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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 1

Best City of the

2011

I C I V READ ALL ABOUT IT! Discover Victoria’s top picks as voted by readers… Best restaurants, shopping, services, attractions & more!

Voted

Best City

of the

VICTORIA N EWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2


2 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

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We are very proud of our staff – and share this nomination with them. We would also like to thank our customers and suppliers for their loyal support. We look forward to serving you in the future.

www.themarketstores.com

903 Yates At Quadra 250 381 6000 7 AM-11 PM

125-2401 C Millstream Road 250 391 1110 8 AM-11 PM


THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 3

Welcome to Best of the City The idea behind this publication is simple. Our readers vote on 115 categories, choosing people and places that exemplify the best of Greater Victoria. We tally all the ballots and produce this annual souvenir edition. This issue marks the 17th year we’ve paid tribute to the many deserving people and places singled out by readers for recognition. You can find the results of

the 2011 survey on pages 41-45. Also included are feature stories, interesting facts and photos that explore why we love this amazing city we call home. In the Best of the City you’ll learn something new while re-discovering some of the icons and institutions that fortify our lasting love affair with Victoria. Jim Zeeben, Editor

> INSIDE BEST OF THE CITY 2011

Summer fun

Emily lives

Famous locals

Page 5

Page 9

Heritage wonders Page 20

Page 55

i c i V Voted

54 Y

Cycling in the city

Behind the bar

Capital ideas

Why is Victoria such a great place to own a bike?

What goes into the cocktail inspired by our city?

How do the region’s 13 municipalities work together?

Best City Published June 22, 2011

A division of Black Press 818 Broughton St., Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 1E4

As voted by our readers DESIGN: Lily Chan

Writers: Erin Cardone Ted Hill Roszan Holmen Charla Huber Erin McCracken Vivian Moreau Natalie North Travis Paterson Kyle Slavin Sam Van Schie

of the

Winners in the 17th annual Victoria News “Best of the City” supplement were chosen by Capital Region readers over the course of one month. Those votes were then tabulated by the our promotions department and bestJudged newspaper in B.C. ranked in order to determine first to their place. Victoria News, Black Press-Vancouver Island has copyright over any written material or images in this publication. In the event of an error occurring in any advertisement, the liability of Black Press shall not exceed the charge of space actually occupied by the item in question.

41-45 LAYOUT: Jim Zeeben

Photographers: Don Denton Arnold Lim Sharon Tiffin EDITOR: Jim Zeeben GroUP PUBLISHER

Penny Sakamoto

director, advertising sales

Oliver Sommer

editorial director

Kevin Laird

circulation director

Bruce Hogarth

Co-editor: Don Descoteau

SALES: Deb Alcadinho Patrick Beihse Michelle Cabana Lory Couroux Patty Doering Maria Kirley Christine Muir Toni Smith Tricia Stringfellow Sarah Taylor Shelley Westwood

VICTORIA NEWS

2 9%!

48 Y

of the



16 Y

Pages

Best City

17th

PRODUCTION: Vicki Calvo Susan Duhamel Pelle Gustavs Georgia Ireland Teresa Laird Ryan Landa Sean McLaughlin Janice Marshall Brian Pert Lyn Quan Jollean Wingrave ADMINISTRATION: Sandi Burchill Kathryn Jodrell Christine Hall Kimberly Kelley Marie Morton

www.vicnews.com

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4 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

Thank You

Victoria!

Proud to be your Auto Service Specialists!

MEET THE CEDAR HILL TEAM

Voted Vo o

Best City Cit

of the

VICTORIA VICT C NEWS

   

3993 Cedar Hill Road

NIGEL MAGEE

Service Manager, Cedar Hill

250.721.1125

MEET THE LANGFORD TEAM

Voted

Best City

of the

Westshore Town Centre

9 % !

1 h 17t

9

250.474.2291

Service Manager, Langford

MEET THE ROYAL OAK TEAM

Voted

Best City

of the

Service Manager, Royal Oak



DAN ROBBINS

Voted

Best City

of the

9

1

VICTORIA NEWS



2959 Douglas Street

h 17t

9

250.361.3152

MEET THE VIEW ROYAL TEAM

Voted

B Best City

of o the th

1519 Admirals Road 250.381.5055

1

VICTORIA NEWS

 Service Manager, View Royal

h 17t

250.727.6561

MEET THE DOUGLAS STREET TEAM Service Manager, Douglas Street

1

VICTORIA NEWS

801 Royal Oak Drive

TOM HUNTER

SCOTT BASTIEN

h 17t

VICTORIA NEWS

 TAMARA WHITTON

1

h 17t

9


THE BEST OF THE CITY � SUMMER 2011 / 5 THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 5

> HOT TIME, SUMMER IN THE CITY

Festival favourites N

ow is the time to get out and about with cultural festivals and special events scheduled nearly every weekend from May through September in Greater Victoria. Here are some highlights from this year’s calendar.

JUNE: TD Victoria International JazzFest (June 24-July 3) <Madeleine Peyroux, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Paco de Lucia and Jazz at the Lincoln Centre Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis are among the headliners of this year’s JazzFest. For anyone who doesn’t snag tickets to a big-name show, there’s still plenty to hear in the open air during the 10-day jazz extravaganza. Check out free shows in Centennial Square and the Bay Centre. Schedule available at www.jazzvictoria.ca.

JULY: Symphony Splash (July 31) <Every year, more than 40,000 people gather to hear the Victoria Symphony Orchestra perform on a barge anchored in the Inner Harbour. The performance features classic compositions, including Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” and spotlights talented young musicians – rounded out by a major fireworks display. Expect a few modern favourites even the kids will recognize. The Victoria Symphony estimates that of the 125,000 people who experience the orchestra annually, 10,000 are children.

Victoria International Buskers Festival (July 15-24) <New this year: Comedians, contortionists and fire dancers, oh my! Stages in the Inner Harbour, Centennial Square and Bastion Square will host an eclectic mix of performers during the first-ever Victoria International Buskers Festival. The free festival features acts from Australia, the United States, Europe and across Canada.

AUGUST: Victoria Fringe Festival (Aug. 25-Sept. 4)

Kayakers and boaters fill the Inner Harbour for the annual Victoria Symphony Splash. This year’s event is set for July 31 .

SEPTEMBER: Great Canadian Beer Fest (Sept. 9-10)

<The unjuried, uncensored Victoria theatre festival turns 25 this year with companies/artists from around the globe and around the city converging for a week of affordable theatre at 11 downtown venues. The Victoria Fringe Festival, one of the oldest Fringes in Canada, attracted 24,000 visitors last year and allowed festival producer Intrepid Theatre to return $163,000 in ticket sales to performers. Most tickets run $11. Find more info and a schedule at www.intrepidtheatre.com.

<A force to be reckoned with since 1993, the Great Canadian Beer Festival sees more than 45 craft breweries from across Canada, Belgium and the Pacific Northwest U.S. serving some 7,000 beer samplers at Royal Athletic Park. Live entertainment and an array of eats from local restaurants are featured. Tickets to the historically sold-out event go on sale July 23. Check out www.gcbf.com for updates.

THE SHELBOURNE PLAZA deep in the

of the Shelbourne Valley

Shelbourne at Cedar Hill X Road

TD Canada Trust

A&W Restaurant

La Dolce Vita Grocery & Bakery

Peninsula Cards & Gifts Runners

Lizzy Lee & Me Sports & Bikes

Fairway Market

People’s Pharmacy

Grocery Bakery Cobbs &Bakery

M&M Meat Shops Cards & Gifts

Wild & Birds Sports Bikes Unlimited

City Nails Cards & Gifts

Mac’s Cycle Centre

Booster Juice

Discovery Grocery & Bakery Computers

Merit & Travel Cards Gifts

Carlie’s&Dollar Sports Bikes Store

Little Thai Place

Liquor Distribution Br.

Scotiabank

Grocery & Bakery

Starbucks Cards & Gifts

Squeaky’s Sports & Bikes Laundromat


H  SUMMER 2011 6 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY �

> WHY OUR READERS <VICTORIA

You said it I

The best thing about living in Victoria is …

• You can drive 20 minutes out of town and be in beautiful wilderness, beaches, rivers, mountains, lakes. • The fresh air, amazing parks, mountain views, ocean, yummy food and small-town feel. • Victoria is the perfect combination of climate, nature, people, culture, entertainment and security. • It’s green and welcoming most of the year, (ignoring the three days it snows each year). • The Galloping Goose Trail and all the bike racks downtown! • The ladies. • It’s not Vancouver. • The weather compared to Alberta. • The absolute beauty of it. There are so many special spots around the city that are just spectacular: beaches, trails, interesting homes, gardens, festivals, etc.

Blossoms hang over a pond at Beacon Hill Park. Flowers and trees are among residents’ favourites. • The wonderful parks and water parks for families to take their children to; parents enjoy the scenery while the children enjoy playing. • The diversity! You can be on the water, golfing, walking and sightseeing on the many trails and then enjoying one of the many local pubs and unique restaurants all in one day. What more can a tourist or local ask for?

Ted Grant photo

t’s clear from the dozens of poll responses we received that residents love living here. Roughly 90 per cent of the comments touched on the themes of great scenery, weather and people (including many who noted their favourite thing about Victoria is “the ladies.”) Here are some of the highlights:

• Rock climbing, skiing/boarding, surfing, hiking, snowshoeing, bike riding – you name it, we have something for you all year round. • The Dallas Road waterfront on a sunny day. • The ability to travel to different neighbourhoods in a short period of time and how each one is unique and has a quality you can relate to it. • The mountains and the seas The flowers and the trees Fresh fish and veggies galore The diversity of the downtown core Walking and cycling trails, all near at hand Victoria! The best city in our great land. • We have a city full of relaxed and friendly people who love to enjoy a freshly brewed beer from one of our many great micro-breweries. • Gardens, trails and Oak Bay alleys. • Victoria has the best climate in Canada, plus the attractions of city life without the hassles of big-city traffic, crime and stress. • It is dog friendly. • Cherry blossoms in February. • The climate and being able to play golf more than a hundred times a year! • The best thing about Victoria is being able to run, cycle and swim all year round. It is a perfect place to train for a triathlon. <

Voted

Best City

of the

1

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2


THE BEST OF THE CITYâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; Hâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; SUMMER 2011 / 7 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

Beacon Drive-in: Serving up smiles and more for 53 years!

S IA NEW VICTOR

Victorians have long topped their soft serve ice cream list with Beacon Drive-in â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the popular James Bay restaurant has earned many Best of the City nods over the years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but those same folks often donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know the restaurant is actually open year-round, with indoor service and seating. In fact, on those summer days when the line-ups at the two outside windows are long, head inside to the third till, recommends general manager Janet Reynolds. Inside, the drive-in hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t changed much over the decades, with an order counter, booths and single seats overlooking the large patio. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Serving up smiles since 1958,â&#x20AC;? the Beacon Drivein has also earned itself a reputation among locals for its non-ice cream fare, including renowned oyster and prawn burgers, beef burgers, lighter fare such as chicken fingers and clubhouse sandwiches, and one of the best breakfast values in town. And with its proximity to the park, many like to pick up their favourite orders to go and enjoy a picnic in the park â&#x20AC;&#x201C; complete with celebrated shakes and sundaes for dessert, of course! h

t 17

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: Beacon Drive In

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

1

9 % ! 2

While the service is fast â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and always friendly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this is by no means â&#x20AC;&#x153;fast food.â&#x20AC;? Fresh ingredients and healthy portion sizes ensure good value. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One customer who grew up down the road, drives in from East Sooke several times a week just for a hearty breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon or sausage, and coffee. Others come in every morning at 7 a.m. for a coffee and fresh-baked muffin. It really is a warm, family atmosphere.â&#x20AC;? While the Beacon Drive-in has evolved over the years, those changes have been carefully considered to improve the customer experience. The essentials â&#x20AC;&#x201C; service, setting and delicious food â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are the same as always. Today, for example, awnings and patio heaters make the patio more comfortable while re-usable trays and recyclable cutlery offer more eco-friendly service. A new childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s menu features a grilled cheese or hamburger nilla and fries, and while the same yummy vanilla onal soft serve is still a favourite, eight additional flavours â&#x20AC;&#x201C; nine, if you include the dippedd cone option â&#x20AC;&#x201C; offer many possibilities. So visit Beacon Drive-in for the award-winning ice cream, but come back for the sandwiches, burgers, breakfasts and more!

Dine inside or on our heated patio

n o c a e Drive In Restaurant B 126 DOUGLAS STREET Serving Up Smiles Since 1958

Meet the Doctors

Vision Matters

7+$1.<28

who bring you

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DR. VICTOR JJ. CHIN*

DR. TREVOR PEDDLE Mayfair Optometric Clinic 3196 Douglas St.

Saanich Optometry 119-3995 Quadra St.

744-2992

361-4444

DR. CHARLES SIMONS*

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Mayfair Optometric Clinic 3196 Douglas Street

361-4444 Saanich Optometry 119-3995 Quadra Street

744-2992

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9LFWRULD &RRN6WUHHW 

South Island Optometry 1910 Sooke Rd. 478-6811 3994 Shelbourne St. 477-4711

5R\DO2DN :6DDQLFK5G 

DR. HELEN MARTINDALE

DR. PAUL NEUMANN

361-4478

Central Saanich Optometry Clinic #1-7865 Patterson Rd.

325-1207 Douglas Sayward Bldg.

*Denotes Optometric Corporation

544-2210

DR. NEIL PATERSON

Oak Bay Optemetry Clinic 100-2067 Cadboro Bay Rd

595-8500

995-0449

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DR. RACHEL RUSHFORTH*

Admirals Walk Optometry Clinic 106-1505 Admirals Rd.

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CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 9 THE BEST OF THE CITY

> GREATNESS LIVES

Meet Emily T

he vision stopped Molly Raher Newman in her tracks. In it, she was dressed as Emily Carr, painting in the bay window of a James Bay house. Raher Newman was minding her own business when the thought hit her like a ton of bricks as she walked through Beacon Hill Park on Aug. 1, 1999. Even the raucous laughs of children in the playground where she stood couldn’t distract her. Raher Newman has since come to embody the famous painter in almost every sense. She dresses, talks and acts like Carr for twice-weekly walking tours that bring people from the Inner Harbour to Emily Carr House. She leads tours of the home and even paints in Carr’s style. That August day almost 12 years ago, Raher Newman’s feet took her to the James Bay Inn, to a room she’d never seen before – number 315. It was the setting for her vision in the park. It’s the same building where Carr died in 1945. Still feeling a strong pull to learn about the artist, Raher Newman stopped

Your Community.

Emily Carr impersonator Molly Raher Newman stands in the garden of the Emily Carr house on Government Street.

by Carr House, just up the street from the Inn, a few months later. At the door she was greeted with, “Oh, hello Emily. Welcome home,” by caretaker Jan Ross, who lives there with her family. Raher Newman was stunned. “It’s OK, it’s just Emily – she does this,” Ross continued, hinting at some kind of supernatural connection to the home’s former resident. Further investigation into Carr’s life revealed that Raher Newman lived just seven blocks from the renowned artist – albeit decades apart – in San Francisco, when Raher Newman studied at the School of Art there. It seems she was destined to portray one of Victoria’s bestknown artists and residents. With 32 years of performing arts under her belt, Raher Newman has been a natural in the role, assuming Carr’s mannerisms and even changing her accent. <

• The house at 207 Government St. is where Carr was born in 1862. • Jan Ross, her husband and two children moved into the house in 1994. Jan is the resident-curator. • For information, call 250-383-5843 or visit www.emilycarr.com.

ALCHEMY H A I R

D E S I G N

&

S P A

WE’D LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE FOR MAKING ALCHEMY ONE OF VICTORIA’S TOP SALONS!

Voted

Best City

of the

Voted

1

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2

WE BUILD STRONG KIDS, STRONG FAMILIES AND STRONG COMMUNITIES

851 Broughton Street, Victoria s Ph: 250-386-7511 s www.victoriay.com

SCIENCE

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IN BALANCE TO MAKE MAGIC!

   

17th

9 % ! 2

ALCHEMY Hair Design n 165-736 View Street, Victoria | 250.360.2133 133 | alchemyhairdesign.com l h h


10 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 Voted

Thanks Victoria for voting us the Best of the City

1

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

We’re proud to be family owned and operated for over 50 years and pleased to offer thousands   of items from a huge array of suppliers. 

17th



9 % ! 2

Thank You Victoria for ANOTHER Best of The City Nomination! Celebrating 25 Years of Good Food, Great Service, and Really Cold Beer. – SEPTEMBER 2011 –

the

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THANK YOU VICTORIA for voting us “Best In The City”

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www.mclarenlighting.com M-F 8:30 - 5:30 • S 9 - 5 • Closed Sunday

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Service to all makes • Riding gear for beginners to experts Women’s section • Easy financing

250.386.8364

www.action-motorcycles.com • 1234 Esquimalt Road, Victoria BC


CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 11 THE BEST OF THE CITY

JJapanese R Restaurant t t

Frontrunners store owner Mark Nelson runs at Gowlland Tod Park in Highlands.

> ENDLESS TRAILS CLOSE TO HOME

City on the run

The BEST Healthy Food in Victoria

L

eaping roots and ducking boast some of the largest per-capita branches, tackling hills that races in the country. burn the lungs – running the Major running shoe companies trails of Victoria can be punsuch as Nike and New Balance test ishing and rewarding at the same products and seek feedback from time. the West Coast of Canada due to The rewarding part often comes the sheer number of athletes, says with a breathtaking view, or at least the co-owner of Frontrunners in a sense of accomplishment. Langford. Thankfully there are enough “There’s no other place in the places to run in Victoria for a new world with so many trails,” says adventure each day. Some are tough Mark Nelson, who favours running and hilly, others are flat and paved. in Goldstream and Gowlland Tod “The city is intersected with provincial parks. “Here you don’t hundreds of have to run the kilometres same sidewalks There’s no other of good each day. It gives place in the world running people inspiraand walking tion to run.” with so many trails. trails,” says Chris It helps that Kelsall, a running Victoria is home – Mark Nelson coach and creator to elite and of the Victoria Track Series. former national “Anywhere in the city is a five level and Olympic athletes. It’s not minute drive to Mount Doug, Thetis unusual for a small “farm-field half Lake and Beacon Hill – there’s marathon,” as Nelson says, to draw enough trails to do hours of runOlympians such as Jon Brown and ning, away from traffic.” Simon Whitfield. Kelsall and other running pros There’s a deep running culture consider Victoria to be the recrein the city, one backed by an army ational running capital of Canada, if of volunteers who hand out water, not North America. organize race entries and keep runThey have plenty of evidence to ners on route. back that up. It also helps that the relatively Throughout the spring and summild climate allows people to run mer – even well into the fall – it’s a year-round in Victoria. rare weekend when there’s not an “Obviously the weather is a organized road race, trail run or factor,” Kelsall says, “but this is triathlon event in the Capital Region also a safe city. It’s not a huge city or on the Island. Events such as the so you can safely run anywhere, TC 10K and the Victoria marathon anytime.” <

Lunch Special

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$ 95 Bento Box

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12 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: RONA Langford

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

2

RONA Langford - Big Box store with a local heart

h

t 17

RONA Langford recently celebrated their 5th anniversary on the Westshore. “We are a big box store, with a local heart”, says John Alcadinho, Store Manager. “We strive to meet the ever-changing customer demands, keep our pricing competitive and give back to the communities we serve. The store expanded the garden centre, by 8,000 square feet this Spring, answering customer demand for greater selection and bringing the store total to almost 168,000 square feet. The additional space has the centre full of colorful annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, along with accessories, materials and tools to keep your garden looking its best. All our plants, trees and shrubs are supplied from BC growers. “We live in the garden mecca of Canada, so it made sense to offer customers more plants, more pots, more soil – more of everything.” The knowledgeable staff will answer your gardening questions, offer ideas and inspiration, and point you toward the perfect solutions for your garden challenges. “I feel very strongly about service, in all parts of the store. I’ve been in this industry for 27 years and truly strive to offer the best advice and help for our customers,” Alcadinho notes.

Taking the service philosophy even further, Alcadinho believes in forging more local partnerships that will allow the store to continue to give back to the communities. Each month, our popcorn machine donations go to a local or national charity. In addition, we welcome groups, charities and non-profits to partner with and help them in their fundraising efforts. We have received tremendous support from other businesses in the area to donate food, time and volunteers towards community fundraisers. “This type of partnership with other Westshore businesses is a win/win on so many levels” he says. “I feel very strongly about supporting people in need – families, non-profits, schools and community organizations. This type of partnership builds strong communities and brings everyone together. We’re looking forward to doing more,” The store has recently launched a community team who look for ways to support local initiatives. Coming up, join the RONA Langford for a car wash and barbecue June 25, in support of the MS Society’s Grape Escape fundraising bike ride, sponsored nationally by RONA . Keep an eye on the store’s activity for local events and charity partnerships. We look forward to serving you at RONA Langford.

9 % ! 2

RONA Langford

850 Langford Parkway Victoria BC Monday to Friday 7 am to 9 pm Saturday 7 am to 8 pm • Sunday 8 am to 8 pm

www.rona.ca

John Topolniski, Team Member.

Celebrating over 50 Years in Victoria Family owned & operated since 1956

join us this summer for

the perfect margarita. served on the rocks, one fresh hand squeezed lime goes into each ice cold margarita, making it the perfect drink in any type of weather.

nk you Victoria! T ha chaddelee Family m the S fro

Specializing in

• Photo image edible art • Pastries • Homemade chocolate • Birthday cakes• Wedding cakes• Anniversary cakes

Same day service for Birthday Cake orders open Tues. - Sat.

Join us in our coffee shop

breakfast • lunch • afternoon tea www.cactusclubcafe.com Victoria Cactus Club Cafe

1125 Douglas Street | 250.361.3233

Dutch Bakery and Coffee Shop 718 Fort St. • 385-1012 • www.thedutchbakery.com


THE BEST OF THE CITY CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 13

> BEAUTY SURROUNDS US

Photographers’

paradise

V

ictoria photographer Ted Grant spent 60 years capturing iconic photos such as Pierre Trudeau sliding down the bannister and Ben Johnson’s ephemeral moment as the fastest man on Earth. For Grant, the city he now calls home offers “a seamless location” for photography. “Day, night, sunrise to sunset, it’s a never ending area of incredible scenes,” Grant says. “Ocean waters, beaches, mountains, forests, ships. Float planes, the Inner Harbour and the evening reflections therein!” <

Clockwise from above: Inner Harbour

water taxi early evening; Sunrise at Cattle Point; Reading newspaper under sunlit mountains; Family afternoon stroll along the wall.

Photos by Ted Grant

Voted

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2

a i r o t c i V s k n Tha g for us one of the best! for votin

We’re very fortunate to have a great line-up of vehicles, customer focused staff and thousands of loyal customers. Thank you!

3395 Douglas Street, Victoria | 250.475.2415 | speedway-motors.com


14 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

Thank you for your support over the past 99 years!

Store Hours: Mon - Sat 10-5:30 Sun & Holidays 12-5 1630 Store Street 250.360.1238

MAIN STORE GROUP Store Hours: Mon - Sat 9:30-5:30 Sun & Holidays 12-5 758 Cloverdale Ave 250.384.5263

Something for Everyone • www.standardfurnituregroup.ca


CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 15 THE BEST OF THE CITY

Natural wonders Greater Victoria of

We could fill a book on this subject, but here’s a few that stand out to us SOOKE POTHOLES < Swim the cool waters of the Sooke River or hike the forest – the beauty of the river canyon is worth the drive. GOLDSTREAM PROVINCIAL PARK < Giant cedars, spawning salmon, a waterfall and eagles are back dropped by oldgrowth forest, Mount Finlayson and Finlayson Arm. GLASS BEACH IN SIDNEY < A small but beautiful beach made of eroded glass, ironically due to past garbage dumping. MOUNT DOUG PARK < 182 hectares of beach, red cedars and a view at the top worth the hike (or drive). FINLAYSON ARM < Viewed from the Malahat, GowllandTod Provincial Park or at the Goldstream Boathouse, the steep walls of Finlayson Arm make for a breathtaking bay. RACE ROCKS < Abundant, protected sea life above and below the Race Rocks makes for a favourite drive-by for boaters and whale watchers. THETIS LAKE PARK < Established as Canada’s first nature sanctuary in 1958 and popular with beachgoers, Thetis Lake boasts two deep lakes and hundreds of hectares of forest to explore.

AVATAR GROVE < Popularized by the Ancient Forest Alliance and picked up by international media, Avatar Grove gives visitors a taste of what untouched, ancient old-growth forest can look like. About 20 minutes from Port Renfrew. DALLAS ROAD WATERFRONT < Beaches, windy cliffs and driftwood mark the scenic Dallas Road waterfront, as well as spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains. The stone Dallasite, first found in this area, gets its name from here. BEACON HILL PARK < Native Garry oaks, Douglas firs and cedars on the actual Beacon hill. WITTY’S LAGOON < Come for the woodland and stay for the inter-tidal zone stuffed with squirming and clawed sea life. ESQUIMALT LAGOON < A top birdwatching location, the lagoon offers a serene and brackish water body bounded by kilometres of beach. SEALS AT FISHERMAN’S WHARF < A popular tourist attraction, where you can feed fish to seals. SEQUOIA AT THE LEGISLATURE < The giant tree on the lawn dwarfs all at about 30 metres tall. It was planted in the 1860s. NORTH SAANICH EAGLE NEST < Ma and Pa Sidney have a web audience of thousands each year as they lay eggs and raise squawking eaglets. See the webcams at Hancockwildlife.org. SPRING CHERRY BLOSSOMS < Each year, boulevard trees across the city bloom with cherry blossoms, heralding the arrival of spring in Victoria.


16 16 // THE THE BEST BEST OF OF THE THE CITY  CITY H  � SUMMER SUMMER 2011 2011

Victoria’s Downtown Sushi Destination 615 Yates (at Government)

250.382.8768

Bikers ride on the Selkirk Trestle using the Galloping Goose Trail, a popular route for commuters going to work.

www.azumasushi.com

Open Daily 11 am - Late • Dine In • Take Out • Delivery

> VISIONS OF A CYCLIST’S PARADISE

We < wheels

Voted

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

   

HIGH PERCH™

hummingbird

FEEDER

17th

• Lifetime Guarantee • 12 Oz Capacity • Made in U.S.A. • Four Feeding Ports • High Perch™ - for Unobstructed View of Birds • Ant-Moat Blocks Crawling Insects • Easy to Clean

250-595-3595 • 3631 SHELBOURNE PLAZA

9 % ! 2

Fewer hills and a political will to support cycling has helped Victoria shine as place where biking to work is actively encouraged

T

hirty-five years ago, cycling advocate John Luton went to Oak Bay council to encourage the politicians of the day to put the very first bike lane on Henderson Road. There have been some great leaps forward in cycling infrastructure since then. The Galloping Goose trail opened in 1994, and the E&N trail is expected to be ready this fall. Fast forward to 2011 and Luton, now a Victoria city councillor, is still focused on making the roadways safer to travel on two-wheels. He recently worked with a Portland-based consulting company to plan a 900-kilometre inter-municipality cycling network of bike lanes through the Capital Region. The Pedestrian and Cycling Masterplan released this spring aims to increase trips made by bike in urban areas from the current nine per cent to 25 per cent and region-wide from 3.2 per cent to 15 per cent by The problem is the 2038, when it also aims to complete the cycling network. automobile has had “We need to retrofit existing a 70-year head start. roads block by block to make them safe for cyclists,” Luton says. “The – John Luton problem is the automobile has had a 70-year head start.” Unlike in Vancouver where designated bike corridors lead cyclists down quiet side streets that run parallel to major roads, Victoria’s bike routes often need to be incorporated onto main roads because the city doesn’t follow a grid system. “A casual cyclist is looking for a flat, direct route that is safe to ride on,” Luton explains, noting that traffic counts confirm that closing gaps in cycling lanes encourage people to shift their mode of transportation. He says there’s no one-size-fits-all way of adding bike lanes to roads. Sometimes parking spaces can be swapped for carved out parking bays to allow room for the lanes, in other places the road needs to be widened. Traffic calming is also a concern. “If you open up the road too much it encourages speeding – which again puts the cyclists at risk even if they’re in a bike lane,” Luton says. “It’s a puzzle and requires creative solutions.” Finishing the 900-km network, which is already 40 per cent complete from earlier projects, is expected to cost $274 million. <


THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 17 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: Baja Rosi’s

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

1 th

17

Fun and fashion is why Baja Rosi’s is the BEST!

Since opening their doors in Langford back in 2002, Baja Rosi’s Consignment Cabana has grown with the support of the community, first expanding the Goldstream Avenue site and most recently adding a new store at Admirals Walk. Today, honoured at being voted one of the top three consignment shops in Greater Victoria, the opportunity to serve the community for almost nine years “has been the best experience for me too, working with all the staff and customers,” reflects owner Carolyn Barter. From the start, Barter’s philosophy has been to “create the relationship first and the success will follow.” Greeted with a friendly “Good morn9 % ! 2

ing” as they enter the bright, cheery store, shoppers can browse the racks filled with a full selection of sizes and current, quality styles, along with a full complement of shoes and accessories, both new and consignment. There’s the trendy Chicas section and a new, but growing, selection of stylish young menswear. “During party season, you wouldn’t believe how many people come in and leave with a dress, shoes, purse, jewellery and shawl, ready for the evening.” Need a little help putting together the perfect outfit? Staff are happy to lend their time and talents to help shoppers find just the right thing. For that reason, it’s essential to understand what shoppers are looking for, Barter says. “It’s not about what you want to sell in your store; it’s about what your customers want to buy.” More than the anticipated “find,”

#104-1505 Admirals Rd

#103-797 Goldstream Ave

6 days a week

7 days a week

250.590.8485

shopping at Baja Rosi’s is about the whole experience. “Today’s consignment shoppers want more, and we’ll help them find it here,” Barter says. “People tell me that it’s the experience they enjoy – how you feel when you walk into the shop. In a good consignment shop, you can feel the buzz. I wanted to create that special social setting where friends can come to have fun and save money.”

Because Baja Rosi’s success has come from the community, Barter wanted to give back. Initiatives include a Belmont High School “Entrepreneurial Spirit” Award, support for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the popular “Stuff Your Bag” sale in support of Options Pregnancy – look for the second event on Labour Day, Sept. 5. “We’ve really enjoyed sharing our success with the community. I feel honoured to be able to do it.”

250.391.6033

www.bajarosis.com

Thank you Victoria for years of faithful business! From the Metro Lexus Toyota Family

More than just a dealership. IT ST OF THE C

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15th

9 % ! 2

Voted

Best City

of the

   

Best New and Used Car Dealership

Customer Comments “The reason that we decided to purchase from Metro Lexus Toyota was the great service we received. They made our experience a good one from the moment we arrived at the dealership to just look, which was very rare for us when it came to an auto purchase. I’d like to thank all the staff at Metro Lexus Toyota for making our experience one we will never forget. We will be sure to pass our story on to anyone who is looking for a vehicle.”

From Your Purchase To Bringing You and Your Family Total Peace of Mind Motoring.

www.jpautogroup.com

1-888-465-9376

1

VICTORIA NEWS

Douglas at Finlayson

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9 % ! 2


CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 18 / THE BEST OF THE CITY

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BEST

Pair O Dice Tattoo is Located in the Olde Towne part of Victoria BC. This shop was started by notorious island tattoo artist Gary Peak about 12 years ago and boasts three generations as tattoo artists. This place is a definite walk-inRock’n’Roll street shop as well as a custom shop, where all styles can be accomplished.

> THE ROOTS OF THE GAME AS WE KNOW IT

13-560 Johnson St. (250) 386-3423

D

Established in 1994, Urge Studioss offers the best in fully custom tattooing, body piercing and cutting edge laser tattoo ttoo removal. Urge Studios prides itselff on adhering to the strictest of health lth standards. All tattoos and piercing are done with single use, completely ely disposable needles and tubes for the cleanest, safest experience possible. ble. So come on down, grab a coffee from rom next door and check out our shop.

1026 Cook Street urges@shaw.ca • (250) 380-2989

We have been offering quality work and customer satisfaction since we opened in 1978. We have a relaxed atmosphere and our staff are friendly, courteous, and informative . We practice the highest standard for sterilization; use new needles, individual inkcaps and lubricants. Our artists wear Nitrile gloves for your protection as well as our own.

1306 Broad Street (250) 382-9417 Open Seven Days a Week Monday to Saturday: 11am - 7pm Sunday: 12pm - 6pm

Hockey’s history espite being the team owner, a founding father of the game and a widely regarded expert on how the sport should be played, hockey legend Lester Patrick never told his 1950’s Victoria Cougars how to play the game. That, says former Cougar Reggie Abbott, was the job of player/coach Roger Leger. Leger was a veteran coming off four seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, the Cougars’ parent affiliate, but Patrick wasn’t one to meddle. Except when it came to payday. Sixty years later, Abbott, a Saanich resident, recalls the story clear as day. During his rookie season with the 1950-51 Cougars of the Pacific Coast Hockey League, Abbott would make the monthly visit to Patrick’s office. And that’s where the silverhaired former star, using quarters, would share but a moment of knowledge with his players, Abbott says. “Lester had a blotter on his desk in the pattern of an hockey rink. I’d go down with my linemates (the Kid Line) Andy Hebenton and Stan Long, and Lester would break out three quarters, one representing each of us.

Reggie Abbott centred the Kid Line with Bobby Frampton and Andy Hebenton. The trio helped the 1950-51 Victoria Cougars win the Pacific Coast Hockey League championship over the New Westminster Royals. “He’d move them around to show us where we should be in certain situations. That was all he’d share with us.” From another visit to pick up his cheque at the team’s office, Abbott recalls the excitement generated by his team’s run to the 1951 PCHL championship. “We went to pick up our cheques and the lineup for tickets, which were sold out of Lester’s office at Fort and Quadra (streets), went (around the block) all the way to Blanshard.” Of course nobody called him Lester. “We all knew Mr. Patrick as the Silver Fox.” <

• From the family home on Michigan Avenue in James Bay, Lester and Frank Patrick spent their summers developing rule changes to the game, many of which were adopted by the NHL. • The forward pass, blue lines, allowing goalies to fall to the ice, the playoff format, assists on goals, the penalty shot and numbers on the back of players’ sweaters are all credited to the Patricks and are commonplace today.


THE THE BEST BEST OF OF THE THE CITY  CITY H  � SUMMER SUMMER 2011 2011 // 19 19

Voted Best Pizza in Victoria! • Jack FM Pizza Pie Contest

Home of the 420 The 420

Pepperoni, beef, bacon & chorizo The Calabria (thin crust) Calabrese salami, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes & mozzarella Mama Mia (thin crust) Chorizo, sweet onions, fresh garlic & mozzarella Diablo (thin crust) Calabrese salami, banana peppers & mozzarella

Popeye

Spinach, tomatoes, onions, fresh garlic & feta A reproduction of an Emily Carr painting, Ch’atl Totems, on an easel next to a painting tray and brushes in the sitting room at Emily Carr House. The original watercolour can be seen at the Royal B.C. Museum.

The Soprano

Capicolo, sopressata salami & pepperoni

BBQ Chicken

Roasted chicken breast strips, sweet onions, banana peppers & BBQ sauce

> PLACES TO EXPLORE

Unbeaten track 10 places

Here’s a look at in our city off the radar for most tourists but worth taking the time to explore

Canadian

Bacon, mushrooms, green peppers & pepperoni

Pep Talk

Mounds of pepperoni

Veggie

Mushrooms, onions, green peppers , black olives, green olives, artichokes & tomatoes

Hawaii 50

Lots of ham & lots of pineappl pineapple pe

1 Ross Bay Cemetary, < 1495 Fairfield Rd.

7 Giant cedar and 2 Emily Carr House, < < 207 Government St., Victoria. Douglas fir trees at 3 CFB Esquimalt Naval and < Military Museum, 1299 Naden Way, CFB Esquimalt. 4 Grounds of St. Stephen’s <

Goldstream Provincial Park, day-use area, Malahat Drive, past Langford.

8 Government House grounds, < 401 Rockland Ave., Victoria.

Anglican Church, 7921 Stephen Rd., Saanichton. 9 Seal watching at Fisherman’s Wharf, east of Shoal Point off Dallas Road in Victoria; 5 Swimming and fishing at Lookout Lake, and Oak Bay Marina, Triangle Mountain, Colwood. 1327 Beach Dr., Oak Bay.

<

<

10 Gardens and walking trails 6 Unique artist-run gallery, < < The Ministry of Casual Living, at Royal Roads University, 1442 Haultain St., Victoria.

2005 Sooke Rd., Colwood.

Unbelievable taste at a great price! For a full list of pizzas, sides, desserts & specials visit our website

2571 Quadra St. & 1806 Cook St. & coming soon to 1630 Cedar Hill X Road Delivery Hours

• M-F starting at 4pm • S+S starting at 12pm

ORDER ONLINE

www.pizzazone.ca

250.857.11.11


H  SUMMER 2011 20 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY � Photo courtesy MTV

> WORLD-FAMOUS CITIZENS

Making good

O

ne of the world’s best racing cyclists is a Greater Victoria native. Colwood-raised Ryder Hesjedal finished an impressive seventh overall last year in his third entry in the gruelling Tour de France. He became the first Canadian in more than a decade to qualify for the race back in 2008.

Hesjedal

Hesjedal, 30, switched to road cycling between competing in mountain biking in the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics. These days he makes his home in Spain, while riding professionally for the Garmin Transitions team. He expects to compete in this summer’s Tour de France. In May, he hosted the inaugural Tour de Victoria ride that took hundreds of amateur cyclists on a lengthy circuit around the South Island. <

Born, raised or trained in Greater Victoria: • Cory Monteith, actor known for his starring role on Glee

• Ian Tyson, country singer/songwriter

• Nelly Furtado, Grammy award-winning pop star

• Vicki Gabereau, former talk show host and TV personality

• Steve Nash, two-time NBA MVP with the Phoenix Suns

• Simon Whitfield, Olympic silver and gold winning triathlete

• David Foster, 15-time Grammy award-winning musician

• Michael Saunders, Seattle Mariners MLB outfielder

• Atom Egoyan, internationally honoured film director

• Matt Pettinger, former NHLer now playing in Germany

• Ryan O’Byrne, NHL defenceman currently with Colorado

• Silken Laumann, Olympic silver and bronze winning rower

• Rich Harden, Oakland Athletics MLB pitcher

• Emily Carr, iconic Canadian artist famous for her paintings

• Len Barrie, retired NHL forward

• P.K. Page, award-winning poet, writer and artist

• Geoff Courtnall, retired 18-year NHL veteran

• Robert Service, poet known as “the bard of the Yukon”

• Cliff Thorburn, former world No. 1 snooker player

• Pierre Burton, Canadian history writer

• Jennifer Tilly, actress and professional poker player

• Francis Rattenbury, co-designed the legislature, Empress

VOLVO. FOR LIFE Quality and Value Come First To achieve customer satisfaction, the quality and value of our products and services must be our number one priority. Customers are the Focus of Everything We Do Our work must be done with our customers in mind, providing better products, better services, and better overall value than our competitors.

Dave Lingwood, left, Duncan Penn, Jonnie Penn and Ben Nemtin: Victoria boys on MTV’s The Buried Life.

Living the dream on MTV A group of Victoria men are showing Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman how to truly cross items off their bucket list. Dave Lingwood, Ben Nemtin, and Jonnie and Duncan Penn are the stars of the popular MTV show The Buried Life, which chronicles the twenty-something stars as they attempt to cross items off their ‘100 things to do before we die’ list. Now prepping for its third season, the show has seen the guys cross off such items as ‘#95Play basketball with (U.S. President Barack) Obama’ and ‘#59- Ask out the girl of your dreams.’ The four friends, former UVic students, still have a number of big-ticket items left on their list, such as ‘#100- Go into space.’ Fortunately, by crossing off #53 on their list (Start a television show), these Victoria natives are able to show viewers worldwide what it means to live life to the fullest. <

Continuous Improvement is Essential to Our Success We must strive for excellence in everything we do, in their value and in our services, our human relations, our competitiveness, our profitability, and our attitude towards excellence. Integrity is Never Compromised The conduct of our Company must be pursued in a manner that is socially and legally responsible, and commands respect for its integrity and all goods and services will be warranted on this basis. Our doors are open to men and women alike, without discrimination and without regard to ethnic origin or personal beliefs.

COME ON DOWN AND MEET OUR TEAM! Left to right: Don McBrien – General Sales Manager, John Neely – Financial Services Manager, Boyd Albertini – Service Manager, Ryan Gibbs – Sales Lot Attendant, Gerrit Mol – Sales Consultant, Marc Desormeaux– Service Technician, Whayne Chappell – Sales Consultant, Doug Chayba – Service Technician, Guy Dunlop – Parts Manager, Shayne Bishop – Service Lot Attendant, Chris McKenzie – Service Advisor, Alex Leavey – Sales Consultant, Crystal Lenton – Office Manager, Brenda Grantham – Receptionist. Missing: Mark Miller – Service Technician, Tom Jones – Sales Consultant, Kevin Culligan – Sales Consultant, Cody Swanberg – Lot Assistant.

MARKET

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2735 Douglas Street (corner of Hillside & Douglas) Victoria, BC 1-888-468-9958

L UG

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THE THEBEST BESTOFOFTHE THECITY CITY �H SUMMER SUMMER2011 2011/ /2121

> LOVE WHAT YOU EAT

Fresh thinking Outdoor markets offer citizens direct link to food

Y

ou don’t have to go far from home to find an outdoor market in Greater Victoria. From the downtown core to rural Metchosin and Sidney, pop up markets are everywhere. Among the most popular and longest running venues is Moss Street Market, currently celebrating its 20th season with up to 90 vendors helping draw over a thousand market-goers to Fairfield each Saturday. Market co-ordinator Libby Seabrook says Moss Street has gained a loyal following over the years. “People who line up before the market opens get first pick of the produce,” she says. “There's so many people though, things always sell out.” She says shoppers are a mix of locals and tourists. It’s also a favourite place to bring out of town visitors. “There’s always something new to see,” Seabrook says, noting about one third of vendors are drop-in and may only be there one week. So far the proliferation of markets across the region hasn’t hurt Moss Street's numbers. Seabrook said the awareness has only helped bring out new faces. Many vendors sell at multiple markets each week and when the opportunity arose last year, they kept selling through the winter months. Downtown Market Society director Tim Trebilcock organized a winter market from November to March that drew crowds of 500 to 1,000 people to Market Square – enough to convince him the community would support a year-round permanent market on the scale of Vancouver’s Granville Island or Pike Place in Seattle. “The winter market proved there are things to sell all year and that people to buy them,” Trebilcock says. “The next piece is finding a location.” He intends to develop a business plan this summer to bring to developers who may want to incorporate it into a future or existing project. In the meantime he’s partnered with the Island Chefs' Collaborative to run a market in Bastion Square on the fourth Sunday of each month. “There’s so much interest in local food especially,” Trebilcock says. “It’s fresher, tastes better and supports local producers.” <

Community markets <Esquimalt Community Market, Wednesdays 5 to 8 p.m., Esquimalt town square, behind the municipal hall on Esquimalt Road.

<Goldstream Station Market, Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Bryn Maur Road at Goldstream Avenue, Langford, goldstreamstationmarket.ca.

<Highlands Farmers Market, last Sunday of each month, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Caleb Pike Homestead 1589 Millstream

<

Rd., call 250-478-7338.

<Island Chefs’ Collaborative Farm Market, fourth Sunday of each month, Bastion Square, Victoria, iccbc.ca.

<James Bay Market, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Superior Street at Menzies Street, jamesbaymarket.com.

<Moss Street Market, Saturdays,

Exactly how much is an inch of water? And how do you measure it?

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sir James Douglas Elementary, 401 Moss St, Victoria, mossstreetmarket.com.

<Metchosin Farmers’ Market, Sundays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., until October. Metchosin municipal grounds, Happy Valley Road, metchosinfarmersmarket.blog.com

<North Saanich Farm Market, Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., St. John’s United Church, 10990 West Saanich Rd., northsaanichfarmmarket.ca.

<Oaklands Community Market, first Thursday of each month, 5 to 8 p.m., 2827 Belmont Ave., Victoria, oaklandscommunitycentre.com/market.

<Open Air Urban Market, Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Centennial Square, Victoria. Call 250-592-4969.

An inch of water a week – from rainfall & watering – is all the water your lawn needs to stay healthy. More than one inch of water, and you risk weak, shallow roots, and damage by fungus, weeds, diseases and pests. Get a watering gauge FREE! If you have a water bill account number in the Greater Victoria area call 250.474.9684 for a free watering gauge. Watering gauges make it easy to see how much water your lawn is getting. For more information visit www.crd.bc.ca/water or call 250.474.9684 for a Waterfacts sheet on how to measure how much water your lawn is getting.

<Sidney Summer Market, Thursdays 5 to 8:30 p.m., on Beacon Avenue at 5th Street. Call 250-655-6417.

<Sooke Country Market, Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2047 Otter Point Rd. sookecountrymarket.com.

www.crd.bc.ca/water


22 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

RUSSELL BOOKS

Voted

1

Best City

Thanks Victoria for letting us know we stack up!

Nominated for “Best Personal Trainer”

of the

VICTORIA NEWS Voted

Best City

of the

1

   

VICTORIA NEWS

   

Novels

Atlas

Voted

Best City

of the

17th

9 % ! 2

   

17th

9 % ! 2

Thank You Victoria!

1

VICTORIA NEWS

Biography Bi h

Rosemary Quinn

For over 15 years we’ve been helping 1000’s of people reach their healthy fitness goals.

16th

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STORE HOURS: MON - THURS 8AM - 5:30PM • FRI 8AM - 5PM • SAT 9AM-5:30PM • SUN - FAMILY DAY | • EASY ACCESS • LOTS OF PARKING • DELIVERY • 100% LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED


THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 23 ADVERTISING FEATURE

Best City of the

Discover local luxury at historic Abigail’s

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: Abigail’s Hotel

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

Voted

th

17

Of the many special places Vancouver Island offers, Abigail’s is truly one of its finest. Just steps from Victoria’s historic downtown, the unique and romantic boutique bed-and-breakfast hotel is conveniently nestled at the end of a tranquil cul-de-sac surrounded by quaint English gardens and friendly residential homes. Abigail’s enchanting setting makes it ideal for relaxing getaways, intimate weddings and receptions while the hotel’s reputation for excellence in amenities and service precedes it on an international scale. Tourists are drawn to Abigail’s cosy, communal atmosphere that provides guests the chance to reconnect with themselves, their spouses and others. Intimately housed in a 1930s heritage Tudor mansion, Abigail’s blends the romance and charm of the past with all the comforts and conveniences of the present. Each of the 23 beautifully appointed guestrooms has its own design and flair. Many rooms feature signature wood-burning fireplaces, comfortable beds dressed in rich linens and down duvets, marvellous soaker baths and cosy spa robes. Each morning the hotel fills with the irresistible aroma 9 % ! 2

of fresh baking and gourmet breakfasts, interactively presented by Abigail’s executive chef. Guests are invited to inquire about the culinary expertise, preparation or local ingredients used. In the Library Lounge each evening, hotel staff serve complimentary appetizers, which guests can pair with local, award-winning BC wine and champagne. Striking the perfect balance between luxury and adventure, Abigail’s is within walking distance to Victoria’s must-see ocean or city tours, classic horse-drawn carriage rides, galleries, museums and fine dining establishments serving a full array of global cuisine. Wireless internet service, local calling, coffee and tea available 24 hours a day, and parking are all-inclusive during your stay. Abigail’s is a family owned and operated business that has enjoyed the privilege of being voted “Best of the City” nine years in a row. It has also earned numerous national and international honours, including a “Hotel Value Award” by Westjet’s Up! Magazine, Expedia “Insider’s Select” and Frommers’ “Best Small Hotel.” In addition, Abigail’s was recently honoured as a “Best Service Hotel” by Trip Advisor in its 2011 Travelers’ Choice awards. Come discover why Abigail’s is regularly honoured as one of Victoria’s best getaways.

906 McClure Street 250.388.5363 tf 1.800.561.6565 allison@abigailshotel.com

www.abigailshotel.com

Thanks for voting for us! Summer Never Looked So Good!

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BOGO includes all regular priced merchandise in store.

THREE GREAT LOCATIONS * 2nd item at 1/2 price must be of equal or lesser value.

Best Independent Automotive Care 9764 5th Street, Sidney 250.656.0096 Hillside Shopping Centre 250.598.3502 Westshore Town Centre, Colwood 250.478.3885

Royal Oak AUTOMOTIVE 4508 West Saanich Rd, Victoria, BC • 250 479 1123


24 / THE BEST OF THE CITY � SUMMER 2011 24 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

> FUN IDEAS FOR IMPROVING PERFECTION

Awesome files Yeah, Victoria’s pretty awesome. But there’s never too much awesomeness. Here’s a look at 15 plans we uncovered that might make this amazing corner of the world even better. 1. Hold SEAL-RACING DERBIES in the Inner Harbour. 2. Open MORE WAFFLE SHOPS … and, while we’re at it, more quality crêpe places. 3. Make transit free, and include a GONDOLA OR TRAM SERVICE from the West Shore to downtown. Also, where are those free pick-up, drop-off bikes we heard about? 4. Build a SANDY BEACH ON THE INNER HARBOUR to replace one of the many pavedover parking lots. (Imagine trees, walkways, clean, soft sand, volleyball nets and bocce.)

5. Drop off ROBOTIC BUNNIES at UVic – you know, to replace the real, fluffy ones. 6. Create SUBMARINE WHALEWATCHING TOURS. 7. Have an ANNUAL CONTEST WHERE LOCAL SERVERS RACE UP GOVERNMENT STREET carrying a tray of six or more take-out coffees without lids – or glasses of beer – trying not to spill.

11. Create a PIKE PLACE-STYLE MARKET. Hang on, hasn’t that come up before?

12. Expand the Undersea Gardens with a CROSS-HARBOUR UNDERSEA WALKWAY. 8. Close off lower GOVERNMENT STREET and make it into a PEDESTRIAN MALL during 13. Have a Vancouver Olympics-esque zipline the day with more space for street vendors. around town. Whatever happened to that proposed HARBOUR ZIPLINE we heard about? 9. BRING BACK THE BRITISH BEEFEATER guardsmen to do a daily changing of the 14. Institute AFFORDABLE ZEPPELIN guard routine in front of the Empress or SERVICE from Victoria to Vancouver. the legislature. 10. Build WAY MORE ROOFTOP PATIOS – like, waaaaay more.

Thank you Victoria for voting Fort Street Cycle

15. Have a WATERFRONT CARNIVAL that runs year-round at Island View Beach. <

u Victori o y k n a a Th for your support and voting us #1... 15 years running!!!

Voted

Best City

of the

   

<

Ridden by Victoria’s Ryder Hesjedal with Team team Garmin Cervelo in the Tour de France

Fort Street Cycle 1025 Fort Street fortstreetcycle.ca

1

VICTORIA NEWS

17th

9 % ! 2


CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 25 THE BEST OF THE CITY

> CRUISERS LOVE OUR CITY

On the seven seas Cruise ships bring air of holiday, wallets to downtown

I

t’s easy to escape the daily grind, if only for a short break, by skipping down to the Inner Harbour. Buskers cater to throngs of tourists eating ice cream and taking photos. On Government Street, window shoppers slow pedestrian traffic to a crawl. It brings the air of holiday – one intimately tied to the arrival of cruise ships to the city. While this year’s schedule is a little less busy than last year, 210 cruise ships will visit and bring an estimated 420,000 people, plus crews, to the city, said Rebecca Penz, communications officer with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

• 210 cruise ship visits • 22 different ships • 11 cruise lines • 550,000 passengers and crew • a 971 foot-long ship

d Vote

1 Besitty C RIA NEWS of the

O VICT

   

th

17

9 % ! 2

The GVHA states that the cruise industry will bring an economic benefit to the region of $150 million. Not everyone cheers when the cruise ships arrive, however. Representatives of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association have long complained about the noise and pollution the cruise traffic brings, and their concerns have prompted a new air-quality monitoring study. In 2010, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority launched major upgrades to the terminal to better accommodate larger ships and to attract even larger ones in the future. Last June, the GVHA opened a new $2-million mooring dolphin, stretching 70 metres off Pier B. Earlier this year, it finished dredging the seabed to give wider ships – up to 32 metres in width – more room to berth. While the upgrades have yet to attract “the next generation” of cruise ship, they may have helped to attract Disney. In 2012, the familyfriendly line will add Victoria to its list of stops en route to Alaska. <

Flower baskets hang from a lamppost as the cruise ship Regal Princess backs out of dock after a visit to Victoria.


26 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY � H  SUMMER 2011

> PLACES TO EXPLORE

Fun families B eing a new parent isn’t easy, but it should be fun. Be it the baby blues or the general fatigue that comes from handling added responsibilities on little to no sleep, the early days of family life can get you down. For the parents of younglings – from the hibernating tadpole in momma’s shoulder sling, to the teething stroller jockeys who rule the world from the seat of their diapers and the ambitious tykes who have graduated on to bipedalism – hanging out at home too long can make life stale in a hurry. Eight-year-old Lottie Lycett plays in The best way to keep the water of Beckwith Park things fresh is to get out and be active, even in the simplest of ways. Here is a helpful guide of easy and affordable things for young families to do in Victoria. We start with a few options to avoid the winter crazies. <

Rainy day fun

Fun in the sun

<PANORAMA

< GOVERNMENT STREET/INNER HARBOUR

Those in Saanichton are likely in the know.

Mom and dad, get your ‘people-watch’ on, sip a

Panorama’s Recreation Centre’s new facility is

coffee and return to normal with a walk through

Best kiddie pools:

Walk and talk:

warm, spacious and full of the best toys going.

the Inner Harbour.

Plus, there is a giant family change room with

< DALLAS ROAD WALKWAY < BEACON HILL PARK

a handful of private rooms with baby change tables. During splash time junior can also float while seated upright in one of the pool’s floating baby saucers.

< CRYSTAL POOL < GORDON HEAD < ESQUIMALT REC. CENTRE < JUAN DE FUCA

Indoor but not bored:

Waterparks: < BECKWITH PARK If your family friends don’t know about it yet, don’t tell them, just go. Saanich turns on the water of the Beckwith Frog Pond on June 1.

< BEACON HILL

< PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Rotary-built watering

Whichever one you go to, every Greater Victoria

can park off Douglas Street

branch boasts something for kids, from story

is not Victoria’s answer

time to quiet time, and it’s always free.

to Stanley Park, but the

< MOTHERING TOUCH ON FORT STREET

bigger Vancouver version

Singing and yoga classes allow new parents

is lacking in one thing: ice

to hang out with their peers, and the kids can

cream and onion rings just

socialize together in their own way.

100 metres away at the

<

Beacon Hill Drive-In.

SHAW OCEAN DISCOVERY CENTRE

Tuesday mornings are reserved for preschoolers (age 3-5) with ocean-themed stories, crafts and

< CARNARVON PARK IN OAK BAY < EAGLE RIDGE IN LANGFORD

activities.

Sweet Peas AT HOME Country Cottage ~ Shabby Chic ~ French Home Decor Furnishings • Lighting • Gifts • Bedding • Jewelery • Rugs

New treasures for your Home • Garden • Cottage

<

Outdoor rugs with a splash color and patterns New Location

531 Herald Street, Victoria • 250-360-2326 www.sweetpeasathome.com

furnishings • lighting • gifts • bedding • jewelry • rugs

Four-year-old Skyla Shirshac cools off at the Beacon Hill waterpark.


THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 27 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: Little Thai Place

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

1 th

17

Little Thai Place cooks up delicious cuisine

Fans of the fresh flavours from Little Thai Place can now cook up some of those delicious dishes in your own kitchen, at the office, while camping...just about anywhere with a microwave or stovetop. The popular restaurant’s innovative ready-to-eat dinners are suggested to sell around $5 and currently include red, green and yellow curries served with rice. Pick up a selection from a growing list of grocery stores, including Fairway Markets, Country Grocer, the Market on Yates and Millstream, Red Barn, Wellburns and Peppers. “I would say it’s the best $5 you can spend on your lunch,” says Little Thai Place owner Rod Jiang. It’s just the latest innovation from the popular local restaurant, selected as one 9 % ! 2

of the top three Thai restaurants in the city. “We don’t want to copy anyone; we want to do what no one else has done,” Jiang says. Launched in 2003 with a small restaurant in the Shelbourne Plaza, the company has grown with client demand to four restaurants, adding locations on Cook Street near Caledonia, in the Reflections building on Langford’s Veterans Memorial Parkway, and in West Saanich at the Royal Oak Shopping Centre. All offer a choice of in-restaurant dining, take-out and delivery. The packaged line was the next natural step, letting customers make their place a Little Thai Place at any time they wish. Complementing the current line soon will be another few selections featuring noodles, Jiang says. Through the years and through their growth, a good relationship with their

customers has kept Little Thai Place on pace with the right amount of growth at the right time. “We know exactly what our customers are looking for,” Jiang explains. Whether in the restaurant or on the

®

3613 Shelbourne St. Shelbourne Plaza 250-477-8668

137-2745 Veterans Memorial Langford 250-478-5455

110-4480 West Saanich Rd. 1839 Cook St. West Saanich Cook & Caledonia 250-477-3377 250-477-8900

www.littlethaiplace.com

Thanks Victoria for voting for us! Voted

Best City

of the

1

Little Thai Place owner Rod Jiang’s innovative ready-to-eat dinners currently include red, green and yellow curries served with rice and are available at a growing list of grocery stores including Fairway Markets, Country Grocer, the Market on Yates and Millstream, Red Barn, Wellburns and Peppers.

SMART BOOKS NEW & USED BOOKS

VICTORIA NEWS

   

grocery store shelves, the company is guided by several principles: It has to be delicious; it has to be nutritious; it has to be convenient; and it has to be affordable. “If you offer a good product at a good price, it will succeed.”

SELL * TRADE

17th

9 % ! 2

Thank you for 23 years of loyal Support. We sell “Nearly New” used books and discounted publisher remainders

Ladies Heel Lifts

While you wait!

Voted

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2

WWW.SMARTBOOKSHOP.ORG

Stevenson’s Shoe Clinic

714 Fort St. • 250-383-8615

THE 50/50 TRADE IN POLICY STARTED MARCH 2011 INFORMATION AT

“Family Owned Since 1925”

• OPEN EVERYDAY • SMART BOOK SHOP

105-4430 W. Saanich Rd. (Royal Oak Shopping Centre)

721-4200


28 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

BEST of the CITY FINALIST BUSINESS PROFILE: The Magnolia Hotel, The Spa Magnolia and Prime Steakhouse

1

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

h

t 17

9 % ! 2

What travellers say about Victoria’s best corner

Want to know what’s so remarkable about these three local businesses at the corner of Courtney and Gordon streets? A savvy marketing maven could tell you. But we suspect you’d rather hear it from real travelers and locals.

Best Spa – Spa Magnolia New in 2011: Aromasoul Massages inspired by cultures around the globe Member of: Leading Spas of Canada, International Spa Assn. · “ … a half hour of bliss and relaxation.” · “ … the perfect escape for two tired parents.” · “ … I left relaxed and uplifted, with very happy feet.”

Here are some recent reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp: Best Boutique Hotel - Magnolia Hotel Known for: Inner Harbour location, boutique service, date night packages Other awards: One of TripAdvisor’s “Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Canada” · “Great location for walking around downtown Victoria.” · “… the breakfast was incredible - such choice, my daughter even got to make her own waffles!” · “… the staff was absolutely amazing.”

Best Restaurant – Prime Steakhouse Known for: 6 cuts of Alberta beef aged at least 21-28 days Other awards: One of Where Canada’s “2010 Best New Restaurants” · “Dietary considerations easily handled, wine skillfully recommended …” · “We have been back to Prime on 7 occasions. We have been delighted by their service/food/wine list every time.” · “Our server was fun and very attentive without being intrusive.”

Thanks to your votes … Magnolia Hotel, Spa Magnolia and Prime Steakhouse were each named “2011 Best of the City” in their respective categories.

THE BEST CORNER IN VICTORIA

Looking for THE place to indulge in Victoria? Hit the corner of Courtney St. and Gordon St. and give in to …

Indulge in Victoria’s Best Corner today!

“2011 BEST OF THE CITY” WINNERS BOUTIQUE HOTEL

SPA

STEAKHOUSE

A luxurious date night stay. Steakhouse business lunch. Girlfriend shopping getaway.

623 Courtney Street Victoria . BC . Canada

Therapeutic massage. Romantic dinner. Anti-aging spa treatment. And more. It’s all on one fabulous Inner Harbour corner.

250.381.0999 1.877.624.6654 magnoliahotel.com

250.381.0999

250.920.7721

250.386.2010

magnoliahotel.com

spamagnolia.com

primesteak.ca


CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 29 THE BEST OF THE CITY

> WE LOVE WATCHING THE BEST

Historic pitch Royal Athletic Park a storied field for spectators

I

t’s been the home of baseball, soccer, football, beer festivals and more. But when pro baseball’s Victoria Seals announced they wouldn’t be back this year, Royal Athletic Park was left without a major tenant. Victoria United, the regional men’s all-star team that plays in the summer Pacific Coast Soccer League, is the longest-running major tenant still using the facility. United’s roster was essentially raided by the Victoria Highlanders when the latter claimed a spot in the Professional Development League – the second tier of the United Soccer League – and began playing out of Langford’s City Centre Park in 2009. Many local soccer fans shifted their allegiance as well. Now the Highlanders are moving in again, this time onto United’s home turf. This summer the Highlanders men will play half their games at RAP, part of a move downtown that is expected by

many to become permanent. The club is preparing to move out from the massive PDL league and into the top-tier USL pro division. It’s the same league the Vancouver Whitecaps spent the past decade in before securing an MLS franchise. “(The USL) will happen as soon as the stars are aligned in terms of sponsors, seats and players who can compete at that level,” said Highlanders’ general manager Drew Finerty. The minimum number of seats in the home stadium of a USL pro franchise is 2,500. RAP holds 3,500. And as it would be the only USL team in Western Canada, drawing talent wouldn’t be too much of a concern for the Highlanders. “If we have to play another year of PDL, we’re not concerned,” Finerty said. “We turn out good players and have an academy system in place. All indications are that the city is ready (for) that level.” <

Nigeria takes on Costa Rica in the 2007 FIFA U20 World Cup, the biggest event so far with seating expanded to accomodate 10,400 people per match.

SOCCER • United - 1995-current • Vistas - 1988-1990

BASEBALL • Athletics -1946-1951 • Capitals -2004 • Seals - 2009-2010

FOOTBALL • Rebels - 1985-2009 FASTBALL • Traveller’s Inn - 1970s-2004


30 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY � H  SUMMER 2011

> FRIENDLY, OPEN AND WARM

Proud places LGTB community helps put Victoria on international tourism map

W

hile Canada’s large metropolises attract the most American gay and lesbian tourists, Victoria ranks as the most popular destination among small- or medium-sized cities. According to the latest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Tourism survey, two per cent of U.S. respondents said they’d travelled to Victoria and spent at least one night in a hotel during the last 12 months. That compares to 4.3, 4.4 and 4.6 per cent for Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, respectively. Halifax, Quebec City and Whistler all came in at one per cent. The study was conducted by Community Marketing Inc. Fernando Garcia and Don Halton, owners of the Albion Manor in James Bay, say their bed and Abigail’s Bed & Breakfast Inn, on McClure Street, hosts five breakfast caters to all guests but also markets specifically to the LGTB community. or six gay or lesbian weddings each year. Its $1,950 elopement package includes two nights’ accommodation, cake, flowers, a justice of the peace and other goodies. All the Tourism Victoria has also caught on to the opportunities. couples are American and most come from states where gay marriage is not It spends $15,000 a year marketing to this demographic in media such legal, says manager Allison Fairhurst. as www.gaycities.com, and belongs to the International Gay and Lesbian While the hotel recently gave up its pricey membership to the Travel Travel Association. Alternatives Group, it continues to advertise on several gay and lesbian “Because we don’t have a lot of nightlife here, we position ourselves as a websites. destination suitable for couples looking for a romantic getaway,” said Tour“It brings a decent amount of traffic,” said Fairhurst. ism Victoria spokesperson Trina Mousseau. <

Voted

Best City of the

Thank you, Victoria!

1

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

VOTED BEST INDEPENDENT AUTOMOTIVE CARE

h

t 17

9 % ! 2

Family Owned

East Indian Fine Dining “Everything was

delicious, definately will return again.

Thank you!” – J. smith

Voted

Best City

of the

3

VICTORIA NEWS

LARGE GROUPS WELCOME! CALL FOR DETAILS.

   

17th

9 % ! 2

After 32 Years, Ken has handed over the reigns to Chris Wylie. You can expect the same quality work and service as provided by Ken when he opened his shop in 1979. We look forward to serving you in the future.

298 Island Hwy., Victoria • 250.744.3330

(Corner of Helmcken Rd. & Old Island Hwy.)

www.amrikkos.com DAILY Lunch 1-2:30 Dinner 4-9 • Dine-in or Take-out

517 Kelvin Road, Victoria 250-475-2000 www.SearlesAuto.ca


THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 31 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: de Pfyffer Dance Victoria

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

1 th

17

9 % ! 2

Swing into a fun new activity with de Pfyffer Dance Victoria

One of the city’s top dance instructors, de Pfyffer Dance Victoria’s John de Pfyffer, approaches his craft with a basic principle: dance should be fun. His journey to a career in dance began as a happy accident back in 1986 when he and a group of like-minded friends formed the University of Victoria’s Ballroom Dance Club. “When we got together the first day, 50 people showed up but only four of us knew how to dance!” Stepping forward to help out, “I found that I actually enjoyed what I was doing. I had a lot of fun and so I volunteered my time to teach what I knew.” From that club emerged the Victoria Ballroom Dance Society, and a career as a full-time, professional dance instructor in Ballroom, Latin and Swing, offering classes, workshops and private lessons, in addition to hosting local dances and dance cruises. A member of the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association in both Ballroom Standard and Latin dancing, and an accredited A class judge, de Pfyffer’s students include all ages and backgrounds, and range from those who have never danced before to those competing at the highest

levels. Many of his students have been with him for 15 and even 20 years, enjoying the opportunity to improve at an activity they love. “For the most part, it’s people who simply want to dance,” he says. “To me, dance is fun; it’s adult play,” he explains, pointing out some of dance’s many benefits. Using both the creative and logical sides of the brain, in addition to mental acuity, dance improves balance, agility and fitness, and simply offers an opportunity for fun and connection with others. “I approach it in a playful way. You have to be relaxed to play and you have to be relaxed to learn.” With that mindset, dancing can also be a great way to share an activity with your significant other, learning together and meeting some really great people, de Pfyffer says. “It’s nice to see how the dancing community has grown so much and there’s something for everybody with respect to the partner dances.”

John de Pfyffer with his girls Caitlin (left) and Kelsey (right) in 2006.

de Pfyffer Dance Victoria de Pfyffer Dance Victoria

John de Pfyffer 250.920.7556 by email: dancevictoria@shaw.ca

www.dancevictoria.org

Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

A stunning portrait of John de Pfyffer with student Christine Young in a 2006 competition.

BigonSavings! Eyeglasses

Thank you Victoria for voting for us! Voted

Best City of the

1

50% OFF

NEWS VICTORIA

   

th 17

9 % ! 2

From Peacocks to Chickens, from Alpacas to Donkeys and a brand new goat barn! Don’t miss our Goat Stampede!

ALL FRAMES

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12 Pairs of Monthly Disposables

restrictions apply.

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250-380-6919

6711 Eustace Rd (at Otter Point Rd.)

250-642-0774

LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED

EYE EXAMS AVAILABLE CALL TODAY!


32 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY � H  SUMMER 2011

> ONE WITH THE ANIMALS

Little farm in the park Beacon Hill petting zoo a familiar place to kids of all ages in Victoria

N

estled between the ocean and downtown Victoria is an animal kingdom. Clucking, baaing and oinking noises fill the air daily at the Beacon Hill Park Children’s Farm, as chickens, donkeys, turkeys, alpacas, sheep and miniature pigs greet visitors young and old. Watching the animals is a great way to spend an afternoon. But a definite highlight and perennial favourite is the goat barn and corral, where children and adults can brush, pet and play with the rambunctious four-legged kids. “I think it’s a good thing for people to do,” says farm assistant manager Amanda Kyffin. “They can get experience with farm animals in an urban setting.” Duncan Scott enjoys taking his two children to the petting zoo, and says his kids love interacting with the animals in the park.

“We go down (and) feed the goats, then go across and feed the ducks. It’s good fun.” The children’s farm has been operating for 26 years. Kyffin, 20, doesn’t know life without it. “As a child, the petting zoo was always a big thing,” she says. “It’s good for kids and they learn how to respect animals.” The animal farm is central to Beacon Hill Park, an 81-hectare greenspace that is home to Garry Oak and Douglas fir ecosystems. Besides the animals kept at the farm, the park is home to less domesticated wildlife attracted to the beautiful spot, including bald eagles, herons, Cooper’s hawks, ducks and peacocks. In fact the preening peacocks often perch themselves within the farm and squawk away. “The peacocks are wild, but they hang out out here anyway,” Kyffin says. While there is no set admission rate, the farm asks for donations to cover the cost of feeding the animals, vet bills, staffing and general upkeep. The farm is open from late February through Thanksgiving. <

One-year-old Molly Stogdon checks out the goats at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm.

Voted

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

   

GREEK RESTAURANT & SNACK BAR

Voted Best in victoria! Celebrating 32 years! Eugene

Lina Voted

thank you victoria for voting us #1

Best City

of the

1

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2

17th

9 % ! 2

Thank You Victoria for voting Your Costco Best in the City for Optical, Photo & Best Bulk Store! Costco members, you can introduce a friend to the great value you find at Costco & reap the benefits!

COME HELP US CELEBRATE ON OUR “REFER YOUR FRIENDS DAY” July 8, 15, 22, 29 and August 5, 12, 19, 26, 2011 10:00 am to 7 pm

Bring your friends in to join as NEW Members and you’ll get a

$10 Costco Cash Card

for each new membership you refer! PLUS your friends who join get a $10 Costco Cash Card

Fort & Foul Bay 103-1990 Fort St.

250-592-7373

Gordon Head 3-3960 Shelbourne

250-381-5456

Look for our Tzatziki, homous and spanakopita at fairway markets near you

Enjoy refreshments and find out how you can save even more with our Executive Membership and American Express Programs

“REFER YOUR FRIENDS DAY!”

A Personal Shopping Membership is $55 per year plus applicable taxes and includes a 2nd FREE card for someone in the same household over 18. VALID FOR NEW MEMBERSHIPS ONLY ON THIS DATE AT COSTCO. NOT VALID FOR MEMBERS ALREADY IN OUR SYSTEM.


CITY H  � SUMMER 2011 / 33 THE BEST OF THE CITY 

> ROOTS STAND TEST OF TIME

Thistles in the castle Craigdarroch reveals our region’s Scottish heritage

T

he history is in the details at Craigdarroch Castle, where acting executive director John Hughes points out the Scottish connections as he walks through the majestic building. Scottish bluebells and thistles – plants native to the original owner’s home country – adorn the stained glass windows in the first-floor library. At Craigdarroch Castle, Scottish influences are evident in details such as the stained glass windows. “The bulk of the heritage is in the success of what Robert (Dunsmuir) did, coming here with nothing Wood-panel floors were covered up with linoleum, the original beautiful and turning it into something,” Hughes says. brickwork was painted over. Dunsmuir, a self-made coal baron, had the castle built starting in 1887 “There are stories about this place we may never know,” Hughes says. “Just to house his family. He died before construction ended, and his wife, Joan, how much of the old country stayed here, as far as their daily activities, who moved in with three of their 10 children. “His Scottish ability to make and knows?” hold onto his money is evident. And that was what helped get the castle built,” Though restoration is constant at Craigdarroch, the castle is open yearHughes says. round for visitors interested in experiencing its fascinating history. And the Since the 1970s, the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society has ties to the Dunsmuirs’ Scottish heritage have not been lost on the society. The been restoring it to its original turn-of-the-century, Victorian-era style. castle hosts Robbie Burns Day festivities every Jan. 25, complete with pipers The problem is, after Joan Dunsmuir died in 1908, the castle was turned and haggis. This past April also marked the first celebration of Tartan Day. into a military hospital, and then into Victoria College in 1921. Most of the “When you think about it, it’s all Scotland all the time when you’re here,” Dunsmuir artifacts – the touches that helped steep it in Scottish heritage – Hughes says. were removed, never to be seen again. For more information on Craigdarroch Castle, visit thecastle.ca. <

You CAN buy happiness. Locally owned and operated

Everything under the sun for all your gardening needs.

Visit Lotus & Sage Yoga and Meditation Supplies

250.590.1224 Located inside Borton’s

Voted

Best City of the

1

IA NEWS VICTOR

   

th 17

9 % ! 2

S A L E S U R E PA I R U S E RV I C E

Voted

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2

Your complete pond supply centre. Also providing full landscape and waterscape installations.

Locally Owned and Operated For Over 30 Years.

2614 Sooke Rd | 250.478.9808 | bortonspas-pools.com

Both at 4660 Elk Lake Drive Next to Saanich Commonwealth Place

250-658-5415


34 / THE BEST OF THE CITY � SUMMER 2011 34 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

Locally owned & operated since 1947

Sheba, Spencer, Bronson and Sasha on their way for a run at Mount Doug Park.

> PLACES TO EXPLORE

Parks for paws KITCHENS? Book your appointment with one of our sales team to help create a design plan that works for you. We’ll do the installation and take care of all the details.

FLOORING?

Slegg Lumber offers a huge variety of choices including environmentally friendly Strand Woven Bamboo. www.slegglumber.ca SIDNEY 2030 Malaview Ave. W. Sidney 250.656.1125 BUILDING COMPONENTS 1785 Mills Rd. N. Saanich 250.656.9255 ADMIRALS ROAD 1496 Admirals Rd.Victoria 250.388.5443 LANGFORD 2901 Sooke Rd. Victoria 250.478.5509 SALTSPRING 804 Fulford Ganges Rd. Saltspring 250.537.4978 NANAIMO 4950 Jordan Ave. Nanaimo 250.758.8329 LANTZVILLE 7187 Lantzville Rd. Lantzville 250.390.1207 TOFINO 661 Industrial Way Tofino 250.725.2538 COMOX 554 Anderton Rd. Comox 250.339.2207 CUMBERLAND 3217 Small Rd. Cumberland 250.336.8710

E

ighteen-month-old Rana is lucky to have been adopted by Kirsten Quinn. Not only because the rescue dog, an American pit bull terrier, gets to experience the parks Victoria has to offer, but because Quinn is a professional dog walker and knows the very best places to take her four-legged friends. “Best place to walk your dog? My vote is for Uplands Park,” she says. “It feels very wild, but you’re smack in a residential area. It has very easy access, it’s rocky and it has different habitats. It’s a place I love to take them … and a lot of people don’t seem to know about it.” Quinn runs Animal Instinct Pet Care and takes man’s (and woman’s) best friends on walks that please both her and the dogs. She also lists Elk/Beaver Lake Park, which has off-leash areas at certain times of the year and dog beaches that come in particularly handy on hot summer days. Joanna Pettit with Citizen Canine, a VictoriaKirsten Quinn stops while Diesel, left, and based dog advocacy orgaRana have a drink in Uplands Park. nization, also appreciates Elk/Beaver Lake, as well as Thetis Lake, another Capital Regional District Parks site. “CRD Parks really provide a wonderful service for dogs by letting them (run) off leash,” she says. “They have spots where the dogs can swim and there’s a lot of walking trails around the lakes.” Pettit, who owns two border collies, suggests dog owners do their research about their own neighbourhood parks and trails. “A lot of us have our own secret places that are outside of the big ones (such as) Beacon Hill Park and Dallas Road. A lot of neighbourhoods have these kinds of hidden gems that are great for dogs.”

Dog days of summer Pay attention to signage at parks, as a dog’s welcomeness can vary from being allowed off leash to not being allowed on site at all. Some parks may allow dogs only at certain times of the year. Check online before heading out to see how dog-friendly your destination is. <


THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 35

Voted

Best City of the

Enjoy fresh, flavourful cuisine two ways at Japanese Village

1

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

h

t 17

9 % ! 2

Many Victorians are familiar with the Japanese Village Restaurant’s award-winning teppan dining – after all, who hasn’t marvelled at the chefs dazzling with their remarkable skills, right at the table? But what diners may not know is that the Japanese Village also welcomes guests in their charming, traditionally decorated sushi bar and dining room – just one more reason why the iconic restaurant has again been voted one of Victoria’s best. Pull up a comfortable stool and watch the talented master sushi chefs create the delicacies right before your eyes, or relax at a quiet table to enjoy your meal.

Open for lunch and dinner, additional selections here include a variety of individual and combination meals, including tempura, yakitori, lunch-time udon bowls and more. Can’t decide which kind of sushi and sashimi to try first? Ask the chef to prepare a special assorted sushi platter and discover a new favourite. Of course, if you’re in the mood for something hot and sizzling, venture into the Teppan Steakhouse. Teppan dining, or Teppanyaki – “the iron table” – was first introduced to North America in the 1960s, offering guests a front row seat as their dinner is cooked to perfection right before their eyes. Choose from filet mignon, chicken and seafood dishes, complimented by fresh-cut vegetables and fantastic secret recipe sauces, then enjoy the show as your personal chef dazzles and delights with his culinary sleight-of-hand. Have a birthday or special occasion coming up? Whether in the sushi dining room or the Teppan Steakhouse, special events are a Japanese Village specialty and the experienced staff will help ensure your celebration is memorable!

734 Broughton St. I 250.382.5165 I www.japanesevillage.bc.ca

THANK YOU

Voted

Jimmy L-R: Artor, George, Jimmy, Visar, Cory & Michael

Best City

of the

1

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

JIMMY’S BARBER SHOP WOULD LIKE TO THANK VICTORIA FOR VOTING US #1 FOR 17 YEARS RUNNING.

9 % ! 2

WE WELCOME OUR NEW AND EXISTING CLIENTS TO VISIT US. 728 Fort St. 250-384-2629

JIMMY’S BARBER SHOP

Self-guided Tours Daily: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm 1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria BC T 250.592.5323 Note: As an historic house museum there are 87 stairs. No elevators. No ramps.

www.thecastle.ca


36 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: The Wellesley

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

Voted

Best City of the

ADVERTISING FEATURE

h

t 17

9 % ! 2

Welcome home to the Wellesley

Fourteen of the twenty-three staff members with ten-plus years of service on one of the rooftop gardens at The Wellesley.

While many companies talk about their wecoming, family atmosphere, at the Wellesley, the proof is in the retirement residence’s numerous longterm staff members – including one who has been there even before the doors opened! “I’ve been here literally before Day 1,” says Peter Grayson, who works the front desk in the evening. Back 22 years ago, as the Wellesley was set to open its doors at the corner of Blanshard and Market streets, Peter worked as a security guard, so was on hand 10 days before the first resident moved in, he says, recalling the job advertisement that had intrigued him in the first place: the pre-requisite was a sense of humour, indicating it would be a fun place to work. What has kept him there more than two decades along? “The staff are dedicated and hardworking, the residents are great and easy to get along with, and I enjoy the variety in the work,” Peter explains. “I’m looking forward to the next 22 1/2 years, though I might be living here for the latter part of that,” he quips. Today, the beautifully updated, 204-suite Wellesley, owned by

Vancouver-based Retirement Concepts, remains one of Victoria’s premier residences, offering residents all the benefits of their retirement – time to golf, travel, meet new friends and pursue favourite activities – without the headaches that can come with home ownership. Both independent and assisted living apartments are available, located in two separate buildings, with some shared amenity spaces. Executive Chef Connie Young-Davis will mark 19 years with the Wellesley this December, taking pride in their reputation as having some of the best food in the city. Starting as sous chef, Connie has gotten to know the residents well, including their preferences and expectations, as she prepares the diverse

menus that offer residents three entrees to choose from each day. It’s those relationships the residents, along with her fellow staff and even the building itself, that have made the Wellesley an enjoyable place to come to work each day. “I really like the building and the staff and residents. This has been my second home for the last 18 1/2 years,” she says. Karen Young has offered a welcoming smile at the front desk of the Wellesley for 15 years now – “our front desk hero,” friend Connie notes. “We’re blessed to have great residents,” observes Karen, who after running her own B&B, was looking for something new and flexible. “I just happened to hear by word-of-mouth that

2800 Blanshard Street, Victoria • 250-383-9099 Ext 207

www.wellesleyvictoria.com

the Wellesley was a great place to work,” she recalls. “It’s like a second family. I love talking to the residents and helping them feel secure – you just want them to enjoy being here. “When we use the words, “How are you?’ we really mean it, and they know that.” Ollie Stewart has worked in the Wellesley’s housekeeping department for 20 years, coming to the Market Street residence from the hotel industry. Backdropped by gardens brimming with rhododendrons and hydrangeas, “it’s a beautiful building,” she notes, “and the residents are so easy to please.” Cheryl Barnett is a more recent addition to the staff, co-ordinating the many activities available for the residents. “I like the variety – I’m on a bus, I’m leading a luau – you get to do so many things that you never get bored,” she says. Sometimes, trying to fit into a work environment where staff have worked closely for so long could be intimidating, but not at the Wellesley, Cheryl notes. “It’s just been a really welcoming place. There’s so much family here, it’s easy being new.” Undoubtedly, new residents feel exactly the same way.


THE BEST BEST OF OF THE THE CITY  CITY H  � SUMMER SUMMER 2011 2011 // 37 37 THE

> POTHOLES, PONDS AND SANDY SEASHORES

Life’s a beach

W

hen the warm weather hits, the beach towels come out. While the sandy shores of Elk/Beaver Lake and Thetis Lake are packed with people, there’s plenty of hidden gems to enjoy a quieter day in the sun – if you don’t mind spreading your towel on rock faces or pebble beaches. Among the more unlikely places to find a good swim spot is on Triangle Mountain in Colwood. There you’ll find Lookout Lake in a small, little-known municipal park tucked amid residential cul-de-sacs. This is just one of many swimmable lakes hidden in plain sight in Greater Victoria. Still on the West Shore, you can take a dip in Langford Lake or Glen Lake. If you follow Highlands Road behind Thetis Lake, you’ll find the clothing-optional dock on Prior Lake and, a bit further along, look for where the cars pull off the road to find access points to Pike or Mackenzie lakes.

If you’re looking for more established swimming holes, try Matheson Lake in Metchosin or Durrance Lake in Saanich. Both are easily accessible parks maintained by the Capital Regional District that don’t attract the same crowds as, say, Sooke Potholes. There’s also saltwater beaches where the water warms enough to wade into, such as Arbutus Cove in Gordon Head, Willows Beach in Oak Bay or Coles Bay in North Saanich. If you’re only interested in sand by the sea and don’t mind chilly water, try Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin, which is usually quieter than nearby Esquimalt Lagoon. Or discover the unlimited coastline and endless views west of Sooke: China, French, Mystic and Sombrio beaches. There’s plenty of places to escape the crowds when the water calls your name. Grab a map, pack a lunch, and check out a new swim spot this summer. <

Swimmers enjoy the cold, clean waters at Sooke Potholes.

A Fresh Tradition We’ve been serving Greater Victoria for over 49 years and we’re committed to carrying on the same traditions we started in 1962: the freshest produce and quality products at the lowest possible prices. Choose Pepper’s for the best selection, best value and the best taste in town!

Locally owned & operated 250-477-6513 • 3829 Cadboro Bay Rd. • www.peppers-foods.com • Mon-Fri 8am-9pm • Sat-Sun 8am-7:30pm


38 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 39 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

3

Cupcake shop cooks up tempting treats

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: Ooh La La Cupcakes

th

17

Life is sweet for Sherryl Andrews, owner of Ooh La La Cupcakes. Well, not too sweet, actually, as Ooh La La’s delicious buttercream icing provides the perfect base for the cupcakery’s many delicious flavours, and with less sugar! What both diehard cupcake fans and newcomers will find, however, is an array of fresh-baked cupcakes in store every day, from 14 favourites like the Triple Bypass and Kiss Me (I’m Irish) to seasonal specialities such as Pink Lemonade and ‘Smores. “We’re really, really focused on consistently making the best product we can 9 % ! 2

make, in our own bakery from scratch,” Andrews says. A nurse for 34 years, when the province issued cuts to home care, Andrews turned a life-long passion for baking and a desire to own her own business into Ooh La La – the first cupcake shop in the city. From her bakery in Sidney and flagship shop on Hillside, near Cedar Hill Road, customer demand has led Andrews to add shops in Langford and in Sidney, all enjoying that same charming Paris-inspired feel. This September, those downtown will also be able to say “ooh la la!” to the deliciously light creations. “Our customers tell us we have an exceptional product, plus we really do our utmost to offer excellent customer service,” Andrews says, adding that

Sidney

9774 B Third Street 250.656.0713

Langford

713 Goldstream Avenue, Unit A 250.478.0704

Victoria

1391A - Hillside Avenue 250.385.0707

“cupcakes make people happy – they’re fun – so I like to think that we brighten people’s day!” Growing from the cupcake business is Ooh La La’s sought-after celebratory cakes for weddings, graduations, anniversaries and other special occasions. And with the opening of the Third Street shop in Sidney, Andrews is able to create a new cake decorating area at the bakery where the retail used to be – perfect for their new pasty chef “who can literally do anything!” Of course, cupcakes are pretty popular for celebrations, too, whether the bite-

sized mini-cupcakes perfect for children’s parties or the brilliantly decorated regular cupcakes. Believing in giving back both at home and abroad, Andrews supports the local community through a variety of events, as well as donating a portion of profits to Opportunity International, which supports primarily women in developing countries who want to start a business. And watch for a new contest inviting customers to submit their idea for a new cupcake creation – you just may inspire Ooh La La’s newest tempting treat!

www.oohlalacupcakes.ca

Royal Palace Restaurant

Lunch Buffet

Soft D Drinks i k &D Dessert IIncluded l d d Mon - Thurs $11.95 • Fri, Sun & Holidays $12.95 11:00 am - 2:30 pm

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

11 am - 9 pm

FREE DELIVERY • PARTY BUFFET ROOM CANTONESE CUISINE

ThursdayEvenings EveningsJune JunetotoAugust August Thursday

Voted

Best City

of the

MEAL • Prawns MEALCHOICES CHOICES Steak Steak• Chicken • Chicken • Prawns Book your tee time with the PR0 SHOP today!

3

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2

GOLF PR0 SHOP 250-474-8621 4C - 100 Aldersmith Place, Victoria www.royalpalace.ca

250-381-6668

at Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre • 1767 Island Highway, Victoria BC


40 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY � H  SUMMER 2011

BUTCHARTT G GARDENS

Simply wow

Fireworks fill the air at Butchart Gardens during a Saturday night show.

Roses among many reasons it’s the region’s ttop tourist attraction

J

ohn Hill spends his workday up Butchart rose garden, which features to his green thumbs in roses, 2,500 different plants. which is why he doesn’t grow Some heritage varieties, the origins the finicky flower at his North of which date back to the late 1800s, Saanich home. have been grown in the garden for As supervisor of Butchart Gardecades, including the Dorothy dens’ rose garden, he is sought out Parker, American Pillar and Oh la la by neighbours, friends and family Floribunda rose. for his expertise on roses, which Hill’s favourites include Sexy Red, have a reputation for being temwhich features 20 to 30 two-inch peramental. blooms on each stem, as well as the “A lot of people think they’re Papa Meilland hybrid tea rose, which hard to grow,” says Hill, who produces large, red blooms and an started working at the Brentwood incredible scent. When the flowers Bay horticultural jewel in 1982. come into bloom in summer and Roses can be needy, requiring visitors ooh and ahh over the colourloamy, well-drained and nutrientful display, the hard work is worth The famous sunken gardens at Butchart Gardens are a favourite with visitors. rich soil that offers slightly acidic the effort, Hill says. conditions. Soil testing deterNearly one million visitors pass mines what the dirt needs, such as iron and nitrogen, and from there, a fertilthrough the privately owned gardens each year. izer program can be planned out. “People love roses when they look great,” says Hill, who can be found with Fungal and pest management also require patience and dedication, but his four-member gardening team in the thick of the rose flowerbeds deadthere are several insect predators that can deal with an invasion of rose-hunheading from July to October. “It’s good to hear their comments when they gry bugs. come in. They’re always looking for the scent … and always looking for that Months of effort are also spent on pruning 250 kinds of flowers in the perfect rose.” <

The best place to buy...

Best Place for BBQ’s and Hardware Voted

Best City

of the

<

Voted

1

Best City

of the

so much more...

VICTORIA NEWS

   

3

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2

17th

9 % ! 2

Best Kitchen Shop Voted

Best City

of the

1

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2

victoria

1900 store street 250.385.9703 sidney

sidney centre 250.655.7115


THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 41 AS VOTED by the readers of VICTORIA NEWS, OAK BAY NEWS, SAANICH NEWS and GOLDSTREAM NEWS GAZETTE, may 2011

The Best of the City 2011 LEISURE & ENTERTAINMENT Best Place for Afternoon Tea 1) The Fairmont Empress 2) Murchie’s 3) James Bay Tea Room and Restaurant

Best Place to Walk Your Dog 1) Beacon Hill Park 2) Dallas Road 3) Thetis Lake

Best Place to Meet A Mate 1) Starbucks 2) Thrifty Foods 3) Irish Times Pub

Best Tourist Attraction 1) The Butchart Gardens 2) Royal BC Museum 3) Inner Harbour

Best Free Fun 1) Beacon Hill Park 2) Inner Harbour 3) Dallas Road

Best Place to Worship 1) St Andrew’s Cathedral 2) Christ Church Cathedral 3) Glad Tidings Church

Best Museum

Best Used Bookstore

Best Used Car Dealership

1) Royal BC Museum 2) The Maritime Museum of BC 3) British Columbia Aviation Museum

1) Russell Books 2) Penelope’s Book Stop 3) Smart Book Shop

1) Galaxy Motors 2) Metro Lexus Toyota Victoria 3) Howie’s Car Corral

Best Annual Festival

Best Flower Shop

Best for Motorcycles/Scooters

1) Great Canadian Beer Festival 2) Victoria Symphony Splash 3) Jazz Fest

1) Brown’s The Florist 2) Thrifty Foods 3) Flowers on Top

1) Steve Drane Harley Davidson 2) Action Motorcycles 3) Scooter Underground

Best Art Gallery

Best Garden Shop

Best Bicycle Shop

1) Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 2) Winchester Galleries 3) Dales Gallery

1) Gardenworks 2) Dig This 3) Cannor Nursery

1) Oak Bay Bicycles 2) Russ Hays The Bicycle Shop 3) Fort Street Cycle

SHOPPING

Best Thrift Shop

Best for Your Pets

1) Value Village 2) The Salvation Army 3) Victoria Women in Need Community Cooperative

1) Bosley’s Pet Food Plus 2) Pets West 3) Pet Smart

Best Consignment Store

1) Sears 2) Trail Appliances 3) Westcoast Appliance

Best Nutritional Supplements 1) The Vitamin Shop 2) Lifestyle Markets 3) Popeye’s

Best Shop for Antiques 1) Kilshaw’s Auctioneers Ltd. 2) Lunds Auctioneers & Appraisals Ltd. 3) Vanity Fair Antique & Collectibles Mall

Best Bookstore 1) Bolen Books 2) Munro’s Books 3) Chapters

1) Baja Rosi’s Consignment Cabana 2) My Sister’s Closet 3) Verve Fashion

Best New Car Dealership 1) 2) 3) 3)

Metro Lexus Toyota Victoria Pacific Mazda Victoria Hyundai Speedway Motors

Best for Appliances

Best for Recreation Gear 1) Mountain Equipment Co-Op 2) Robinson’s Outdoor Store 3) Sports Traders

Best for Hardware 1) Home Hardware 2) The Home Depot 3) Capital Iron


42 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 AS VOTED by the readers of VICTORIA NEWS, OAK BAY NEWS, SAANICH NEWS and GOLDSTREAM NEWS GAZETTE, may 2011

The Best of the City 2011 Best Kitchen Shop

Best for Flooring

Best for Barbecues

Best for Steak

1) Capital Iron 2) Muffet & Louisa 3) Haute Cuisine Cookware

1) The Home Depot 2) End of the Roll 3) United Carpet

1) Capital Iron 2) The Home Depot 3) Canadian Tire

1) The Keg Steakhouse & Bar 2) Prime Steakhouse 3) Brasserie L’Ecole

Best for Shoes

Best for Lighting

Best for Musical Instruments

Best Chinese

1) Aldo 2) She She Shoes 3) Walk in Comfort

1) McLaren Lighting 2) Illuminations Lighting Solutions Ltd. 3) The Home Depot

1) Long & McQuade 2) Larsen Music 3) Tom Lee Music

1) Ming’s 2) Don Mee 3) J&J Wonton Noodle House

Best Department Store

Best for Jewellery

Best for Greek

1) Peoples 2) Violette Boutique 3) Birks

1) Eugene’s Greek Restaurant 2) Il Greco 3) Columbo’s Taverna

Best Fashion Boutique 1) Bliss Boutique 2) Still Life 3) Mysi Majority

Best Farmers Market 1) Moss St. Community Market 2) Red Barn Market 3) The Root Cellar Village Green Grocer Ltd.

Best Home Improvement Store 1) The Home Depot 2) RONA 3) Home Hardware

Best for Window Coverings 1) Ruffell & Brown Interiors 2) The Home Depot 3) Sears

1) The Bay 2) Sears 3) Walmart

Best Furniture Store (independent) 1) Dodd’s Furniture & Mattress 2) Sager’s Home Living 3) Standard Furniture

Best Furniture Store (chain) 1) The Brick 2) Sears 3) Urban Barn

Best for Pool/Spa 1) Borton’s Spas & Pools Ltd. 2) Twilight Hot Tubs & Billiards 3) Vintage Hot Tubs

Best for Italian

restaurants/ food & drink

1) Il Terrazzo 2) Pagliacci’s 3) Zambri’s

Best for a First Date

Best Japanese

1) 2) 3) 3)

Milestones The Tapa Bar Il Terrazzo Pagliacci’s

Best for Seafood 1) Pescatores Seafood & Grill 2) Nautical Nellies Steak & Seafood House 3) Red Fish Blue Fish

1) The Japanese Village Restaurant 2) Azuma Sushi 3) Ebizo Japanese Restaurant

Best Mexican 1) Café Mexico 2) Hernande’z Cocina 3) La Fiesta Café

Thank you Victoria!

Great customers deserve the best.

Vote

Best Cit

of the

VICTO



Vote

Best Cit

of the

VICTO




AS VOTED by the readers of VICTORIA NEWS, OAK BAY NEWS, SAANICH NEWS and GOLDSTREAM NEWS GAZETTE, may 2011

The Best of the City 2011 Best Fish & Chips

Best Pub

1) Raymond’s Restaurant 2) Purple Garden 3) Sabri Indian Cuisine

1) Red Fish Blue Fish 2) Barb’s Fish & Chips 3) Haultain Fish & Chips

1) Bard & Banker Scottish Pub 2) Irish Times Pub 3) Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

Best Indian

Best Business Lunch

Best Burger

Best for Scotch

1) 1) 2) 3)

1) Cactus Club Café 2) Lure Restaurant 3) Moxie’s Classic Grill

1) The Pink Bicycle 2) Red Robin 3) White Spot

1) Bard & Banker Scottish Pub 2) The Bengal Lounge 3) Irish Times Pub

Best for Your Sweet Tooth

Best Pizza

1) Rogers’ Chocolates 2) The Dutch Bakery 3) Ooh La La Cupcakes

1) Pizzeria Prima Strada 2) Ali Baba Pizza 3) Romeo’s

food service

Best Coffee/Cappuccino

Best Patio Bar

1) Starbucks 2) Serious Coffee 3) Tim Hortons

1) 1) 2) 3)

1) Thrifty Foods 2) Fairway Market 3) The Market Stores

Da Tandoor Sabri Indian Cuisine The Spice Jammer Amrikko’s Indian Cuisine

1) Little Thai Place 2) Baan Thai 3) Siam Thai

Best Family Restaurant 1) White Spot 2) Red Robin 3) Boston Pizza

Best Ice Cream/Gelato

Best for Breakfast

Best Sports Bar

1) The Blue Fox Café 2) Floyd’s Diner 3) John’s Place Restaurant

Best Vegetarian/Vegan

Best Wings

Best for a Martini

1) Rebar 2) Green Cuisine 3) The Lotus Pond

1) 1)550’s Pub Style Restaurant 2) The Monkey Tree Pub 3) Gorge Point Pub

1) The Bengal Lounge 2) Veneto 3) The Mint

Voted

Best City

of the

1

VICTORIA NEWS

2 9%!

3

17th

VICTORIA NEWS

Best Flower Shop

1) Thrifty Foods 2) The Root Cellar Village Green Grocer Ltd. 3) Red Barn Market

2

Visit thriftyfoods.com

Best Place to Meet a Mate

17th

3

VICTORIA NEWS

2 9%!

17th

Voted

Best City

of the



2 9%!

2 9%!

17th

Best Cooking Class

2

Best for Produce

VICTORIA NEWS

17th

VICTORIA NEWS



ORIA NEWS

Best for Produce

1) Costco 2) Save on Foods 3) Thrifty Foods

2 9%!

Voted

Best City

of the

Voted

Best City

of the



17th

3

1

Best Bulk Store

2 9%!

Voted

Best City 

Best Organic Grocer

1) Shark Club 2) The Podium Sports Grill 3) The Sticky Wicket Pub

Best Grocery Store of the

Best Grocery Store

Canoe Club Glo Restaurant & Lounge Rooftop Surfclub Lido Waterfront Bistro

1) Beacon Drive-In 2) Marble Slab Creamery 3) Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen

2 9%!

t ty

Best All You Can Eat

1) Pho Vy 2) Saigon Night 3) Le Petit Saigon

Best Thai

ORIA NEWS

ed

Best Vietnamese



ed

t ty

THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 43

17th

Best Bulk Store


44 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 AS VOTED by the readers of VICTORIA NEWS, OAK BAY NEWS, SAANICH NEWS and GOLDSTREAM NEWS GAZETTE, may 2011

The Best of the City 2011 Best Organic Grocer

Best Cooking Class

Best Spa

Best Optical/Eyewear

1) Lifestyle Markets 2) The Root Cellar Village Green Grocer Ltd. 3) Thrifty Foods

1) Cook Culture 2) Chef Heidi Fink 3) Thrifty Foods Cooking & Lifestyle Centre

1) 2) 3) 3)

Best Bakery

Best for Making Wine

1) Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Empress 2) The Spa at Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort 3) Spa Magnolia

1) Cobs Bread 2) The Dutch Bakery 3) Wild Fire Organic Bakery & Café

1) The Winemaker 2) Cook St Village Wineworks 3) Stellar Wines

Best Manicure

1) London Drugs 2) Shoppers Drug Mart 3) Pharmasave

Best Specialty Deli

Best U Brew

1) Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen 2) Italian Food Imports 3) Charelli’s Cheese Shop & Delicatessen

1) Bedford Brewing Company 2) Stellar Wines 3) West Coast Brew Shop

Best Local Brewery/Winery 1) Phillips Brewing Company 2) Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub 3) Vancouver Island Brewery

Best Liquor Store 1) BC Liquor Store 2) Liquor Plus 3) Hillside Liquor Store

Best Wine Store 1) Everything Wine 2) Cascadia Liquor 3) Liquor Plus

Voted

Best City

of the

service Best Hotel 1) The Fairmont Empress 2) Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort 3) Hotel Grand Pacific

Best Boutique Hotel 1) The Magnolia Hotel & Spa 2) Abigail’s Hotel 3) The Oswego Hotel

Best Barbershop 1) Jimmy’s Barber Shop 2) Status Barber Shop 3) Oak Bay Barber Shoppe

Best Pedicure 1) Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Empress 2) The Spa at Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort 3) Frilly Lilly

Best Hair Salon

Best Pharmacy

Best Place for Oil Change 1) Mr. Lube 2) Great Canadian Oil Change 3) Pennzoil 10 Minute Oil Change

Best for Photo Finishing 1) London Drugs 2) Walmart 3) Costco

Best Retirement Residence

1) Lab Salon 2) Fish Hair Salon 3) Alchemy Hair Design and Spa

1) Berwick Retirement Communities 2) The Wellesley 3) Carlton House of Oak Bay

Best Shoe Repair

Best Plumber

1) Stevenson’s Shoe Clinic 2) Hillside Shoe Clinic 3) Gaudio Shoe Repairs

1) Miles Plumbing & Gas Services Ltd. 2) Roto-Rooter 3) Brent Jansen Plumbing & Heating Ltd. 3) Swift Plumbing & Water Heaters Inc.

1

VICTORIA NEWS

   

1) The Spa at Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort 2) Frilly Lilly 3) Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Empress

Maycock Eyecare Goo Goo Goggles Costco Iris

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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 45 AS VOTED by the readers of VICTORIA NEWS, OAK BAY NEWS, SAANICH NEWS and GOLDSTREAM NEWS GAZETTE, may 2011

The Best of the City 2011 Best Tattoo/Piercing Parlour

Best Weight Loss Centre

Best 9 Hole or Par 3 Golf Course

1) Urge Tattoos 2) Pair O Dice Tattoo 3) Universal Tattoo

1) 2) 3) 3)

1) The Ridge Course at Cordova Bay 2) Henderson Park Golf Course 3) Juan de Fuca Golf Course

Best Tire Store

Best Bank/Financial Institution

1) Canadian Tire 2) Big O Tires 3) West Coast Tire & Wheel Ltd.

Best Automotive Service (chain) 1) 2) 2) 3)

Weight Watchers Curves Herbal Magic Jenny Craig

Canadian Tire Big O Tires Midas Speedy Auto Service

1) Coast Capital Savings 2) TD Canada Trust 3) Royal Bank of Canada

Best Funeral Home 1) McCall Bros Funeral Directors Ltd. 2) Sands Funeral Chapel 3) First Memorial Funeral Services

Best Automotive Service (independent)

recreation

1) Searles Auto Repair 2) Scotia Automotive Service 3) Royal Oak Automotive (1989) Ltd.

Best Rec Centre

Best Place to Improve Your Smile

1) Recreation Oak Bay 2) Saanich Commonwealth Place 3) West Shore Parks & Recreation 1) YMCA-YWCA Greater Victoria 2) Recreation Oak Bay 3) Saanich Commonwealth Place

McKenzie Veterinary Services Hillside Veterinary Hospital Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic Kindred Spirits Veterinary Hospital

1) John de Phyffer Dance Victoria 2) Arthur Murray Dance School 3) Dansko Studios

Best for Martial Arts

Best 18 Hole Golf Course 1) Bear Mountain Resort 2) Olympic View Golf Club 3) Cordova Bay Golf Course

1) Beacon Hill Children’s Farm 2) Victoria Bug Zoo 3) Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre

Best Kids Clothing Store 1) Gap Kids 2) The Children’s Place 3) Abra-Kid-Abra

Best Camp for Kids 1) Y Camp Thunderbird 2) Camp Pringle 3) Camp Imadene

Voted

Best Yoga Studio 1) Bikram Yoga Victoria 2) Moksana Yoga Centre 3) Moksha Yoga Victoria

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

Best Personal Trainer 1) Rosemary Quinn - Fitness Works Personal Training Ltd. 2) Darcy Dommett - Studio 4 Athletics 2) Shannon Van Ember - Achieve Fitness 3) Kyla Gagnon - Health and Fitness

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Best for Dance Lessons

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Best Gym

Best Pet Clinic

1) Saanich Commonwealth Place 2) Recreation Oak Bay 3) Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre

Best Kids Attraction



1) Academy Dental 2) Pacific Coast Dental 3) Saanich Dental Group

Best Swimming Pool

kids


H  SUMMER 2011 46 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY �

> HOME OF CANADA’S PACIFIC FLEET

Naval gazing B

Glimpse into CFB Esquimalt’s past informative and chilling

lood stains appearing on the porch, doors The fatally wounded sailor was carried to closing when there is no wind and the TV the porch of the nearby residence, “hence the and radio turning on and off. blood stains that occasionally return,” said Lt. Reginald Scott’s Hawkins. 111-year-old ghost is said to haunt Scott died a week later in hosthe oldest building at CFB Espital. This is just a chilling taste of quimalt. However, a clairvoyant many stories shared during CFB brought in to connect with the Esquimalt’s free public guided ghost a few years ago determined walking and bus tours. the apparition to be friendly, said The 90-minute bus tours happen base spokesperson Sub-Lt. Aaron weekdays at 11 a.m. until Aug. 26, Hawkins. excluding July 1 and Aug. 1, and It was a dark and stormy night start at the museum square, 1299 on April 4, 1900 when a gunner, Naden Way. on alert for possible trouble from Walking tours last two hours American anti-British protesters, and happen Saturdays at 11 a.m., heard a noise against the wind. starting at the main gate of HMC For some reason – perhaps due Dockyard at the end of Esquimalt to the muffling effect of the wind Road. and rain – Lt. Scott, a sentry making Photo ID is required and no sanA doorway to the his rounds at the time, didn’t hear dals are allowed. Kids 12 and under place at CFB Esquimalt the gunner call out, “Halt! Who goes near where a man require supervision. Groups of more was murdered and is there?” again and again. than 10 can book a tour by calling rumoured to now haunt Scott kept moving and four shots 250-363-2595. For information, visit the building. rang out. cfbesquimalt.ca. <

Sub-Lt. Aaron Hawkins at the top of the stairs to the commodore’s residence where Lt. Reginald Scott died after being shot by a gunner. Blood stains are rumoured to appear on the stairs from time to time.

Best of your …

Neighbourhood. “In 49 years, Fairway Market has grown from a small family business to one of Vancouver Island’s largest independently owned grocery stores. We’ve made it our mission to support and enhance the neighbourhoods in which we live and work through sustainable initiatives and store programs. We continue to build on the values established by my father, Founder/Chairman, Don Yuen. As the next generation, I am proud to continue to deliver quality name brands, the freshest local products and imported specialities that represent good value to our loyal customers.” – Doug Yuen, Company President and Fourth Generation Grocer

Doug Yuen and his father Cashiers DonFriendly Yuen Fresh Produce

Fresh Produce

10 locations to serve you! Gorge Centre 272 Gorge Road. West, Victoria Shelbourne Plaza 3651 Shelbourne St., Victoria Athlone Court 2187 Oak Bay Ave., Oak Bay Quadra Street Village 2635 Quadra St., Victoria 1521 McKenzie at Cedar Hill Rd., Victoria

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Best ofBest the of City! the City! Fresh Produce

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Large Variety of Meats GORGE CENTRE

Sushi Made on Premises

Large Variety of Meats

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Fairway Markets one of the

Asian Kitchen Dine-in or Take-out

Best of the City! Wide Isles

Thank you for Voting Fairway Markets one of the

Wide Isles

Asian Kitchen Dine-in or Take-out

Best of the City! In-store Bakery

Large Variety of Meats

In-store Fresh Organic Produce Bakery

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WEST


THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 47 ADVERTISING FEATURE

Best City of the

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: The Rootcellar

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

Voted

th

17

Living local at the Rootcellar

Crave local lettuce but can’t make it out to the farm? Strawberries? Blueberries? Cucumbers and tomatoes? You’ll find all these things – and plenty more – at Saanich’s Rootcellar. Locally owned and operated by the husband-and-wife-team of Adam Orser and Daisy Leslie-Orser with partner Phil Lafreniere, the Rootcellar family prides itself on offering a vast selection of produce and complementary items sourced from as close to home as possible. The core principal of their founding philosophy brings benefits for the business, local producers and the community at large. “We have a lot of local suppliers, which keeps the product freshest,” notes Daisy, who, like many of her customers, enjoys visiting local farms and markets with her three boys to meet the producers 9 % ! 2

and learn what they’re growing. “I think people crave a connection with their food providers.” At the Rootcellar, shoppers are able to support those growers while reducing both the time and environmental costs of travelling around the region to pick up their farm fresh produce and groceries. And don’t be surprised if you see a local chef or two browsing the broccoli and bok choy. “We have many chefs who frequent the store daily,” Adam says. Rest assured, however, that if your special recipe calls for asparagus in January or fresh dragon-fruit, you’ll most likely find it here. And if you can’t find that more unique item on your shopping list, be sure to ask, because, the knowledgeable staff at the Rootcellar will probably be able to track it down. “As far as produce is concerned, we haven’t been stumped yet,” Adam says. See something you’re unsure of? Just ask! “We want you to leave here excited

about what you’ve bought, and equipped to prepare and enjoy it,” Daisy says, overlooking the fresh, modern shop at the corner of McKenzie and Blenkinsop, a contemporary take on the traditional farmer’s market that has caught on with shoppers. “We want people to enjoy being in the store as much as we do,” she explains. “We are our own demographic – a young family who is environmentally conscious and health

conscious,” she notes. Understanding what both suppliers and shoppers need has been key to their success. “It’s all about community and creating those relationships,” Adam says.

farm fresh. dirt cheap.™

1286 McKenzie Ave. & Blenkinsop 250-477-9495

www.therootcellar.ca

Thank You All! for choosing us,

Owners Adam Orser and Daisy Leslie-Orser visiting a local grower’s farm with business partner Phil Lafreniere.

Voted

Best City

of the

2

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2

on Government Street,

as your source for all your purchases of GIFTS and COLLECTIBLES for all occasions, incredible Home Decorations for all seasons and the GIFTS and SOUVENIRS for your friends from out of town. NEW: Thousands of items for half price or less, a real treasure house, affordable for everybody’s budget at any time of the year! Just come in!

BEST OF THE CITY..

1323 Government Street, Ph. 250-380-7522 ONCE INSIDE, THE STORE GOES ON AND ON!

Thank You Victoria! From All the Doctors and Staff at

Hillside Veterinary Hospital H Dr. Jennifer Chan, Dr. Sylvie Abrioux Dr. Glynis Newman & Associates

Open 7 Days A Week

• • • • •

Complete Care For Your Pet Full Hospital and Surgical Facility Acupuncture Chiropractic Rehabilitation

Hillside Veterinary Hospital 1700 Kings Rd., Victoria 250.598.4477 www.hillsidevethospital.com


H  SUMMER 2011 48 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY �

> THINGS TO SAVOUR

Behind the bar The art and craft of mixing cocktails

S

olomon Siegel began blending his first coffee drinks at five and by the time he was 16, he was behind a bar mixing cocktails. Born into a family of local restaurateurs, the 29-year-old has earned a reputation around the city for his original drinks with highquality ingredients. Now the food and beverage manager at Veneto Tapa Lounge inside Hotel Rialto, Siegel says his latest beverage menu is the one he’s most proud of. Here are some highlights:

Current favourite? Ghetto Punch Don Julio blanco tequila, gun powder green tea from Silk Road, Ginger of the Indies liqueur, Madeira wine, orange bitters “An old school punch. Light, but earthy and strong,” Siegel says of the drink’s high and low notes.

It’s a shout-out to the Venetian Ghetto, the original Jewish neighbourhood in Venice, given that Siegel is Jewish and Veneto is named after Venice. “(Ghetto) since became another word. I’ve gotta have fun with the fact that it sounds like a low-class name, but really, I meant it to be kind of an illustrious name.”

A Victoria drink? The Hartland Victoria Gin, pear liqueur from Giffard, Italian bitters, grapefruit bitters, sparkling wine Inspired by the landfill, because “in Victoria, even our dump is beautiful,” he says.

What’s classic? Knickerbocker White rum, fresh lemon juice, raspberry syrup, Cointreau “The cosmo of the day,” was

Panache

Discover cover something you’re NOT looking for!

your home décor consignment store

Solomon Siegel, food and beverage manager at Veneto, makes a flaming orange twist garnish behind the bar in the Hotel Rialto on Douglas Street. Siegel grew up in the food service industry and is well known for his original cocktails. hugely popular in the 1860s and remains a fan favourite.

What’s in his glass? At the moment, a well-made martini with Punt e Mes vermouth. “During the ’80s and early ’90s,

cocktails weren’t the high art that they’ve become – they were kind of a lost art,” he says. “Because prohibition pretty much destroyed cocktail culture, it’s been something that has had a rebirth in the late ’90s, and certainly at this point it’s firmly established.” <

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CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 49 THE BEST OF THE CITY

> PLACES WE LOVE

Ancient alley The narrowest street in the country is thick with historical intrigue

U

nder the dim flame of a lantern, heads crouch over a table. Coins are cast into a pot – the betting is complete. A group of old men, Chinese, dirty from a day’s work, call their side of the square taped off in the centre of the table – one, two, three or four. The game is on. It’s called fan-tan and it was one of the most popular gambling games to come out of China before the 20th century. According to B.C. Archives, it could be the namesake behind Victoria’s most famous street, Fan Tan Alley. Fan-tan goes like this: two handfuls of buttons or beans are placed in the middle of the marked-off square. Betters claim a side, or a corner. Then, four at a time, the beans are pushed onto each side of the square. At the end, if one bean remains, the man who chose side one wins. If there are two, side two wins, etc. The winner takes the pot. Fan Tan Alley is known for many things, from its bizarre system of addresses (some list half-numbers) to its miniscule width – at less than a metre wide at one point, it is considered Canada’s narrowest street – and its connection to Victoria’s Chinese heritage. It’s also known to be the former home of gambling caves and opium dens, some of which are said to still exist beyond the storefronts. <

A family explores the eclectic shops in Fan Tan Alley, which connects Pandora Avenue to Fisgard Street in Victoria’s Chinatown. The alley takes its name from an old gambling game still played today.

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AN EXCEPTIONAL LIFE


50 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

Thank you!

Providing old fashioned friendly customer service in Fairfield Plaza for over 50 years. Thank you, Victoria for nominating us the best hardware store!

Scott Tanner, Laura Hendricks, Cheryl Lehmann, Karen McClean and Andrea Samsom receiving the Merry Maids’ Inaugural Client First Award for North America.

Merry Maids Victoria work through adversity to put clients first! During a time when customer service is the primary differentiator among competing brands, some companies rise to the challenge, while others become complacent. More specifically, businesses focused on long-term growth know that putting clients at the forefront is essential to their success. And in order to do this, leading brands must do this through the best of times, as well as the worst of times…it’s called being resourceful.

Voted

Best City

of the

Tina, June, Hannah, Lance, John, Andrew

   

With little time to think, Andrea Samsom, Karen McClean and Cheryl Lehmann took control of the situation and began leading by example. Computers were immediately relocated to their boss’ home, so that daily service work orders could be generated. Next, the “dynamic trio” carted cleaning equipment and solutions to the parking lot in order to sort accordingly. Andrea, Karen and Cheryl then took the necessary time to inform each associate as to what had happened and that it was critical to maintain a “business as usual” mindset. All told, the Victoria office did not cancel or reschedule a single appointment that day, and Karen even fit in an interview on the front steps of a destroyed office building!

Bottom line: adverse times either make or break companies. In this case, Merry Maids Victoria kept its collective eye on the very thing that has gotten them where they are today – its clients. The office wishes to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have helped us through this event. We look forward to continue serving the community for years to come and hope this story inspires other companies to stay focused during difficult times.

Thank you Victoria Please come in and experience the best Turkish home cooked meals, learn about other cultures and make new friends. Our bistro is located in a two storey Oak Bay house with a patio for long summer days, a back garden to grow most of the herbs we use in our kitchen. In Turkey, the offering and sharing of food is an expression of friendship, so we are pleased to welcome you to our “home” and we hope you will enjoy this unique dining ning experience. AFÌYET OLSUN (enjoy your meal) Business hours For lunch Tues – Sat 11:30 – 2:30 For dinner Thurs – Sat after 5 NarCafeBistro.com 2540 Windsor Road 250 598 1085

merrymaids.com

250 598 6243 • merrymaidsvictoria@shaw.ca

9 % ! 2

ROSS BAY HOME HARDWARE

In April 2010, the local Merry Maids office endured a major fire that would have crippled most operations. From the water-soaked carpets to the soggy ceiling tiles, computers were dismantled and it appeared that business would have to be put on hold indefinitely. But the spirit behind Merry Maids Victoria refused to allow the gravity of the situation to overshadow its primary objective – to take care of clients in a seamless, professional manner. After all, this approach has made Merry Maids an industry leader in Victoria since 1991.

In the end, not one team member missed a day and not a single clean was postponed. The staff put in more than 60 hours of overtime during that two week period and the office even tallied its largest revenue week ever.

17th

1584 Fairfield Road | 250-598-7224

And Merry Maids Victoria is just that

But wait…there’s more to this success story. Not only did the team need to survive that day, the office was going to have figure out a way to function during the next two weeks before they moved into a temporary location….the damage to their office was so extensive they stayed in the temporary office for seven months. So they did what any forward-thinking group would do and established a command center in owner, Scott Tanner’s dining room! Besides not missing a single step during the next 14 days, Merry Maids Victoria even hired and trained two new employees during the period and continued to place new business!

1

VICTORIA NEWS


THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 51 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

Committed to customers & community

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: Dodd’s Furniture & Mattress Ltd.

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

1 th

17

From politican to athlete to entertainer, it’s tough to think of many people in Victoria more recognizable than Gordy Dodd. The affable businessman is proud of the popular, toungue-in-cheek commercials poking fun at many pop-culture references, but he’s even prouder of the successful furniture business he and his family have built over the last 35 years, a success that has allowed him to give back both to the local and global community. “The community is the one that is supporting us so we like to give back,” explains Gordy, whose initiatives range from local Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to international campaigns for Haiti and Japan. There’s furniture donations to local community centres and 9 % ! 2

clothing and school supplies to developing countries. Now, as he prepares for a semiretirement, passing the reins to his son, Love Dodd, who has been his right-hand man for years now, Gordy looks forward to having more time to spend on those humanitarian efforts. After immigrating to Canada, Gordy worked at several local department stores, but aspired one day to own his own business, and when the opportunity arose in the mid-’70s to buy what was then Victoria’s largest furniture store, “it was a dream-come-true,” he recalls. Opening in 2,200-square-feet back in 1977 at the corner of Quadra and King streets, their growth led to Dodd’s expansion to a 35,000-square-foot building he built and owns, supported by a 35,000-square-foot warehouse. Yet it’s a personal touch that has

cemented Dodd’s place as one of Victoria’s top furniture stores, greeting his customers in the store and volunteering his time and talents for initatives both here and abroad. In addition to supporting some local manufacturers, Dodd’s buys direct from reputable manufacturers overseas. “We are always trying to find customers good quality at a reasonable price,” Gordy says, pointing to a new line of hand-made Indian carpets as the perfect

example – a beautiful, long-lasting home accessory that also supports low-income workers in India. While Dodd’s Furniture also has a second store in California operated by his daughter, Aman, here in Victoria the business now employs 30 full- and part-time staff who support Gordy’s customer-first, personal approach. “We like the Victoria community,” Gordy says. “It’s wonderful.”

Furniture & Mattress Ltd. Furnishing the Island since 1977 | Locally Owned & Operated

715 Finlayson St., Victoria • 250.388.6663 • www.doddsfurniture.com

Up your status.

T H A N K YO U V I C TO R I A AND WEST SHORE FOR CHOOSING US AS ONE O F YO U R FAVO U R I T E S !

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AVERILL CREEK SOMENOS Cowichan Valley Pinot Noir/Foch $14.99

Are you proud to be a Cascadian? When you make a purchase at our Colwood Store tell the cashier, “I AM CASCADIAN” and you will get a FREE limited edition Cascadian T-shirt!

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Voted

VICTORIA NEWS

WE ARE CASCADIAN

2244 Sooke Rd Hatley Park Plaza 250.478.1303 9am-11pm

CLOTHING

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HOURS OF OPERATION TUESDAY - THURSDAY 11AM - 7PM • FRIDAY & SATURDAY 9AM - 7PM CLOSED SUNDAY & MONDAY

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52 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY � H  SUMMER 2011

> TALKING DIRT

Garden city People need to know where their food comes from

T

he nickname City of Gardens has taken what they are willing to pay for and what they on a new meaning for Victoria. want to grow themselves. While the region is well known for the “When growing cabbage with no pesticides, fragrant blooms at Butchart Gardens and as we do here, you have to remove the bugs elsewhere, more often by hand. If you miss than not, gardeners just one of those little If you miss just one of those devils, they lay eggs are now sowing the seeds of and then your beautiful little devils, your beautiful dinner. The rise in cabbage is a bit holey.” cabbage is a bit holey. the number of local Further illustrating gardeners growing their how tricky growing – Maureen Cue own fruits and vegetables can be, Cue has seen stems from soaring food prices and trends some gardens flourish with plump tomatoes, toward sustainability, says Maureen Cue, cowhile the same plants flop in other plots. ordinator of the Seeds of Progress community Colwood GardenWorks staffer Christina garden in Colwood. Jones has also noticed an influx in home veg“Everything is about food security,” she etable gardening the past couple years – it’s no says. “It seems like there is a real awareness surprise the store’s ad slogan is “grow your own of people wanting to know where their food groceries.” comes from.” The most common vegetable seeds or Gardening gives people an understanding seedlings purchased are peas, carrots, lettuce of the challenges faced and knowledge needed and potatoes. Fruit trees and berry bushes are in successfully growing a crop – it adds value to also a common purchase for home gardenfood, Cue adds. ers, Jones says. People from all walks of life are Once someone understands which foods growing their own food these days, she adds, are more difficult to grow, they can decide but especially young families. <

Thank you Victoria for voting us best pub & best scotch!

Voted

Best City

of the

Victoria’s Best

1

S VICTORIA NEW

   

Maureen Cue, the co-ordinator of the Seeds of Progress community garden in Colwood, checks out some rhubarb early in the season.

th 16

9 % ! 2

& Largest

Chinese Food Buffet

Thanks Victoria!

Voted

Best City

of the

1

S VICTORIA NEW

   

#

th 15

9 % ! 2

1

1022 Government St | 250 953 9993 | www.vicpubco.ca

Seats up to 120 People Over 50 items including Dim Sum, Salad & Soft Ice Cream

Voted

Best City

of the

1

VICTOR IA NEW S

   

17th

9 % ! 2

Buffet All Day 11:00 AM - 8:30 PM Y

BE IT ST OF THE C

   

Szechuan Chilli Fish Beijing Roast Duck Szechuan Hot Pot

th 14

9 % ! 2

Dinner Menu also available

Seafood Buffet Friday - Sunday & Holidays

Raymond’s Restaurant

212 - 815 Cloverdale Avenue next to Michael’s

250-380-1881


CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 53 THE BEST OF THE CITY

> NATIONAL GOLFING PARADISE

Staying the course Golfers stay in the swing year round

W

Greater Victoria has a well-deserved reputation as a haven for people who like to golf year round.

hether it’s the mild climate or the amazing vistas, golfers hit the links year-round in Victoria. Doug Hastie, general manager of Highland Pacific Golf in View Royal, says the large number of retirees in the area contributes to the popularity of the game in the Capital Region. “They have to time to play,” he says. “A lot of people retire and move to a mild climate where they can golf yearround.” Courses around Greater Victoria remain open through the winter, despite only having five or so hours of daylight to work with when booking tee times. “If we get a nice day in the winter we are busy,” Hastie says. While golf is a sport of choice for many seniors, it’s gaining in popularity with people of all ages, making it a truly family sport. Most courses offer lessons and many have academies or junior clubs to get youth involved.

“It’s a wonderful sport for all capabilities,” says Hastie, who took up golfing 30 years ago when he was 13. “(And) it gets you outside for a good portion of the day.” The region is chock-full of courses, with nearly 20 to choose from. They feature a wide range of degree of difficulty, from the Jack Nicklaus-designed layouts at Bear Mountain to the pitch-and-putt at Henderson Park. Highland Pacific Golf, the newest 18hole course on the list, was constructed to honour the wishes of Herb Plasterer. He bought the land 50 years ago with a vision of it becoming a golf course, but died before it could be realized. No marketing studies were done before the course was built, on 190 acres originally zoned for residential properties. Plasterer’s dream was simply to create a public facility open to all. “His wife and family wanted to continue his dream,” Hastie says. <

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54 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY � H  SUMMER 2011

> LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE

Capital ideas CRD balances municipal authorities with greater good of region

G

etting along with others isn’t always easy, but when there’s a big job to do, 13 is often better than one. That’s the logic behind the Capital Regional District, whose board includes representation from the area’s 13 municipalities. This regional CRD chair government makes deciGeoff Young sions about matters requiring a broad perspective, about things like water supply, affordable housing, park and wilderness protection, as well as waste treatment from garbage to sewage. That leaves the region’s 13 municipal councils free to focus on the stuff of local importance, such as property taxes and neighbourhood planning. Of course, the two areas of jurisdiction don’t always fit into neat categories. It’s a matter of finding a balance, said Geoff Young, re-elected this year for a second term as CRD board chair. “We have to try to balance off that regional interest with the fact that people also feel (that)

for their own neighbourhood, they should have a bigger voice.” The greater good, as defined by a majority vote by the board, does not always jibe with the local government most affected. Sewage is an obvious example. Esquimalt’s representatives have been fighting a decision to locate a treatment plant on its soil. Road networks have fueled other controversies, Young says. Where the region may want a road widened to accommodate a faster commute time downtown, the local government might object, he said. Despite these disagreements, the region is taking a larger role in shaping the region’s transportation networks. “The idea that as a region we express preference as to where investment should go is a little bit of a new thing,” Young said. “We’re recognizing that that kind of thing is really important in shaping the way the region grows.” As of yet, the regional plan doesn’t recognize the degree to which rapid transit could change and reprioritize things, he added. “There’s a long way to go on it, but it’s something we’ve at least

20th

Anniversary 1991 - 2011

<

started to think about in a regional way.” The CRD has also been instrumental in shaping large tracts of land west of the West Shore. While recent controversy over a resort proposal by the Juan de Fuca trail has grabbed headlines, the CRD’s work on the land released from tree farm licence has gone less noticed. Young points to the purchase of this Western Forest Products land, for the purposes of regional parks and water supply, as one of the board’s greatest recent accomplishments. The board also rezoned the land it couldn’t buy. “Certainly there will be some disagreement and controversy over some of the proposals that are coming forward. But we did make some progress in bringing some structure to development in that area. These decisions may be far geographically from Victoria residents, but not far from their hearts and minds. It’s why we need regional influence of matters of regional importance,” he said. “People who live in Saanich say they live in Victoria and are interested in what happens in downtown, just as people who live in downtown Victoria have a great interest in what happens on Sooke Road as they go to Port Renfrew.” <

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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 55 THE BEST OF THE CITY � SUMMER 2011 / 55

Heritage wonders Heritage might mean different things to different people but here are a few things we can all celebrate Garry oak meadows Unique to B.C. and to southeastern Vancouver Island in particular, Garry oak ecosystems once covered more than 120 square kilometres in the Victoria area. The oaks, which grow in dry meadows, are noted for supporting extensive ecosystems. While the ecosystems have been drastically reduced over time, the habitats still support 104 species of birds, seven amphibians, seven reptiles and 33 mammal species. Eight hundred insect and mite species are directly associated with Garry oaks. The trees cover large sections of Uplands Park in Oak Bay and are found in various parts of Victoria, Saanich and Esquimalt.

Tod House It’s the oldest residence west of Winnipeg, and it’s said to be haunted. It was built as a one-room cabin in 1851 by retired fur trader John Tod, who lived in it with his family until his death in 1882. In the 1940s residents noticed odd goings on, including a cellar door creaking open on its own, mugs on a wall rocking back and forth and even a pleading spectre. The discovery in the late 1940s of a headless skeleton buried in lime in front of the house led to more spirit speculation and brought intense news coverage. The Heron Street house is now designated as a heritage site and is owned by the municipality of Oak Bay.

Legislative Buildings Designed by architect Francis Rattenbury, the buildings were built in two stages, from 1893 to 1916, at a cost of $1 million. Constructed in the late-Victorian free style, the buildings consist of a centre block joined by two outlying buildings via colonnades. The imposing presence denotes that powerful decisions are made behind its walls. Local Douglas fir was used in its construction as well as Nelson Island granite, Jarvis Inlet slate and Haddington Island andesite. Rattenbury was only 26 when he

A full moon rises behind the historic Fisgard Lighthouse, viewed from the beach at Esquimalt Lagoon. designed the buildings, a project which cemented his career. He also designed the Empress Hotel and the Bank of Montreal building (now Irish Times Pub) on Government Street.

Fisgard Lighthouse Built by the British in 1860, it was the first lighthouse on the West Coast. It was home to 12 lightkeepers between 1860 and 1928 – two died there – before being automated in 1929. Inside the building are two floors of exhibits, detailing shipwrecks and storms and the equipment lightkeepers worked with. The lighthouse went through a $1.5-million renovation two years ago. A causeway, built in the early 1950s, joins the lighthouse to Fort Rodd Hill National Park, the site of a former battery fort.

Hatley Castle B.C. architect Samuel Maclure is primarily known for homes he designed in the arts and crafts style before the First World War, such as Charles Fox Todd house on St. Charles Street, built in 1907. Few may realize he also designed Hatley Castle, built in 1908 and now the site of Royal Roads University.

The Labyrinth inside UVic’s Interfaith Chapel is a replica of the labyrinth built into the stone floor 900 years ago at the Chartres Cathedral in France. The gothic revival building was designed for James Dunsmuir, son of coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. James was a former B.C. premier but was lieutenant governor of the province when Hatley was built. The fourstorey building features a gable roof with dormers.

Interfaith Chapel, UVic Built in 1985, the chapel is an example of modernist architecture designed by John DiCastri. The influence of Frank Lloyd Wright can be seen in the floor-to-ceiling

windows that give the impression of bringing the surrounding landscape into the cedar-finished building, itself intended as a sanctuary for those from all faiths. Di Castri started his practice in 1952 and was an integral part of the modernist architecture scene in mid-century Victoria. He designed many institutional buildings such as the University of Victoria’s student union and Cornett buildings, but also open spaces such as downtown’s Centennial Square and churches such as St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Oak Bay. <


H  SUMMER 2011 56 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY �

> Listen to the music

Stage in the park Cameron Bandshell a focal point for 63 years

I

n its glory days, Cameron Bandshell in Beacon Hill Park was one of Greater Victoria’s most attended destinations for performances. Few people likely know the bandshell was made a heritage site in 2009, after it was determined to be a significant resource in the park. But it wasn’t always so. Construction of the stage faced fierce controversy in the late 1940s. The wife of lumber magnate James O. Cameron, who had recently died, donated $11,000 to the city to build the outdoor stage. Its approval from city council at the time took a year, says park planner Doug DeMarzo. “The big debate was some residents felt the theatre was the start of the park becoming cluttered with buildings and it would reduce property values,” says DeMarzo, who collaborated on a recent study on the bandshell’s heritage value. Nevertheless, the facility was built in 1948 and named for the businessman. Its designers strayed from the Hollywood style of the day – art deco with bright colours and plaster walls – instead opting for an open, wooden frame, partly to honour Cameron’s association with lumber.

“In that era (the Hollywood style) wasn’t as popular and they moved to more of the bandshelltype performance space,” DeMarzo says. “The intent was to have a performance venue in the park with that West Coast flare.” Use of the bandshell grew and shrunk over the years. It was updated in 1968 with the addition of washrooms and change rooms for performers. It was painted its current forest green colour in 2004. This summer, city crews will anchor the amphitheatre’s seats in Michael Beaudoin, 11, a Grade 7 student at Monterey middle school, concrete. concentrates on his music while playing with the Summer Band The bandshell is used extensively orchestra at Beacon Hill Park’s Cameron Bandshell. The concert marked in summer for seniors music conthe finale of a two-week music camp for students in music programs certs every Friday, jazz performancthroughout the city. es and such special events as the Heritage Dance Fest and Father’s Day Ceilidh. It’s also home to the ies,” DeMarzo says. “From a performance venue annual Free-B Movie Festival, held in August. standpoint, it’s one of the only ones (like it) in “There’s tremendous value to it. It’s where the city … and it’s in a prominent visible park people congregate and listen to music and movsetting.” <

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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 57 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

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BUSINESS PROFILE: Berwick Retirement Communities

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

1

Berwick Retirement Communities: Easy to call home

h

t 17

Visiting one of the Berwick Retirement Communities, you’re struck immediately by the warm, inviting atmosphere. From the cosy, well-stocked library and inviting dining room to the beautiful gardens and smiling face at the reception desk, this is a place it would be easy to call home. A family-run Island company, Berwick Retirement Communities is owned and operated by Gordon Denford and son Chris. In addition to the original Berwick House in Gordon Head and the newest Berwick Royal Oak, Berwick also offers residences in Nanaimo, Comox and Kamloops, each enjoying independently managed locations carefully chosen for their appealing setting and proximity to shopping, 9 % ! 2

transportation and other essentials. “Every Berwick is created for its neighbourhood and its community, keeping in mind throughout, ‘Is this a space I would love to live in?’’ Gordon says. Of course, many essentials are offered right within your Berwick community, including quality dining, recreational bus trips, a bright, cheery salon and other amenities perfect for that homey environment. At stunning Berwick Royal Oak, for example, residents can relax in an English pub, complete with pool table and darts, or enjoy guest events and in-house entertainment in the 125-seat theatre. Beautiful gardens decorate all Berwick residences – in Comox Valley, the residents have even formed a roof top Garden Club – and at Royal Oak and most other properties,

BERWICK ROYAL OAK

each suite has an outdoor space. “We try to design the most fabulous spaces, but it must feel homey; it can’t feel like a hotel,” Chris notes. Plus, “it has to be affordable,” he adds, pointing out that many of the one bedroom suites at Berwick Royal Oak start at $3200 a month. The right staff is also key to creating the perfect setting at Berwick residences. “We give them the best building we can and we hire the best staff we can – they’re an important

part of residents’ lives,” Gordon says. “People are happy here; we build friendships and relationships.” In addition to independent living, Berwick also integrates a residential care component, allowing residents to continue to live in familiar surroundings while enjoying exceptional care. “The care unit is like an extension of the rest of the building; it is warm and inviting. Residents receive the same high standards of service that they have come to enjoy.”

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H  SUMMER 2011 58 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY �

> PLACES TO EXPLORE

The flats

S

aanich Mayor Frank Leonard laughs when he’s asked about his optimism for a changing Panama Flats, after the municipality purchased it earlier this year. “You can call it the best dream in the city,” he says, leaving the door open for anything and everything to happen to the property, for the sake of the community. But don’t expect to see any big changes to the site by the year’s end. Saanich is going to take its time in the planning and execution phase to ensure they get the best and most varied input they can. “We’re going to set a standard here,” Leonard says. “We want to get the citizens, staff and experts together to work through the issues. Conservancy issues, fish habitat issues, storm water issues, agricultural farming issues, perhaps food security issues. We need to ask: ‘What issues do we need to take into consideration for deciding what’s to be done?’”

Panama Flats, flooded from fall to spring, provides welcome greenspace between suburban developments. Panama Flats is a 62-acre floodplain, located between Carey and Interurban roads, that was bought in February in a deal that cost Saanich taxpayers $2.4 million. By the end of 2011, Leonard hopes to see the deal completed, some minor work done to prepare for winter flooding and a process started to create a citizen committee.

Voted

Best City

of the

1

That could even take the form of a Friends of Panama Flats group or Panama Flats trust. “We’re going to hit all the notes, think big and set a standard here,” Leonard says. “I’m sure there’s going to be no shortage of input and suggestions, but that’ll help give us the best possible outcome for the future.” <

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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 59 Advertorial Feature

Find peace of mind in Budget’s certified used vehicle program After visiting a number of different dealerships around town, but not able to find the right previously owned vehicle for him, Darrell Rogers turned to Budget Car and Truck Sales.

H

aving met with high-pressure tactics and additional fees elsewhere, Rogers wasn’t sure what to expect. Needless to say, he was pleasantly surprised. “I was speaking to my mom’s new neighbour and he mentioned that he recently purchased a new Nissan Sentra from Budget Car Sales of Victoria,” Rogers recalls. Meeting sales representative Brent Kennedy, “I explained to him that I had a budget to work with and also went over the type of vehicles and the options I was looking for. Brent very nicely laid out the entire buying process at Budget from beginning to end, and then gave me everything in writing.” After test driving a Toyota Corolla LE that had caught his eye, Budget Car Sales business manager Colleen Meyer reviewed all the particulars, and with no hidden fees or surprises – plus six months of deferred payments – Rogers felt confident in his decision. And then there were the little extras. “In addition to buying a car that was recently inspected by BCAA, I was also entitled to a complimentary rental car once per year, a BCAA membership for one year and four car washes annually. If that wasn’t enough, I was able to bring the car back to Budget for a full refund if the car was found to have any major mechanical or structural defects within a 30-day period.” Rogers’ experience is what the management and staff strive for every day through the Budget Certified UsedVehicle Program, says general sales manger Bill Macmunn.

“The program provides clients with the confidence that our commitment to them continues after they drive their new vehicle away from the dealership,” he explains. Among the highlights, for example, are a full 142point BCAA inspection process, a no-hassle, 30-day guarantee for mechanical or other defects and a repurchase program based on a Canadian Black Book pricing model at any time the purchaser owns the vehicle. Then there’s the BCAA membership, four vouchers per year for a wash and vacuum, one free vehicle rental for those special occasions and a VIP card good for a 15-per-cent discount for Budget Car and Truck Rentals of Victoria all year long. Why was it important to put the principles in writing? Quite simply, the company “believes that customer service and customer satisfaction is our number one priority,” Macmunn says. That priority has guided the Scott family’s Budget Car and Truck Rentals in Victoria for more than 40 years, so it was a natural to extend that philosophy to the car and truck sales. For clients, the results speak for themselves. Budget buys its vehicles at a fleet price, then maintains and services them throughout their time as a rental vehicle. Vehicles are then handpicked for the sales facility, and after a full inspection are priced in line with Canadian Black Book value. Taken together with the 30-day guarantee and the re-purchase program, this forms the Budget Certified Used Vehicle Program, offering confidence and peace of mind in one of the most significant purchases clients will make.

Why Budget Car & Truck Sales? �

We buy our vehicles at a fleet price and then maintain and service them throughout their rental career.

We hand pick which vehicles to put onto our sales facility for the general public to take advantage of.

We know our vehicles are well maintained but we still put all of them through a 142 point BCAA inspection and approval process before you even get to see them.

We use Canadian Black Book to establish the value of that vehicle, the same standard that banks and insurance companies use. That is the price you will see on our vehicles, on our website and in our advertisements for all vehicles up to five model years old.

We back this up with two guarantees: - A 30 day money back guarantee should there be any mechanical or other defects after you drive your vehicle away. - A repurchase program based on a Canadian Black Book pricing model at anytime while you are the owner of that vehicle.

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60 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 ADVERTISING FEATURE

Best City of the

BUSINESS PROFILE: Lido Waterfront Bistro

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

Voted

Sitting pretty on the Lido patio

S IA NEW VICTOR

h

t 17

   

9 % ! 2

Relaxing on the patio, overlooking the Hyack floatplane dock and the Victoria Harbour Ferries terminal, it’s easy to see why the Lido Bistro has been selected as the site of one of the city’s best patios. Of course, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, and a clean, contemporary interior, the view is just as fine from inside the bistro as outside, and it’s here the inviting aromas from Chef Joe Kovaks’ open kitchen tempt diners. Now entering their third year, it was almost by happy accident that Lido owners Steve Jackson and Tyler Hadfield opened the bistro. The two had worked together years earlier managing Spinnakers Brewpub and then built their own business, Golf Central Tours. Moving their office into the airy, dockside space with 180-degree views over the harbour, it was clear the venue deserved more, and Lido was born. Kovacs is the newest addition to the Lido team, coming to Victoria fresh off owning and operating his own restaurants in Whistler. “It’s fresh and that’s what’s reflected in the menu,”

he says, noting that in true West Coast style, as many of the products as possible are local. Among the highlights definitely worth sampling are Kovac’s gourmet thin crust pizzas and the delicious fresh fish tacos perfect for sharing with friends. And don’t miss Lido’s latest addition, Sunday Brunch, featuring plenty of delicious items, including Banana Bread French Toast, Spanish Frittatas and Lido di Venezia Waffles. Open from late morning until the sun sets on the patio – around 9 p.m. in the summer – Lido enjoys about 1,100 square feet of outdoor seating, with more tables inside. One of the niches Lido has served with flair has been private gatherings, from intimate dinner parties for about 25 people to indoor cocktail receptions for up to 40. Another 50 or so can be accommodated on the patio, depending on the season. Specially designed menu options range from $10-per-person canape selections to $25-per-person sit-down dinners, Jackson says. “We create the menu to suit their need and basically the place is theirs.”

LIDO WATERFRONT BISTRO 1234 S. Wharf Street / Victoria, BC, Canada 250-385-5436 / info@lidobistro.com

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THE BEST OF THE CITY CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 61

> LOVE THE UNIVERSE

Look up, way up Astronomy club offers many stargazing opportunities

G

azing at the stars is a given when campThere will also be speakers throughout the ing. day on Saturday. The activity takes on a whole new If you can’t make it to the party, Roche perspective when you’re surrounded recommends the National Research Council’s by 100 others doing the same thing, especially astronomy interpretive centre (Centre of the when many are dedicated star watchers. Universe) on Little Saanich Mountain as a good “The best part is the fabulous dark sky,” said night sky-viewing spot. Laurie Roche, president of Mount Tolmie in Saanthe Victoria chapter of the ich and Cattle Point on Royal Astronomical Society Beach Drive in Oak Bay of Canada, about skyare also productive viewwatching around Greater ing spots. Victoria. Astronomical society – Laurie Roche Last summer the group members successfully lobhosted a star party at the bied Oak Bay municipality Metchosin cricket field and municipal grounds. two years ago to replace concave lenses with About 150 people showed up to learn more flat ones on the lamp standards at Cattle Point about the night sky and around half the visitors to reduce spectrum lighting dispersal, giving camped overnight. Clear skies with just a little stargazers there a clearer view of the night sky. light pollution leaking out of urban Victoria The club also hosts monthly “cafés,” where made for almost a 360-degree horizon view, cookies and coffee are provided for amateur asRoche said. tronomers gathered to observe celestial objects. This year the club will host the free party July For more information about night sky watch29-31 at the same spot. A guided telescope walk ing in Greater Victoria go to Victoria.rasc.ca or of the observing field, to explain all the gear, search for NRC Centre of the Universe.< will be held at 9 p.m.

The best part is the fabulous dark sky.

Astronomer Sid Sidhu sits with one of the telescopes inside his homemade observatory outside his Highlands home. The small cabin has a roof that can be opened to allow Sidhu to observe the stars above.

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62 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

Thank You Victoria for choosing us as one of the

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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 63 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: Herbal Magic

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

3 th

17

Herbal Magic fosters weight loss success

There really isn’t one single reason why Herbal Magic is so successful helping people lose weight; in fact, there’s three. Here in Victoria since about 1998, the Canadian company is founded on three pillars: one-on-one personal counselling and support; real food from clients’ own kitchens based on the Canadian Food Guide; and natural supplements selected to suppress appetite, help the body process fats and carbohydrates, enhance metabolism and promote overall health. “Taken together, this is what makes Herbal Magic the success that it is,” says Colwood’s Judi McCheane, who joined the Herbal Magic team after participating in the program herself. In fact, it’s company philosophy that all staff enjoy the benefits of the program so they fully understand what’s asked of clients. For those who don’t need to lose weight, the maintenance program is ideal. “This is not so much a diet but a lifestyle,” explains Catherine Fracy, from Herbal Magic on Hillside Avenue. 9 % ! 2

“The biggest predictor of permanent success is the maintenance part of the program.” Enjoying a national success rate from 70 to 80 per cent, Herbal Magic offers a variety of specialized plans tailored to each client’s unique needs. These customized programs, a hallmark of the company’s philosophy, range from those designed for youth and nursing mothers to older men and diabetics, taking into consideration a full health history. Through consultation, “we try to develop a program that works for them, considering their lifestyle and their budget.” Because of this flexibility, and the welcoming, comfortable approach by staff, many couples participate, as do mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and friends. “We’re about healthy families, education and lifestyle.” An essential component to the program, and a big part of its success, McCheane suggests, is the time spent with individual clients. “We want to make sure the program is going to suit them.” It’s also significant that clients select and buy their own food – there’s no pre-packaged meals.

“It’s food you get to choose. If you don’t like broccoli, don’t choose broccoli,” Fracy says. While the Herbal Magic success wall is a testament to the program’s winning approach, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. “Weight loss is tough but most things worth having take commitment,” Fracy notes. That said, McCheane adds, “we have a lot of fun, too!”

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64 / THE BEST OF THE CITYâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; CITY ďż˝ Hâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; SUMMER 2011

> LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE

On stage

H

olly Jonson had dreamed of performing those eager to get on stage and express themsince she was in kindergarten. She began selves in a different way, Winnipeg-import writer/ realizing that dream in 2005 when she comedian Kirsten Van Ritzen offers beginner and registered for her first acting classes with intermediate standup comedy workshops for â&#x20AC;&#x153;anyKate Rubin Theatre and Drama School in Victoria. one with a sense of humour and a secret desire Jonson has registered in workshops through to make people laugh,â&#x20AC;? she says. In the first year Rubinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s acting school ever since, with a singular of her offerings in Victoria, Van Ritzen has seen goal in mind: to gain more confidence. men and women of all ages flirt with this desire After cutting her teeth on stage. And like Rubinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s with comedy groups introductory class in building Sometimes we around town, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fair to dramatic skills, experience is forget to be childlike say the actor has met her not a prerequisite. objectives. She will direct, â&#x20AC;&#x153;A good teacher can make and playful. produce and act in JosĂŠ it safe,â&#x20AC;? Rubin says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My thing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kate Rubin Riveraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sonnets for an Old is finding (instructors) who Century, which takes the can make it comfortable and stage at this summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Victoria Fringe Festival. help (students) relax.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I found with (Rubinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s) classes, they were a Volunteering for community theatre producreally good way to build the confidence that I tions such as Intrepid Theatre or Langham Court needed to feel like it was possible to get out there is a great way to start making in-roads into the and actually do it,â&#x20AC;? Jonson says. theatre community, she says. Rubin has taught all levels of acting to all ages For aspiring comedians, supporting amateur in Victoria for 15 years. nights can have a similar effect. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You learn a lot by â&#x20AC;&#x153;As adults, sometimes we forget to go back to just going and taking part ... Generally, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very being childlike and playful,â&#x20AC;? Rubin says. lively community. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more so now than when Rubin also hires industry professionals to lead I first moved here 20 years ago, for sure. I think it the five- to 12-person workshop classes. And for was more of a closed door then.â&#x20AC;? <

â&#x20AC;&#x153;

â&#x20AC;?

Holly Jonson, on a table onstage at the Victoria Event Centre, says acting workshops helped her career.

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THE BEST BEST OF OF THE THE CITY  CITY H  � SUMMER SUMMER 2011 2011 // 65 65 THE

> PLACES TO EXPLORE

Hidden jewels T

o the unsuspecting eye, Hood Lane appears to be nothing more than a quiet residential road, leading to oceanfront luxury homes. But pass through the “No Exit” sign off Beach Drive, follow Hood as it curves (turning into Radcliffe Lane), and two little-known gems reveal themselves. First, on the right, a narrow access trail through thick brush opens onto the wind-swept McMicking Point Park, boasting great views. A little too blowy to unpack that picnic basket? Back up and keep following Radcliffe until it dead ends. Lock up your bike to a nearby sign, and follow the sandy, log-blocked path until it opens onto a quiet inlet. There are enough locals in the know that you won’t be alone in this tranquil peace of bliss, but the warm pebbles that make up the beach will entice you to take off your shoes and maybe wade into the shallow water if the weather’s hot enough.

Hidden pebbled beach at the end of Radcliffe Lane in Oak Bay.

This unmarked beach access isn’t the only little gem around the Capital Regional District. There are many little (and not so little) natural spots treasured by neighbours, but not on the mental map of those further away. Esquimalt’s best viewing point is Highrock Park – also known as Cairn Park for the marker built on the summit – whose lower field is well-loved by dogs and rocky outcrops provide a great place to watch the sun go down.

In Colwood, Havenwood off Sooke Road provides a great place for strolling along trails amidst watercourses, wetlands, and forests. In Saanich, you can access tiny Arbutus Cove Park, off Arbutus Cove Lane, to find breathtaking views of Arbutus Cove and Haro Strait. A trail leads to a staircase where you can access the beach below. There’s also Playfair Park, at the dead end of Glenora Place, off Quadra Street. <

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66 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

Thank you to all our students for making us one of Victoria’s best yoga studios!

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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 67 ADVERTISING FEATURE

Best City of the

S IA NEW VICTOR

Indulge without gaining a pound at frilly lilly

Victoria’s unique, feminine destination and Best of the 9 City finalist that’s part day % ! spa and part delicious retail 2 boutique is a finalist in both the manicure and pedicure categories this year. (Maybe next year there will be a new category for readers to vote for – Best Bikini Service!) frilly lilly opened its doors on Fort Street in October 2009 to the delight of women looking for a fun, feminine, boutique aesthetics option and has earned a reputation as the place to go for your bikini waxing needs...and everything else in between. What makes frilly lilly so different? Well, the staff receives extensive training using frilly lilly’s specially formulated wax. “I always say, once you experience frilly lilly, no matter what city or location, you will experience the best and you will never want to go anywhere else,” explains Victoria owner Karen Banks, who first experienced frilly lilly at founder Debra Van Dyke’s flagship store in Calgary. “I thought, what a great brand concept and I was wowed by the total experience, friendly, professional and the service was so much better than any place I experienced before. So I

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: frilly lilly

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

Voted

h

t 17

approached her to open a store in Victoria and the rest is history.” In 2005, Van Dyke created the dessert-inspired product line to complement her special girly atmosphere at the first Calgary frilly lilly location. The aim was to create beautifully scented bath and body products perfect for her boutique, but that would also look great on the side of the tub at home. This approach guided the evolution of the entire frilly lilly retail body and bath care line. These sensational vintage-inspired packaged goodies range from bath bombs to hand-decorated petits fours cupcakes to body butters, lotions, lip products and even a line of exciting nail polishes. There are now six frilly lilly locations (Victoria, Vancouver and Calgary) and growing, plus world-wide distribution of their products. If you are looking for a wonderful new idea for your next birthday, shower or stagette, look no further...you can book your private party at frilly lilly after hours. I almost forgot to mention – they also have a wonderful selection of eye-catching jewellery and accessories direct from Los Angeles. frilly lilly may just be a girl’s new best friend in Victoria!

811 Fort Street t: 250-590-4400 www.frillylilly.ca

Did you know that at Vancity we have the ability to fulfill all your financial needs? You deserve choice and fantastic service when it comes to managing your finances and planning your future. We can help with planning, investing, borrowing, getting a mortgage, banking for your business or non-profit organization. And we care about our community. Come in to any of our 4 Victoria locations and ask us about our socially responsible investing and about Shared Success, our program that gives a percentage of our profits back to you and invests in our local communities.

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68 / THE BEST OF THE CITY � SUMMER 2011 68 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

Eric Anderson, front, and his friends play Manhunt, an urban version of hide-andseek, in downtown Victoria.

> GET A LIFE!

Can’t beat free Broke? No problem. There’s lots of ways to relax, have fun and learn in the Capital Region even with empty pockets.

1 <

Manhunter: Think a giant game of hide-and-seek meets tag for grownups (and youth with permission forms). It takes place over a selected city quadrant, meaning you might have already encountered these out-of-breath, armbandwearing children at heart. Check it out: manhuntvictoria. blogspot.com.

< 2

Bike skills workshop: Yes, it’s free, offered through Bike to Work B.C. Unless you’re an advanced cyclist, you’ll learn a ton from this all-day course, which is half in the classroom, half on the road. You have to pay a deposit to register, but you get your cash back at the end. (biketowork.ca/victoria/workshops)

3 <

Day trip: Try out those new biking skills by hitting the the region’s incredible trail system. Bring a picnic and head west on the Galloping Goose Trail. Stop at the grounds of Royal Roads University and end up at the Sooke Basin or Sooke potholes for a dip. Or head northeast along the Lochside Trail, breaking at Swan Lake and ending up at Sidney for a stroll down the main drag.

4 <

Library events: Education opportunities abound. The Greater Victoria Library holds a constantly changing selection of events – well beyond book clubs. They include talks about the publishing industry, play dates for dads and their kids and even workshops on gardening. (gvpl.ca).

5 <

Mini golf: Golfing has a reputation for being a rich person’s sport, but there’s a poor man’s version available free of charge at Beacon Hill Park. Just bring your own club and ball and work your way through the manicured course near the petting zoo – another free thing to do when you’re done.

6 <

Centre of the Universe: the Astronomy Interpretive Centre offers public programming starting in early May. Through the summer, check out the 1.8-metre Plaskett Telescope at 5071 West Saanich Rd. (nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/services/hia/ centre-universe.html)

7 <

Festivals: Some high-profile festivals have an entrance fee, but there are literally dozens of cultural and neighbourhood-based events that welcome anyone to wander by and take in some music, dancing, and, often, games for the kids.


THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 69

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70 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

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THE BEST OF THE CITYâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; Hâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; SUMMER 2011 / 71 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

Pets West: Everything you need for happy, healthy pet friends

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: Pets West

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

2 th

17

9 % ! 2

Furred, feathered or finned...all pets are created equal at Pets West! Celebrating a remarkable 22 years serving Greater Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pet lovers, the Broadmead Village store has earned a deserved reputation as the place to go both for all your pet supply needs, and for expert advice. â&#x20AC;&#x153;From the outset, we wanted to make a difference,â&#x20AC;? says owner Lisa Nitkin. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our goal is really to educate people about pet care without being judgemental.â&#x20AC;? The pet industry has changed greatly over those 20-plus years. Today, for example, Nitkin doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell dogs, and any cats or rabbits sold are rescue animals, not from breeders. Animal care and food has also changed greatly, and the Pets West crew â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including those who have been there for five, 10 and even 20 years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are constantly exploring the newest research to keep up on whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best for your pets. Part of Pets Westâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mandate since the beginning has been to support community groups and rescue organizations, whether through advertising events in-store and online, donating auction items for fundraisers or sponsoring worthwhile events.

Pets West

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to be there to support anything pet-related that is going on.â&#x20AC;? The growth in pet-related events and accessories points to a growing tendency to include pets in more family and community activities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The more people are involved with their pets, and the more they do on a daily basis, helps the pet become more of a valued family member,â&#x20AC;? Nitkin says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re certainly trying to promote pets being a part of the family â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we want to foster that relationship, right down to the smallest hamster.â&#x20AC;? As awareness grows, pet owners are seeking more information â&#x20AC;&#x201C; asking questions such as how long the breed lives and what kind and size of home will keep them happiest. And Pets West staff are well-equipped to answer the questions. In addition to their in-store experience, staff members are also involved in other related areas, such as grooming, breeding, training or agility. Working around animals all day, â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a feel-good job,â&#x20AC;? Nitkin says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They get great feedback from the customers because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re good at what they do. They enjoy their work and it shows.â&#x20AC;?

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72 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: Ali Baba Pizza

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

2

Fresh, hot & on the go - Ali Baba brings delicious to you!

h

t 17

There’s a reason Ali Baba Pizza has consistently been voted one of the city’s top pizzas – well, there’s actually a few reasons: quality, innovation and service. The local, family-owned company first opened on Blanshard Street in 1986, moving to its flagship location on Fort Street seven years ago. Now run by Mark Murr and his father, Georges Murr, along with family members Claude Azouri and Kabalan Hage, the family and staff pride themselves on providing a fresh, flavorful pizza using quality ingredients, while offering customers innovative combinations and excellent value. Looking for a lunch option or a snack on the go? Choose from a selection of slices available in-store – more than a slice, this is a full one-quarter of a 16-inch pizza, double the size of the slices offered elsewhere, Mark notes. For selections other than pizza, consider chicken, lamb or veggie donairs, fresh salads and even a kid’s 9 % ! 2

meal option, including a mini pizza, juice, cookie and a toy. From their first store downtown, Ali Baba has grown to six locations, plus outlets in the Save-onFoods Memorial Arena, Bear Mountain Arena and the UVic student union building. Recent innovations have included more than the pizza recipes. Ali Baba’s celebrated GreenBox is made from recycled cardboard produced in North American mills and tracked from collection to finished product. Even better, the top of the box breaks down into plates while the bottom folds into a convenient storage container for leftovers. When the pizza’s all finished, compost the box. In addition to “green” initiatives, Ali Baba is also adapting the latest technology to better serve its customers. Head online to order your next meal or check out the iPhone app, making it even easier to order your award-winning pizza on the go. To order your pizza tonight, call the Ali Baba hotline 250-704-2704 or order online at Ali Babapizza. com

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Mike Murr, co-owner of family owned/operated Ali Baba Pizza.

Thanks Victoria For Voting Us Best Wings Voted

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CITY H  � SUMMER 2011 / 73 THE BEST OF THE CITY 

Swan Lake and Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is a quiet, natural area located within minutes of downtown Victoria.

Quiet time

K

een on escaping the chaos and clutter of the city? Replace it with the sounds of rustling grass and chirping birds and head to Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. “It’s a beautiful little oasis right in the middle of the city,” says sanctuary executive director Terry Morrison. The urban lake with the quiet setting is home to plenty of wildlife, including eagles, owls, great blue herons and kingfishers. People can watch merganser ducks dive under water to catch fish, or spy mallards eating vegetation on the surface.

Turtles, snakes and other reptiles also call the marshy Saanich sanctuary home. In terms of flora, the Christmas Hill portion of the sanctuary, reached by crossing McKenzie Avenue, is home to a Garry Oak ecosystem. The hill blooms with native wildflowers such as camas lilies, shooting stars and chocolate lilies. “There is a tremendous view of the city at the top,” Morrison adds. Aside from the natural beauty and tranquil nature of the two sites, the Swan Lake nature house is open seven days a week to educate people about plant and animal species living on and around the lake, in the wetland or on the hill. “There are lots of hands-on nature displays here and live animals including our western painted turtle named Wrinkles,” Morrison says.

To preserve the native flora and fauna of the sanctuary, staff constantly remove invasive and exotic species that find their way to the lake and surrounding areas. Bicycles and dogs are not permitted on the grounds. Morrison has been working at the sanctuary for the past 36 years. She started out planting trees and building trails. “This is a wonderful place to come to work everyday.” <

• Swan Lake and Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is located at 3873 Swan Lake Road.

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Clothingshoes shoes&&accessories. accessories. Clothing 1150 Government Street 1150 Government Street 250.383.8871 250.383.8871 Open Daily Open Daily

Victoria East 1581 Hillside Ave.

595-0212

French Country Furniture, French Milled Soaps, Candles, Cards, April Cornell Table Linens, La Rochere French Glassware, Seaside Decor, Rugs, Jewellery

New

Downtown 603 Gorge Rd. E.

383-2121

Broadmead 777 Royal Oak Dr.

744-1177

Langford 2945 Jacklin Rd.

474-2121

Duncan 180 Trans Cda. Hwy.

746-9944

Shop o t k Loo

Thank you for voting for us!

Voted

1

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

    June featuress Southern Hemisphere re e

We would like to thank the readers of the Peninsula News Review for voting us #1 for furnishing & decorating your home!

9 % ! 2

• International Summer Celebration, Great Selection & Fantastic Prices

July features Chile

17th

August features Europe

• Exceptional Quality, Great Value & Superior Customer Service • Great Location in View Royal & Plenty of Parking • Roadwork Complete

Photo by Kat Humphrys

A “View Loyal” toast to all our wonderful customers!

Life is Fresh! Home Decor & Gift Shop

2474 Beacon Avenue Sidney, British Columbia V8L 1X8 Ph/Fx: 250.656.3232 | Email Lilaberry@shaw.ca

254 Island Highway Victoria • (250) 704-1000 • thewinemaker@shaw.ca


CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 75 THE BEST OF THE CITY

> EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS

Back to school From art to acupuncture, city has a school for you

O

vershadowed by much larger post-secondary options – University of Victoria, Camosun and Royal Roads University – private specialty and trade schools still manage to thrive. Wendy Welch, executive director of the Vancouver Island School of Art (VISA), says doing so is made possible by offering a variety of specialized programs. “We have courses that focus on different mediums … they have a little more specificity to them, which allows students to hone what they want to do,” she said. Giving the school even more credibility, VISA’s certificate of visual arts recently became a second-year transfer program into degree options at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. Welch says the school’s 150-plus students are drawn mainly from Greater Victoria, with some coming down for classes from Nanaimo.

But smaller institutions have the luxury of selling smaller class sizes and cheaper tuition for those students interested in a more specific post-secondary program. Greater Victoria has more than 30 post-secondary career colleges and trade schools, varying from training in the arts (Western Academy of Photography, B.C. School of Art Therapy) and hairstyling (John Paul International Academy) to acupuncture (Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) and horticulture (Glendale Gardens). “One of the things I’ve always thought about is to have an option where students could transfer to university, so the transition from high school to university isn’t as shocking,” Welch said. “I really like the idea of schools being able to provide that intermediate place, with fairly small classes, and students being able to do what they’re passionate about.” <

T hank-you Victoria for choosing Recreation Oak Bay!

Recreation Oak Bay was chosen by you in these categories: • Best Recreation Centre • Best Gym • Best Swimming Pool • Best 9-Hole Golf Course (for Henderson Golf)

250-595-7946

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Where the Fun Lasts a Lifetime!

Acupuncture among options for people looking to go to school in Victoria.

Voted

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

   

17th

9 % ! 2

Thank you for nominating us for “best place to improve your smile” • One visit porcelain CEREC Crowns • Dental Implants • Cosmetic Procedures • Veneers • Invisalign • 1HR Zoom Tooth Whitening • Professional Cleanings • Oral Cancer Screening • Family Dentistry

Chris Souliotis, Alina Toaxen and Sean Compton at their Saanich Dental Group office.

#119, 1595 McKenzie Avenue 250-477-7321 saanichdentalgroup.com Dr. Chris Souliotis | Dr. Sean Compton Dr. Alina Toaxen Hours: Mon-Fri: 7:30am - 5pm; Sat: 8am - 4:30pm


76 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY � H  SUMMER 2011

> GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER

Jam city

Benji Coey co-owner/ manager of the Fort Street Café sits on a table in the popular downstairs (literally) coffee shop on Fort Street. The café holds many fun events, but makes their venue accessible to new bands wanting to get on stage for the first time.

G

reater Victoria is teeming with musicians, but with the number of accessible small venues shrinking, booking shows can be the first hurdle new bands face. Two venues make it their mandate to welcome new acts. Benji Coey, co-owner/manager of the Fort Street Café, keeps admission prices affordable by booking first-time acts, but encourages performers to attract at least 50 people to shows to cover his cost of staffing an event. The revenue generated from door sales stays with the musicians. “It’s a way to encourage bands to play as a feasible way to enjoy themselves,” he says. “And it doesn’t have to be this expensive thing that doesn’t actually pay off at all, which is what happens to smaller bands, unfortunately.” The licensed café at 742 Fort St. has embraced a variety of evening entertainment, including regular comedy nights and the Friday Quiz, an English pub-style trivia night that sells out almost every week. “We just want to give people a way to express themselves, and it’s all about respect,” Coey says. “It’s expression and it’s doing things with integrity and pride and that’s how we’re trying to do things down here.”

At Logan’s Pub, 1821 Cook St., the atmosphere is different, but some of the same opportunities exist for new musicians in any genre. The focus is on original music, no matter the style: country, hip hop, metal, indie, punk, pop rock, folk or “a complete mishmash,” says Mihkel Kaup, who has booked Logan’s acts for the last four years. He books big names – acts such as The Sadies and guitar legend Dick Dale – but like Coey, he’s interested in seeing new locals on stage. “We have lots of first-time bands breaking in, and if we like them or get blown away by them,

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immediately I’ll ask for their contact information and try to get them on more bills,” Kaup says. “I’m always excited to hear new talent.” Logan’s has virtually the same incentive-based system for paying its entertainers as the Fort Street Café. If the cost of the sound and door staff cannot be covered by alcohol and food sales, the difference comes out of the band’s gate receipts. “The main focus for me is to have our bar busy,” Kaup says. “But there’s nothing more gratifying than giving a band a handful of money at the end of the night. It’s a great feeling.” <

thank you victoria for voting us best garden centre!

GreenStar Juicer Excalibur Dehydrator

Weighted Acu Hula Hoops

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Titanium Non-Stick Cookware Set

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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 77

RESTAURANT & BAR

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Real Taste of India Restaurant & Bar 766-768 Fort St. Victoria B.C.

Free delivery on all orders over $250

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Take-Out Ordering Hours Lunch Dinner

Mon- Sat 11:30am-2:30pm

Indian Food Market Unit #8, 4011 Quadra St. Victoria B.C.

Mon- Sun All day till 8:00pm

Tel: 250-479-8884 Web: www.INDIANFOODMARKET.ca


78 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

Thanks

Roofing Victoria Since 1976

Victoria!

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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 79 ADVERTISING FEATURE Voted

Best City of the

S IA NEW VICTOR

   

BUSINESS PROFILE: Lab Salon

BEST of the CITY FINALIST

1 h

t 17

Lab builds relationships one style at a time

9 % ! 2

Though open just two years, Matthew Conrad’s Lab Salon has twice earned recognition in the Black Press Best of the City awards. Conrad says his talented and oh so lovable staff are to blame. “Their experience, training, and skill ensure that our clients leave the salon not just looking great, but feeling great”. At Lab it’s obviously not just about hair, it’s about the experience of the visit. When you walk in the door, the warm brick walls, bright windows and twinkling chandeliers help set a comfortable and inviting tone, but it’s the friendly staff that are clearly skilled in building a relationship of comfort and trust between them and their clients, “a cornerstone of the salon experience,” Conrad says. Perhaps the most endearing feature of Conrad’s salon is his affable British bulldog, Belle, who enjoys greeting clients and posing in pictures for passers-bye. Conrad himself is an international platform artist and while he’s held various roles at other salons, “Lab is my first foray into owning my own salon, and doing it my way.” A positive, supportive work environment, encourages low staff turnover, “which in turn fosters continuity for

lab

clients,” says Conrad, who’s had many clients for over 15 years. “When you enjoy such great relationships with people – how could you not love what you do when you work in that environment?” As a salon, Lab has been innovative from the start. The first studio to offer real time online booking, and unique in its distinctive in-house branding due to Conrad’s own skills as a photographer. For clients, this means the images they see on the walls depict real styles created here in Victoria by local stylists. “What you see is what you get with us.” Taking Lab’s award-winning philosophy one step farther, Conrad is excited to open Victory Barber and Brand in the prestigious Atrium building. Having brought a master barber out of retirement to train the staff, “we’re really aiming to bring back classic male grooming and the art of being a gentleman.” The Lab staff take this same innovative approach with community initiatives as well. In its inaugural Cuts for Coats program, staff volunteered their services and collected 400 coats for Our Place: this year, that total climbed to an amazing 900 coats. “When you’re a service-based business in a city the size of Victoria, your community is everything,” Conrad says. “It’s our way of showing Victorians how much we appreciate their love and support.”

Lab Salon

541 Johnson Street 250.386.6183

www.labsalons.com

Matthew Conrad with his affable British bulldog Belle.

Had a Collision? Our customers and the industry have awarded us Best in the Industry for many years running.

Ian Franklin and Sylvain Audy

Iff a driving d mishap h has h your wheels h l looking l k l less than h perfect, f a visit to Jacklin Road’s Audy Autobody will have you looking good on the d again in no time. road Under long-time owners Sylvain and Jacqueline Audy, with manager Ian Franklin, Audy Autobody has been keeping local vehicles looking their best for 20 years. As an ICBC-certified autobody shop, Audy provides repair estimates directly at the shop on behalf of ICBC, making for an easier, more streamlined experience for vehicle owners. Using only the best-quality products and materials, paired with the most current equipment and more than two decades of experience, Audy has earned a well-deserved, award-winning reputation. “Our reputation is well-established in the Western Communities as a shop that aims to give complete customer satisfaction,” Sylvain says.

- Free Estimates - ICBC Express repair Facility - RSA and CNS repair Facility - Limited lifetime guarantee on collision repairs - Car detailed upon repairs - No waits and quick turn around time - Courtesy cars available upon request

2920 Jacklin Rd. Serving the West Shore Call 250-391-1905 For Prompt, Professional Service


80 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

Pond Installation & Services

Check out our new pond display at Urban Oasis Garden Centre, 4649 West Saanich Rd.


THE BEST OF THE CITY CITY  � H  SUMMER 2011 / 81

> JUST THE WAY WE LOVE IT

Sunny & Warm Victoria earns bragging rights for Canada’s best weather

W

hen it comes to the city’s reputation for beautiful weather, Tourism Victoria puts its money where its mouth is. The tourism association is so confident, it offers a sunshine guarantee. “We’ll pay you $500 if it rains during your visit,” says Trina Mousseau, Tourism Victoria director of destination marketing. Rainfall must total more than 1.25 centimetres between midnight and 11:59 p.m. Last year the guarantee was offered in March and April. “We put a lot of faith in our weather,” Mousseau says. “I don’t know of anyone else that does that.” The guarantee helps add to the buzz about Victoria, where snow typically is considered a foreign substance, residents can brag to family back east about the temperate climate, and where snow shovels gather dust, that is, if you even own one. Victoria’s climate is a drawing card for tourists and retirees alike. About 3.35 million overnight visitors come to

Marianne Heine talks to Remi Potvin as they soak up the sunshine at Gonzales Beach. Greater Victoria every year. This year, 210 cruise ships are scheduled to arrive at Ogden Point, bringing 420,000 tourists plus crew members to the region. “Victoria has some of the best, if not the best, average temperatures,” says Mousseau. Dave Featherby has kept one eye peeled on the skies above and the other on the water throughout the 25 years he has worked as Transport Canada’s harbour master for Victoria. It’s his job to ensure aircraft and marine traffic is running smoothly in and out of the Inner Harbour. He estimates during beautiful weather months upwards of 800 boats and 100 planes arrive and depart daily from the harbour, which is cushioned from adverse winds. “That’s why Fort Victoria was built here. It was because of the safe harbour,” Featherby explains.

It’s the kind of weather that gives Victorians reason to brag to those living back east. “I say ‘we’re trying to remember what day winter fell on last year,’ or ‘it was so cold last year we had to adjust the carburetor on the lawnmower,’” Featherby says. “We like to rub it in to them.” <

• Victoria’s climate is described as Oceanic or Marine West Coast. • Victoria averages 608 mm of rain per year, compared to 970 mm for Seattle and 1,219 for Vancouver. • Two-thirds of Victoria’s precipitation falls between November and February.

WEST SHORE MINI STORAGE 250-478-8767 www.selfstorage.ca

1621 Island Hwy. West of 6 Mile Pub


82 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  CITY � H  SUMMER 2011

> FUNNY THINGS TOURISTS SAY

Say what? ‘President of Canada’ atop Legislature among misconceptions tourists have

T

ourist guides in Victoria spend as much time answering a staccato of questions – from the funny to the eyebrow-raising – as they do taking visitors where they want to go. Sometimes humour is the best way to respond, says Nick Murray, a Kabuki Kab driver. He commonly hears the same queries from our American cousins about kilometres, the metric system, health care, the role Queen Elizabeth has here and who is Canada’s president. “It depends on how I’m feeling,” Murray says of how he replies. If he’s pedalling visitors by the Legislature, he’ll point to the golden statue of Captain Vancouver at the top of the building and say, ‘that’s

our president.’ “I’ve had some people believe me,” he says. “For Americans, it’s a little bit funny because they’re right next door to us and their history is intertwined with ours.” The Fisherman’s Wharf Kabuki Cabs’ Curtis Korolyk turns to chat with his passenger while waiting for the traffic float home community is a light to change at the intersection of Government and Fisgard streets in Chinatown. tourist haven in the summer. Float home residents tion imaginable, including those home – she likens the experience to such as Janice Mayfield often find she just shakes her head at, such as: living in an amusement park. themselves answering tourists’ “Where do you put the house durShe’s been asked if her home questions instead of getting their ing the winter?” “Does the house is on stilts, whether she can have outdoor chores done. move?” “Do you live here?” and satellite cable and what she does for Now, whenever she wants to “Does the house float?” groceries. putter around her place, she posts a Kim Young has also fielded a “We’re surprisingly normal,” board of questions and answers. slew of questions in the past seven Young says with a laugh. < She says she’s heard every quesyears since she bought her float

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THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011 / 83

VICTORIA

Thank You Victoria!

HYUNDAI is leading all directions

Accent

Santa Fe

Sonata Tucson

Elantra

The Winners are: International Car of the Year – Road and Travel Magazine – 2011 Sonata Third Place Among Non-Premium Nameplates in J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Survey – Hyundai Brand IIHS 2011 Top Safety Pick – Genesis, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tucson ALG Award for Best Residual Value in Class – 2011 Elantra Top Pick 2011 – Canadiandriver.com – 2011 Tucson, 2011 Genesis, 2011 Sonata Kelley Blue Book’s Top 10 Green Cars for 2011 – 2011 Elantra Natural Resources Canada EcoENERGY Award for Most Fuel-Efficient Full-Size Car – 2011 Sonata Car and Driver’s 10 Best for 2011 – 2011 Sonata and Sonata 2.0T AJAC’s Best New SUV / CUV Under $35,000 – 2011 Tucson Euro Ncap 5-Star Safety Rating – 2011 Tucson Best Buy – Consumers Digest – 2011 Sonata NOW THIRD PLACE AMONG VICTORIA NEW CAR DEALERSHIPS IN BEST OF THE CITY VOTED BY YOU! Voted

Best City

of the

VICTORIA NEWS

   

0% Interest

17th

9 % ! 2

84 Months

Get rate at o.a.c. when you purchase any of these amazing cars. DL 30622

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84 / THE BEST OF THE CITY  H  SUMMER 2011

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Victoria Best of the City 2011