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Posts tagged ‘parks’

Valentines Day in Sooke – Top 5 Ideas For Romance

Sunset at Otter Point by Jason van der valk

Sunset at Otter Point by Jason van der valk

It’s Valentines Day – are you stuck for ideas for romancing your sweetheart? Here are 5 top places and activities to ignite the candle of romance in your life. Even if you’ve already got plans, bookmark this page for the next time you’re looking to impress that special somebody.

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Sooke Parks in Profile: China Beach (Juan De Fuca Provincial Park)

At low tide there is plenty of sand to play on.

It’s been way too long since I posted about parks in Sooke. My wife’s sister is in town for a few day and we took advantage of the great weather we’ve been having lately for an excursion out to China Beach. Located at the trailhead of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail just a few kilometres west of Jordan River, China beach is a bit of a hike from the parking lot, but is well worth it! Read more

Sooke Parks in Profile: East Sooke Park

The Coast Trail in East Sooke Park

Welcome to a new series on What The Sooke?!: Sooke Parks In Profile. Sooke has some amazing parks – and I want to tell the world about it. From East Sooke to Port Renfrew, our region is dotted with pockets of green space and vast swaths of wilderness, and I’m sure there are even parks you never knew were there. This series is dedicated to profiling our region’s parks.

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What’s Building In Sooke? Projects Update [Photos]

A while back, I wrote about the BC Spirit Square that was announced for Ed Macgregor Park in Sooke. The oft-vandalized BC Government sign visible from the roadway had been sitting there for months with not a lot of action behind it in the park. Well, as I was passing by the other day I got a glimpse of the outdoor performance space that was promised as part of the Spirit Square:

The outdoor stage in the new Spirit Square

In addition to the stage, washrooms, lighting and drainage/erosion control are being installed. Ed Macgregor park is getting better and better – imagine the Sooke Philharmonic Fling concert being played on a nice new stage, and being able to walk from downtown along the waterfront boardwalk to enjoy it!

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Every day I drive past the site of the new Prestige Hotel being built along the waterfront in Sooke. As I’ve written before, this is an amazing development and will be a welcome asset to our town, for visitors and locals alike. Work has been progressing steadily since October on the project and it appears that the foundation is nearing completion:

The Foundation of the Prestige Hotel in Sooke near completion

I hope to take some more photos as construction on this project continues.

Sooke is definitely moving up in the world – with its stunning natural beauty, relatively affordable housing, and small-town charm, it’s no surprise.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Parks and Trails Master Plan Open House Nov 26th

Bravo to whoever designed this - I like it!

Bravo to whoever designed this - I like it!

One of the best things about moving to Sooke is the excellent system of parks and trails our district enjoys. From Ed MacGregor Park and the waterfront boardwalk to the Galloping Goose Trail, there’s always something to do in some beautiful park in Sooke.

Today when I went to grab the best cappuccino on the continent at Sooke’s renowned Stick in the Mud Cafe, I noticed the above brightly coloured flyer. Upon flipping it over, I read that the District of Sooke is holding a public open house to review a draft of the Parks and Trails Master Plan. Residents are invited to share their ideas and priorities for the future of parks and trails in Sooke.

The open house runs Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 from 4:00 until 8:00 in the foyer of the SEAPARC Arena, Philips Road. Light refreshments will be provided.

I encourage all those who love our town and the outdoor recreation opportunities it offers to come out and have your say in the future planning for those amenities. I’m planning on attending, hope to see you there!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Get Ready For The Homeless in Beacon Hill Park [Video]

Today the Supreme Court of British Columbia handed down a ruling that declared that the City of Victoria’s bylaw against homeless tent cities in city parks was unconstitutional because it violates their Charter rights. This precedent setting ruling has some very interesting consequences for cities across the country, and it should be very interesting to see how it plays out in the months to come. Mayor Alan Lowe goes on record as saying that the city “Is not in the business of providing housing,” and I would have to agree with him when he points out that the senior levels of government (Provincial and Federal) should be responsible for housing the homeless. We need solutions to the homeless problem, and unfortunately, tent cities in city parks are not a viable option. What do you think?

Your comments below, please, anonymous/fake e-mail address is always OK on this blog.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
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Bear Safety in Sooke and on Vancouver Island

Photo Credit: Bobengr on Flickr

Photo Credit: Bobengr on Flickr

It seems that scarcely a day goes by without some news story about an encounter with humans and bears in British Columbia. Fortunately, injuries are rare, but unfortunately, the animals end up the victims, having to be killed in order to protect the public.

Last month saw the sensational account of a fisherman from Salt Spring Island who was on his boat, cleaning his catch in nearby Port Renfrew, when a black bear swam across the river, climbed into his boat and attacked him. It was only after several bystanders attacked and killed the bear with fishing gaffs and knives that the old, hungry animal relented.

This morning’s Times Colonist featured a story about a man beating to death a bear with a makeshift club after being attacked. Side note: Holy crap, get that guy the Manly-Man Of The Year Award!

As our urban development spreads further into forested and natural areas, these encounters become more common. Since living in Sooke, I’ve come across a couple of bears (from a distance, thankfully).

Here are a few safety tips to consider to keep you, your family, and the bears out of harm’s way:

  • Consider storing your garbage cans and compost behind a fence to make it less tempting for wildlife.
  • Stick to established, well-worn paths with good visibility. This will enable you to spot bears from a distance and you’ll be less likely to surprise one in dense foliage.
  • Make some noise while hiking. Bears rarely want confrontation; most incidents are from surprising an animal.
  • Be careful with food in the bush. Use food caches at Provincial parks, seal your garbage in plastic bags, and store food away from your tent
  • Consider carrying bear spray, but don’t use it as a substitute for smart planning and avoidance techniques.
  • Travel in groups – you’re safer in numbers. Don’t let kids or pets wander.
  • If you come across dead wildlife, leave the area and report it to park staff; carcasses attract bears.

It’s our responsibility to protect bears from becoming food conditioned by being careful with our food supplies and our garbage. Most encounters occur with bears that become used to frequenting an area for an easy source of food. The only solution for a food conditioned bear is to destroy it, hence “A fed bear is a dead bear.”

For more safety tips and bear facts, the BC Parks website has an excellent bear safety page.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra Fling Concert a Real Treat [Video]

The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra put on a simply amazing concert in Ed Macgregor Park this Sunday. Since hearing about the Sooke Philharmonic, I’d always meant to attend one of their concerts, and now I know what I’ve been missing. I don’t pretend to know the first thing about classical music. I don’t know my Wagners from my Mozarts or Verdis. But I can say with absolute certainty that I was truly and deeply moved by the performances witnessed yesterday.

The sun was high in the sky and a cool ocean breeze from the Strait of Juan De Fuca was keeping everyone refreshed on an absolutely crystal-clear summer day in Sooke. The three hour free concert is a fundraising and promotional event, in its seventh year, held by the Philharmonic.

Maestro Christopher Taber was animated and very entertaining to watch, as he led the orchestra through two sets of wonderful classics, Broadway tunes, and opera selections. Classical selections included Overture to the Barber of Seville by Rossini, The Blue Danube Waltz by Strauss, and the concert finished with Overture to William Tell by Rossini. Musical selections included Fiddler on the Roof and Oliver!

Soloists Allison Ward (soprano) and Stephen Barradell (bass/baritone) were nothing short of incredible. Again, I can’t profess to know the first thing about opera (or what the hell they are singing about, for that matter), but concert M.C. David Paulson prefaced each musical selection with a short history of the piece, including explaining what the opera selections were about – most helpful.

A special appearance by the Sooke Pipes and Drums band included highland dance, and a cross-composition of Amazing Grace with the orchestra – truly amazing!

Watch the video below to see what I mean. I’m going to make a point of going to as many Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra concerts as I can this upcoming season. You can get Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra ticket information here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Events: Symphony Fling

The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing their very popular annual “Fling” open-air pops concert on Sunday, July 13th, 2008 at 2:30. This free summer event is always very well attended and takes place in beautiful Ed Macgregor Park.

I’m willing to bet that many readers out there didn’t know we even had an orchestra in Sooke, and I’m not surprised. A small community of less than 10,000, Sooke has enjoyed this cultural treat for 10 years now.

Led by conductor and musical director Norman Nelson (also the founder of the orchestra), the S.P.O. gets great reviews and has come a long way since its first concert in 1998. The orchestra plays 12 concerts per season in addition to the summer Fling show.

If you go:

  • Concert starts at 2:30 – arrive early, as parking (next to the park entrance) is limited.
  • Additional parking available behind Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty’s new office, just a few steps from the park
  • There are bus stops along the way. Your best bet if coming from Victoria is to get off at Sooke Rd and Otter Point road. It’s a short walk from there.
  • Ed Macgregor Park is wheelchair friendly.


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Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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