oubou is approximately 38 km west of Duncan on highway 18. There is close to 1,450 people living in this beautiful little community on Cowichan Lake. It is part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. On Highway 1 just north of Duncan turn onto Highway 18. From there its only a 25 minute drive to reach the junction at the Town of Lake Cowichan. Proceed by down Youbou Road (the right fork) 10 km to Youbou.
The community of Youbou is the second largest community on Cowichan Lake. Youbou was named for the original mill owners, Mr. Yount and Mr. Bouton. Today, the mill is gone but the town lives on. The town has an over 60 year old church, an elementary school, a volunteer fire department, and a Community Hall which was built in 1937. The Hall is a center point for community events such as dances, playschool, 5 & 10 pin bowling, sports and children’s programs and much more. The Youbou Little League Recreation Park is host to a number of baseball games during the spring/summer seasons and also has a playground, horseshoe pits and picnic tables.
Every year the Youbou Regatta is held in the middle of August. It is Youbou’s premier festival with dances, a sunset cruise, parades and more. The scenic Arbutus Park right on the lake in Youbou is the host to many of the events.
Parks at Youbou
Youbou has all sorts of parks. You can go swimming at Arbutus Park, hiking on Bald Mountain at Marble Bay and get away from it all on the secluded beaches of Price Park and more. Most of the parks in this part of Cowichan Lake are looked after by Youbou Parks and Recreation. Additional information about these parks is available on our Youbou Parks page.
Campsites at Youbou
Wilderness Campsites are located just west of Youbou allowing easy access to this community and the beauty of the Lake. More Information about these campgrounds is available from our campground list.
Come see for yourself. Youbou on Vancouver Island where the people are friendly, time slows to a halt, the air is fresh and the water is blue.
History of Youbou
The community of Youbou, 10 km from Lake Cowichan on North Shore Road, is the second largest community on Cowichan Lake. Youbou was named for the original mill owners, Mr. Yount and Mr. Bouton.
Logging in the area dates back as early as 1907 by a company later known as Empire Lumber Company who secured large blocks of timber around Caycuse and Youbou by building the E&N Railway to Lake Cowichan, which was completed in 1913.
In 1913, Empire Lumber Company build a small mill in Cottonwood (Youbou) to mill smaller logs, and, starting in 1918, many improvements were made to the mill. By 1922 the mill was able to cut 30,000 ft. per day and employ 30 men.
A recession in late 1922 resulted in the mill closing until 1925 when the CP Railway was completed to Kissinger Lake. Around this time, the need for a school became important for those families in Youbou and, in due course, the “Old Hall”Ã³a converted bunkhouseÃ³was divided into two parts, one half being used for a school room. The school opened on October 5, 1925 with seven students enrolled and Miss Eleanor Redhead as teacher. C.C. Yount, Vice President of Empire Logging Co. furnished seats, blackboards and labour. The school serviced the community for ten years until, in 1935, a new facility was opened across from the Community Hall. This new school was named Yount after C.C. Yount. In 1947 Yount school enrolled a Kindergarten class, and was the first school in the district to do so.
The modern day Youbou mill was constructed in 1927 and was possibly the oldest fresh water sawmill in BC. It once boasted the longest craneway in the British Empire. Timberwest recently closed this mill and auctioned off its equipment in June, 2001. The closure of the last mill left on Cowichan Lake marks the end of an era for the region.