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Posts tagged ‘ed macgregor park’

Fall Photo Walk Along The Sooke Harbour Boardwalk

As I watched the sun rising over the back fence and into my home office, I was reminded why I love this season so much.  The crisp, cool air, a bright blue sky, and the golden hue of the morning sun on the colourful autumn leaves prompted me to bundle up and shoot a few photos on a walk along the spectacular Sooke Harbour boardwalk.

Parking the car at the lot on Murray Road, I walked up Murray towards Sooke Road to capture some of the leaves in the trees. I had noticed this the last sunny day we had and had meant to get back there to capture it. Unfortunately the wind over the past few days has pretty much stripped the trees, but they still look pretty on the ground.

Walking down the hill towards the Rotary Pier/boardwalk access, I snapped a few photos of the sun shining through the leaves, and reflecting off the harbour.

I love looking at this house whenever I head out on the boardwalk.

The pier and boardwalk are framed perfectly by the trees

Just because it isn’t summer doesn’t mean you can’t toss a trap in the water for crab. It was deserted on the often-busy pier, save for this couple.

There were lots of leaves left on the trees along the water. The harbour was so still, it was like a mirror, reflecting the trees. Gorgeous!

The harbour boardwalk is a real gem, we’re lucky to have it. It goes from the bottom of Murray Road all the way to Ed Macgregor Park, where it switch-backs gently across the slope offering easy access to and from the water.

I hope you enjoyed the photos! If you’d like to see the whole set, you can view it on Flickr.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra Fling Concert July 19th

Ed Macgregor Park

Ed Macgregor Park

Some people would think that a tiny town like Sooke – with a population of around 10,000 – wouldn’t have much of an arts and culture scene. Those people would be very, very wrong! Since moving to Sooke four years ago, I’ve come to appreciate and take pride in our thriving arts community – from photographers and painters, to potters and glassworkers, Sooke’s art and culture scene is really first-rate.

One of the true gems of our small Island town is the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra. That’s right, a symphony, in Sooke. This wonderful group of performers was formed in 1997 and, led by Norman Nelson, now performs 12 concerts per year in the region, plus their ever-popular summer Fling concert, held every July in Ed Macgregor Park.

This year’s event, the eighth annual, will be held on July 19th at the park, beginning at 2:30. The gates will be open at 1:00 to allow concertgoers to arrive early to stake out a good spot on the lawn at the park.

I attended for the first time last year and was really moved. You definitely don’t want to miss this fantastic free family event. It’s a pops concert, so there will be something for everyone and you will probably recognize most of the music, even if you’re not a huge classical music fan.

See my post about last year’s event here, including some video of the event.

More information about the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra can be found on their website (which doesn’t appear to have been updated in some time).

Parking can be a bit of an issue, so try and walk or carpool. A reminder that you can walk from downtown Sooke to Ed Macgregor Park along the Sooke Marine Boardwalk, which has an easy ramp from the water up to the park, so you may choose to park at the opposite end and walk there (about 10-15 minutes walk). My office (Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty) will also offer up our parking lot for concertgoers.

Here is a map showing the concert, parking, and boardwalk:

View Larger Map

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Running, Jogging, and Walking in Sooke

Self Portait - I Need to Get Moving!

Self Portait - I Need to Get Moving!

I’d been meaning to write about this for a while, but my post about Fresh Fitness last week attracted a comment from reader Jenna K about good places to run in Sooke, and approximate distances.

I’m back in training. I’ve been an avid runner for the past couple years, coming from a point where I could hardly run a kilometre without resting, to being able to bust off a quick 10K before breakfast. Last year, with Fresh Fitness, my fiancee and I started a training program to run the 1/2 at the Royal Victoria Marathon. We didn’t end up doing the run, as it was on the same day as my ten-year high school reunion in Vancouver. Anyway, a busy summer combined with general laziness and lack of running partner (M hurt her hip and can’t run) kind of sidelined me.

But I’m back in the groove now, and I’m planning on at least three runs this year. The TC 10K, the Vancouver Marathon (1/2 Marathon), and my first full marathon in October at the Royal Victoria Marathon.

The obvious choices for running, jogging and walking in Sooke have to be Whiffen Spit and The Galloping Goose Trail. Whiffen is nice, because it’s approximately 1.5km long, flat, and surrounded by the ocean. The mountain and ocean views are incredible. From the intersection of West Coast/Sooke Road and Whiffen Spit Road to the end of the spit is almost exactly three kilometres. From the start of the Spit to the end, it’s about 1.5km.

There are two main entrances to the Galloping Goose in Sooke. One at Cooper’s Cove, just east of Fuze restaurant, and another on Sooke River Road on the way to Sooke Potholes Park. I like the Goose because as it is an old rail bed, it does not have any steep inclines or declines. Also, the distance is marked every kilometre, so timing your run or doing a certain distance is easy.

I’ve gone a few times up the hill at Harbourview Park (this is the park in Sasseenos at the end of Harbourview road). It’s a bit of a trek up the hill, but it is quite challenging if you’re in for a test. The trail goes on forever so you’ll never run out of room.

I also enjoy the new trail system that is developing in Sooke. Basically all the new developments in the past few years have had to include pedestrian trails somewhere in the development. If you start in Sun River, you could run their many trails down to the SEAPARC centre, and then continue on towards downtown Sooke on the trails that go by the middle school and in behind the new developments off Church Road. You’ll still hit some roads, but it’s getting better all the time.

A really nice route is now available between Murray Road (the bottom part of Otter Point Road) and Ed Macgregor park. The new boardwalk is now complete, and you can run down Murray (very steep!) and the stairs to Rotary Pier, which is the starting point of the boardwalk. Run out across the Sooke Harbour on the boardwalk and you’ll see that instead of the somewhat treacherous stairs and dirt trail up the hill, there is a wheelchair accessible boardwalk, allowing a smooth, not-too-steep run up the embankment into beautiful Ed Mcgregor Park.

Running in Sooke can be challenging, as there are many hills. One day I’d like to run up Otter Point Road from its start at Sooke Road and go all the way around (it’s a horseshoe shaped road) to its intersection with West Coast Road.

See below for a map of some of the routes, or click the link below to view it full-sized.

What are your favourite places to run?

View Larger Map

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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BC Government Funds Sooke Spirit Square at Ed MacGregor Park

Ed MacGregor Park. Photo Credit: wjis on Flickr

Ed MacGregor Park. Photo Credit: wjis on Flickr

As I was driving home from Victoria this afternoon I passed by Ed MacGregor Park as I usually do, and noticed another large BC Government “we done spent some money here, looky!” sign. I thought at first it was the sign announcing their funding of the waterfront boardwalk from earlier this year, but as I whizzed by I saw in large letters “Spirit Square.”

I was intrigued – what’s a spirit square? Sure enough, my trusty BC Government News RSS Feed had already been updated when I sat down at my computer (gotta love that!)

The Spirit Squares Program is a $20-million effort by the government to improve or create outdoor meeting spaces and public celebreation areas and to encourage tourism and walkable neighbourhoods and communities.

Specifically, the Sooke Spirit Square will be at Ed MacGregor Park, with a covered performance area, directional and interpretive signage, and public art. Plans for the enhanced event space include a water feature using onsite rainwater management techniques. The Provincial Government is putting up $237,500 for the project.

By locating the square at Ed MacGregor Park, the district of Sooke gains a further enhancement to this centrally-located, accessible, and beautiful park. Being located at one end of the waterfront boardwalk and trail system, It’s hoped that residents and visitors will choose to walk 10 minutes along the magnificent Sooke Harbour to and from town to enjoy events that will now be able to be held with the Spirit Square enhancements.

Click the following link for more information on the Spirit Squares Program.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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