Category: Vancouver Island

Nanaimo, Duncan and Saltspring Island Eateries

Here are the Nanaimo, Duncan and Saltspring Island eateries I always go to and wouldn’t hesitate recommending: 1. Aladdin’s Caf

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Victoria British Columbia: One of Canada’s Most Walkable Cities

Living in Vancouver for many years, my family and I have visited Victoria several times.  We do not own a vehicle so when family members come to visit we often rent a car to make the trip over to Vancouver Island.  But we’ve also gone as foot passengers, from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria.  It’s actually quite easy for those that prefer not to drive. Victoria, BC is the fittest city in the country, according to Statistics Canada.  Victorians make more than 120,000 trips a day by foot.  City planners are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hope to […]

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The Old Country Market in Coombs BC

I never thought I’d visit Coombs, which is a small town near Parksville–Qualicum.  It’s a name on the map for me and until we chose to go to Butterfly World I didn’t think I’d have the pleasure of finding one of the most eclectic shopping areas in the world. The draw for this market is that they have grass on the rooftops of the market (I wonder if the new Convention Centre in Vancouver stole their idea) and they have goats trimming the grass.  Well, it’s been pretty darn hot and I suspect that the goats wouldn’t enjoy the dry […]

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Butterfly World & Gardens Coombs

The travelling family is always on the look-out for a good place to visit that the children will enjoy, but has some educational value and isn’t just wall-to-wall commercialism. The Butterfly World & Gardens in Coombs BC fits this bill.  We had an 8 and 2 year old with us and their interests were both piqued.  The eldest just wanted a butterfly to land on her and stay for a couple of moments.  The youngest wanted to just be able to see everything and had a good sense of discovery. Fortunately the facility wasn’t just a pile of butterflies flitting […]

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North Island Wildlife Recovery Association

If you want to see some animals in captivity, but are in captivity for a good reason — i.e. they’d be dead in a minute in the wild — the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington BC is a good choice. To get there, you need to take the Alberni Highway (4A) which you can access via Highway 19.  It’s quite close to Parksville (about 4 km) and makes an excellent day trip for the family. The place is not a zoo as such and it has a wonderfully rustic feel about it.  It’s a place to try to […]

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Why not call Parksville Beachville?

I’m not sure why it’s called Parkville; it should be called Beachville.  (Apparently Parksville was actually named after a fellow named Nelson Parks.)   We are staying at Ocean Trails Resort which has access to Rathtrevor Beach.  A bunch of resorts take advantage of the access to the water.  The reason is obvious: the beach during the various tides can reach out for what seems like miles and you can walk along the beach for what seems like miles. There are lots of tiny creatures to look at in the tide pools including craps, clams and other shelled critters.  When […]

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Lefty’s is the right place to eat in Parksville

Twice now I’ve eaten at Lefty’s (101 – 280 East Island Highway) in Parksville.  It’s got a mix of casual dining with funky booths and decor but the kitchen actually has some imagination.  We had an 8 and 2 year old in tow and there were other families and they had a diverse kids’ menu. I ate a bison burger with bacon and cheese and it was a really nice change from the generic beef. And I actually ate their side salad.  I never eat side salads.  My wife had a curry vegetable bowl with noodles.  She’s a vegetarian and […]

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Thoughts on Vancouver Island: Chemainus

Last summer, August of 2009, I had the opportunity to visit Chemainus, BC, to see a friend in their annual summer musicals. I had never been to Chemainus before and didn’t know what to expect. However, after only about an hour after arriving I realized I had fallen in love with the place! It is located in between Duncan  and Nanaimo, and you can either take a ferry from Vancouver to Duke Point, or Vancouver/Tsawwassen to Schwartz  Bay and drive up from Victoria. Each summer, Chemainus has a Musical Theatre Festival in their beautiful, newly renovated downtown theatre. I saw “Oklahoma” […]

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Thoughts on Vancouver Island: Tofino

I have had the opportunity to travel back and forth from Vancouver Island many times, but I mostly found myself in the heart of Victoria. There are many smaller towns which have absolutely charming attributes, and nooks and crannies waiting to be discovered. My parents took me to Tofino many times as a child, and as I venture back there as an adult, the outward appearance may have changed a little, but the spiritual heart of the town never escaped me. Tofino is an absolutely picturesque, healing and calming place. It is located on the tip of Vancouver Island, and […]

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Sooke and area Activities

Coastal Sooke, just 35 minutes from Victoria, is a tranquil refuge from the bustle of city life. The area enjoys a relaxed casual lifestyle in a rural setting but still affords many of the amenities of city life. Sooke offers some of the mildest climate in Western Canada, with warm and dry summer months and wet and mild winter months. Sooke, the gateway to the West Coast Road, winds 74 km along the coast to Port Renfrew and the starting point for the world-famous West Coast Trail. This is one of the South Island’s most spectacular drives – it winds […]

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