VISITOR Vancouver Island
2016/17 GUIDE TO
Vancouver Island The Gulf Islands & The Sunshine Coast
What to do What to see How to get there www.islandvisitor.ca
Over 100 years in bloom
Open every day of the year Victoria BC Canada
Come explore piCture perfeCt
oAk bAy Set along Vancouver Island’s spectacular southern shoreline, Oak Bay has long inspired memorable adventures, cultural experiences and relaxing moments.
Here, we proudly hold onto our colourful past with a touch of tweed, stunning traditional gardens, heritage architecture and Songhees First Nation’s stories. Explore Oak Bay’s villages where endless treasures can be found in an impressive collection of galleries and boutique shops on historic Oak Bay Avenue and in the quaint Estevan Village. Some of Vancouver Island’s top chefs and gourmet eateries are here, ready to dish up memorable culinary creations. Dine seaside or in a traditional British pub…or how about a picnic on one of our beautiful sandy beaches?
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Although easy-paced, Oak Bay is also lively - especially when our residents spill into the streets, parks and local venues for the many events taking place year-round.
Party y Tea a B k • Oa arkets mer m Week • Sum e at ulture C d n on fir a b s , t t r a -tre • A ick- or age tr ark l l i V • en’s P Fi r e m ights mas l t s i r rade h • C ck pa u r t s ristma • Ch ther and o e s e th e. for websit etails Find d ents on our ev
Oak Bay Ave
Oak Bay Marina
Oak Bay Beach Hotel
Oak Bay Guest House
Picture Perfect AccommodAtion Picture the perfect combination of classic manor house architecture, modern in-suite amenities and a service standard like no other, perched on the edge of an idyllic tree-lined seaside community. Make the Oak Bay Beach Hotel your own personal oceanfront retreat. Experience elegant, luxury suites, expansive ocean views of the Juan de Fuca Strait and Olympic Mountains, refined dining in the dining room, dinner shows in the David Foster Foundation Theatre, a morning coffee at Kate’s Café or a local pint and quality conversation at the Snug pub. Or, simply relax by the ocean in our hot mineral pools or seaside spa.
urbAn nAture And mArine AdventureS Come explore our beautiful parks and experience life by the sea! Oak Bay is where easy cycling, endless nature trails, wildlife viewing, barefoot beach strolls, boat cruises, fishing and gentle shoreline paddling offer everyday adventures for locals and visitors alike! on tHe ArtS And cuLture trAiL Anchored by Gallery Row, seasonal public art and year-round exhibits, film, live theatre and art classes are all brought together on an easy-tofollow trail. Experience our local arts and rich history on a guided cultural tour… or explore on your own. Whether by bike, car or on foot, the Oak Bay arts and culture trail map will guide you on a memorable cultural adventure.
For rates, packages, availability and information please call 1.800.668.7758 or visit us online at www.oakbaybeachhotel.com
JUST 10 MINS FROM DOWNTOWN VICTORIA!
for more info, full event listings and trail maps visit WWW.oAkbAytouriSm.com
Painter’s Lodge is perfect for that west coast getaway: world-class fishing, wildlife adventure tours and great food served beside the ocean. Or for something breathtaking, see wild grizzly bears in their natural habitat on our Grizzly Tour. If you’re craving adventure, Painter’s Lodge has it!
Contact us to book your next getaway
Welcome to our coastal paradise, located under towering trees on the shores of Quadra Island. Kayak around the undisturbed coast, cycle through forested roads and paths, unwind at the Aveda spa and enjoy local cuisine as you watch the sun set over the ocean.
1-800-663-7090 | obmg.com
2016/17 Guide to Vancouver Island, The Gulf Islands & The Sunshine Coast FEATURES
GROUP PUBLISHER: Penny Sakamoto psakamoto@ blackpress.ca ASSOCIATE GROUP PUBLISHER Oliver Sommer osommer@ blackpress.ca EDITOR: Jennifer Blyth,
"The amazing world of insects, arachnids, and their many-legged relatives. A visit to this must-see mini zoo offers visitors an excellent opportunity to view and experience live tropical bugs from around the world. Discover over 40 fascinating species including giant walking sticks, beautiful praying mantis, glow-in-the-dark scorpions, hairy tarantulas, and Canada’s largest ant colony. Don't miss this hands-on adventure while in Victoria, BC!"
631 Courtney Street Downtown Victoria 250 384-2847 victoriabugzoo.ca
Welcome................................................ 11 Island Essentials.................................. 17 Gorgeous Gardens............................. 32 Discover the Gulf Islands................. 34 Need to Know: Camping................. 50 Outdoor Adventure ......................... 40 Tee Time ................................................ 20 Fishing.................................................... 52 Celebrating Ancient Cultures......... 54
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Annemarie Rindt Patty Doering Mario Gedicke Christopher Cook DISTRIBUTION: Miki Speirs 250-480-3277
DESIGN & PRODUCTION: Janice Marshall Lily Chan
Vancouver Island ............................... 51
Greater Victoria .................................. 12 Oak Bay, Esquimalt & West Shore........................................ 18 South Island Attractions.................. 14 Sidney, Saanich Peninsula & Cordova Bay .................................... 21 South Island Events........................... 23 Sooke and Beyond ............................ 25 Lake Cowichan.................................... 31 Duncan/Cowichan Valley & Chemainus............................................ 29
Ladysmith ............................................. 30
CENTRAL ISLAND Nanaimo ............................................... 36 Central Island Events......................... 35 Parksville & Qualicum Beach.......... 38 Central Island Attractions................ 39 Pacific Rim: Port Alberni, Tofino, Ucluelet & Pacific Rim National Park Reserve ................................................. 42
Comox Valley ...................................... 43 North Island Events............................. 43 Campbell River & Quadra Island... 45 Powell River & Sunshine Coast...... 47 Gold River, Nootka Sound & Tahsis .................................................. 46 Sayward, Nimpkish Valley & Zeballos ............................................. 46 North Island Attractions................... 54 Port Hardy & Port McNeill................ 53 Telegraph Cove, Sointula & Alert Bay, Port Alice ........................ 53
For advertising inquiries, email Penny Sakamoto at firstname.lastname@example.org 250-480-3204
The community of Oak Bay, part of Greater Victoria, is a favourite with cyclists, paddlers and boaters. Photo courtesy Oak Bay Tourism ISLAND VISITOR MAGAZINE IS A DIVISION OF BLACK PRESS 818 BROUGHTON STREET, VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA V8W 1E4 TEL: 250-381-3484 FAX: 250-386-2624 email@example.com islandvisitor.ca ALTHOUGH EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO ENSURE THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION IN THIS PUBLICATION, VISITOR MAGAZINE CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES ARISING FROM ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE PUBLISHER.
MAMMOTHS: TITANS OF THE ICE AGE ROCKY MOUNTAIN EXPRESS AMERICA WILD: NATIONAL PARKS ADVENTURE For a full list of films and showtimes visit imaxvictoria.com or text the word IMAX to 393939
Distributed by IMAX CORPORATION. ©2016 IMAX CORPORATION. IMAX® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF IMAX CORPORATION.
IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation.
10 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
250-480-4887 • imaxvictoria.com
SOUTH ISLAND Sun and sand in Tofino
BLACK PRESS PHOTO
Bed & Breakfast
Welcome to Vancouver Island, the jewel of Canada’s West Coast.
ecognized by travel enthusiasts world-wide as a premier vacation destination, the Island boasts a unique combination of breathtaking natural scenery and exciting urban experiences. Add thrilling outdoor adventures to the mix, family-friendly attractions, worldclass dining, shopping and cultural explorations, and it’s easy to see why visitors from across Canada and around the world choose Vancouver Island. Stretching from the provincial capital of Victoria on the Island’s southern tip to Port Hardy in the north, at 32,000 sq km, Vancouver Island is the largest North American island in the Pacific Ocean. With a mild climate and a diverse landscape, it’s no wonder this year-round destination is recognized for its relaxing weekend escapes, active adventures and kid-friendly getaways. Come enjoy a little Island time – it’s our own piece of paradise, but one we love to share.
• Beautifully themed guest rooms • Wood-burning fireplaces & jacuzzi baths • Complimentary sparkling wine & chocolate truffles • Gourmet in-room breakfasts • 2 blocks from downtown Victoria, BC
250.383.0152 or 1.888.383.0327 www.humboldthouse.com
ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Canada Day festivities in Victoria
A Capital Idea
ocated on the southernmost part of the Island, Greater Victoria is the largest urban centre on Vancouver Island, and home to a breathtaking natural setting complemented by world-class shopping, dining and entertainment. Ideal for touring on foot, downtown Victoria’s impressive restored heritage buildings house art galleries, restaurants and attractions, including the Royal BC Museum, Bateman Gallery, the legendary Empress Hotel, Legislative Buildings and Canada’s oldest Chinatown. Find a vibrant selection of shops brimming with everything from international fashion to locally crafted specialties unique to Victoria. Getting hungry? Savour a delicious array of cuisine, from fresh seafood to exciting ethnic flavours, crafted with care by award-winning chefs. Surrounded by ocean on three sides, it’s no surprise that marine activities abound here.
The Inner Harbour and nearby James Bay are both busy transportation hubs, welcoming floatplanes, ferries and cruise ships, while a variety of outdoor adventure purveyors are also found around the Inner Harbour, at
Surrounded by ocean on three sides, it’s no surprise that marine activities abound here. Fisherman’s Wharf and at the nearby Causeway, in addition to the Saanich Peninsula and the West Shore communities. Long home to the Coast Salish people, discover their stories at the Royal BC Museum and through features like the Signs of
THE STRATHCONA HOTEL 8 SPOTS ONE BLOCK
WESTCOAST DINING · FAMILY DINING · DANCING · CONCERTS · COCKTAILS · ROOFTOP BEACH VOLLEYBALL · SPORTS BAR · ROOFTOP PATIO · HILLBILLY BAR · CENTRAL ACCOMMODATIONS · DOWNTOWN VICTORIA 919 DOUGLAS STREET VICTORIA, BC · WWW.STRATHCONAHOTEL.COM · 250.383.7137
Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites 250-478-5849 parkscanada.gc.ca/fortroddhill A century-old coast artillery fort and the oldest lighthouse on Canada’s west coast—two national historic sites, to explore and discover. Stay a little longer; spend an overnight in one of our oTENTiks. Fall asleep to nature’s little sounds and be taken back to a time 50 years ago when soldiers’ families inhabited Fort Rodd Hill during their summer camp-out. Plan your visit to catch one of the special events. Only 15 minutes west of downtown Victoria.
Ghostly Walks Tours start outside the Visitor Information Centre 812 Wharf Street, Victoria Tel: 250-384-6698 www.discoverthepast.com
Victoria’s famous ghost tour includes Old Town’s most haunted places. Our 90-minute walking tours will thrill you with stories of eccentric characters, heroic deeds, intrigue, love, humour, hangings and murder. Take one, if you dare! May 1 to Oct. 31 tours every night. Nov. 1 to April 30 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 12 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
Lekwungen, a downtown interpretive walkway honouring First Nations art, history and culture. Settlement history began in the mid-1800s with the Hudson’s Bay Company. The region grew with trade, and once gold was discovered farther north, boomed with those hoping to make their fortune. Discover that local history in heritage attractions like Emily Carr House, the birthplace of BC’s best-loved artist, Craigdarroch Castle and Point Ellice House, on the north end of the harbour. Several exceptional walking tours explore the city’s colourful history, from the grand Empress Hotel to Canada’s Oldest Chinatown. (Did we happen to mention Greater
Victoria is known as one of the most haunted cities in Canada? John Adams’ Ghostly Walks are happy to share a spooky tale or two). A hub of arts and culture, walkable downtown Victoria boasts everything an art lover could dream of: fine art galleries, theatre, dance, opera, symphony and an incredible line-up of exciting annual festivals. Come explore!
Discovery School has a 38 year history of helping students understand their learning challenges and teaching students to develop the abilities they need to succeed.
From downtown, enjoy a stroll or cycle through Beacon Hill Park to the Cook Street Village, a collection of shops and eateries that connects downtown to the community of Fairfield and the waterfront.
Clean, comfortable cars. Airport and BC Ferry Services, City Tours, Butchart Gardens, Deliveries
250.382.2222 ✧ 1-800-665-7055 Serving Victoria since 1946
Prompt. Polite. Professional.
The main focus of our program is to build academic skills in a positive, nurturing environment. To learn more, please visit our website:
www.discoveryschool.ca ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Attractions FAMILY FUN
Miniature World – More than 80 attractions in miniature. Excellent for children. Open daily. 649 Humboldt St, in The Empress Hotel, 250-385-9731 or 250-953-9000 ext. 4555, miniatureworld.com Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea – aquarium of the Salish Sea, 9811 Seaport Pl, Sidney, 250-665-7511, oceandiscovery.ca Victoria Bug Zoo – Discover more than 50 fascinating species of live giant tropical insects and arachnids. Open daily. 631 Courtney St, 384-BUGS (2847), victoriabugzoo.ca West Shore Family Fun Park – Mini-golf, water park, playzone, bowling and more, 1089 Langford Pkwy, 250-391-1738, eagleridgecentre.com Wildplay Element Parks – Monkido aerial adventure park, 1767 Island Hwy, behind Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, 1-855-595-2251, wildplayparks.com Also in Nanaimo.
Abkhazi Garden – Exquisite heritage home and garden near downtown Victoria, 1964 Fairfield Rd, 778-265-6466, blog.conservancy.bc.ca Butchart Gardens – 55 acres of gorgeous gardens, 800 Benvenuto Ave, 250-652-5256, butchartgardens.com Butterfly Gardens – exotic butterflies flying free in an indoor tropical paradise, 1461 Benvenuto Ave, 250-652-3822, butterflygardens.com Government House Gardens – beautiful year-round public gardens, 1401 Rockland Ave, ltgov.bc.ca Horticulture Centre of the Pacific – beautiful demonstration gardens, 505 Quayle Rd, 250-479-6162, hcp.ca
MUSEUMS & CULTURE
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria – 1040 Moss Street, 250-384-4101, aggv.ca Bateman Centre – discover the legacy of Canada’s premier nature artist, 470 Belleville St, 250-940-3630, batemancentre.org
BC Aviation Museum – 1910 Norseman Rd, near Victoria International Airport, 250-655-3300, bcam.net CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum – at Naden in Esquimalt, off Admirals Rd, 250-363-4312, navalandmilitarymuseum.org Craigdarroch Castle – built in the 1890s and furnished in Victorian-era splendour, 1050 Joan Cres (off Fort St), 250-592-5323, thecastle.ca Emily Carr House – the artist’s childhood home, open May through September at 207 Government St, 250-383-5843, emilycarr.com Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites – On-site accommodations available. Open daily. Located off Ocean Blvd, in Colwood, 250-478-5849, parkscanada.gc.ca/fortroddhill Hatley Park Castle and Museum – forest, gardens and castle at Royal Roads University, 2005 Sooke Rd, 250-391-2666 or 1-866-241-0674, hatleypark.ca Point Ellice House – an historic 1867 home offering Victorian house tours, afternoon tea in the heritage garden, 2616 Pleasant St, 250-380-6506, pointellicehouse.ca National Geographic IMAX Theatre – Find a rotating selection of IMAX and feature films. 675 Belleville St. (inside the museum), 250-480-4887, imaxvictoria.com Royal BC Museum – outstanding museum of human and natural history; National Geographic IMAX Theatre is also on-site. 675 Belleville St, 250-356-7226 or 1-888-447-7977, royalbcmuseum.bc.ca Saanich Historical Artifacts Society Heritage Acres – artifacts from our rural past on 29 acres, 7321 Lochside Dr, 250-652-5522, shas.ca St. Ann’s Academy – an exquisite historic treasure, 835 Humboldt St, 250-953-8829, stannsacademy.com Sidney Museum – 2423 Beacon Ave, 250-655-6355, sidneymuseum.ca Sooke Region Museum – First Nations and early settlers, gold rush, logging, farming and fishing, 2070 Phillips Rd, Sooke, 250-642-6351, sookeregionmuseum.com
AdrenaLine – guided forest zipline tours, 5128C Sooke Rd, 250-642-1933 or 1-866-947-9145, adrenalinezip.com
WWW.SIDNEYTIRE.COM 14 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Capital Regional District Parks – nature outings and special events in Victoria-area parks, 250-478-3344, crd. bc.ca/parks Kelp Reef Kayak Tours – Explore Victoria’s scenic coastline and surrounding islets. Fisherman’s Wharf, 1 Dallas Rd. Victoria, 250-386-7333, kelpreef.com Prince of Whales – whale watching with hourly departures from the lower Causeway, 812 Wharf St, 250-3834884 or 1-888-383-4884, princeofwhales.com SpringTide Whale Tours – marine mammal and whale watching, 1119 Wharf St, 1-800-470-3474, victoriawhalewatching.com The Raptors – landscaped discovery centre and daily flight demonstrations, 1877 Herd Rd, Duncan, 250-746-0372, pnwraptors.com
TOURS Discover the Past – Award-winning Ghostly Walks, Chinatown Walks and historical walking tours, 250-384-6698, discoverthepast.com Victoria Carriage Tours – private horse-drawn carriage tours; 30- to 90-minute downtown-area tours year-round, 250-383-2207 or 1-877-663-2207, victoriacarriage.com West Coast Brewery Tours – Three craft brewery tours to choose from, 250-516-4402, westcoastbrewerytours.ca
COWICHAN VALLEY BC Forest Discovery Centre – the past, present and future of forestry, 2892 Drinkwater Rd, Duncan, 250-7151113, bcforestdiscoverycentre.com Chemainus Theatre – Exceptional destination theatre, 9737 Chemainus Rd, 250-246-9820 or 1-800-565-7738, chemainustheatrefestival.ca Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre – unique maritime museum along a pier, 1761 Cowichan Bay Rd, 250-746-4955, classicboats.org Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives – in the old train station, 130 Canada Ave, Duncan, 250-746-6612, CowichanValleyMuseum.bc.ca Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre – 200 Cowichan Way, Duncan, 250-746-8119 or 1-877-746-8119, khowutzun.com/qccc/
SIDNEY 250-656-5544 PARKSVILLE 250-248-2055
Get away to one of the Capital Regional Districtâ€™s three regional park campgrounds! Each offers affordable, self-contained RV and tent camping in nature with fabulous water views.
Learn about the natural and cultural history of the region from park interpreters. They will have you going buggy and batty and feeling squirrelly and crabby - in the best possible way!
Island View Beach Regional Park
Guided Nature Walks, Hikes, Drop-In Events, Canoeing
Panoramic Seascape Views on the Saanich Peninsula > Picnic on the long sandy beach > Enjoy bird watching > Close to ferry, airport, downtown Victoria, Lochside Regional Trail, Butchart Gardens www.crd.bc.ca/islandviewbeach
Jordan River Regional Park West Coast Beauty Along the Strait of Juan de Fuca > Walk the cobble stone beach with views of the Olympic Peninsula > Hike the trails through hemlock & cedar forest to Sandcut Beach www.crd.bc.ca/jordanriver
Sooke Potholes Regional Park Spring Salmon Place [KWL-UCHUN] on the Sooke River > Swim and fish in the potholes > Hike the forest and river trails > Cycle the Galloping Goose www.crd.bc.ca/sookepotholes
Pique Your Natural Curiosity
> Most are free, no registration required > Educational and interactive > For nature lovers of all ages and abilities > Offered at regional parks throughout the district
There is also a world of natural and cultural history to explore at a CRD Nature Centre: > Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park > Francis/King Regional Park > Wittyâ€™s Lagoon Regional Park Calendar of events www.crd.bc.ca/parks-events
Capital Regional District Regional Parks www.crd.bc.ca/parks firstname.lastname@example.org 250.478.3344
ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Nestled along a quiet, residential street just minutes from downtown, our beautiful gardens, charming rooms and fine food will ensure your Victoria experience is authentic and luxurious. $149-$299 dble occ. Includes gourmet breakfast!
998 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC â€˘ www.beaconsfieldinn.com
Delicious chef prepared meals 24 hour emergency response House keeping & fresh linens Victoria’s charming James Bay Managed by a Licensed Strata Property Manager
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What You Need to Know
309 BELLEVILLE STREET, VICTORIA, BC 250-381-3456
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The area code on Vancouver Island and for phone numbers in this publication is generally (250) unless otherwise indicated. For local directory assistance, call 4-1-1. For long distance directory assistance, call 1-(area code)-555-1212. In case of emergency, call 9-1-1.
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Most Vancouver Island communities have Visitor Centres where trained staff can answer your travel questions and provide information about accommodation, services, attractions, activities and community events. In this publication, phone numbers and addresses for most Visitor Centres are listed with each community’s information. For general information about touring in British Columbia and accommodation reservations, visit hellobc.com Purchases are generally subject to a seven per cent provincial sales tax (PST) and a five per cent federal sales tax (GST).
455 Kingston Street, Victoria THE www.novapacific.ca 250-384-3336 CAMELOT Independent Retirement Living with supportive services
The Huntingdon Manor
In the centre of Victoria overlooking the Inner Harbour • 110 Guestrooms (ktichens on requuest) • Complimentary hot buffet breakfst • Hunters bar & Grill • Pet friendly rooms
Valid from M (Taxes and gr
330 QUEBEC STREET, VICTORIA, BC HUNTINGDONMANOR.COM
CALL 250 OR 1-800 TO RESER PACKAGE
DRIVING THE ISLAND Speed limits on Vancouver Island are posted in kilometres per hour. For a distance chart of Island communities, see the map on page 51.
APPROXIMATE DRIVING SPEED
30km/hr = 20mph 40km/hr = 25mph 50km/hr = 30mph 60km/hr = 40mph 80km/hr = 50mph 100km/hr = 60mph Please note that it is mandatory to use vehicle seat belts and for cyclists and motorcyclists to wear helmets. It is also illegal to use a hand-held device such as a cell phone while driving.
The Gatsby Mansion S P E C I A L O F F E R
Overlooking the Inner Harbour on an acre of landscaped gardens, ponds and cobblestone pathways Stay 1 night at $169 • Nine Victorian-style guestrooms and receive a full • Complimentary hot buffet breakfast breakfast • Pendray Restaurant featuring Canadian west coast cuisine 309 BELLEVILLE STREET, for lunch, dinner and afternoon tea forhigh two! VICTORIA, BC 250-381-3456 309 BELLEVILLE STREET, VICTORIA, BC 250-381-3456
Complimentary parking. ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca Valid from March 1 – April 30, 2016 (Taxes and gratuities not included)
LOCATED IN THE HEART OF VICTORIA’S
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Get to Know
Downtown’s Neighbours O ak Bay is an inviting community a few minutes from downtown known for its spectacular seaside, vibrant village centres, tree-lined boulevards and exquisite architecture. A nature lovers delight, locals and visitors alike enjoy easy cycling, barefoot beach strolls and quiet paddles, taking in the fascinating shoreline and marine life. The villages of Oak Bay Avenue, Estevan and Cadboro Bay wel-
come visitors from all over to shop for fashion and gifts, to visit the galleries and savour mouthwatering creations of the charcutiers, chefs and bakers found throughout the area. And yes, the tradition of afternoon tea is still a local favourite! Picturesque Oak Bay is home to many renowned artists and is a thriving arts and culture district with public art, a high concentrations of galleries and studios and numerous performances, exhibits and events. Guided tours by land and sea offer a great way to experience First Nations and colonial history, and all are invited to join in the many local celebrations and events held year-round. For those seeking to unwind, the beautiful Boathouse Spa and Pools and quiet beaches await. And why not stay awhile? Whether you choose five-star oceanfront luxury or a guesthouse rich with Old World charm, you’ll find memorable hospitality and a West Coast paradise at your doorstep. From downtown Victoria, Oak Bay is easily reached by bike, a leisurely seaside drive or with one of the hop on hop off services departing frequently from the Inner Harbour.
Victoria’s historic Chinatown
DON DENTON PHOTO
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Located on Vancouver Island, Canada
• fun for all ages • groups welcome • birthday parties • school functions • seniors • church groups • clubs/teams • family reunions
Island Insider: Heading out for a picnic? Stop by a local farm market and savour some of the region’s tastiest – and freshest – treats. Excellent options include the Oak Bay Night Market, James Bay Market, Moss Street Market and the Goldstream Farmers’ Market. See page 24 for details.
THE SHELBOURNE PLAZA Sports & Bikes
A&W TD Canada Fairway Grocery & Bakery & BakeryGrocery & Bakery Restaurant Trust Grocery Frontrunners Cards Cards&&Gifts Gifts Cards & Gifts Sports Sports &&Bikes SportsMarket & Bikes Lizzy Lee &Bikes Me
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Booster Mac’s Cycle Little Thai Liquor Ink & Toner Medic Grocery Oregano’s Pizza Grocery & Bakery Grocery & Bakery Grocery &&Bakery Bakery Grocery & Bakery Juice Centre Place Merit Cards & Gifts Cards Sports & Bikes Cards Gifts Sports & Bikes Sports & BikesDistribution Br. Cards &Travel &Gifts Gifts Cards Gifts Sports Sports & &Bikes BikesSports & Bikes and& Bistro
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“COME VISIT US AT SHELBOURNE PLAZA. AFTER ALL, WE’RE FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS!” Shelbourne @ Cedar Hill Crossroads. 18 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Cards & Gifts
Squeaky’s Sports & Bikes Laundromat
From pastoral farmland to bustling community centres, the West Shore is a hub for shopping, dining and outdoor activities. Attractions include several celebrated golf courses, including Olympic View Golf Course and Bear Mountain Resort – where you’ll also find exceptional cycling and hiking opportunities – WildPlay Element Park, Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites and Hatley Park National Historic Site, also home to Royal Roads University.
Heading west from downtown Victoria, just over the Johnson Street Bridge, is the historic community of Esquimalt and Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. Take in the waterfront West Song Walkway, Saxe Point and Macaulay Point parks, and for history buffs, the CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum is a must. About 15 minutes’ drive from Victoria, or a pleasant bike ride along the Galloping Goose Trail from downtown, find the growing West Shore region.
New and Used Tires and Auto Repairs 90 Day Used Tire Guarantee
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Victoria: #1-798 Fairview Rd at Ellery • 778-440-8473 Duncan Full Auto Repair • 778-356-3377 Chemainus: 9392 Smiley Rd. @ Henry • 250-324-8473 Nanaimo: Coming Soon!
777 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC Open Tuesday to Saturday 4pm-10pm (250) 940-3127 | facebook.com/TableTwentyOne ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
at Ogden Point
hile the variety and calibre of Vancouver Island golf is second to none, it’s also the variety of things to do off the course that creates that unforgettable experience. Championship courses tucked into the coastal mountains, historic links hugging the Victoria waterfront and family-friendly Par 3s with drop-dead gorgeous views ... you’ll find it all here. Thanks to the Island’s mild climate, golf is a year-round pastime you can even pair with skiing in the winter and beachcombing in the summer. Fancy a relaxing massage after your turn around the links? We can do that. And did we mention the food? The fact is, some of the best chefs in the country are at work creating culinary delights at the Island’s major courses. Fancy a quick snack on your way to the tee? No worries – they can do that too! Here are a few favourites among Island golfers, but there’s much more to discover. Stop by local visitor centres to get the complete list of golf facilities in your area. CHINATOWN
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Artisan Food, Local Produce One of a Kind Crafts and Live Music Free Wine and Beer Tastings Free Parking
BEACON HILL PARK
TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF THE ESQUIMALT & SONGHEES NATIONS
ALBERNI GOLF CLUB – Set against a backdrop of forest and mountain in Port Alberni, this par 70 jewel follows a salmon-bearing stream, 6449 Cherry Creek Rd, 250-723-5422, albernigolf.com
ARBUTUS RIDGE GOLF CLUB – This scenic Cowichan Valley course has earned a four star Golf Digest rating. Full-service bar and restaurant overlooks the 18th hole with ocean views. Directly surrounded by nine wineries. 3515 Telegraph Rd, Cobble Hill, 250-743-5100, golfbc.com BEAR MOUNTAIN – Near Victoria, 36 holes of world-class, Nicklaus-designed golf on two distinct courses set amid a beautiful West Coast landscape and mountain village, home to hiking and biking trails, spa, gym and more, 250-3917160, bearmountain.ca CORDOVA BAY GOLF COURSE – This challenging 18-hole Victoria-area course boasts lovely landscaping and ocean and mountain views. Restaurant, lounge, driving range and putting green, plus adjacent 18-hole Par 3 course, The Ridge, with stunning views over Haro Strait, 5333 Cordova Bay Rd at Mattick’s Farm, 250-658-4444, cordovabaygolf.com CROWN ISLE GOLF RESORT – 18-hole championship course in the Comox Valley, with luxury accommodations, dining and more. 399 Clubhouse Dr, Courtenay, 1-888-338-8439 or 250-703-5000, crownisle.com FAIRWINDS GOLF CLUB – One of Vancouver Island’s finest courses, in the Oceanside community of Nanoose Bay, the Furber-designed course welcomes golfers year-round. Additional amenities include a full-service marina, West Coast dining and fitness centre, 3730 Fairwinds Dr, Nanoose Bay, 250-468-7666 or 1-888-781-2777. OLYMPIC VIEW COLF COURSE – This picturesque, 18-hole, par 72 championship course is one of Greater Victoria’s favourite golf destinations. Full-service Forester’s Bistro & Bar overlooks the course, 643 Latoria Rd, 250-474-3673. golfbc.com
Every Saturday 9am – 3pm
Corner of Menzies & Superior May 7 to Sept 24 • Lots of Parking
• Local Award Winning Artisans • Fresh Local Produce • Specialty Foods • Local Wine & Beer Tastings • Great Live Music
jamesbayma rket.com 20 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Visit the sensational SAANICH PENINSULA
Pastoral landscapes draw hikers and cyclists
o close to Victoria, yet a community all its own, Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula are must-visit destinations for Island visitors. For many visitors, the Peninsula is the gateway to Vancouver Island – home to Victoria International Airport, the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay and the ferry from Anacortes, WA. The seaside town of Sidney is the largest community on the Peninsula, about 30 minutes from downtown Victoria along Highway 17. Beacon Avenue is the heart of Sidney, lined with colourful flower displays, benches, public art and a delightful array of shopping and dining diversions. Follow Beacon to the waterfront to enjoy picturesque ocean views, the Sidney Sculpture Walk and the Port Sidney Marina, a full-service facility attracting boaters and visitors in search of adventures such as whale watching, kayak rentals, scuba diving and fishing charters.
Fabulous Food, Waterfront Restaurant & Pub, Great Patio
JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
Off-shore, Sidney Spit is part of the breathtaking Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, and is accessible by passenger ferry departing from the dock at the foot of Beacon Avenue. Go for the day to enjoy hours of birdwatching and sandcastle building or pack your camping gear and book and overnight getaway at one of the walk-in campsites. (Reserve campsites at 1-877-737-3783). Family-friendly Sidney activities include the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea – a terrific attraction filled with the wonders of the Salish Sea, Sidney Museum and the Mary Winspear Centre, with a full line-up of special events and performances. Stretching south from Sidney to Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula is a picturesque, largely rural region of farms, parkland and waterfront. Highway 17 (the Pat Bay Highway) is the fastest route into Victoria, but sightseers will want to take one of the earlier CONT. ON PAGE 22
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exits to explore the quaint communities and quiet country roads. Neighbourhoods along the way include Brentwood Bay, Saanichton and Cordova Bay, with attractions including the worldfamous Butchart Gardens, Victoria Butterfly Gardens, BC Aviation Museum and Heritage Acres. The region is also home to a thriving agritourism industry, with a variety of farms, markets and award-winning wineries. Come enjoy the flavours of Vancouver Island! Outdoor enthusiasts will want to explore Island View Beach, a popular sunbathing, beachcombing and bird-watching spot, John Dean Provincial Park, a hit with hikers and wildlife enthusiasts, and Elk and Beaver Lake Park, not to mention several fine golf courses, from family-friendly Par 3s to beautiful championship courses with challenging play and spectacular views.
spitfiregrill.ca Enjoy runway action while dining Open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days a Week
Just past the airport terminal at 9681 Willingdon Rd.
Island Insider The Sidney Street Market, 5:30 to 8:30pm Thursdays from mid-May through Sept. 1, fills Beacon Avenue and several side streets with artists and artisans, farm and food stalls, entertainment and much more.
Antiques & Vintage Retro & Modern Old & New www.theoldattic.ca 22 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
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What’s happening on the South Island
May 18 to 28 – Uno Festival, North America’s longest running festival of solo performance, intrepidtheatre.com/ festivals/uno-fest June 4 & 5 – Oak Bay Tea Party – parade, midway and community events, Victoria at Willows Beach, oakbayteaparty.com June 5 to 12 – Cowichan Lake Days, cowichanlakedays.com June 24 to July 3 – JazzFest, Victoria, jazzvictoria.ca July 1 – Canada Day celebrations around the South Island July 1 to 10 – Victoria Pride Week, incl. parade & festival, victoriapridesociety.org June 30 & July 1 – Sidney Days & Canada Day, peninsulacelebrations.ca July 10 – Annual Vintage Cadillac Car Show, Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site, pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/fortroddhill/ index.aspx July 14 to 17 – Taste, Victoria’s festival of food and wine, victoriataste.com July 22 to 24 – Islands Folk Festival, Providence Farm, Duncan, islandsfolkfestival.ca July 15 to 24 – Victoria International Buskers Festival, downtown Victoria, victoriabuskers.com July 16 – TD Art Gallery Paint-In, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, aggv.ca July 22 to Aug. 1 – Sooke Fine Arts Show, SEAPARC Leisure Centre, Sooke, sookefinearts.com July 16 & 17 – Chemainus Bluegrass Festival, chemainusbluegrass.com July 28 to 31 – SunFest Country Music Festival, Lake Cowichan, sunfestconcerts.com July 31 – Symphony Splash with the Victoria Symphony, Victoria’s Inner Harbour, victoriasymphony.ca/splash Aug. 6 & 7 – Arts & Music in the Garden, Horticulture Centre
of the Pacific, Victoria, hcp.ca Aug. 7 – Cadboro Bay Festival, Victoria, saanich.ca Aug. 12 to 14 – Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, Inner Harbour, victoriadragonboat.com Aug. 20 – Show ‘n Shine Car Show, Ladysmith, ladysmithshowandshine.ca Aug. 21 – 2016 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering, Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, Cowichan Valley, motorgathering.com Aug. 28 – Arts on the Avenue, Ladysmith, artonavenue.com Sept. 2 to 4 – Victoria Classic Boat Festival, Inner Harbour, classicboatfestival.ca Sept. 3 to 5 – Vancouver Island Blues Bash, Victoria, jazzvictoria.ca Sept. 3 to 5 – Saanich Fair, Saanich Fairgrounds, Victoria, saanichfair.ca Sept. 9 & 10 – Great Canadian Beer Festival, Victoria, gcbf. com Sept. 9 to 11 – Cowichan Exhibition, Cowichan Exhibition Park, Duncan, cowex.ca Sept. 10 & 11 – Victoria International Chalk Art Festival, downtown Victoria, victoriachalkfestival.com Sept. 15 to 18 – Rifflandia Music Festival, Victoria, rifflandia. com Sept. 16 to 18 – Luxton Fall Fair, Victoria, luxtonfair.ca Sept. 17 & 18 – Salt Spring Fall Fair, ssifi.org Oct. 9 – Victoria Marathon, runvictoriamarathon.com Late October – Ghosts of Victoria Festival, tourismvictoria. com Nov. 24 – Ladysmith Festival of Lights Lightup and Parade, ladysmithcofc.com Dec. 1 to Jan. 6 – Butchart Gardens Christmas display, butchartgardens
Stay in Vancouver Island’s fastest growing vacation and resort area. Beautiful, well appointed cottages within easy access to exceptional year-round recreation
email@example.com In Parksville’s Resort Area 1-877-248-8961 1080 Resort Drive www.osvr.ca
Shot on location at Ardmore Golf Course
Fun never asks how old you are. It’s much more fun to swing a little now and again with friends — staying healthy and strong for life’s third act. I’ve earned it.
Independent and assisted living choices for today’s senior
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Farm to Fork Even in the heart of the city, you’re never far from fresh on Southern Vancouver Island – fresh from the sea, fresh from the orchard and fresh from the farm. Add to that the handiwork of local artists and artisans, entertainment, food and kid-friendly settings, and you have a thriving market culture. Ready to live like a local? Here’s our guide to some of the region’s best markets. 1. James Bay Market, Victoria – Eclectic mix of artisan crafts, produce, plants, food and entertainment. Corner of Superior and Menzies Sts, by Parliament Bldgs, Saturdays, April through October. jamesbaymarket.com 2. Moss Street Market, Victoria – Locally grown organic produce, artisan wares and a funky urban vibe. Corner of Moss and Fairfield Sts, Saturdays, April through October. mossstreetmarket.com
3. Sidney Street Market –A must-visit summer street market stretching along Beacon Avenue in downtown Sidney. 5:30 to 8:30pm Thursdays through Sept. 1. sidneystreetmarket.ca 4. Goldstream Station Market, Langford – Full of flavour, vendors make, grow, bake or raise the products they sell. Saturdays, 10am to 2pm through mid-October, corner of Goldstream Ave and Veterans Memorial Pkwy. goldstreamstationmarket.ca 5. Victoria Public Market at the Hudson – Year-round hive of culinary treats, including local food producers at every level – farmers, fishers, butchers, bakers, cheesemakers and restaurateurs. Open daily at 1701 Douglas St, victoriapublicmarket.com 6. Duncan Farmers’ Market – The goodness of the Cowichan Valley in one location. Saturdays, 9am to 2pm in downtown Duncan, duncanfarmersmarket.ca 7. Summer Market, Chemainus – Tasty farm produce, baked goods, sweets, flowers and crafts. Wednesdays, May 20 to Sept. 23, Waterwheel Park, chemainus.bc.ca
WATERFRONT ACCOMMODATION CHECK OUR WEBSITE FOR SPECIALS
WATERFRONT ACCOMMODATION WE WELCOME LONG TERM STAYS JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
WATERFRONT ACCOMMODATION WE WELCOME LONG TERM STAYS
Come stay with us at the A relaxing seaside retreat steps from Sidney-Anacortes ferry, and Cedarwood Inn and Suites. minutes from the BC FerryWe’re terminal, Victoria located on theInternational ocean just Airport and Butchart Gardens. We er graciously appointed rooms and 20 oﬀ minutes from downtown Victoria. suites, charming cottages and deluxe ocean view suites. Unwind in Weekly & Monthly Rates Available. our manicured gardens and take pleasure in our panoramic ocean Come stay with us at the views ofCedarwood the localInnislands and mountain ranges. and Suites. We’re located on the ocean just 20 minutes from downtown Victoria.
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THE CEDARWOOD INN & SUITES fax 250-656-1551 THE CEDARWOOD INN & SUITES toll free 1-877-656-5551
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• 85 Clean, comfortable air-conditioned rooms • 2 Bedrooms family units available • FREE! Highspeed Wireless Internet • 80 Cable TV Channels • Fridges and microwaves in all rooms • Enjoy our spacious landscaped grounds!
‘Wild By Nature’ JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
bout 40 minutes west from downtown Victoria along Highway 14, Sooke is a vibrant, growing community that retains its friendly, small-town charm. An ideal destination for anyone interested in outdoor adventures, relaxing in a seaside restaurant or just “getting away” for a few days, Sooke’s opportunities are almost limitless: zipline through West Coast forests, hike the coastal trails, spend a day paddleboarding, kayaking or sport-fishing, explore the museum or just relax and take in the sights, including Sooke Harbour and Basin, the Olympic Mountains and Whiffen Spit. Named for its early inhabitants, the T’Sou-ke First Nation, Sooke began as a thriving Coast Salish settlement and today
the T’Sou-ke First Nation remains an integral part of the vibrant community. Sooke now boasts top-rated restaurants, world-renowned accommodations and a variety of galleries and shops. Affectionately known for being “Wild by Nature,” the town is flanked by beautiful rainforests, windswept coastlines and beaches, and is bordered by numerous provincial parks and bicycle trails. Humpback whales, orcas, grey whales, elephant seals, bald eagles, blue herons, hummingbirds and a variety of other wildlife are daily visitors to the water, air and land of Sooke – a true nature lover’s paradise. Be sure to make time for a dip at Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, one of the South Island’s most popular summer swimming areas among locals. With a reputation as one of the world’s best fishing destinations, visitors can enjoy a year-round bounty of salmon, halibut, cod and trout. Boaters can reach the sheltered Sooke Harbour from the Juan de Fuca Strait, the Salish Sea outlet to the Pacific Ocean, or check in with a local outfitter for a West Coast fishing adventure. An incredible range of opportunities for both salt-water and fresh-water sport-fishing activities abound. Extraordinarily rich in its arts culture, Sooke hosts a number of successful annual exhibits, workshops and shows celebrating the artisans of the region. The town is also home to the Sooke PhilharCONT. ON PAGE 26
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Kayaking at Jordan River
DON DENTON PHOTO
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26 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Enjoy a West Coast adventure along the Pacific Marine Circle Route, travelling through much of the Cowichan region, in addition to the West Shore, Sooke and the southwest coast of the Island. This scenic 255km paved route stretches from coast to coast and through numerous communities – wine country, beach country, trails, parks, First Nations heritage and more. Find maps and details at area Visitor Centres.
monic Orchestra, a 60-member semi-professional orchestra performing both indoor and outdoor concerts each year. With the mildest climate in Canada, Sooke truly has something for everyone – fantastic views and recreation opportunities, a vibrant downtown and a local business community.
History awaits: The Sooke Region Museum & Visitor Centre Sooke boasts a rich human and natural heritage. The T’sou-ke and Pacheedaht First
MountainSPRINGS Springs Retreat MOUNTAIN RETREAT
•New secluded home on private lake with HEATHER LEE B&BHot / SAILING Rock Fireplace, tub /Spa.CHARTERS Sleeps 6. WiFi.with Swimming.home Fly-fishing. BBQ. lake New secluded on private HEATHER LEE B&B Rock Fireplace, Hot tub/Spa. Sleeps 6. •Spacious Queen suite in host’s home Swimming. Fly-fi shing. BBQ. Exclusively with private entrance, deck and bathroom. Full breakfast served. Adjacent private. OR Spacious Queen suite in to East Sooke Park. host’s Ask homeabout with Fishing private entrance, deck, or SailingTours and bathroom. breakfast Hosts:Full Heather & Bill served. Humphries 250-642-6541 1-888-642-6541 Adjacent to East Sooke Park. Sailing/ 288 Becher 288Sooke, BecherBC Bay Road Sooke, B.C. fishing Charters and/or Marine Scenic Bay Road www.mountainspringsretreat.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.mountainspringsretreat.com Tours are available. email@example.com Hosts: Heather & Bill Humphries
Beach Bound Beyond Sooke, the landscape grows even wilder, with lush coastal rainforest and dazzling beaches, such as French Beach, Mystic Beach and Botanical Beach – home to amazing rock formations and rich tidal pools. The 47km Juan de Fuca Marine Trail traces the shoreline from China Beach to Botanical Beach and is divided into sections, allowing hikers to choose a portion of the trail as a day trip or to tackle the whole route over about three days.
Nations have lived in the area for thousands of years, while the arrival of Europeans in 1849 brought many changes. These and many other stories are explored at the Sooke Region Museum, open from 9am to 5pm daily in the summer (to 8pm on market Thursday) and most days the rest of the year. In addition to the main museum building, additional historic buildings include the Triangle Island Lighthouse and Moss Cottage, the oldest building west of Victoria in BC The museum grounds are also popular place for picnics. Special events include the annual Salmon Barbecue and Open House in June and the Sooke Night Market, featuring a variety of food, art, craft and entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, June 2 to Sept. 1. Also home to the official Visitor Centre for the region, there’s no better place than the Sooke Museum to learn about this fascinating south Island community!
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For information about the Sooke Region, call 250-642-6351 or 1-866-888-4748. The Visitor Centre is located at the Sooke Region Museum at 2070 Phillips Rd.
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Sooke Harbour Resort & Marina offers 2, 3, & 4 bedroom vacation homes overlooking beautiful Sooke Harbour. Stay 3 nights for the price of 2 in 2016! Call to reserve your Sooke getaway today.
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28 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Come discover the
COWICHAN VALLEY JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
rom Greater Victoria head along Highway 1 and over the scenic Malahat Drive to the Cowichan region, renowned for its outdoor recreation opportunities, agricultural attractions and inviting communities.
Sawmill Taphouse & Grill
Southern Vancouver Island has earned a deserved reputation as a haven for beer lovers. From brewpubs to taphouses, fans will find a wealth of flavours, complementary foods and beer-related special events. Among the newest destinations on the Island culinary scene is the Sawmill Taphouse & Grill, conveniently located on the scenic route between Chemainus and Ladysmith. Boasting 40 taps pouring both local brews and others from the Pacific Northwest, plus local wines and ciders, the Sawmill has earned a following among locals visiting from Shawnigan Lake to the south to Nanaimo in the north. The comfortably sophisticated interior features beams and timber sourced from historic area sawmills, not to mention a reclaimed “bull saw” located behind the bar, an iconic focal piece that boldly links the Sawmill to the Cowichan Valley’s forestry past. Add a West Coast-inspired menu of casual comfort food, wood-fired pizza oven and an inviting summer patio, and it’s no wonder the Sawmill Taphouse & Grill has quickly become a favourite for both locals and visitors alike.
Duncan is the commercial centre of the Cowichan region and a hub of First Nations art and culture. “The City of Totems” boasts some 80 totem poles, including 40 in the downtown area, where you can view the totems while exploring the many unique shops and eateries. Pick up a tour map at the Visitor Centre or enjoy a free guided tour in the summer. Favourite pastimes include wine touring, hiking and camping, along with family-friendly attractions like the BC Forest Discovery Centre, The Raptors and The Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre. South of Duncan are the communities of Cobble Hill, Mill Bay and Shawnigan Lake, a cosy lakeside community popular for watersports. This gorgeous area is famous for its vineyards and produces some of the finest wines and ciders on Vancouver Island. Many of the facilities offer sampling, tours, picnic areas and wine shops. Agriculture tours are also growing in the Cowichan Region, where farm markets and tours attract more and more visitors. The community of Cowichan Bay is perched over a natural deep-sea harbour and many of the buildings in this charming village – including a unique maritime museum – extend over the water. Along the waterfront, find a variety of gift shops and restaurants. North of Duncan is Chemainus, renowned for the many professionally painted murals and sculptures beautifully depicting its history and culture. The town’s picturesque streets are lined with small shops, galleries and restaurants, anchored by the Chemainus Theatre, a star attraction featuring live, year-round plays and musicals. Stop by the Chemainus Coast Community Credit Union and pick up some “Chemainus Dollars” to use in town or take away for a souvenir. CONT. ON PAGE 30 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
SOUTH ISLAND Historic downtown Ladysmith LADYSMITH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PHOTO
Find the Mill Bay Visitor Centre: in the Mill Bay Shopping Centre, 368 - 2720 Mill Bay Rd. Info: South Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, 250-743-3566. The Duncan-Cowichan Visitor Centre is at 2896 Drinkwater Rd., Duncan. Info: Chamber of Commerce, 250-746-4636 or 1-888-303-3337. In Chemainus, find the Visitor Centre in Waterwheel Park, 1029799 Waterwheel Cresc., 250-246-3944.
adysmith, once a shipping port for coal, is now a lovely seaside town that has earned provincial and national awards for its downtown revitalization project and beautiful gardens. Head outdoors for fishing, kayaking, golfing, hiking and cycling, relax in Transfer Beach Park – great for kids and adults alike – or stroll the Ladysmith Heritage Walk. Highlights include the Ladysmith Maritime Society’s marine visitor centre and the Ladysmith Museum on First Avenue, with historical displays of the town’s development, including business, industry and social history. This picturesque community is blessed with numerous artists and artisans, not to mention year-round events. Visiting in December? Don’t miss the town’s amazing display of Christmas lights illuminating the streets and houses.
Island Insider TOURISM COWICHAN PHOTO
The Cowichan Valley’s century-old Kinsol Trestle, part of the Trans Canada Trail, stands 44 metres high and 187 metres long, and is one of the largest wooden trestles in the world.
Visit the Ladysmith Visitor Centre at 33 Roberts St., 250-245-2112, ladysmithcofc.com
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30 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
A popular destination with both locals and visitors, views of the Koksilah River are rivaled only by the views of the trestle itself.
Lunch buﬀets $5.95 Mon. to Fri. 11:30am - 1:30pm Big screen to watch all your favourite sporting events Fully licensed slots ﬂoor An assortment of themed games to suit any player! Bingo 7 days a week 436 Cowichan Way, Duncan, B.C. (250) 746-6300 • www.chancescowichan.ca
bout 20 minutes west of Duncan along Highway 18, Lake Cowichan is a picturesque community popular with summer swimmers, boaters, campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors will love the friendly village atmosphere, while finding all the amenities they need to enjoy their stay, including shopping, dining, accommodations and camping, along with a recreation centre and museum. The Lake Cowichan region also includes the communities of Youbou, Caycuse, Honeymoon Bay and Mesachie Lake. In addition to water sports on the large lake, the Cowichan River is also popular for leisurely summer tubing and other activities.
The Lake Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is at 125C South Shore Rd, 250-749-3244, cowichanlake.ca
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Life on Cowichan Lake
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World famous burgers and so much more. Legendary burgers, milkshakes & signature fries are among our favourites at White Spot. Nothing complements our award-winning burgers like a hand-scooped shake or our Nat Bailey beer crafted by Granville Island Brewing. There’s always something for everyone at White Spot. and famous burgers ORDER ONLINE
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INFORMATION: 1.866.715.1113 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
BLOOMING BEAUTIES Garden touring on the Island
ith its mild temperatures and stunning setting, it’s no wonder Vancouver Island is a haven for gardeners. From beautiful formal spaces to gardens reflecting the wild, West Coast, the Island’s gardens are, quite simply, gorgeous. Best-known of all British Columbia gardens is the world-famous Butchart Gardens, and a visit to this National Historic Site of Canada is a must. Still in the Butchart family
after its founding more than a century ago, the 55-acre garden is open daily. The everchanging spectacle of blooms and floral displays delight guests year-round, in addition to a wide variety of seasonal treats, including entertainment, summer’s night illuminations and Saturday evening fireworks, and a spectacular holiday light-up each Christmas season. Spring is the season of cherry blossoms
and a stunning display of more than 300,000 bulbs while summer brings a riot of colourful blooms and autumn is beautiful with the changing of the colours of trees and foliage – especially the Japanese Garden, the first in North America, created by Jennie Butchart and Isaburo Kishida. Come winter, it’s the Magic of Christmas, Dec. 1 to Jan. 6, a magical display of Christmas lights and decorations, complete with
Welcome to Cowichan Lake
Yours to Explore
Beaver Lake Resort 250-749-7792 www.beaverlakecampground.com
J&V’s Burger & Pizza 250-749-7411 162 South Shore Road
Greendale Riverside Cabins 250-749-6537 www.greendalecabins.ca
Kidd’s B&B 250-749-7790 www.kiddsbb.com
Country Grocer – Lake Cowichan 250-749-6335 www.countrygrocer.com
The Studio By Us 250-749-3298 226 Grants Lake Road
Cowichan Lake Sports Arena 250-749-6742 www.cvrd.ca
South Shore Boat Storage 250-932-2004 www.southshoreboatstorage.com
Footwear Centre 250-749-3721 42 South Shore Road
Vancouver Island Labour Services 1 866-779-9946 email@example.com www.vilabour.com
For more info. contact the:
Deep Fried Ice Cream Impossible 122B South Shore Rd, Lake Cowichan 250-710-6923
Jakes at the Lake 250-932-2221 www.jakesatthelake.com 32 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
It looks so p there are wi Cowichan L
Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce Visitor/Business Centre
PHOTO COURTESY THE BUTCHART GARDENS
festive entertainment, outdoor ice rink and the Twelve Days of Christmas display tucked about the grounds. January through March brings the annual historical display, Spring Prelude indoor garden and wedding season, from Jan. 15 to March 31. Pet-friendly and accessible, Butchart Gardens’ winding paths are also a delight for children, who will want to stop at the Rose Carousel for a ride on the traditional handcarved creatures. Plan to take your time to enjoy this remarkable space – make a day of it and choose from an array of dining options from food carts, family-friendly meals in the Blue Poppy Restaurant or fine dining in the Dining Room Restaurant.
Island-grown Gardens Victoria’s “Garden for Gardeners” the gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific feature nine acres of spectacular gardens showcasing more than 10,000 varieties of plants. Must-see special events include August’s Arts & Music in the Gardens, when
more than 60 artists display their art throughout the garden. Near downtown Victoria, Abkhazi Garden – “the garden that love built” – showcases the local landscape beautifully, with beds of Japanese maples, numerous bulbs and rhododendrons flowing around and towering Garry oaks. Enjoy afternoon tea during your visit. The nearby Rockland neighbourhood hosts Government House Gardens boast stunning gardens flowing around the home of BC’s Lieutenant Governor, enjoyed yearround by locals. In Qualicum Beach, Milner Gardens & Woodland is a charming seaside garden named by Canadian Geographic Travel as one of the Ten Best Public Gardens in Canada. Experience 70 acres of unspoiled natural beauty, with winding pathways through an ancient coastal Douglas fir forest and 10 acres of woodland gardens lined with rhododendrons, cyclamen and trilliums before enjoying a traditional English tea service. In Comox, Filberg Lodge and Park is a nine-acre beautifully landscaped waterfront green space featuring heritage buildings, 130 varieties of trees, seasonal gardens and hundreds of rhododendrons. Nearby in Courtenay, the 24-acre Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens features one of the largest rhododendron collections in Western Canada with more than 3,000 plantings, plus native plants, birds and wildflowers. The year-round garden hosts two annual art shows, plus Christmas programs through December. On the West Coast, the Tofino Botanical Gardens as one of the best gardens in the world by Jane Perrone, gardening editor for the UK’s Guardian newspaper. The 12 acres of gardens, forest and shoreline explore the relationship between culture and nature, while educational programs provide information about temperate rainforest conservation. Many more glorious garden opportunities await discovering on Vancouver Island – for more ideas, see vancouverislandgardentrail. com
Island Insider: Sunfest comes to lake country Today’s hottest country stars shine on the Cowichan Valley this summer when the 16th anDierks Bentley nual Sunfest Country Music Festival welcomes headliners including Carrie Underwood and Dierks Bentley, plus Dallas Smith, Chase Bryant, The Road Hammers and High Valley. The fun comes to Laketown Ranch, just outside of the picturesque community of Lake Cowichan, from July 28 to 31. For ticket details and a full lineup of musicians, visit sunfestconcerts.com
The Butchart Gardens
Country Maples RV Resort 160 sites
Country Maples RV Resort is located on Vancouver Island, right on the Chemainus River with the Ocean nearby. The resort is a an excellent vacation spot for everyone.
For Reservations Call 250-246-2078
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www.htr.ca ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Overlooking Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands
Get Away to the JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
GULF ISLANDS A
picturesque collection of unique communities in the Strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and the BC Mainland, the Gulf Islands are easily accessible via BC Ferries or private boat.
See LI READ for Salt Spring Island and Southern Gulf Islands Real Estate!
1.250.537.7647 LiRead33@gmail.com www.liread.com 34 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Among the most popular getaways for locals, the islands’ stunning scenery inspires numerous artists and artisans while fertile lands support thriving farms and awardwinning wineries. From long sandy beaches to mountaintops where the views go on forever, the Southern Gulf Islands offer terrific day-trip destinations from Vancouver Island. With so much to explore, extend your visit with a night or two at a picture-perfect B&B or inn and start the adventure! Salt Spring, just a 35-minute BC Ferry ride from the Swartz Bay terminal, is renowned for its relaxed lifestyle, idyllic beauty, art galleries, studios, wineries and gift shops. Don’t miss the huge Saturday outdoor market where island’s accomplished artisans and farmers display their fine products. Enjoy a walk around the town of Ganges, with its interesting shops and eateries, then take a bike ride or leisurely drive around the Island to soak in the scenery. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the hiking trails at Ruckle Provin-
cial Park while paddlers can choose from both fresh and salt-water excursions. Smaller nearby islands of Pender, Mayne, Saturna and Galiano are all served by ferry, but popular destinations for local boaters as well. While the populations of these islands are quite small – larger during the summer and on weekends – find all the amenities needed for an afternoon escape or longer getaway, with accommodations ranging from provincial park camping to luxurious resorts. Throughout the Islands, find beaches good for hours of relaxing, swimming or beachcombing, trails for biking and hiking, birdwatching, paddling and more, not to mention the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. A little farther north, enjoy a short, 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island, popular with kayakers, campers, cyclists and explorers who come to discover the ancient petroglyphs and remarkable sandstone formations at the Malaspina Galleries. Denman and Hornby Islands are located off-shore of the Comox Valley and are popular with artists and vacationers, while visitors to Texada Island can enjoy the short trip.
C ES NO TU RT AH L ISLAND
What’s happening on the Central Island Saturdays, year-round – Duncan Farmers’ Market, 9am to 2pm in downtown Duncan, duncanfarmersmarket.ca Fridays, Mid-May to mid-October – Farmers’ Market, 2 to 6pm Nanaimo at Pioneer Waterfront Plaza, nanaimofarmersmarket.com Saturdays, year-round – Farmers’ market, 9am to noon, Harbour Quay, Port Alberni, alberniartrave.org Saturdays, year-round – Qualicum Beach Farmers Market, 8:30am to 12pm, Veteran’s Way at Memorial Avenue, qbfarmersmarket.com May 29 – Qualicum Beach Family Day, qbfamilyday.com June 3 to 5 – Tofino Food & Wine Festival, tofinofoodandwinefestival.com June 11 – Beaufort Gang Train Robbery, Alberni Pacific Railway, Port Alberni, 250-723-1376, alberniheritage.com June 17 to 19 – Festival of Artistic and Creative Expression, Port Alberni June 12 – Edge to Edge Marathon, Half-Marathon & Relay, Tofino-Ucluelet, edgetoedgemarathon.com June 19 – Father’s Day Seaside Cruizers Show & Shine, Qualicum Beach, seasidecruizers.com June 23 to 26 – Milner Gardens Fairy Houses, Qualicum Beach, milnergardens.org June 25 – Nanaimo Multicultural Festival, Wesley Street in the Old City Quarter, dnbia.ca July 1 to 3 – Lighthouse Bluegrass Festival, Qualicum Beach, lighthousebluegrass.com July 5 to Aug. 13 – Bard to Broadway Summer Theatre, Qualicum Beach, 250-248-0444, b2btheatre.com July 8 to 10 – Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival, Maffeo Sutton Park, nanaimodragonboat.com July 15 to 17 – Canadian Open Sand-sculpting Competition in Parksville; sculptures on display to Aug. 21, parksvillebeachfest.ca
July 17 – Silly Boat Regatta, Nanaimo, Maffeo Sutton Park, 250-753-0251, sillyboat.com July 21 to 24 – Nanaimo Marine Festival & World Championship Bathtub Race, 250-753-7223, bathtubbing.com July 22 to 24 – Ukee Days, Ucluelet, ukeedays.wordpress.com July 22 & July 23 – Bathtub Days Street Fair, dnbia.ca July 23 – Grand Prix d’Art painting race, and Art in Action Fair, Qualicum Beach, theoldschoolhouse.org July 29 to 31 – Coombs Country Bluegrass Festival, Coombs Rodeo Grounds, sites.google.com/site/coombsbluegrassfestival/July 30 & 31 – Ladysmith Days, in Ladysmith and Transfer Beach Park, ladysmithdays.com July 31 – Van Isle Shriners Show & Shine Car Show, Parksville, parksvillebeachfest.ca Aug. 6 & 7 – Thunder in the Valley drag race event, Port Alberni, albernidragracing.com Aug. 6 & 7 – Milner Gardens’ Art & Photography in the Garden, Qualicum Beach, 250-752-6153, milnergardens.org Aug. 14 – Kidfest, Parksville Beach, kidfest.ca Aug. 18 to 21 – Theatre Festival and Street Fair, Gabriola Island, off Nanaimo, artsgabriola.ca Aug. 11 to 21 – Nanaimo Fringe Festival, fringetastic.com Aug. 14 – Tofino Lantern Festival, raincoasteducation.org/ events/tofino-lantern-festival Aug. 19 to 21 – Vancouver Island Exhibition, country fair at Beban Park, Nanaimo, 250-758-3247, viex.ca Aug. 20 – Show ‘n Shine Car Show, Ladysmith, ladysmithshowandshine.ca Aug. 26 to 28 – Summertime Blues Festival, Muffeo Sutton Park, Nanaimo, nanaimobluesfestival.com Sept. 8 to 11 – Alberni District Fall Fair, Port Alberni fairground, albernifair.com Sept. 3 – Lighthouse Country Fall Fair, Qualicum Bay, communityclub.ca
250.753.2373 #8 Pirates Lane, Nanaimo
Enjoy a 10 minute harbour cruise aboard the Protection Island ferry from downtown Nanaimo or arrive and dock at the pub in your own vessel. Featuring seasonal menus with something for everyone, live local music entertainment, sailboat nights and one of the greatest views anywhere.
Open year around from 11:30 a.m. until the last ferry runs. See our web site for current menus, promotions & ferry schedules.
firstname.lastname@example.org ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
C ESNOTU RT AH L ISLAND
Welcome to the Harbour City
Kayaking Nanaimo Harbour
TOURISM NANAIMO PHOTO
Island Insider: History comes alive History buffs find a lot to like in Nanaimo, with its historic old town, vibrant harbour and fascinating Nanaimo Museum, exploring First Nations and settlement history through both permanent and visiting exhibits. The Bastion, built by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1853, is open daily through summer with a daily cannon firing ceremony at noon. For military history, visit the Vancouver Island Military Museum, with its impressive collection of military memorabilia and artifacts from the War of 1812 right through to Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan.
he Harbour City” is renowned for its excellent shopping, dining and vibrant arts and cultural scene, complemented by numerous outdoor opportunities. And with its mild Pacific climate and an interesting history captured in its heritage sites, Nanaimo is an excellent yearround vacation destination. BC’s third oldest city, historically Nanaimo is the homeland of the Coast Salish, who called themselves “Snuneymuxw,” which roughly translates as “gathering place.” And that it is. Delve into the city’s past at the more than 150-year-old Bastion and at the Nanaimo Museum, where highlights include First Nations displays, a replica coal mine, bathtub race exhibit and more. With more artists per capita than most other regions in Canada, explore Nanaimo’s arts and culture in its galleries and arts studios, on stage at the Port Theatre and at the city’s music venues. Diverse shopping districts include the Old City Quarter, arts district, waterfront shops and a variety of north-end shopping centres. Just south of the city, the Cedar Yellow Point Artisan
the wrecks, walls and reefs around Nanaimo, BC
Great getaway packages Vancouver Island’s Natural Choice
Lowest Guaranteed Price: 1-800-663-7373 1155 Resort Drive, Parksville, BC
1-800-663-7373 or 250-248-2072
36 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Snorkel with the seals on Snake Island Tour the shores of Nanaimo and nearby islands enjoying the history and ecology
Canadian Military History
Travelling to Nanaimo by land or sea? Include a stop at Newcastle Island Provincial Marine Park, in Nanaimo’s harbour. Traditionally known as Saysutshun by the Snuneymuxw people, this family-friendly marine provincial park is only acTOURISM NANAIMO / YEOSMITH PHOTOGRAPHY cessible by foot-passenger ferry from Nanaimo’s Muffeo Sutten Park or by boat. Offering panoramic views of the Harbour City and Coast mountains, outdoor activities include swimming, kayaking, hiking and more, plus the Newcastle Island Cafe, located in the restored 1930s teahouse in a historic dance pavilion. Learn more at newcastleisland.ca
Trail is loaded with galleries, crafts and culinary stops. Foodies will love the tasty delights at the region’s farms, farmers’ markets and specialty producers, not to mention the famed Nanaimo Bar Trail – learn more at the Visitor Centre or tourismnanaimo.com Crave the great outdoors? The Harbour City boasts more than 200 parks and trails perfect for walking, swimming, cycling, bird-watching and boating, plus some of the best mountain biking in BC. Hikers will enjoy Neck Point, Biggs Park, Westwood Lake Park and Newcastle Island Provincial Marine Park. Paddlers can launch from both fresh and saltwater locations and boaters will be impressed by the top-notch marina facilities. Don’t miss the opportunity to kayak or boat to Canada’s only floating pub and enjoy the view back to the city. Regularly foot-passenger ferry service to Newcastle Island is available through the spring and summer seasons. A short BC Ferries trip across to Gabriola Island makes for another enjoyable daytrip. Fancy a turn around the links? From family mini-golf to first-rate golf, Nanaimo boasts a dizzying array of 20 courses within an hour’s drive. Diving is yet another specialty, thanks to clear waters, abundant marine life and intriguing sites. In fact, Nanaimo’s wrecks and reefs include three sunken ships that comprise one of the largest upright artificial reefs in the world! Visit the Nanaimo Visitor Centre at 2450 Northfield Road (off Highway 19 at the Northfield exit) From May through September, visit the centre at the HBC Bastion, on Front Street. Call 250-751-1556 or visit tourismnanaimo.com
... on Nanaimo’s dynamic waterfront.
Come See, Come Learn, Come Experience History Celebrating Canadian Military History and honouring the service of our armed forces, RCMP, and Merchant Navy past and present. No visit to Nanaimo complete without visit to... Nanaimo is is complete without a visit ato...
C E SNOT U RT AH L ISLAND
Island Insider: Newcastle Island
100 Cameron Road, Downtown Nanaimo (next to the Port Theatre) 10am-3pm, Mon. through Fri. 11am-3pm Saturday 250-753-3814 www.vimms.ca
A significant place Occupied by the Snuneymuxw people since time immemorial traditionally known as Saysutshun, Newcastle Island is a wonderous escape from the bustling urban centre of Nanaimo, just a ten minute foot ferry ride across the harbour. Enjoy the natural beauty, 22 km of trails, tours, camping, watersports, marina, picnic area, beaches and cafe with traditional salmon BBQ. For a truly unique catered event, the Historic Newcastle Pavilion is an ideal location.
Come spend the NEWCASTLE ISLAND day with us on MARINE PARK historic in Snuneymuxw traditional territory
Make a Discovery! Bastion 
Award Winning Exhibits
Feature Exhibit Gallery Seasonal Tours & Events Unique Gift Shop Summer Hours: Daily, 10am - 5pm Winter Hours: Mon-Sat, 10am - 5pm
Daily Noon Cannon Firings for the Summer Season! 100 Museum Way • 250.753.1821 www.nanaimomuseum.ca facebook.com/NanaimoMuseum ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
C ESNOTU RT AH L ISLAND
PARKSVILLE and QUALICUM BEACH W
ake a splalsh at in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region – Canada’s beach playground. Stretching along Highway 19A, the diverse communities of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, French Creek, Nanoose Bay, Arrowsmith Coombs Country and Lighthouse Country feature miles of sandy beaches, spectacular mountain and ocean views and numerous attractions. It’s little surprise this vacation playground is home to many special events, fine dining, quaint shops, marinas and of course, great golf. Gallery and studio browsing is a favourite pastime, while for outdoor enthusiasts, activities include fishing, diving, kayaking, mountain biking, boating, caving, horseback riding and windsurfing. Bird-watching is also big in Parksville Qualicum Beach, where more than 250 bird species live year-round or visit during spring migration. Parksville, with a population of more than 11,000, is the region’s largest community. Boasting Canada’s mildest year-round climate, the beachfront resort town’s incredible beaches, top spa destinations, golf courses and beautiful parks have established the region as an ideal spot for romantic getaways and family vacations. The month-long Parksville Beach Festival and Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition is a summer-must for many. Nearby, Englishman River Falls Provincial Park draws hikers, anglers and
38 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
The Island’s Beach Playground
picnickers, while Top Bridge Regional Park is a haven for mountain bikers. About 10 minutes north of Parksville the charming town of Qualicum Beach is a pedestrian-friendly gardener’s paradise, home to the beautiful Milner Gardens and Woodland, Qualicum Beach Museum, quaint boutiques, galleries, antique stores and cozy cafés. Arrowsmith Coombs Country offers more sightseeing and activity options. The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve is a unique micro-climate and ecosystem that has received UNESCO designation. Not-to-miss attractions include the Orchid Garden at Butterfly World and Gardens, with more than 800 living orchids for your enjoyment, the World Parrot Refuge, North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, Tiger Lily Farms and Little Qualicum Cheeseworks & MooBerry Winery (complete with farm tours). At the Old Country Market in Coombs, watch the antics of the goats grazing on the market’s grass roof before you explore the eclectic market and neighbouring shops. Pick up a picnic lunch and stroll the paths of Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. Just beyond, don’t miss the majestic Cathedral Grove with centuries-old trees, and the peaceful splendour of Cameron Lake. Lighthouse Country is a picturesque coastal area with marinas, restaurants, art studios, shops, amazing scallops from Qualicum Bay Scallops and caving at Horne Lake Caves. Also check out the Deep Bay Field Station Centre for Shellfish Research, sitting like a giant open clam on the shores of Deep Bay.
Dive into coastal waters Beneath the water, Vancouver Island has been blessed with what Jacques Cousteau called some of the best cold water diving waters in the world, thanks to their clarity and abundant sea life. In addition to the natural underwater features, a variety of artificial reefs have created an additional attraction in communities such as Sidney and Nanaimo. And good news for diving enthusiasts is that no matter when you visit Vancouver Island, it’s a great time to see the scenery below the surface, whether you prefer a shore dive or boat trip. Specialists like the Nanaimo Dive Outfitters in the central Island can get divers set up with everything from suit rentals to dive trips. And for those looking for an experience closer to the surface, snorkelling is also a popular pastime. The centre also offers lessons for all levels, from newcomers to more experienced divers. The region is unique in that it draws divers from all over the Island and in fact, word is spreading farther afield as the region welcomes divers year-round from across Canada, the US and Europe, note the pros at the Dive Outfitters. Artificial reefs just outside Nanaimo’s harbour offer a weath of sea life to observe and a vast array of halls and chambers to explore. Nearby parks and beaches offer entry to waters that reveal walls and reefs sheltering rock fish, wolf eel, giant Pacific octopus and many other fascinating creatures. Outside of Nanaimo, many Island regions offer diving opportunities – check in with your local visitor centre for details.
PARKSVILLE QUALICUM BEACH TOURISM ASSOCIATION PHOTO
July 15 August 21, 2016
Central Island Attractions NANAIMO Casino Nanaimo – 620 Terminal Ave, 250-753-3033, casinonanaimo.com Nanaimo Aquatic Centre – wave pool, three slides, lazy river and more, 741 Third St, 250-756-5200. Nanaimo Museum & Bastion – 100 Museum Way, 250-7531821, nanaimomuseum.ca WildPlay Element Parks – bungy jumping, Monkido aerial adventure park, zipline and more, 35 Nanaimo River Rd, 1-855-595-2251, wildplay.com Vancouver Island Military Museum – uniforms, weapons and artifacts, 205-753-3814, 100 Cameron Rd, vimms.ca Port Alberni Alberni Pacific Railway – 1929 steam train to McLean Mill National Historic Site, mid-June to Sept, 3100 Kingsway, 250723-2118, alberniheritage.com Alberni Valley Museum – 4255 Wallace St, 250-723-2181, alberniheritage.com Maritime Discovery Centre – Harbour Quay, 2750 Harbour Rd., 250-723-6164, alberniheritage.com McLean Mill National Historic Site – 1925 mill, Canada’s last steam-powered sawmill and Alberni Pacific Steam Railway, 5633 Smith Rd, 1-855-866-1376, alberniheritage. com Lady Rose Marine Service – scenic cruises from Port Alberni to Bamfield and Ucluelet aboard MV Frances Barkley, 250723-8313 or 800-663-7192, ladyrosemarine.com OCEANSIDE Bard to Broadway Theatre Society – summer-long repertory theatre, downtown Qualicum Beach, 250-7524470, b2btheatre.com
Butterfly World and Gardens – on Hwy 4A, Coombs, 250248-7026, nature-world.com Horne Lake Caves & Outdoor Centre – family-oriented park, educational guided and self-guided tours, 250-2487829, 101 Horne Lk. Caves Rd. hornelake.com Milner Gardens and Woodland – 60-acre old growth Douglas fir forest surrounding 10-acre heritage seaside garden, with special events and afternoon tea, 2179 West Island Hwy, Qualicum, 250-752-6153, milnergardens.org North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre – ill/injured wildlife are cared for before returning to the wild; public welcome mid-March to October, 1240 Leffler Rd, Errington, 250-2488534, niwra.org Paradise Fun Park – mini-golf, bumper boats and more, 375 W. Island Hwy, Parksville, 866-325-1874, paradisefunpark.net Qualicum Beach Museum – 587 Beach Rd, 250-752-5533, qbmuseum.net Riptide Lagoon Adventure Golf – 1000 Resort Dr, Parksville, 250-248-8290, riptidelagoon.com Tiger Lily Farm – farm activities and animals, 1692 Errington Rd, Errington, BC 250-248-2408, tigerlilyfarm.ca World Parrot Refuge – 2116 Alberni Hwy, Coombs, 250248-5194, worldparrotrefuge.org WEST COAST Eagle Aerie Gallery – Remarkable Northwest Coast longhouse-style art gallery showcasing the work of Native artist Roy Henry Vickers, 250-725-3235 or 1-800-663-0669, 350 Campbell St, Tofino, royhenryvickers.com Jamie’s Whaling Station – Whale and wildlife watching tours from Ucluelet, 1-877-726-7444, and Tofino, 1-800-6679913, jamies.com Ocean Outfitters – whale & wildlife excursions, 368 Main Street, Tofino, 877-906-2326, oceanoutfitters.bc.ca The Whale Centre – whale and wildlife tours, 411 Campbell St., Tofino, 250-725-2132 or 1-888-474-2288, tofinowhalecentre.com Tofino Botanical Gardens – 250-725-1220, 1084 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, tbgf.org Ucluelet Aquarium – 250-726-2782, 180 Main St, Ucluelet, uclueletaquarium.org
C ESNOTU R TAH L ISLAND
While away a summer day on Parksville’s sandy beaches
Best Beach Front Location in Parksville!
Parksville’s Premiere Event on the Beach! GATES OPEN: July 15 at 2pm SCULPTING: July 16-17 EXHIBITION: July 18 to August 21 Open 9am until 9pm FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Our family friendly resort features attractive fully appointed Studio, 1 & 2 bedroom vacation homes. All with stunning panoramic mountain & ocean views right from your private balcony or patio. Our 2 bedroom townhouses are just steps to the sand (full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, fireplace, in-suite laundry & BBQ). Up on the Ridge open plan Studios & 1 Bedroom Condos are ideal for smaller families & couples (kitchen/kitchenette, some with fireplaces, patio/balcony).
Amenities: free WiFi, BBQ’s, fire pits, tennis court, children’s playground, walking trails, shopping, attractions & golf nearby. LONG TERM RATES & GREAT SPECIALS.
Madrona Beach Resort 1145 Resort Drive, Parksville, B.C. V9P 3E3 Toll Free 1-800-663-7302 or 250-248-5503 www.madrona-resort.com ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
C ESNOTU RT AH L ISLAND
EXPERIENCE the Wild West Coast
Thrill to the majestic creatures inhabiting local waters
Embark on the outdoor adventure of a lifetime
ere on Vancouver Island, where vast oceans, soaring mountains and towering forests are at your doorstep, outdoor adventures are always close at hand. Whether inspired to climb or cycle,
paddle or pedal, a true West Coast adventure awaits in virtually every Island community. Swoop through the treetops with attractions such as Tofino’s WestCoast Wild Zipline and Nanaimo’s WildPlay, where
Cruise spectacular Barkley Sound on the Frances Barkley. There are yearround sailings to Bamfield, and JuneSeptember sailings for Ucluelet and the Broken Group. You can also rent kayaks, book a stay at our scenic Sechart Lodge in Barkley Sound, or make a reservation for our convenient Sechart-based connector water taxi. Visit our website for full schedule details.
40 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
activities range from bungy jumping to a Monkido obstacle course through the forFRANCES BARKLEY est canopy. A second WildPlay Monkido course is also open in Victoria’s West Shore communities. Near Sooke, also on the South Island, AdrenaLine offers an ATV ride to the top of a thrilling zipline course, featuring two suspension bridges and eight lines across 100 forested acres. Prefer to stay on two feet? From short day hikes to longer adventures, the Island offers hiking options from top to bottom. East Sooke Park, Juan de Fuca Marine Trail and the West Coast Trail are great choices on the south-west coast. In the north, consider Strathcona Park and the Cape Scott Trail. In Nanaimo, more than 200 parks and trails mean outdoor activiWeb: www.ladyrosemarine.com ties are always close at hand. Check with email@example.com the local Visitor Centre for ideas. Biking is another popular way to Tel: 250-723-8313 (all year) explore the wild West Coast. Explore Toll Free: 1-800-663-7192 Greater Victoria on the family-friendly (April - September) Galloping Goose and Lochside trails, or take to the trail for summer mountain WHALING STATION bike thrills at Mt. Washington, CumberLODGE land, in the Comox Valley, Nanaimo, the Cowichan Valley and Victoria. A paddler’s paradise, the Island offers endless inlets and shorelines to explore, with options for beginners to experienced kayakers. As West Coast weather can be changeable and tides tricky, be sure to check with local experts before heading out. A growing interest in caving is bringing more and more visitors to the Central and North Island. Excellent opportunities await at the Horne Lake Caves, offering family excursions to more adventurous outings, at the extensive cave formations in Gold River, and in the North Island, including Huson Regional Park Caves near Zeballos.
For those who prefer to leave the driving to someone else, whale and wildlife watching is a passion here on Vancouver Island. The majestic orcas are the star of the South Island excursions, but with so many species making their home here, there’s always lots to see, from bald eagles overhead to seals and porpoises in the water. With such majestic creatures on your doorstep, it’s important to choose a tour company that respects the animals and their environment, as well as providing a safe, thrilling experience in one of the top destinations in North America for whale watching. In Greater Victoria, favourites include Prince of Whales and SpringTide Whale Watching and Eco Tours, which have introduced nature lovers to the wild West Coast for years. Guests enjoy learning from marine naturalists, ocean biologists and experienced skippers driven to give their guests an entertaining and educational tour. On the West Coast Jamie’s Whaling Station offers a wide variety of tour options leaving from both Tofino and Ucluelet. Options include whale and wildlife watching tours, hot springs tours, cultural tours and more. Ocean Outfitters is another popular option for whale and wildlife watching. North Island adventures are as close as Stubbs Island Whale Watching, in Telegraph Cove, where the experienced guides are pleased to share the remarkable wildlife of the Island’s eastern shore.
C ESNOTU R TAH L ISLAND
Wild About Whales
PHOTOS COURTESY SPRINGTIDE WHALE WATCHING AND ECO TOURS
ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
C ESNOTU R TAH L ISLAND
PACIFIC RIM An Island paradise
Vancouver Island’s celebrated Pacific Rim is home to spectacular scenery and numerous outdoor adventures. Port Alberni, west of Parksville off Highway 4, is a renowned sport fishing destination teeming with natural and cultural attractions. At the heart of Vancouver Island’s awe-inspiring Pacific Rim region, fishing charters operate year-round and saltwater rewards include halibut, cod and salmon. Freshwater anglers take to local streams for cutthroat, rainbow and steelhead trout. Other activities include everything from kite-boarding and diving to golfing and wildlife viewing. An
PHOTO COURTESY JAMIE’S WHALING STATION
excellent network of heritage attractions includes the Alberni Valley Museum, and a 35-minute scenic steam train excursion from the Port Alberni Railway Station near the harbour to the McLean Mill National Historic Site. The Rollins Arts Centre and Gardens features work by local artists and summertime tea on the terrace, while the Alberni Harbour Quay is a colourful collection of waterfront shops, galleries and eateries where you’ll also find the Maritime Discovery Centre and the boarding area for the MV Frances Barkley, a passenger and freight vessel offering scenic trips to Bamfield and Ucluelet. Near Port Alberni, popular spots include Sproat Lake Provincial Park and J.V. Cline Bird Sanctuary. Along the Pacific Rim Highway is the Island’s year-round West Coast playground of Ucluelet, Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park, home to surfing, winter storm-watching, beach combing, wildlife excursions and much more. On the edge of spectacular Barkley Sound and bordered by ocean on three sides, Ucluelet is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Fishing guides and charters will get you on the water or join the local experts on a West Coast wildlife tour. In
harbour, visit the Ucluelet Aquarium. Kayaking opportunities range from the inner harbour’s calm waters to the challenging Broken Group Islands, while hikers’ destinations include the scenic Wild Pacific Trail. Take to the trees for a ziplining adventure and return for winter stormwatching. Just past the far end of Long Beach, overlooking Clayoquot Sound, Tofino has flourished as a tourism destination in the heart of some of the world’s most pristine wilderness. To help to protect this spectacular region, Tofino was designated BC’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Outdoor activities include whalewatching, fishing, kayaking, diving and guided bear-watching tours. Hikers enjoy the many trails in the Long Beach area and surrounding the townsite. Tofino is also Canada’s surfing capital, with year-round opportunities to catch a wave and fine surf schools to get you started. Unique attractions include the Whale Centre Museum and Hot Springs Cove. Despite its popularity, Tofino retains its peaceful, rustic ambience, with quaint shops art galleries and cafés blending easily with world-class resorts and fine dining establishments.
FOUR AMAZING TOURS experience them all!
bird & pelagic
Tofino’s whale specialists since 1984
We Guarantee Sightings On All Tours!
call to reserve your spot! 1.888.474.2288 | www.tofinowhalecentre.com 42 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca Whale Centre — Cruise through the spectacular waters of Clayoquot Sound
SOU N RTH ISLAND
View to the Comox glacier
COMOX VALLEY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM PHOTOS
Island adventures from sea to sky
estled between the Beaufort Mountains and the Strait of Georgia, the Comox Valley’s stunning scenery, exceptional amenities and array of activities combine in one of the Island’s most popular vacation destinations. With a mild year-round climate providing exceptional hiking, boating, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, diving and skiing, the Valley comprises several distinct communities. Courtenay is the commercial centre and a hub for arts and culture with downtown art galleries and studios, boutiques, theatres and restaurants. Outlying areas also feature a variety of farms, parks and beaches. Excellent marina facilities and a quaint downtown make Comox a popular destination where attractions include the Comox Air Force Museum and Heritage Airpark and the historic Filberg Lodge and Park, where annual events include the August long weekend’s Filberg Festival, one of BC’s finest arts, crafts and entertainment celebrations. Cumberland celebrates its history as a former coal-mining town – learn about its fascinating past at the Cumberland Museum and Archives. Nearby is Comox Lake, a crystal clear, glacier-fed paradise perfect for swimming, boating and fishing, with a full-service campground, picnic area, boat ramp and hiking trails. Get off the beaten track with a visit to Denman and Hornby Islands, just offshore and accessible via BC Ferry from Buckley Bay, south of Courtenay. Favourite escapes
Courtenay and District Museum
for hiking, cycling, diving, swimming and kayaking, don’t miss Hornby Island’s Tribune Bay, where the summer sun warms shallow waters, ideal for swimming. Visitors also enjoy the islands’ many art studios. Merville/Black Creek is home to family fun, with one of the region’s best beaches at Miracle Bay Provincial Park, plus mini-golf, go-karting, farms and horseback riding. Mount Washington Alpine Resort is a hot spot for skiers and snowboarders in the winter and hikers and mountain bikers in summer or hike into the spectacular 250,445-hectare wilderness of Strathcona Provincial Park. Down the mountain, golfers tee off on year-round courses, while paddlers and boaters explore scenic waters. An ever-
growing list of culinary events and agritourism opportunities highlights the Valley’s diverse farm-to-fork possibilities. The Comox Valley hosts several amazing summer festivals celebrating the performing arts and local artists and artisans. Gardeners will love the Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens and the Filberg Lodge and Park while history buffs will want to explore the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre and Cumberland’s historic streets and fascinating museum. Learn more with a self-guided Heritage Experience tour – pick up a brochure from the Visitor Centre or download copies from discovercomoxvalley.com Visit the Comox Valley Visitor Centre at 101-3607 Small Rd, just off the Inland Island Highway at exit 117, call 1-855-400-2882, or see discovercomoxvalley.com
What’s happening on the North Island Saturdays, through October – Comox Valley Farmer’s Market, 9am to 1pm at the Exhibition Grounds. July & Aug. (Thurs, Fri & Sat) T’sasala Native Dance Performance, Alert Bay Big House, alertbay.ca June 4 and 5 – Quadra Island Studio Tour, quadraislandarts. com June 9 to 19 – BC Shellfish & Seafood Festival, Comox Valley, bcshellfishfestival.com June 16 to 18 – Miners Memorial Weekend, Cumberland, cumberlandmuseum.ca June 16 to 19 – June Sports, Alert Bay, alertbay.ca June 18 – Kusam Klimb 2016, Sayward, kusamklimb.com June 25 to 26 – Nootka Marine Adventures Salmon Derby,
1-877-337-5464 July 2 to 24 – Comox Valley Youth Music Centre Festival, cymc.ca July 8 to 10 – Vancouver Island MusicFest, Courtenay, Exhibition Grounds, islandmusicfest.com July 15 to 17 – Tahsis Days, tahsischamber.com July 16 – Downtown Courtenay Market Day, downtowncourtenay.com July 15 to 17 – Filomi Days in Port Hardy, ph-chamber.bc.ca July 22 to 24 – River City Arts Festival, Campbell River, rivercityartsfest.com/ July 28 to Aug. 6 – Hornby Island Festival, hornbyfestival. bc.ca
July 22 to 24 – Alert Bay Artfest, alertbay.ca July 29 to Aug. 1 – Filberg Festival, Comox, filbergfestival.com July 30 to Aug. 1 – Comox Nautical Days Festival, comoxnauticaldays.ca
July 31 – Annual Alert Bay 360 Eco Paddle, alertbay.ca Aug. 5 to 7 – Salmon Festival And Logger Sports, Campbell River, crsalmonfestival.com
Aug. 19 to 21 – Atmosphere Festival, cumberlandvillageworks.com
Aug. 12 to 14 – Sointula Salmon Days, sointulasalmondays. com
Aug. 26 to 28 – Comox Valley Exhibition, Courtenay, cvex.ca
ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Honda ATVs & Power Equipment Canada
SN OO UR TT HHI SI LS A NN DD LA PHOTO COURTESY VILLAGE OF ZEBALLOS
The stunning scenery of of Zeballos
WELCOME TO THE NORTH ISLAND Campbell River, Quadra and Cortes Islands
PHOTO COURTESY CAMPBELL RIVER TOURISM
Chainsaw carving in Campbell River
hile Campbell River is wellknown as “the Salmon Capital of the World,” visitors will soon learn there is so much more to this bustling city by the sea. Building upon its reputation for exceptional saltwater fishing, the friendly, welcoming north Island community has since added to that reputation with exceptional scuba diving, golfing, kayaking, hiking, rafting and more. Walk on the wild side with whale- and marine wildlife-watching tours, bear viewing, bird watching and diving. Explore local seas at the new Discovery Passage Aquarium at the Discovery Fishing Pier, a 185-metre-long fishing pier complete with equipment rentals, fabulous views. Nearby is the Maritime Centre, home to the BCP45 historic seine boat featured on the Canadian $5 bill in the 1970s and ‘80s. By sea or land, natural amenities abound here. Discover Elk Falls Provincial Park, featuring stunning waterfalls, forested trails and a new suspension bridge. The Quinsam Hatchery is popular with nature enthusiasts, especially in
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summer and early fall when the salmon return to spawn. Home to about 33,000 people, Campbell River offers visitors a wide range of accommodation and dining opportunities. Downtown, find shops, art galleries, theatre and the 4km Rotary Beach Seawalk. Just south of downtown, the Museum at Campbell River highlights the region’s Aboriginal heritage and its fishing and forestry past. Haig Brown House, the former home of nature conservationist Roderick Haig Brown, is an interesting historical stop featuring displays, seminars and courses. From downtown Campbell River, take a 10-minute BC Ferry trip to Quadra Island, another prime destina-
tion for saltwater fishing, kayaking, hiking and diving. One more ferry trip – about 45-minutes – from Quadra Island leads to tiny, quiet Cortes Island, with a lovely landscape of orchards, lagoons and beaches. Campbell River also serves as an excellent base for exploring Strathcona Provincial Park, accessed 59km west on Highway 28. Find freshwater lakes for paddlers and anglers, excellent hiking, camping and stunning scenery. Call the Campbell River Visitor Centre at 250-286-6901 or 1-877-286-5705 or visit at 1235 Shoppers Row.
ern Stor t s e e AW AND
so much more…
Gold River, Tahsis and Nootka Sound West of Campbell River, through Strathcona Provincial Park, sits the village of Gold River and stunning Nootka Sound, dubbed “the birthplace of BC” because it was here Captain Cook first landed in 1778. Revered by sports fishers, Gold River also boasts pristine waters welcoming kayakers and divers while hikers and walkers enjoy everything from 20-minute forest walks to the three-day Nootka Trail. Caving is another growing activity. From Gold River, the scenic, 64km “Tree-to-Sea Drive,” a well-maintained gravel road, brings you to the Village of Tahsis in just over an hour. Along the way, explore the Upana Caves, visit the Conuma River Salmon Enhancement Facility, see the Three Sisters Waterfalls, swim at Malaspina Lake and visit the President’s Tree. In Tahsis, outdoor activities include fishing, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, diving and kayaking, and families will enjoy Tahsis Days on the third weekend of July. Amenities include lodging, a marina, fuel, grocery store, liquor outlet, pub and dining options. The Tahsis Heritage Museum and Tourist Centre welcome visitors from July 1 to Labour Day. For details about Gold River call 250-283-2202 or villageofgoldriver.ca. For the Village of Tahsis, visit villageoftahsis.com or call 250-934-6344.
Sayward, Nimpkish Valley and Zeballos
Men’s & Ladies Western & Casual Clothing
Souveniers • Moccasins • Native Carvings • Artifacts Belts & Buckels • Hats & Caps • T-shirts, Sweat shirts & Hoodies 250.286.3554 Phone/Fax 920 Island Hwy., Campbell River ‘Historic Pier Street’
Western Store and So Much More 46 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Heading north from Campbell River along Highway 19, stop by the Seymour Narrows Lookout, a viewpoint and hiking trail overlooking Ripple Rock, a submerged mountain that caused dozens of shipwrecks before it was blasted apart in 1958 with the world’s largest man-made, non-nuclear explosion. At Sayward, see a building surrounded in 2,700m of steel logging cable, the Iron Man Totem and the Dalrymple Nature Trail, a 23km looped trail up Mt. H’Kusam. Try canoeing, boating, camping and fishing off the pier at the Kelsey Bay wharf on Johnstone Strait, tee off at the nine-hole, par 3 golf course on the river and book a marine adventure. The beautiful Nimpkish Valley offers a challenging hiking trail at Mount Cain – a family skiing destination in winter – boating at Lake Klaklakama, picnicing at Hoomak Lake and, 22km off the highway, renowned fishing at Vernon Lake. Just south of Nimpkish Lake is the road to Zeballos, a quiet logging community that once bustled with gold mining activity. Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of the historic buildings and Zeballos Heritage Museum, where tales of the gold rush and the resulting boomtown are told with pictures and artifacts. Enjoy fishing, diving, boating, hiking, caving, rock climbing and kayaking and visit the Zeballos River estuary, designated a Wetland Reserve. For Sayward details call 250-282-3821 or 250-282-0018. Find Visitor Centres at the junction of Sayward Road and Highway 19 and the Sayward Futures Office on Kelsey Bay Wharf. For Zeballos details, call 250-761-4070 (July and August) or 250-761-4229 (September to June).
S U N S H I N E CO A S T DARREN ROBINSON | TOURISM POWELL RIVER PHOTO
The Sunshine Coast is a favourite destination for paddlers
Take a shine to the
ocated across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver Island, the BC Mainland region of Powell River and the Sunshine Coast is accessed from the Island by BC Ferries’ Comox terminal. Founded more than a century ago as logging community, Powell River today is the largest town on the Coast and an excellent jumping off point for yearround recreation and cultural experiences. Discover not only the many things this historic town has to offer, but also the picturesque communities along the Sunshine Coast, including Lund, Pender Harbour, Sechelt and Gibsons. Discover more of the region’s artistic talents with the Purple Banner Studio & Gallery Guide and during festival season take in the Lund Shellfish Festival, the annual Spot Prawn Festival, the Blackberry Festival, Sunshine Music Festival and more. Prefer quiet cultural explorations? Stroll the community to view landmark buildings like the Patricia Theatre and Dwight Hall, then at the Powell River Historical Museum, find the funky collec-
tion of logging equipment and Sliammon First Nations art. The Sunshine Coast is also a premier destination for hikers, paddlers divers, bikers and other outdoor adventurers who appreciate the region’s four-season possibilities. Hiking and biking trails, tranquil lakes, several golf courses and numerous beaches combine to create
endless outdoor possibilities. A gateway to Desolation Sound marine recreation, Lund is a picturesque fishing village connected by a waterfront boardwalk winding from the SunLund By-The-Sea campgrounds to the Historic Lund Hotel, offering craft shops and a harbourfront cafe along the way. Circa 1905, the Lund Hotel is the heart of the
COASTAL ALE TRAIL
WE LIKE IT ON TOP...OF THE ALE TRAIL ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
May 27 to 29 – Lund Shellfish Festival, Lund Harbour, lundbc.ca/Shellfish_Festival.html May 28 & 29 – Soap Box Derby, Sunset Park, Powell River, powellriver.info June 5 – Powell River Garden Tour, powellriver.info June 13 to 25 – Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA), orchestra-academy. ca June 28 & 29 – BC Bike Race, Willingdon Beach, bikepowellriver.ca July 1 – Canada Day Festivities, powellriver.info July 5 to 9 – International Choral Kathaumixw, kathaumixw.org July 16 & 17 – Sandcastle Weekend, Texada Island, texada.org/events/ July 22 to 25 – Diversity Festival, Texada Island, texada.org/events/ July 23 – Powell River Sea Fair Parade, powellriverseafair.ca July 31 – Texada Fly-in, Texada Island, texada.org/ events/ Aug. 6 & 7 – Blues & Roots 2016, Texada Island, texada.org/events/ Aug. 13 & 14 – Texada Artists Studio Tour, texada. org/events/ Aug. 19 – Blackberry Festival Street Party, Marine Avenue, Powell River, powellriver.info August 27 & 28 – Powell River Studio Tour, powellriverartists.com Sept. 2 & 4 – Sunshine Music Festival, Palm Beach Park, sunshinemusicfest.com Sept. 10 – Texada Paintout, Shelter Point, Gillies Bay, Texada Island, texada.org/events For more information about what to see and do in Powell River and the Sunshine Coast, stop by the Visitor Centre at 4760 Joyce Ave., Powell River, call toll-free at 1-877-817-8669 of visit online at powellriver.info
Island Camping: What You Need to Know From hike-in wilderness sites to full-service RV parks equipped with laundromats and stores, Vancouver Island is home to a wide variety of parks and camping facilities. Many of the Island’s provincial parks also feature campgrounds and some have sites that can be reserved ahead. A reservation fee may apply in addition to the regular overnight fee. For information and to make reservations, call Discover Camping at 1-800-689-9025 or visit discovercamping.ca for locations and details. Privately owned and operated campgrounds are located throughout Vancouver Island. For additional campground locations, check in at local Visitor Centres. The Ministry of Forests also maintains a number of recreation sites on Vancouver Island. Fees are collected for camping at a number of these sites to maintain the sites for future campers. For locations and details, visit sitesandtrailsbc.ca
50 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Exploring the Sunshine Coast
DARREN ROBINSON | TOURISM POWELL RIVER PHOTO
S U NSSOHUITNHE ICO AN SD T SLA
What’s happening on the Sunshine Coast
village with a popular pub, dining room, art gallery and well-stocked grocery store carrying everything from beach toys to fresh deli sandwiches. From the Lund Marina, visitors can catch the water taxi to Savary Island, book a Desolation Sound boat tour, arrange an educational kayak tour of the wildlife sanctuary at Mitlenatch Island and more. Texada Island is BC’s largest Gulf Island and ferries leave from Powell River’s Westview ferry terminal for the 30-minute trip. The island has plenty to offer the outdoor enthusiast, including excellent hiking and mountain biking trails, more than 250 species for avid bird-watchers, and a nine-hole golf course, while history buffs will enjoy the two museums. Water recreation includes kayaking, skimboarding, scuba diving, swimming and exploring the newly protected karst caves near Davies Bay. Much smaller that Texada, Savary Island is a warm-water destination with stunning white sand beaches, with highly sensitive ecosystems ranging from sand cliffs to dune meadows and ancient forested dunes. While the island does have private holiday homes, there is no power and no public campsites or washrooms, though several cottage rentals, B&Bs and a private campsite are available. Daytrippers can be dropped off and picked up at the public wharf, with many visitors ar-
riving by water taxi or aboard chartered boats from Lund. The best way to get around is to cycle from beach to beach. Prime stops include South Beach, Duck Bay, Sutherland Beach and the Malaspina Promenade. The Coast Salish village of Sliammon, just north of Powell River, boasts a history dating back more than 2,000 years, and visitors can enjoy free interpretive hikes with a First Nations guide. The Sliammon Salmon Hatchery offers public tours of the hatchery. While in 1792 Captain George Vancouver named Desolation Sound for its remoteness, today its pristine isolation is one of its prime attractions among pleasure boaters and paddlers. Warm waters, wildlife and breathtaking scenery make this a must-experience destination. Grace Harbour, Prideaux Haven and Tenedo’s Bay are three main destination anchorages among the many sheltered bays and inlets. Popular activities include scuba diving, saltwater and freshwater fishing, and walk-in wilderness camping. Water taxis, guided kayak tours, cruises and boat charters can be arranged from Lund and Okeover Inlet. Continuing to the southern coast toward Vancouver, highlights include Gibson and Pender Harbour.
Victoria – Westshore
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SIDNEY 57 SOOKE 441 436 TAHSIS 337 331 429 TOFINO 311 306 404 42 UCLUELET 26 37 421 316 291 VICTORIA 480 475 201 469 444 460 ZEBALLOS
QUALICUM BEACH 178 172 263 166 141 158 303
355 533 527 253 521 496 512 136
PORT ALICE 53 PORT HARDY 54 44 PORT McNEILL 597 586 547 PORT RENFREW
OF GE QUALICUM OR BEACH GI A PARKSVILLE Nanoose Bay / Fairwinds Lantzville Coombs
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366 355 316 232 11 167 162 274 171 146 147 313
PARKSVILLE 50 PORT ALBERNI
36 84 402 391 352 196 47 131 126 309 206 180 111 349
North Island Route is Hwy 19 between Campbell River and Port Hardy
Oceanside Route is Hwy between Parksville and Campbell River
in Kilometres - 1 km = .6 miles approx.
LAKE COWICHAN 73 NANAIMO
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226 153 117 151 248 238 198 349 107 284 279 157 273 248 264 196
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BAMFIELD 246 CAMPBELL RIVER 217 191 CHEMAINUS 201 45 146 COURTENAY 230 204 13 159 DUNCAN 337 91 281 136 294 GOLD RIVER 528 282 472 326 485 220 HOLBERG 336 310 113 265 106 400 591 JORDAN RIVER 202 176 17 131 28 266 457 134 LADYSMITH
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NO RH T HI SILSAL N AN SO UT DD
ANGLING for the BIG ONE Village of
Gold River www.goldriver.ca
Open Weekends ~ May 20- July 1 (Fri,Sat Sun) Open Daily ~ July 2 - September 4, 2016
Tel: 250-283-2418 Off Season Phone: 250-283-2202
Corporation of the Village of Gold River
Gold River Visitor Centre www.villageofgoldriver.com
BEARS O F KN IGHT I NL E T Grizzly bear tours depart daily from Telegraph Cove by covered water taxi with on-board washroom. Spring & Summer trips feature viewing from boat. In the fall, bears eat salmon. Telegraph Cove, BC 250-339-5320 Toll Free 1-888-643-9319
TIDE RIP GRIZZLY ADVENTURES 52 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
ancouver Island is renowned around the globe as an angler’s paradise. It’s a must-visit destination for the storied salmon, certainly, but also for the massive halibut, trout, spot prawns, crab and other delicacies. From solitary fresh-water fishing in secluded lakes and winding rivers or thrilling adventures on the open ocean, virtually every community offers outfitters, charters and boat rentals. In fact, whether you cast your line in Victoria to the south or Port Hardy in the north, secluded Rivers Inlet to Campbell River – the “salmon fishing capital of the world” – exceptional yearround sport fishing opportunities await. Several hatcheries and nature houses also offer a chance to learn more about the lifecycle of the salmon, while in Campbell River, there’s even the opportunity to swim with the fish. Each fall, the salmon run at Victoria’s Goldstream Park draws thousands to witness the salmon’s amazing return. Care to try your line in Island waters? Check out the many guides and outfitters in these pages, or visit any of the Island’s Visitor Centres for more information for individual communities. Heading out on local waters? NonTidal Licences (freshwater) are now available on-line at fishing.gov.bc.ca Anglers may also obtain electronic licences from their local Service BC Centre or any licence vendor who may offer this service. For a listing of Service BC Centres and license vendors, visit http:// a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/lvs/. Tidal fishing licences are can be obtained from an Independent Access Provider, or online before you head out. Always carry your licence with you. For more details, visit pac.dfo-mpo. gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/know-savoir-eng.html
ISLAND OUTFITTERS PHOTO
Vancouver Island is an angler’s paradise
SN OO UR TT HHI SI LS A NN DD LA
ort Hardy and Port McNeill anchor the northern part of the island, complemented by a collection of rural towns ideal for exploring. Port Hardy is a bustling community of about 5,000, renowned for year-round adventures, including guided hiking, kayaking and caving tours. Fishing is always popular and operators provide everything from rentals to fly-in fishing camps, while the prolific marine life, water clarity and tidal action also attract divers. In town, the museum explores both European and First Nations history while the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre, open mid-May through September, is dedicated to salmon conservation, enhancement and education. Fort Rupert features First Nations artists at the Copper Maker Gallery. Holberg is known for beautiful Ronning Gardens and the Shoe Tree, a cedar snag covered in shoes, and is also the starting point for adventures in Cape Scott Park. Winter Harbour is a tiny settlement with a boardwalk waterfront and great fishing charters. Overlooking beautiful Broughton Strait and bordered on three side by forest, friendly Port McNeill is the hub of the North Island logging industry and an ideal base for North Island adventures. Explore the Port McNeill Museum or stroll the 1.5-hectare Shephard’s Garden. Fishing is superb here, as freshwater streams abound with trout and steelhead and offshore waters are famous for salmon, halibut, cod and snapper. Try a heli-fishing trip to the remote wilderness or a wildlife-watching excursion by land or by boat – another of Port McNeill’s most popular activities, along with kayaking, golfing, diving, caving, wind surfing, cultural tours and forestry tours. In the recreation haven of Port Alice, fresh and saltwater activities abound on the shores of the Neroutsos Inlet. Natural attractions include Beaver and O’Connor lakes and the 1,512-hectare Marble River Provincial Park. Victoria Lake and Alice Lake are also popular for swimming, boating and fishing, and paddlers can visit both with just a short portage between.
Sensational Side-trips Founded in 1912 as a one-room telegraph station Telegraph Cove is today an ac-
Storey’s Beach, Port Hardy
PORT HARDY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PHOTO
Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Port Alice, Telegraph Cove, Sointula and Alert Bay
claimed fishing and adventure destination, calling kayakers, divers, fishers, boaters and bird, bear and whale-watchers. Most of the community’s buildings are perched over the water on pilings. Wander the boardwalks to watch the fishing vessels, yachts and whale watching boats enter the cove. Rent a kayak for your own adventures or book a whale- or wildlife-watching excursion. On shore, be sure to visit the Whale Interpretive Centre, a marine mammal education centre open mid-May to October. Several accommodation options are available, along with dining, supplies and various adventure packages. BC Ferries connects Port McNeill with island communities of Alert Bay and Sointula. Sointula, founded a century ago by Finnish settlers, has retained much of its Finnish flavour and the museum is the best place to explore Sointula’s past. Visit local art studios and galleries, or take in Sointula’s natural amenities including Lions Harbour, a popular boating stop. A variety of accom-
modations are available. Alert Bay on Cormorant Island is rich with First Nations culture and tradition. Visit the renowned U’mista Cultural Centre, with its remarkable display of the repatriated Potlatch Collection and exhibits exploring the fascinating traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw, and the Alert Bay LibraryMuseum, with a variety of artifacts and photographs. The ‘Namgis Burial Grounds, easily viewed from the roadside as entry to the site is not permitted, is another must-see historic site, along with the world’s tallest totem pole. The traditional Big House can be viewed from the outside only, unless you’re visiting during July and August when the T’sasała Cultural group dances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
North Coast Trail Shuttle
Year round oceanfront RV and tenting campsite
Cape Scott Water Taxi
Port Hardy to Cape Scott North Coast Trail
One stop land and water transport
1-800-246-0093 250-949-6541 northcoasttrailshuttle.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call the Port Hardy and District Chamber of Commerce at 250-949-7622 or visit 7250 Market St. Find Telegraph Cove and Port McNeill details at 250-956-3131 or the Visitor Centre in the Port McNeill museum. For Port Alice, call 250-284-3391. For Sointula, call 250-973-2001 or visit sointulainfo.ca For Alert Bay, call 250-974-5024 or email email@example.com
Boat ramp, marina, kayak launch, showers, laundry, fish cleaning station, convenience store, incredible sunsets and daily whalewatching tours. 250.956.4117 • 888.956.2552 Alder Bay Resort Box 1090 Port McNeil, BC V0N 2R0 www.alderbayresort.com
ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
A B O R I GSI O NA UL T HTOI SULRAI SNM D
Celebrating the Island’s
Newcastle Island TOURISM NANAIMO / YEOSMITH PHOTOGRAPHY
o matter which part of the Island captures your interest, you’ll find opportunities to explore the fascinating culture of the region’s First Nations. Rich in tradition, Aboriginal history comes alive at the Royal BC Museum. Don’t miss the totems in Thunderbird Park next door and the Big House experience inside the museum. Around the harbour, find the Signs of Lekwungen, carved by Songhees artist Butch Dick and marking seven places of cultural significance to the Lekwungen, known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. Pick up a map at the downtown Visitor Centre or visit victoria.ca. In nearby James Bay, see Na’Tsa’Maht – The Unity Wall, a stunning mural painted along the breakwater by
A historical gold mining village fast becoming a favourite destination for kayakers, sportsfishers and nature lovers who want to experience the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. Campsites, comfortable accommodation and several cafés welcome visitors.
local First Nations artists Butch Dick and Darlene Gait. In Duncan – the City of Totems – explore the town’s historic streets and more than 80 totems, many in the downtown centre where walking tours are offered. The Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre offers interpretive tours, demonstrations and authentic native cuisine. Nanaimo’s Petroglyph Park features ancient carvings in stone while at the Nanaimo Museum the interactive Snunéymuxw exhibit explores textiles, basketry, trade, fishing and more. Hop the ferry to Newcastle Island, a provincial marine park known as Saysutshun by the Snunéymuxw people, who oversee the island. Tofino offers a coastal adventure blending whale, marine and wildlife watching tours with First Nations history and culture, along with art galleries and studios. In Courtenay, check out the I-Hos Native Gallery and the Courtenay and District Museum. The Museum at Campbell River boasts an extensive First Nations gallery, including the outstanding theatre presentation Treasures of Siwidi. In Campbell River, Aboriginal Journeys is a wildlife viewing and adventure tour company, while August Point Lodge, at the head of Zeballos Inlet, is famous for its outstanding fishing. A short ferry trip from Port McNeill, discover the small community of Alert Bay and the celebrated U’mista Cultural Centre, with its amazing display of masks and ceremonial regalia. In July and August enjoy dance performances by T’sasała Cultural Group, a Big House, totem poles throughout the community, and for art lovers, amenities such as the aboriginal-owned Culture Shock Gallery. Near Port Hardy, the Copper Maker Gallery is a working artist gallery on the site of an ancient village. Learn more about exploring Vancouver Island’s Aboriginal culture at AboriginalBC.com
250-761-4229 ~ www.Zeballos.com 54 ISLAND VISITOR 2016 | www.islandvisitor.ca
Whale Interpretive Centre
North Island Attractions COMOX VALLEY Comox Airforce Museum – Canadian Forces Base Comox, 250-339-8162, comoxairforcemuseum.ca Courtenay and District Museum and Paleontology Centre – 207 Fourth St, 250-334-0686, courtenaymuseum.ca Cumberland Museum and Archives – 2680 Dunsmuir Ave, Cumberland, 250-336-2445, cumberlandmuseum.ca Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens – 6183 Whitaker Rd, Courtenay, 250-338-6901, woodlandgardens.ca Seaview Game Farm – 1392 Seaview Rd, Black Creek, 250337-5182, seaviewgamefarm.com CAMPBELL RIVER Aboriginal Journeys – Whale watching, grizzly bear tours, Campbell River, 1-888-455-8101, aboriginaljourneys.com Coast Mountain Expedition – Sea kayak expeditions in the Discovery Islands, near Campbell River, 250-285-2823, coastmountainexpeditions.com Destiny River Adventures – Guided river rafting tours and snorkeling with salmon, 250-287-4800, destinyriver.com Discovery Marine Safaris – Whale watching, grizzly bear excursions, 1-866-501-6722, adventurewhalewatching.com Discovery Pier – landmark fishing pier ideal for strolls, 700-block Island Hwy, rivercorp.ca Discovery Passages Aquarium – At the entrance to the Discovery Fishing Pier, 250-914-5500, discoverypassageaquarium.ca Maritime Heritage Centre – 621 Island Hwy, 250-286-3161, bcp45.org Museum at Campbell River – 470 Island Hwy, 250-287-3103, crmuseum.ca GOLD RIVER Get West Adventures – Adventure cruises aboard the historic Uchuck III, 1-250-283-2515, getwest.ca TELEGRAPH COVE Stubbs Island Charters – whale watching cruises and tours, 250-928-3185 or 1-800-665-3066, stubbs-island.com Tide Rip Tours – Grizzly bear tours, 250-339-5320, 1-888-6439319, grizzlycanada.com Whale Interpretive Centre – marine mammal education, 250-928-3129 (May to October), killerwhalecentre.org ALERT BAY U’mista Cultural Centre – First Nations art and culture, summer dance performances , 250-974-5403, umista.ca PORT HARDY Cape Scott Water Taxi – Marine transportation and tours, Port Hardy, 250-949-6541 or 800-246-0093 capescottwatertaxi.ca Port Hardy Museum – 250-949-8143, 7110 Market St, porthardymuseum.com Starfish Charters – Fishing charters, Port Hardy, 888-3634741, starfishcharters.com
Stroll the waterfront boardwalk exploring the gift store, restaurant, pub and some well preserved heritage buildings perched high above the tide on pilings. Whale watchers, fishermen, kayakers and outdoor enthusiasts come here from all over the world to get back in touch with nature. We are located just south of Port McNeill off highway 19. The road is paved right to the boardwalk!
Whale Watch telegRaph Cove NortherN VaNcouVer islaNd
a24 Beautiful West Coast Cabins a120 Site Wooded Campground & RV Stations aSalmon & Halibut Charters aMarina aRestaurant, Pub, Gift Shop & Laundry Facilities British ColumBia’s 1st Whale WatChing Company – Founded 1980
WWW.stubbs-islaNd.com Dedicated to ethical wildlife viewing, education and conservation.
ReseRvations oR infoRmation
aCoffee Shops, Weddings, Adventure Hiking Trail aGeneral Store & Cold Beer & Wine
For reservations or inFormation Call 1-800-200-4665 or 250-928-3131 www.telegraphcoveresort.com