May 2021 Victoria Movers & Shakers

June 1, 2021


Sue Hodgson

Sue Hodgson will take the helm as publisher for the Peninsula News Review this coming June. Sue is the owner of Seaside Magazine, and is a former publisher at both Boulevard Magazine and Page One Publishing.

A new proposal from the Postmark Group would see a six-storey development, reaching from Highway 14 all the way down to the waterfront in Sooke. It would be built out of mass timber, with 220 condos and 40,000 square feet of commercial retail space. The Postmark Group hopes to bring the proposal in front of Sooke Council by the end of the month.

The Oaks at Dawson Heights, an 85-unit rental complex at 3700 Cedar Hill Road for seniors, was given the greenlight by Saanich Council to begin development soon. Dawson Heights Housing Society, the applicant, has committed to maintaining the rental rates at a level that’s consistent with the BC Housing and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation funding program requirements with eligibility criteria based on income. Council granted $170,000 to support the application from Saanich’s Affordable Housing Fund.

Langford Council and the Island Corridor Foundation have announced plans for a new park on the railroad land at Station Avenue in downtown Langford. Phase one, a parking lot and dog park, should be ready by this fall. The city will take on a 30-year lease from the Island Corridor Foundation and develop it into a public-use area with up to $1 million in funding from the Union of BC Municipalities’ Gas Tax Fund. Phase two will be under construction by spring 2022.

Colwood and Seacliff Properties have signed a development agreement for the Royal Beach waterfront property on a partially remediated gravel mine. The 130-acre property’s plan calls for nearly one-third of the area to be parks, with the rest a combo of commercial and residential space. Up to 2,850 homes in mixtures of detached houses, townhouses and apartments will be allowed.

Capone’s Chicken is opening soon in downtown Esquimalt at 4-612 Head Street.

The Northwest Cider Association invites visitors to explore BC cider by visiting cideries and picking up BC cider at local retailers during BC Cider Week 2021, being held May 20-30. Cideries across the province are coming together to provide safe and creative ways for consumers to appreciate BC cider. From exciting seasonal releases to cider-infused food pop-ups and more, cider lovers can stay up to date on what’s happening here.

Oak Bay’s Windsor Cafe, located at 2540 Windsor Road, has plenty of patio space for diners to enjoy a great meal from their ever-changing menu.

Victoria’s Loghouse Pub at 2323 Millstream Road is offering great takeout specials. 

Victoria’s Tiny Home Village in North Park has opened. A collaboration between BC Housing, the city, and Our Place Society, the village will house a single resident in each of the 30,160 sq. ft. units in the Royal Athletic Park parking lot.

The Capital Regional District (CRD) bought two parcels of land from Waultraut Schnarr for $1.1 million, expanding Mount Work Regional Park by another 13.8 hectares. The land is at the southwest border of the park, in the District of Highlands.

Sharon Labossier 

 Hanging With Hounds is the first company serving the Sooke Region certified as a BC SPCA’s AnimalKind accredited dog trainer. The AnimalKind program sets out science-based training standards to ensure humane treatment for dogs. They will be taking new in-person clients in the Sooke, Langford and Victoria areas commencing June 2021.

Electronics repair shop uBreakiFix is now open in Victoria at 1088 Douglas Street. The store offers repairs on smartphones, tablets, computers, and more.

View Royal Council gave final approval to the first of two developments on Erskine Lane for a six-storey, 71-unit residential building near Victoria General Hospital. The second project, a four-building design from West Urban Developments, has yet to reach the development permit stage.

Construction of a state-of-the-art passive house building for 398 University of Victoria students has begun. The new student housing and dining building, just south of the Student Union Building, constructed of concrete and mass timber, will be complete in September 2022, with a second building expected to open in 2023. To see a video featuring the project, click here.

Alexzi Building Solutions has narrowed down its location for a new 150,000 square foot manufacturing plant to Langford and North Cowichan. Once in operation, the plant would make durable, energy efficient and rapid-assembly construction panels. The facility would employ up to 200 local residents.

A federal grant will help Saanich install more new electric vehicle (EV) chargers at municipal facilities. The district plans to further electrify its municipal vehicle fleet, adding 22 Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations at five municipal facilities by fall of 2022. Installation of the chargers will cost $220,000, paid for via funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program.

View Royal has approved the Capital Regional District’s request to borrow up to $34.3 million to upgrade aging wastewater pipes, manhole covers and pump stations throughout the core area service region. CRD staff have planned out five years’ worth of upgrades to parts of the wastewater infrastructure that are nearing the end of their useful life.

Pennsylvania-based Aquatech International has tapped Victoria’s Pani Energy to help reduce the costs of the desalination process using Pani’s cloud-based AI technology at a number of their desalination plants.

Victoria’s Crowd Content Media, a content creation service provider that helps global brands create high-quality, large-scale content, has added Cathy Fernandes to its Board of Directors. Cathy is President and CEO of marketing agency Mr. & Mrs. Jones Inc.

Tricia Gueulette

Local Victoria charity Beacon Community Services has announced Tricia Gueulette will be appointed Chief Executive Officer June 10th. Current CEO Bob Boulter announced his intention to step down from the position earlier this year.

Victoria’s CryoLogistics Refrigeration Technologies Ltd. is one of 24 semi-finalists for Streams A and B of the $20-million Food Waste Reduction Challenge, an initiative under the Food Policy for Canada. Each semi-finalist will receive $100,000 and move on to the market demonstration stage of the Challenge. Each finalist will receive up to an additional $400,000, with one winner per stream awarded a grand prize of up to $1.5 million. To learn more, click here.

McDonald Campground in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve just north of Sidney has been renamed SMONECTEN, to recognize regional First Nations. The new name comes from the local SENCOTEN language and means “fir pitch place.”

The Malahat SkyWalk located between Victoria and Duncan will open for visitors in July 2021. the SkyWalk will take visitors 250 metres above sea level, offering 360-degree views of Finlayson Arm, the Saanich Inlet, the Saanich Peninsula, the Gulf Islands, the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker, and the Coast Mountain Range.

Langford Emergency Support Services is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Saanich Council unanimously agreed to end discussions with the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) regarding plans to bring a potential casino to the municipality. The BCLC remains interested in bringing a hotel and entertainment facility to eastern Saanich without a casino.

Cori Coutts and the field team staff at Victoria’s Knappett Projects Inc. were awarded for leadership and contributions to COVID-19 safety in the industry during the British Columbia Construction Association’s Fourth Annual Construction and Skilled Trades Month. Cori is the safety manager at Victoria’s Knappett Projects Inc., overseeing the field team’s creation, implementation and maintenance of safe job sites during the pandemic.

A new and expanded day surgery unit has opened at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. Community donations funded the entire $3.5 million cost of the project. the expanded unit will increase access to medical daycare and support the delivery of surgeries for people accessing care close to home.

Saanich council has approved BeckwithCadboro-Gyro and Gorge Waterway parks for a food truck pilot this summer. Each park will have up to two trucks on site every day until 9pm. After the summer, staff will report back to council and the program could expand.

Eddy Liu is the new manager at Woodshed Pizza at 103-2360 Beacon Avenue in Sidney’s Garden

Edmonton-based York Realty plans to build a 45,200-square-metre warehouse worth over $50 million with a height of almost 23 metres on Victoria International Airport land across the street from a residential neighbourhood. The building would go up on an empty grass lot on the north side of Beacon Avenue West between Galaran and McDonald Park roads on land outside of Sidney’s control.

A two-space electric vehicle charging station has opened on Store Street, between Johnson Street and Pandora Avenue in Victoria. The Store Street station is part of BC Hydro’s EV expansion fourth phase plan, which includes twinning or adding 31 stations across the province in 2021.

From the Trenches Podcast Episode 19 features Peter van Dongen of MNP. Peter van Dongen is a Senior Manager of Business Development at MNP, a national accounting, tax and business consulting firm with 5 offices on Vancouver Island. Peter talks about how his firm and other organizations are adapting to doing business in the midst of a pandemic, the local economy, the Vancouver Island Economic Summit, and much more. Listen here.

Visa Canada has announced recipients of the She’s Next Grant Program, providing ten women-owned small businesses with $10,000 grants and resources, including Victoria’s Goldilocks Goods. Founded by Amy Hall, Goldilocks Goods makes natural and eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap, handmade using locally sourced beeswax.

Over 680 rural Saanich residents could benefit now that the Saanich Fire Department has successfully passed a re-accreditation process recognizing their ability to transport water to fire scenes that aren’t close to hydrants. By receiving this accreditation, the fire insurance grading index for residential properties in waterless areas of Saanich may have changed and homeowners could see a significant reduction in their annual fire insurance premiums.

The Province of BC’s Clean Coast, Clean Water Initiative has awarded $2M to fund the Salish Sea Indigenous Marine Stewardship Project, a collaboration between Songhees Development Corporation, Salish Sea Industrial Services Ltd (SSIS) and the Dead Boats Disposal Society. The project will see the removal of 100 derelict boats from the coastal waters around southern Vancouver Island.

206 BC tech start-ups, including 23 companies from Victoria, have moved onto Round 2 the 21st Annual New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC. Winners will be announced September 27th. To see the list of Round 2 start-ups, click here.

American clothing retailer L.L. Bean will open its first stores in British Columbia this year, including one in Victoria at the Mayfair Shopping Centre in August. The expansion comes after the outdoor apparel company opened three stores in Ontario in 2020. The other BC store will be in Burnaby.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has brought back art and food vendors to Victoria’s Inner Harbour. A reduced amount have returned with 23 art and food vendors spaced out along the lower causeway, or 50 percent of the harbour’s usual capacity. The vendors will be open from 10am-10pm daily until September 12th.

Canadian sports nutrition brand Näak has officially partnered with the BC Parks Foundation for an exciting initiative called 3% For The Forests to help protect the province’s forests, maintain its trails, and safeguard the wildlife and endangered species that call it home.

Vancouver Island Brewing has announced Pod Pack 2021, a new collaborative sampler pack to raise funds for the preservation of wild BC salmon stocks, a vital food source for the Southern Resident Killer Whales residing in the Salish Sea. The sampler features four beers created in collaboration with other island breweries, each named after one of the whales in the local pods studied by marine biologists. The collaborating breweries include Whistle Buoy Brewing, Mayne Island BrewingAce Brewing and Ucluelet Brewing. For details, click here.

The Beacon Drive-In Restaurant at 126 Douglas Street in Victoria has an open patio for visitors to enjoy the spring weather. Check out their menu here.

The Sidney location of Buds Cannabis is now open at 9775 Second Street.

In honour of Cinco de Mayo, Victoria chef Israel Alvarez announced that MAiiZ Nixtamal Tortillería customers can exchange any masa powder and store-bought corn tortillas brought into his business for freshly-made nixtamal masa dough and tortillas throughout the month of May. MAiiZ is open Tuesday to Sunday 9am-6pm, at 540 Fisgard Street. MAiiZ nixtamal products, meal kits, and more can also be found here and at retail locations across Vancouver Island.

Doug Tate

Head Coach Doug Tate is retiring after 27 years and multiple championship wins with the UVIC Vikes men’s rugby program. Coach Tate led the Vikes to three Canadian University titles, two BC Premier League Championships and six national Sevens titles.

The Wilson’s Group has launched its zero-emissions fleet strategy with a new electric bus pilot project with battery-powered electric bus manufacturer BYD Canada. The Model C8M, 41-passenger highway coach will serve Vancouver Island Connector’s daily route between Nanaimo and Victoria in a three-month trial and could offer an approximately 97-percent reduction in emissions.

The new Songhees Cannabis S + S store held a soft launch at its 1502 Admirals Road location in Victoria. Songhees partnered with the Seed and Stone cannabis company to open the store.

Sooke plans to begin construction of the $4.9-million Church Road corridor project this summer, which would see a half-kilometre, two-lane, all-season road built on Church Road from Highway 14 to Throup Road. The design includes a roundabout at Church and Throup roads and extensive upgrades to the intersection at Church Road and Highway 14 to extend the southbound turn lane into the town centre. The first phase of the project is expected to cost $2 million.

Entrepreneur Cynthia Cummings has launched The Funky Food Truck in Colwood’s Royal Bay, serving wraps, burgers, fries and more. It will share a parking lot with Sequoia Coffee across from Royal Bay High.

















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