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B2 Friday, October 27, 2017

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4 Introduction 5 The best places 7 Ideas for date night 10 Results 12 Free things to do with your family CASCADIALIQUOR.COM

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Circulation Melissa Mitchell circulation@goldstreamgazette.com

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B4 Friday, October 27, 2017

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The West Shore never ceases to amaze us

Lamont French took this photo at the Esquimalt Lagoon of a sculpture commissioned for the Eats and Beats Festival. Alex Witcombe, owner of Drifted Creations, created this piece known as McGnarly the Beach Ent, and a mammoth at the Royal Bay Beach Park. (PHOTO BY LAMONT FRENCH)

BESTSHTHEORE OF

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Personally, I can’t believe another year has come and gone and I know I’m not alone in my disbelief. But one of my favourite fall traditions is our annual Best of the West Shore publication. We like to seize this opportunity to explore all of the things that make the West Shore such a great place to live, work and play. Unfortunately, if we listed all of those places and businesses we would have an incredibly long list. So, we let West Shore residents tell us their favourite spots. We asked for your input and you didn’t disappoint. With thousands of votes pouring in, we had our work cut out for us. This year we decided to do things a little differently and instead of highlighting our local business community, we focused more on the geographic makeup of the West Shore and how residents can utilize that. We hope that after reading this special section, you’ll find a few new favourite spot to explore with your loved ones. To get you started, our staff here at the Gazette have highlighted their favourites and we asked our West Shore mayors to also tell us about an exciting project in their municipality. But while you’re out exploring,

don’t forget to support our West Shore business community. You don’t have to be on the West Shore long to discover just how many truly community-oriented businesses have set up shop here. We are often blown away by the generosity of local businesses stepping up to help those in need in our community. Whether it’s sponsoring a community event, hosting a fundraiser for a family going through a tough time, making sure local kids have a healthy breakfast and the tools they need to succeed in school or even helping those beyond our borders, West Shore businesses, organizations and community members continue to go above and beyond year after year. And that’s what being a community is truly about. We thank you for continuing to read our paper and for following us online. We strive to be your source for community news on the West Shore, whether it’s in these pages, online or on social media, we have you covered. Part of that is thanks to you, so keep sending us those story tips, business spotlights or community events, we love being able to share them. -Katherine Engqvist, editor


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Some of the best on the West Shore

Friday, October 27, 2017 B5

Staff Pick

The West Shore is packed with great places to do just about anything and everything. Some are hidden gems while others are wellknown because they cater to a wide range of residents. Here are a few spots that are included in some of these awards and others that may not have fallen into a category or didn’t quite make the cut but are still worth a mention.

The best places to play: No longer Langford’s best kept secret, Westhills Playground has been steadily growing in popularity and now with the opening of West Shore Parkway, it’s even more visible. This playground is located off Langford Parkway in the Westhills development and has a rubber-like material under the play structures and swings. While it’s both toddler and big kid friendly, a few adults have been seen trying their hands at some of the features. Two parks in relatively close proximity to each other on Chilco Road in View Royal have been attracting a lot of attention and little feet. The first, Chilco Park, located in the heart of the Thetis Vale development offers lots of options from hanging to swinging. The park also features a large grassy area that’s great for ball play. Upper Chilco, at the end of Chilco Road, offers even more options for children of all ages with a climbing structure, slide and wood chips to land in. Sometimes overlooked but still utilized, West Shore Parks and Recreation has an elaborate playground for kids of all ages. For

MICHELLE CABANA Publisher

Avery Louden, 6, Courtney Robertson, 8, and Lochlyn Wilkins, 6 enjoy a seesaw ride at Glen Lake Beach Park in Langford. (RICK STIEBEL/NEWS GAZETTE STAFF) this list we’re highlighting the play structure located on the lower part near the soccer fields. This playgrounds features lots of great structures and swings as well as nearby washrooms (always an added bonus), picnic tables, water fountain and lots of parking. The District of Highlands recently gave Twinflower Park an upgrade. It has lots of options for children of all ages, including monkey bars, slides and swings. It’s centrally located in the Highlands and is close to a lot of other amenities so it’s a great spot to stop for a quick play.

Tip: Check local Facebook groups or pages, such as Parks of the Westshore, for tips on where to find a great park in your neighbourhood.

The best places to enjoy the beach: It’s certainly not just Colwood residents that enjoy taking a stroll, having a picnic or just enjoying some time in the sun at Esquimalt Lagoon, which is why it was also included on the list of best places to take out-of-town visitors. Continued on B6

With so many great spots on the West Shore it is hard to pick just one. I would have to say my favourite go-to spot would be Hillman Trail in Metchosin. This is where I have lived for the past 13 years and it’s just down the road from my house. With a beautiful canopy of trees lining the trail and an old wooden bridge crossing a small stream it makes me put aside the everyday hustle of work and family and just enjoy the moment, not to mention I can run and sweat with no one around but the dogs!

A World of Opportunity Located in Victoria’s West Shore, Royal Roads University merges rich academic history and innovative programs with an unparalleled educational environment. Whether you’re learning to be a more effective entrepreneur, leader, educator, or communicator, Royal Roads brings out your best, while delivering content that’s immediately relevant in the workplace. Find out why an experience at Royal Roads University is anything but ordinary. royalroads.ca


B6 Friday, October 27, 2017

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From beaches to mountains to a castle, the West Shore has it all Mayor Stew Young The City of Langford continues to improve its transportation corridors throughout the region. In 2017, the City completed the new West Shore Parkway connecting the Trans-Canada Highway to Sooke Road. In late 2017 through to early 2018, the City will complete the remaining 3.5 kilometres of the Bear Mountain Parkway connecting the Leigh Road Interchange to the South Skirt and Bear Mountain communities. Also in 2018, the City will construct the second southbound left turn lane on the Millstream Road Overpass. All projects improve the City’s and the region’s overall road, cycling and pedestrian networks. The combination of the West Shore Parkway, the Bear Mountain Parkway and Millstream Overpass will improve traffic flow, bring citizens home faster to spend more time with their families, and ensure jobs are created long into the future for the people of Langford. Taken together, the three projects are valued at more than $34 million. They are examples of how Langford is open for business, reduces red tape and gets things done.

Continued from B5 The Esquimalt Lagoon is a migratory bird sanctuary and a popular spot for families, wildlife photographers and just about everyone else to enjoy. It’s also a great spot to take your dog out for a little run or swim. Tip: This is a great spot to watch the sun rise above the Fisgard Lighthouse. A little further out of the way is Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin and while it’s a bit of hike to get to the beach, the trail system is half the fun. This is a great spot to take the family, pack a lunch and spend the day. The Capital Regional District’s parks department often hosts events led by naturalists that explore some of the creatures that make Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park their home. But be prepared to get your feet wet. Tip: The access from the Tower Point development provides a completely different experience that’s not quite as long of a walk. No list would be complete without Thetis Lake. View Royal’s most popular swimming hole attracts residents from across the region when the weather’s nice. With a main beach area and several other rock outcrops that are great for swimming, Thetis Lake is a great spot to catch some sunbeams. As the beaches can become a little crowded, bringing an inflatable to float around on with some friends is also a great option. Tip: Thetis Lake isn’t just popular in the summer months as it hosts a trail systems that’s great for a run or for a stroll with a friend, which is why it’s

Goldstream Gazette’s advertising consultant Gary Howell’s dog Lily loves the Esquimalt Lagoon. It’s a popular spot for all West Shore residents to enjoy. (GARY HOWELL/NEWS GAZETTE STAFF) also included in the best hiking trails category.

The best place to take visitors: Royal Roads University attracts a lot of international attention, especially when movie stars happen to be filming at Hatley Castle. This site is a great place to take visitors as it offers a lot of West Shore history (and a castle). The grounds and surrounding gardens are even rooted in history with the overall designs coherent with the Dunsmuirs’ original vision. Visitors won’t be disappointed after spending a day exploring

Actor Johnny Depp (right) was seen filming scenes for his new movie, Richard says Goodbye, at Hatley Castle this summer. This photo was taken by Wes Brown who was trying to get a glimpse of the actor. (WES BROWN PHOTO)

the grounds and you may even spot one of the peacocks that live on campus. Tip: The Royal Roads campus also hosts an elaborate trail network that spans the Department of National Defence lands all the way to Metchosin Road. There is no shortage of trail networks on the West Shore, which are constantly being expanded. But an always popular choice is the Galloping Goose Trail that weaves through the heart of the West Shore. This link is a great way to get visitors out for a walk or bike ride while still being able to show them all the West Shore has to offer. Tip: Try taking visitors on alternative modes of transportation along the Galloping Goose into downtown Victoria. Getting there is half the fun. No list about the West Shore would be complete without the Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse national historic sites. The fort offers a look back at Canada’s military history while the lighthouse gives a unique perspective of the area. Both are beautiful and filled with knowledgeable Parks Canada staff members that can answer any questions or share more information. Tip: General admission is free this year to celebrate Canada’s 150, so don’t miss this opportunity to explore the sites.

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Friday, October 27, 2017 B7

Enjoy your time with someone special

Staff Pick

The West Shore is home to a number of great options for an evening out After a busy week a great way to unwind is by spending time with that special someone. Here are a few date night ideas that won’t take you off the West Shore:

1. Romantic dinner There are a ton of great restaurants on the West Shore, including a handful of options that have recently opened. Depending on your tastes, offerings range from great burgers to diner fare to mouth watering pizza to perfect steaks and dishes that originated in most corners of the globe. With all of that to choose from, it can be challenging to narrow down the list but a number of restaurants do offer specials or discounts at certain times. Branching out and trying something new – whether it’s a new location or just a new menu option at your favourite spot – can bring even more excitement to the evening. If you can, make sure to call ahead for a reservation to avoid any waits.

KATHERINE ENGQVIST Editor

2. Go shopping

There is no shortage of great date spots on the West Shore. From local coffee shops and restaurants to places to shop and get active, West Shore businesses offer just about everything. (PIXABAY)

A little retail therapy can go a long way and it’s a great way to discover someone’s tastes. The West Shore has lots of great shopping centres and local businesses that cater to just about every taste. Whether you’re looking for new furniture, a new look, second-hand treasures or just something different, West Shore businesses have it all.

And if you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day, it’s a great excuse to get out of the house while still staying dry.

3. Get moving Not all dates have to involve dinner and a movie – although there’s some great options

for that too. If you’re feeling up for an adventure or just something active try taking advantage of the recreation offered on the West Shore. There is everything from bowling, skating, cycling, golf, swimming, hiking, to fitness, dance and yoga classes. Continued on B8

While I was born and raised on the Island, I’ve only been a West Shore resident for four years. But now that I am, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. My home is within walking distance to lots of great local businesses and the trail system at Royal Roads University. I like to explore the Metchosin Road side of the site and even on a rainy day, it’s a great walk to stretch your legs and get away from a computer screen.

Thanks for making Oak Bay Bikes the best on the Westshore!

At Oak Bay Bikes Westshore we are passionate about any kind of bicycle and a healthy lifestyle. All of our staff are cyclists, we all ride. From beginner riders to experienced racers, we have the right bike and gear for you. We constantly grow and expand our expertise to serve you better and improve your experience through delivery of professional and friendly service. And our knowledge of local rides, cycling routes, commuting and racing provides us with the unique advantage in delivering the most complete bike shop experience. We want to have fun with you when you come in to visit us.

We are supporting the community not only by being involved with local schools and sports programs - we are giving every cyclist the opportunity to meet new people to ride with and push their fitness goals and skill levels. We are in our 8th year here on the Westshore and are very grateful for all of our great customers in the cycling community. After all, without you, our customer & friends, we would not be here today! We feel it is important to give back to our community and share the amazing lifestyle of cycling with everyone. THANK YOU for voting for us in the Best Of Westshore.

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B8 Friday, October 27, 2017

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From stunning tary school and commerocean views to cial commons exceptional waterfront propare planned for the site as well. erties, Colwood The new Royal has a growing Bay Beachpark number of options for specprovides direct tacular seaside ocean access living. and is the first Mayor Pacific Landstep toward creing offers lux- Carol Hamilton ating a seaside ury homes in a village with waresort-like setting bordered terfront eateries, shopping, by 650 feet of shoreline services and inspiring open along Esquimalt Lagoon spaces. The seaside village on one side, and the for- will be one of two town ested trails of Royal Roads centres, the other expected on the other. The first of to come to life this winter three buildings is complete, at Colwood Corners. with occupancy expected At the same time, the City this winter. Construction is investing in affordable of the second building is housing, providing funding underway now. support to both Pacifica Royal Bay is home to a Housing and the Greater growing range of housing Victoria Housing Society options, from single-family to construct a combined homes and townhomes to total of 182 apartluxury residences. ment units for low income The beautifully designed Royal Bay Secondary earners. School is central to the neighbourhood, and an elemen-

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You don’t need to go far for date night Continued from B7 Whatever you may find yourself in the mood for, or have ever wanted to try, the West Shore most likely has it and a number of programs are geared towards different age groups or skill levels so there’s something for everyone. At the end of the day, it’s all about spending some quality time together so find something you both enjoy or just try something new every month.

4. Plan your future together Maybe don’t do this on a first date – no one wants to come on too strong – but if you’re in a committed relationship, married or not, and are looking to plan for your future together there are a lot of great businesses on the West Shore that can help you with everything from financial to estate planning. For a lot of people, there’s nothing sexier than knowing you’ll be comfortable moving forward in life and retirement. Sitting down with someone is half the battle and it’ll give you a great opportunity to learn more about your partner – and their spending habits. Sitting down with an expert can help you both get on the same page and align your future goals.

If you’re both early risers, you and your partner can enjoy the sun rise as a nice way to start the day. It’s also a perfect time to go for a stroll. Lamont French captured this sunrise from the top of Triangle Mountain. (PHOTO BY LAMONT FRENCH)

5. Walk on the beach Go for a long walk on the beach. It sounds cheesy but it’s a great way to unwind and there are some pretty great beaches with lots of amenities on the West Shore. If you’re not a fan of the ocean, there’s also some options around the local lakes that will still provide that relaxing beach atmosphere

without the seaweed. One of the greatest features of living on the West Shore is all of the amenities it has to offer residents right in their backyards. Don’t forget to take advantage of that. And if all else fails, there’s lots of great local florists, jewellers and other options to get you back in the good books.

We We would would We like like would to to express express like toour our express deepest deepest our appreciation deepest appreciation appreciation to to the the to the community community community for for their their continued continued for their continued support support as as support we we move move as we into into move into our our 7th 7th year year our proudly 7th proudly yearserving serving proudlythe the serving Westshore. Westshore. the Westshore. The TheMandala MandalaTeam The Team Mandala Team N

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Friday, October 27, 2017 B9

Reader photos

Staff Pick

Here are a few of our favourite photos submitted by you. (Right) A West Shore resident snapped a photo of this blue heron in flight. (Bottom left) View Royal resident Richard Letourneau came across this creative structure one morning at the Esquimalt Lagoon. He liked how it was created with found materials such as driftwood and bullwhip kelp. (Bottom right) Doug Clement took a photo of this beautiful rainbow over the lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill.

KENDRA WONG Multi-Media Journalist

While I’m fairly new to the West Shore, only having lived here for the past year, one of my favourite places is without a doubt, Mount Finlayson. Not only is it the place where my boyfriend proposed, but there’s nothing better than a good hike. While there are many hikes in the area, climbing the rocky terrain is a challenge. It gets the blood pumping and the sweat dripping, but at the top, you’re rewarded with a picture-perfect view of the Western communities. There’s no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than climbing Mt. Finalyson.

THANK YOU!

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B10 Friday, October 27, 2017

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Friday, October 27, 2017 B11

of the

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Best Customer Service

1. Cascadia Liquor (Langford) 2. Thrifty Foods 3. Darcy’s Pub

Best Dental/Denture Clinic

1. Colwood Dental Group 2. Parkway Dental 3. Westshore Dental Centre

Best for Entertainment 1. Elements Casino 2. Cineplex Odeon 3. Western Speedway

Best Ethnic Cuisine

1. Sabhai Thai 2. Turmeric Indian Cuisine 3. Green Leaf Bistro

Best Financial Services

Best Auto Service

1. Alpine Auto Repair & Tirecraft 2. Great Canadian Oil Change 3. Glen Lake Automotive Centre

Best Beach

1. Esquimalt Lagoon 2. Witty’s Lagoon 3. Thetis Lake

Best Bicycle Shop

1. Goldstream Bicycles 2. Oak Bay Bicycles Westshore 3. PM Bikes

Best for Breakfast

1. Floyd’s Diner 2. My Chosen Café 3. Mo:Lé on Millstream

Best Business

1. Cascadia Liquor (Colwood) 2. Belle Rose Salon & Wax Bar 3. Party Crashers

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!

1. Coast Capital Savings 2. Island Savings 3. RBC Westshore

Best First Nations Business

1. Indigenous Perspectives Society 2. M’akola Group of Societies

Best Fishing Spot 1. Langford Lake 2. Pedder Bay 3. Glen Lake

Best Flower/Garden Shop

1. Brown’s The Florist 2. Garden Works 3. Little Elf Garden Centre

Best Free Fun

1. Thetis Lake 2. Esquimalt Lagoon 3. Langford Lake

Best Grocery Store

1. Thrifty Foods 2. Quality Foods 3. The Market on Millstream

Best Golf Club

1. Olympic View Golf Club 2. The Westin Bear Mountain Resort Community 3. Royal Colwood Golf Club

Best Hair Salon

1. Cabello Salon 2. Belle Rose Salon & Wax Bar 3. Kharma Design Studio

Best Hiking Trail

1. Thetis Lake 2. Mount Finlayson 3. Galloping Goose

Best Independent Coffee Shop 1. Poncho’s Coffee House 2. Pilgrim Coffee House 3. Serious Coffee

Best Pet Clinic

Best Second Hand Shop

Best Place for Eye Care

Best Spa/Aesthetics

Best Place for Fitness

Best Storage

Best Place to Take Out-of-town Visitors

Best Tech/I.T. Business

1. Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic 2. Glenview Animal Hospital 3. Belmont Langford Veterinary Hospital

1. IRIS Optometrists & Opticians 2. Dr Joslin & Dr Morin Associates 3. Costco Wholesale

1. YMCA-YWCA Langford Westhills 2. Club Phoenix Health & Fitness 3. West Shore Parks & Recreation

1. Hatley Castle (Royal Roads University) 2. Esquimalt Lagoon 3. Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse

1. Baja Rosi’s Consignment Cabana 2. WIN Langford 3. Society of St. Vincent de Paul

1. Sante Spa Victoria 2. Belle Rose Salon & Wax Bar 3. Spa A’lita

1. WestShore U-Lock Mini Storage 2. Millstream Self Storage 3. Adams Storage

1. Seriously Creative 2. Cybersalt Consulting and Communications 3. Gizmo’s Computers

Best Place for Selfie Best Insurance 1. 2. 3. 3.

Maxxam Insurance Coast Capital Insurance Westland Insurance HUB International Victoria

Best Legal Services

1. Hemminger Law Group Westshore 2. Wilson Marshall Law Corporation 3. ERA Law

1. Esquimalt Lagoon 2. Mount Finlayson 3. Royal Roads University

Best Place to Walk Your Dog 1. Thetis Lake 2. Royal Roads University 3. Esquimalt Lagoon

Best Professional Services

1. Westshore Women’s Business Network 2. Linda Mackie Photography 3. Raymond James Ltd

Best Martial Arts

1. Clark’s Taekwondo 2. Canada’s Best Karate 3. 9Round Langford

Best Pub

1. Darcy’s Pub 2. Six Mile Pub & Eatery 3. Jack’s Place

Best New Business

1. Cascadia Liquor (Eagle Ridge) 2. Bubbles Balloons 3. Weaver’s Leather

Best New Development

1. Westhills 2. Royal Bay 3. Spirit Bay Developments

Best Restaurant

1. My Chosen Café 2. Bin 4 Burger Lounge 3. Sabhai Thai

Best Retailer

1. Winners/HomeSense 2. Costco Wholesale 3. Capital Iron (West Shore)

Best U-Brew/Make Your Own Wine 1. The Wine Maker 2. Island Brew Byou 3. Grapes to Glass Winery

Best Wellness/Health Practice

1. Mandala Center for Health & Wellness 2. Stillpoint Community Acupuncture 3. Back to Back Chiropractic

Best Yoga

1. Moksha Yoga Westshore 2. Feel Good Yoga & Pilates 3. Yoga Loft

Favourite Local Sports Team 1. Victoria Shamrocks 2. Victoria Grizzlies 3. Westshore Rebels

Favourite Non-Profit

1. Coast Collective Arts Centre 2. Rotary Club of the West Shore 3. West Shore Arts Council

A message from the Chamber: Thank you West Shore! With more than 20,000 votes cast through an entirely public voting system across 43 categories, the 2017 Best of the West Shore Awards is our biggest yet. To me, this reflects the vibrancy that is the area made up of Colwood, Highlands, Langford, Metchosin and View Royal. It is such a pleasure to be amongst a community of people who are constantly working to make the West Shore the best place in B.C. to live, work and play. The Best of the West Shore Awards is brought to you through a partnership between the Goldstream News Gazette and the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You know the Gazette as your community newspaper, and the WestShore Chamber is your local Chamber. We are a non-profit organization advancing growth, prosperity and sustainability of business and community life on the West Shore. The WestShore Chamber has 380 members across the south Island who pay an annual membership fee, and it is thanks to our members and the support of the City of Langford, the City of Colwood and the Town of View Royal that we can support our local community, advocate on your behalf, and bring you initiatives like the Best of the West Shore Awards. In the run-up to the voting period, we did something different this year. Over a five week period in the spring, we invited all West Shore organizations to register their name against their preferred award category. This meant that

when the voting platform went live, individual businesses were listed against many categories as options for voting. Instant name recognition was therefore provided for those 72 organizations that registered. It’s been interesting to see how this registration has impacted the results. For some awards the top three favourites on the West Shore have held their own, but in some cases there’s been a shift in position between first, second and third. In other categories we’re seeing new names – some are new businesses, while others are well-established. On behalf of our President Mike Reilly, the Board of Directors of the WestShore Chamber of Commerce and our volunteers and staff, congratulations to all the finalists and to everyone who has been nominated! Thank you too for everyone who voted for your favourites as we couldn’t have done it without you. And last but not least, thank you to our partner the Goldstream News Gazette, our Title Sponsor Peninsula Co-op and our Gold Sponsors Camosun College Co-operative Education & Student Employment, Coastal Community Credit Union, Elements Casino, Royal Roads University, the University of Victoria Co-operative Education Program & Career Services, and the Westin Bear Mountain Resort Community. Thank you too to our additional eleven In-Kind and Presenting Sponsors whose logos you will see within these pages. We are grateful for all of your support! Julie Lawlor Executive Director, WestShore Chamber of Commerce


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There are many exciting projects and initiatives happening in View Royal but I think the one that has the most importance for the West Shore is the expansion of the View Royal Mayor Casino. SomeDavid Screech time during the first half of 2018 the View Royal Casino will transition to Elements Casino Victoria. While we are sad to see the View Royal name go, the future of the property is very exciting. When complete the new Elements Casino will encompass a 70,000 square foot gaming floor with an enhanced selection of both slots and table games. There will be many new dining options including a full buffet. The expansion includes a 600 seat entertainment space which will attract headline acts, dinner theatre, performing art shows, small conventions, and more. This new casino will truly become a destination entertainment centre for Southern Vancouver Island. Given that all the West Shore municipalities share in the casino’s revenues this is a positive for all of us. Those revenues go to support all types of initiatives from grants to different community organizations to capital projects in our communities. Great Canadian Gaming has been an excellent corporate citizen over the past 16 years and we look forward to working with them well into the future. We also thank them for the major investment they are making in our community and for the confidence both they and B.C. Lotteries have placed in the West Shore communities.

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Free things to do in the West Shore

The western communities offer a plethora of activities

With the population growing steadily in recent years and that number only expected to increase, it’s easy to see why many families in the Capital Region are choosing to pack up their lives and move to the West Shore. From the beautiful views at Esquimalt Lagoon, Fort Rodd Hill and Bear Mountain to the plethora of recreational facilities, there’s always an abundance of things to keep you and your family busy year-round. Here are a few free things to enjoy rain or shine on the West Shore: 1. Go for a hike at one of the wonderful Capital Regional District Parks. There’s no shortage of hikes for people of all ages and fitness abilities. From basic climbs like Mill Hill to more intermediate hikes at Mount Work Regional Park to the more challenging terrain of Mount Finlayson, there’s lots of places to get up and move. 2. Watch as thousands of

Mount Finlayson can be a challenging hike, but the view at the top makes it all worth it. (GAZETTE FILE PHOTO) chum salmon make their way to spawning streams during the annual salmon run at Goldstream Provincial Park from mid to late October to early December. For more information about salmon, kids can also take a tour of the Goldstream Nature House open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 3. Ride your bike or walk along the Galloping Goose

Regional Trail, a roughly 55 kilometre trail that offers a smooth, scenic path into Victoria or further west through all five western municipalities, and even as far out as Sooke. 4. Take a walk along many beautiful shorelines, from Witty’s Lagoon and Devonian Regional Park in Metchosin to less traveled beaches such as Albert Head

Visitors to Goldstream Provincial Park watch salmon spawning amongst the rocks in Goldstream River. The salmon are a little late this year but are expected at the end of the month.

Lagoon Regional Park. Enjoy a walk along the trails and take in the smell of the ocean. You may even catch a glimpse of sea lions or otters swimming in the distance. 5. Go bird watching at Esquimalt Lagoon, one of 54 national migratory bird sanctuaries in Canada. The estuaries and salt marches create highly productive ecosystems, a sheltered envrionment for fish and rich feeding grounds for birds. Keep an eye out for Blue Herons, black oystercatchers, black-bellied plovers, sanderling, dowitcher and even the occassional bald eagle. 6. Go for a swim or dip your toes in one of the region’s many lakes. From Thetis Lake Regional Park to Matheson Lake in Metchosin, you don’t have to wander too far to find a nice place to cool off and relax on those hot summer days.

(GAZETTE FILE PHOTO)

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Highlands’ West Hall on Millstream Road recently underwent renovations to make room for a new addition to the department’s fleet. This volunteer fire department has been working hard to achieve the Superior Shuttle Accreditation. (KATHERINE ENGQVIST/NEWS GAZETTE STAFF)

Staff Pick Being a newcomer to the West Shore, I’ve been exploring when I can. One place I fell in love with immediately is Royal Bay Beach Park in Colwood. It’s so nice knowing that on my way home after work,

errands or being out, I can stop to take in the amazing views and the smell of ocean air. It’s a great place to clear your head and have some personal down time while feeling the ocean breeze.

JESSICA FEDIGAN

Mulit-Media Journalist

Highlands is putting the finishing touches on our West Highlands Fire Hall upgrade to accommodate our recently expanded number of firetrucks. This increase in service has enabled Superior Shuttle Accreditation, which has lowered insurance costs for HighlandMayor ers, and made us much Ken Williams more resilient year round. Highlands has been successful in obtaining a planning grant through the Union of B.C. Municipalities to develop an Asset Management and Policy Plan. Council has approved a proposal from the Brentwood Advisory Group to undertake the development of a Sustainable Asset Management Plan, Policy, Financial Strategy and Measurement and Reporting Approach for the District. This will be a significant step towards a more comprehensive natural capital asset management plan in the future that builds on the groundwater resource work already completed by the District. Of course the best asset in Highlands is our wonderful volunteers. From our Highlands firefighters, community gardens group, District committees and associations to our roadside clean-up, broom bashers and contributing artisans, Highlands volunteers get the job done with a great heaping of community spirit and creative passion. They are truly the best of the West Shore.

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Staff Pick

GARY HOWELL Advertising Consultant

Since moving to Langford from the prairies with my wife Lois almost seven years ago we continue to find a new favourite spot to walk our dog. First the Lagoon was our go-to spot, then Witty’s Lagoon was our place, then Langford Lake and then Thetis Lake became our favourite. To confuse us further, a few years ago we stumbled upon a small beach just past Beacher Bay that was so peaceful and private. You can see where I’m going with this, the entire West Shore is our favourite spot. Are we lucky or what?

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The Sooke School District continues to grow with West Shore residents SD62 adds portables while pushing for new schools and the expansion of Royal Bay Secondary With more and more families moving to the West Shore, it’s no surprise that the Sooke School District is one of the fastest growing districts in the province. Last school year, SD62 saw an increase of 520 students, which was an “abnormal” year, according to superintendent Jim Cambridge. While this year’s enrolment numbers are not as high, with more than 300 new students, it’s still a sign of things to come. “We’re really pleased that our projections are accurate. Last year it was great to have a lot of extra kids, but it’s better to know how many kids are coming,” said Cambridge, adding this year’s numbers are on track with the district’s long range facilities plans, which estimates a three per cent growth rate per year which translates to roughly 300 new students annually. SD62 has also had to accommodate the addition of roughly 30 classrooms for this school year because of changes to class size regulations.

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The Sooke School District saw roughly 340 new students this year and is expecting more next year. (STOCK PHOTO) As a result, the school district installed 19 new portables to act as temporary classrooms for roughly 100 elementary, middle and high school students. In addition to those structures, 10 computer labs and three other rooms were converted into classrooms to accommodate the need. The computer labs that were repurposed came out of elementary schools, where Cambridge noted they were not needed. Instead of following an old model where computer labs were approached in a similar fashion as going to the library or the gymnasium, he said they’ve shifted their approach to mobile labs, where technology is available in the classroom. “It’s actually worked out well,” Cambridge said. “Overall, I’d say it was a success.” With the district growing – something that Cambridge attributes to the boom in residential development and access to amenities that are attracting more families to the West Shore – plans to address increased enrolment are in the works. The district is working on its capital plan and acquiring land to build new schools, including a middle and elementary school in the Langford/Colwood area and an elementary school in south Langford or in the Royal Bay area, as well as continuing its push for the ex-

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pansion of Royal Bay Secondary. Royal Bay Secondary was at capacity when it opened its doors in September 2015. But the school was designed with the potential to add a wing to accomodate the growth the district knew would be coming. Along with the growth and development on the West Shore, the Sooke School District is also seeing its French Immersion program expand. “When French immersion was first introduced in 1991, we only had two teachers and about 30 students at John Stubbs and Saseenos elementary schools involved in the program,” said Cendra Beaton, former president of the Sooke School District chapter of Canadian Parents for French B.C. and Yukon. “Twenty-seven years later, we have 1,278 students. That represents more than 11 per cent of the district’s total student population.” But provincial funding for those students has lagged behind the district’s growth. Lobbying from parents and the district has resulted in a more than $16,000 grant from the Ministry of Education for French Second Language programs in the Sooke School District. Hundreds of French books and other resources are now finding their way into local schools to help with increased demand and to keep up with growing schools.


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Friday, October 27, 2017 B15

The West Shore continues to grow With Greater Victoria’s housing market it’s no surprise residents are flocking to the West Shore to put down their roots. With a blend of families new and old, the West Shore continues to develop faster than any other area in the region with a number of new units steadily hitting the market and thousands more planned for the next couple decades. While not quite ready for market just yet, the Colwood Corners development is getting new life as work started this fall to prep the site for a development that will feature roughly 470 residential units as well as commerical space. Completion of the first phase is expected by 2020. Royal Bay, which some would argue is quickly becoming the heart of Colwood, is attracting a lot of attention and not just because of its new beach access. Colwood’s newest seaside community welcomed its first resident in August 2016 and is designed to eventually become a series of inter-connected communities. All of those mini communities will share a certain walkability, with all homes within a five-minute walk from a park. With 2,300 homes planned to

Staff Pick

KARRI ROLOFS Advertising Consultant

This aerial view of the Royal Bay development in Colwood was taken this summer and you can see how much it’s changed from previous years. (PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL BAY) house approximately 7,000 peo- the hills between Langford and Scia’new First Nation and the Trust for Sustainable Developple, that’s a lot of park space. In Glen lakes. fact, approximately 100 acres This massive, multi-phased ment that puts a premium on of the site has been earmarked project has been designed with respecting the property upon for parks. The full build out for density in mind, with houses which the project is being built. this development is estimated to built close together on mostSpirit Bay encompasses amaztake 20 years. ly small lots. But look a little ing water views on 400 wooded Over in Langford, Westhills closer and one discovers that hectares of south-facing shore has been attracting a lot of at- each home is not only distinctly property adjacent to the Beechtention with the newly finished different than the one next door, er Bay Marina in Metchosin. West Shore Parkway carving a there are various configurations When completed, the town will path through the development. on each street. include about 400 to 500 homes Similar to Royal Bay in that it Not to be outdone, Spirit Bay on 40 hectares with a commeris a development with a master is the culmination of an inno- cial town centre, playing fields plan, Westhills is perched on vative partnership between the and a world-class spa.

My family and I have three great rescue dogs which is why the Esquimalt Lagoon is my staff pick. The spectacular view of the Olympic Mountains, a great beach front and endless pieces of drifwood (which make great sticks for the dogs) is why this spot is my favourite. When I’m not in the office, you’ll often find me there with all members of my family, including the four-legged ones. It’s the perfect getaway to enjoy a family walk and take in the great outdoors.

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One of the larger initiatives that Metchosin has been working on this year is the purchase of the Metchosin Mayor School and John Ranns heritage site on Happy Valley Road. The school was placed on the market by the Sooke School District earlier this year and council has been in negotiations with them over the past several months. Council felt that it was important to secure the school site in order to protect Metchosin’s town core; we have had overwhelming support from the community. As we were unable to secure provincial grant funding towards the purchase, the school will be financed through the District’s reserves. It was Council’s hope that we could offer use of the school on a sub-regional level that would benefit local organizations but for now, the District will be looking at renting the space on a commercial level in order to maximize rental return until a time that the our reserves are replenished. Council will also be looking at alternative funding opportunities in the future. The existing arts facility in the heritage school will continue to operate as an arts centre.

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Staff Pick I have lived on the Island most of my life. I have been north to Cape Scott, I have lived in the Comox Valley and I have visited the Ucluelet area, but I still love the south Island. I have kayaked in Glen Lake, hiked to the Goldstream

trestle bridge, but the place I like the most is just a short walk from where I live. My favourite spot on the West Shore is Tower Point, in Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. This dog friendly spot is great even if you don’t have a dog. There is a network of trails systems, easy access to beaches, and a number of

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little nooks and crannies that are great for exploring. When the lagoon is at low tide I love having access to new areas. I now can get out to the little rock islands that are normally under water. The best places to visit are the ones that are just outside your door, there is no cost attached to that kind of adventuring.

REBECCA WILDE Production

Langford Lake is stocked and ready to be fished year-round. (REBECCA WILDE/NEWS GAZETTE STAFF)

Find a new favourite fishing spot The West Shore has numerous fresh and salt water accesses

The West Shore is known for its lakes and oceans and all that goes along with that. Considering all of those beautiful spots, it’s no surprise West Shore residents love to fish. It’s a great activity to do with the family and it’s also a perfect way to unwind at the end of the work week. With a number of fresh water spots, it can also be a fairly affordable hobby, with some areas that don’t even require a boat. Here’s the West Shore’s top three fishing spots, as voted by our readers.

Langford Lake Accessibility is one of the features that makes this lake a great spot to cast a line. Not only is it centrally located in the heart of Langford, it’s also stocked with plenty of fish. Roughly 8,000 rainbow trout of varying ages and sizes are released regularly by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. Rainbow trout and bass ranging from six to eight pounds – some of the largest fish in the Capital Region’s lakes – flourish in Langford Lake because of an aerator that was

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installed several years ago. Spring and fall are the best seasons to catch rainbow trout, while bass like to bite in the summer. But due to its location, fish stocks and a number of other factors, this is a great spot to fish all year long, which means even if the ocean is a little too rough to weather, you can still fish at Langford Lake. Besides fish Langford Lake offers a dock to fish from, and a boat launch for those that want to get a little further from the main dock. Continued on B17


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Friday, October 27, 2017 B17

West Shore fishing options are endless

Staff Pick

Continued from B16 There’s also another dock a 10-minute walk from the parking at the end of Goldstream Avenue, as well as other shore access points along the Galloping Goose Trail. If you do plan to launch your boat, keep in mind power boats are restricted on the lake and the City only allows the use of electric motors.

Pedder Bay Pedder Bay, the furthest point south of Sooke, used to be one of the West Shore’s best kept secrets, but not any more. This great saltwater fishing spot has steadily gained in popularity in recent years as more and more residents – and visitors – realize just how great the fishing can be. It’s a lot closer than Sooke for most anglers in the Capital Region and the marina at Pedder Bay has enough capacity to meet demand. As an added bonus, you can fish right in the bay if conditions aren’t favourable enough to head out to Race Rocks, another popular spot in the area. Pedder Bay is a quiet inlet that offers vacation spots including a campground, boat rentals and a tackle shop. So if you’re looking for a staycation, it’s a great spot for the entire family to enjoy. The inlet has direct access to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where both salmon and halibut fishing are favourable for most of the year. If you’ve never tried your hand at saltwa-

MELISSA MITCHELL (PHOTO BY KIP LYON)

ter fishing but would like to get your feet wet, there are a number of great guides that operate charters in the area. Having a professional with you is a great way to learn about hot spots to fish and will keep you safe in some of the notorious tides that can rip through the surrounding area.

Glen Lake Perfect for fishing and boating, Glen Lake is a gorgeous option for recreation, which includes some great fishing. Glen Lake is smaller than Langford Lake but is also a great spot to catch trout and bass all year long. You can access the lake by boat, shore or tube, so it’s a great excuse for you to bust out that belly boat and get in the water for

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One of my favourite places on the West Shore would have to be Western Speedway in Langford. My family and I frequent the stands during the regular season and we miss it during the winter months. Some of our favourite races are the Daffodil and Strawberry cups but they are all great events for the entire family. We also go to the track for the swap meet every Sunday from its start in April until it finishes in late September.

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some floating and fishing. Keep in mind, there are also boating restrictions on Glen Lake that limits the use to electric motors only. But if you prefer to fish from shore, there’s a great fishing platform in the Glen Lake Beach Park. Langford’s most southern lake, Glen Lake also offers a small swimming beach at Glen Cove on the Galloping Goose Trail, which is a great option to cool off at if you get too hot waiting for a bite. Glen Lake Beach Park, at the northern end of the lake, also features a children’s playground, spray park, swimming beach and picnic area. An added bonus for those that like to bring four-legged companions along when fishing, Glen Lake’s exercise area, boat launch and one of the swimming areas are dog-friendly all year long.

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B18 Friday, October 27, 2017

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Events Reoccurring Meat Draw  Langford Legion Branch 91  761 Station Ave.  Nine draws per half hour  Fridays, 3 to 6 p.m.  Open to all members and guest  For more info phone 250-478-1828 or go to rcl91.ca  Free Hatha yoga for seniors  Parkway Physiotherapy and Performance Centre  108-2655 Sooke Rd.  Saturdays, 11 a.m.  Free for anyone 65 and older  Space is limited, phone ahead to reserve your spot, 250-478-7227  Highlands Music Coffee House  Second Saturday of the month  Caleb Pike House, 1589 Millstream Rd.  Doors open at 7 p.m., entertainment starts at 7:30 p.m.  Admission is $5 

October 27

Halloween Night Climb  WildPlay Element Parks  1767 Island Hwy.  6 to 7:40 p.m. check-in  Classic course only, limited space available  

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All Hallow Eve’s Freaky ‘Fun’draiser Metchosin Hall, 4401 William Head Rd.  Doors open at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $20 and available at My Chosen Cafe  For more info call 250-474-2333

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Halloween at Colwood, Highlands, Langford, Metchsoin and View Royal fire halls Tuesday, for times check your local fire department’s website

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Havenwood 5 exhibition Coast Collective Art Centre 103-318 Wale Rd Go to coastcollective.ca for more information West Shore Community Book Bonanza  Church of the Advent, 510 Mount View Ave.  9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  (Presales available on Friday, Nov. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. $5 per person)  For more info phone 250-474-3031 or email office@colwoodanglican.ca 


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November 11

Remembrance Day

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Langford Legion Night Market  Langford Legion, 761 Station Ave.  6 to 9 p.m. 

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Financial workshop just for women  10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  211-963 Langford Pkwy.  RSVP: pam.katunar@raymondjames.ca  For more information phone 250-405-2455 

Remembrance Day entertainment Langford Legion, 761 Station Ave. 2 to 4 p.m. Commodores Big Band 7 p.m. Montgomery Country For more information phone 250-478-9896 or go to rcl91.ca

West Shore Lions Club fundraising dance  8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.  Langford Legion, 761 Station Ave.  Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door  (No classes on Nov. 4 and 11) 

December 2 3

Island Equipment Owners Assoiation’s Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive  Look for the next edition of West Shore Family on Nov. 17 (CHECK) for more  information on the route and drop-off locations  Skate with Santa Westhills Arena 1089 Langford Pkwy 6 to 8 p.m.

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PMD Recycling  Belmont Secondary and Lakewood Elementary  9 a.m. to noon 

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Winter Wonderland Skates West Shore Parks and Recreation Juan de Fuca Arena 1767 Island Hwy See West Shore Parks and Recreation’s website for times

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Bowl in the New Year at Langford Lanes  1097 Langford Pkwy. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.  Unlimited bowling, $15 includes shoes  Ninth Annual Family New Year’s Party 2018  Hosted by Playzone, 1089 Langford Parkway  7:30 to 10:30 p.m., midnight celebration at 10 p.m.  Tickets are $19.95 each, $69.95 for a family of four or $17.50 for additional  family members (children under two years free)  For more information email info@citycentrepark.ca or phone 250-391-1738 

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8888$ $

8888

ea. ea.

LIMITEDLIMITED TO STOCK ON HAND TO STOCK ON HAND

Berkley

ea. ea.

Melrose

Windsor Plywood

2/8 2/8 2/102/10 3/103/10

FLOAT-IN FLOAT-IN INSTALLATION INSTALLATION PREFINISHED PREFINISHED

Westshore

Natural Natural Maple Maple

Westshore Location • 888 Van Isle Way • 250-474-6111 Store hours

Mon-Fri 8am-5:30pm • 1/2” (11.5mm) • 1/2” (11.5mm)

Amber Maple Amber Maple

Sat 9am-5:30pm

x 4-3/4”x 4-3/4”

• Handscraped • Handscraped 11MM11MM ENGINEERED HANDSCRAPED ENGINEERED HANDSCRAPED Natural Natural finish finish

EVEREST EVEREST

Sq. Ft. Sq. Ft.

Closed Sun - Family Day

Sq. Ft. Sq. Ft. CarmelCarmel Acacia Acacia

Special Features - Best of the West Shore  

i20171123120757762.pdf

Special Features - Best of the West Shore  

i20171123120757762.pdf