Published On: Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The West Shore: Confidence and Optimism in 2016

The West Shore: Confidence and Optimism in 2016

- Julie Lawlor is the Executive Director at the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. You can reach her at 250-478-1130 or jlawlor@westshore.bc.ca.

WEST SHORE - The other day one of our members, Carlene McDonald of Westshore Town Centre, asked me for my observations on business activity and current trends in the West Shore. It was a welcome opportunity to review and reflect, and one of the first things I was able to tell Carlene is that in the period from January-July 2016 the WestShore Chamber welcomed twice as many new members as for the same period in 2015. I think this small example is indicative of growing business confidence across the region.

Raymond James recently opened a West Shore office to complement their office in Victoria, an extension that Collins Barrow also made towards the end of 2015. The movement is certainly not just one way, as Langford-based Party Crashers has opened a new location at 2642 Quadra Street. It’s a busy year for owners David and Paul Scotthorne as their Langford store will be moving and expanding at their new location of 2364 Millstream Road, which will open its doors on September 16th.

We like to describe the West Shore as the best place in the region to live, work and play and 2016 has seen further developments that support our description. In May, the beautiful facilities at the YMCA-YWCA Westhills opened in Langford, in tandem with a new Heritage Branch of the Victoria Public Library and the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

May also saw the launch of the Westshore Express shuttle. A partnership between View Royal Casino and Wilson’s Transportation and supported by West Shore municipalities, the Westshore Express brings people from Victoria out to the West Shore and offers free park and ride for West Shore residents heading into Victoria or out to the Airport. In June, the Royal Bay development in Colwood was unveiled, and Eagle Creek Village opened in View Royal. And I have to mention Rugby Canada’s Langford-based women’s rugby sevens team winning bronze for Canada at the Rio Olympics – a very proud moment.

It’s in this mood of confidence that we look towards the Best of the West Shore 2016, our annual awards ceremony which celebrates the best the West Shore has to offer. Voting opens in September and will cover 40 categories ranging from “the best place to take an out-of-town visitor” to the favourite “best restaurant.” Supported by our Title Sponsor Peninsula Co-op, the Best of the West Shore culminates in an Awards dinner which will take place this year at Olympic View Golf Club on October 26th.

For more information on the Best of the West Shore and the WestShore Chamber of Commerce, please go to www.westshore.bc.ca.