use plastic items and to promote sustainable consumer habits that are consistent with the values of our community. When packing for your time here, be sure to include your favourite re-usable bag – and reusable water bottle or coffee mug. Stop by the Tofino Visitor Centre to shop a selection of ocean-friendly goods.
Join us as Tofino moves toward officially becoming an ocean-friendly community, with the collaboration of Surfrider Pacific Rim. Learn more about this Tofino bylaw here.
* Businesses may provide plastic straws to those who require them, upon request.
Updated Highway 4 Road Closure Schedule at Kennedy Hill