Gold River, BC, incorporated as a village in 1972, population 1267 (2011c), 1362 (2006c). The Village of Gold River is located approximately midpoint on the west coast of Vancouver Island at the head of Muchalat Inlet in Nootka Sound. Ninety kilometres west of Campbell River, Gold River is accessible by the highway that runs through Strathcona Provincial Park.

The village takes its name from the Gold River on whose banks it is situated. Rio del Oro was the name given to it by the Spaniards who explored and mined the area in the late 1700s. In the 19th century the name attracted a few gold-seekers to the area, but until the late 1950s the major local industries were fishing and logging. Gold River was developed in the late 1960s as an "instant" community to house the employees of a pulp mill built by Tahsis Company Ltd. First incorporated in 1965 as a district municipality, it was soon reincorporated as a village.

In February 1999 the village received a major blow when its reason for existence (the pulp mill) was closed after being purchased by Bowater Canada Ltd. Since the 1990s Gold River has tried to diversify its economy through a wider range of forest-related industries and tourism, including sportfishing, caving and its proximity to Strathcona Provincial Park.