• The Westshore
  • Posts
  • Doll Day event connects past and present communities

Doll Day event connects past and present communities

Plus, Telus invests in Langford, explosion injuries, Langford Lightning, and more

Good morning! 

The long weekend is just around the corner, and we hope you get the chance to enjoy some fun in the sun and relax. With plenty to do in the coming days, make sure to check out our piece on the Metchosin Schoolhouse Museum’s doll day, and more, in today’s edition of the newsletter.


Know someone who should get local news in our Westshore community? Forward this to them so they can subscribe for free.


Telus invests $25 million in Langford and Oak Bay to boost connectivity

Telus, a leader in telecommunications and technology in Canada, has announced a significant investment of $25 million in Langford, Victoria and Oak Bay for 2024. This initiative is part of the company’s broader $17 billion commitment over five years to enhance wireless connectivity and expand its PureFibre network across British Columbia. The investments are aimed at supporting economic growth, and building innovative and resilient communities on the Island.

Internet access along the Westshore has historically been spotty, an inconvenient reality for residents but also a safety risk for hikers, surfers, and campers in the area. In 2022, the province invested roughly $5 million in a project led by Rogers Communications to bring better cell service to a 70-kilometre stretch along Highway 14 between Sooke and Port Renfrew. 

Darren Entwistle, president and CEO of Telus, emphasized the importance of robust network infrastructure in keeping communities connected. "We recognize the critical role of a reliable network in connecting British Columbians to essential resources," Entwistle stated. "Our investments ensure that we continue to offer the best network experience, enabling transformative changes in healthcare, education, teleworking, and our digital economy."

It is estimated that 96.1% of households in BC already have access to target speeds of 50/10 Mbps. Telus, the province’s largest internet service provider, joins a connectivity scape in Langford also populated by other companies such as Shaw Cable, TekSavvy, Juce and MapleWifi. 

In March 2022, the governments of BC and Canada announced a partnership to invest as much as $830 million, $415 million each, toward high-speed connectivity infrastructure projects in rural and remote areas. Through the Connecting Communities BC program, the province aims to provide all underserved households and First Nations communities with access to high-speed internet by 2027. 

Telus claims the ORAN technology (Open Radio Access Network) it will be bringing to Langford enhances its 5G network’s reliability and efficiency while reducing energy consumption. ORAN’s energy efficiency is gained by dynamically controlling resources based on user traffic demand—by using an algorithm to essentially turn on and off nodes of a network based on time of day and consumption.

Environmental sustainability means the company has set for itself the ambitious goal of achieving 100% renewable energy use by 2025. As a means to achieve that goal it has invested in reforestation projects like Shakti that aims to plant millions of trees annually in Western Canada. However, a grain of ecological salt must be added to those sustainability efforts as the company lists partnerships in that same initiative with Exxon Mobile, Peyto Exploration & Development Corp., Westmoreland Coal Company and Sinopec which have extensive investments in crude oil, natural gas and the Synacrude Oilsands Joint Venture.  

Beyond infrastructure, Telus says it is also deeply committed to community engagement and support. The Vancouver Island Community Board, part of the company’s community-focused initiatives, has contributed over $6 million to regional charities like the Sooke Family Resource Society and to the Indigenous-led grassroots Moose Hide Campaign whose mission is to end gender-based violence.

By Sidney Coles, Local Journalism Initiative


Learn AI in 5 Minutes a Day

AI Tool Report is one of the fastest-growing and most respected newsletters in the world, with over 550,000 readers from companies like OpenAI, Nvidia, Meta, Microsoft, and more.

Our research team spends hundreds of hours a week summarizing the latest news, and finding you the best opportunities to save time and earn more using AI.


Doll Day exhibit offers a walk through history

Doll Day dolls. Photo: Courtesy of the Metchosin Schoolhouse Museum / Judith van Manen

Deborah James and her daughter Micah were excited when Judith van Manen, the main organizer of the Metchosin Schoolhouse Museum, found an 1876 doll in the archives. The doll, which was donated by Isabel Tipton who believed that it belonged to her great aunt Sarah Helgesen, one of the first children who attended the schoolhouse. With so much history behind the doll, the wheels started to turn, and an idea was born; the Metchosin Schoolhouse Museum’s first Doll Day

“Judith and [my daughter] and I just stood around talking and said, you know, we need to get more people out to the museum,” said James, one of the organizers for the event. “What about a doll day? We should take this doll and run with that and create this kind of event around this artifact that we have and then more came out of the woodwork.”

Hoping to showcase all the unique pieces across time, guests will have the chance to tour the 152-year-old one-room schoolhouse to learn more about antique dolls, including Helgesen’s 1876 doll and others that come from Metchosin families. Attendees can also head into the native plant teaching garden, and view dolls collected across different cultures and countries including dolls from Japan, China, Morocco, and more. 

“When you first come in, you’ll see a wonderful history of dolls poster made by Marie Pawlukso so you can read a little bit what the first dolls were made out of, and why they changed,” says James. “There's lots of wonderful displays set up by that museum society there, and the docents are there to help lead you through any questions that you have about the schoolhouse or the garden or the dolls that we have.” 

While the event is all about dolls, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some activities and games. Offering light refreshments, the museum invites guests to bring their own doll to the June 29 event from 1 to 4pm. For those interested in adding their own addition to the display, the museum is happily accepting donations for the event. 

“It's our first companion, our first plaything that we're given and usually it's sentimentally given by relatives or somebody that's dear to us,” says James. “I think seeing old dolls can bring that back for a lot of people, so this event is not just for children and we're hoping that anybody can come out and get something out of it.”

Do you still have any dolls/toys from your childhood?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Around the 'Shore

⚠️ Explosion injures two workers: RCMP and WorkSafeBC are investigating an explosion that happened at a construction site off Marble Place in the Bear Mountain Neighbourhood on June 25. Langford Fire Rescue responded to multiple reports around 11am. According to the fire chief, a scheduled blast at the construction site was bigger than expected and injured two workers, but they were not taken to hospital. [Vancouver Island Free Daily

📝 Sooke council discusses traffic petition: Sooke Council is looking into providing solutions for the traffic issues residents are facing with closures due to construction at Charters Road. Discussing legislation, reroutes, and the possible creation of a traffic advisory committee at this week's meeting, the council will continue to discuss the best possible action to help reduce congestion. [Times Colonist

🚗 View Royal roundabout construction finished:View Royal just announced the completion of a new single-lane roundabout that replaces the four-way intersection at Six Mile Road and Atkins Road in View Royal. Aiming to improve pedestrian, driving, and biking experiences, the roundabout features LED streetlights, new sidewalks, new crosswalks, and more.

Advertise your business, event, or restaurant in front of 13,000+ engaged locals! Contact our team today.

Community Events

🥎 Langford Lightning game: Enjoy an evening of softball and watch the Langford Lightning take on the New Zealand White Sox this June 27. Hosted at Centennial Park from 5:30 to 7:30pm, cheer on the women in this free event. 

🎶 Music in the park: Spend an evening listening to live music in the park this June 28 at Herm William Park. Going from 5:30 to 7:30pm, listen to a performance from the Temps and check out some of the delicious food truck vendors. Hosted every Friday until Sept. 7, each event will be put on in a different park with a different musical performance. 

🔮 Summer wellness and psychic festival: Head to the Metchosin Community Hall this June 30 for the summer wellness and psychic fair. Going from 11am to 5pm, check out a variety of vendors offering wellness products, psychic readings, and holistic services. The event is free and open to anyone to attend.

What’s Offshore?

No ships today!

Westshore Snaps

The Norwegian Sun arrives in Victoria on June 25. —Richard Steward, View Royal

📸 Snapped a photo you’d like to share? Send it with a caption and don’t forget to add where you live.

That’s it!

If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to another Westshore local.

And before you go, let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Did a friend share this with you? Sign up for free. 

Want to advertise to 13,000+ other locals? Contact our team. 

Have a crazy or cool story to share? Drop us an email.