Island Health supports CRD water plan

Plus, Westshore patios, poisonous newts, Persian Fire Festival, and more

Good morning! 

Despite a grey start to the week, sunshine is in the forecast and the weather looks like it’s warming up towards the weekend. As spring sets in, we wanted to share a list of local patios for you to check out in the upcoming weeks. Read all about it, and more, in today’s edition of the newsletter.


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CRD has Island Health’s backing on its $1.2B Water Supply Master Plan

Photo: CRD

Island Health is recommending that the Capital Regional District go ahead with its plans to build a $1.1-billion water filtration plant that will keep the region’s water supply safe well into the future. However, a special information meeting of the region’s water commissioners raised questions about the scope and cost of that plan.

The thrust of a three-hour meeting on March 1, was for the CRD to provide water commissioners with more detailed information on its Water Supply Master Plan (WSMP) and its proposed $1 billion Goldstream Water Filtration Plant beyond what it already presented to some city councils. 

Island Health medical health officer Michael Benusic, de facto point person for the CRD, was invited by Alicia Fraser, manager of integrated water services, to present the plan to regional water commissioners. As an “independent advisor,” his presentation built the case for the CRD Master Plan on the grounds of prudence before panic.

The Water Supply Master Plan outlines proposed future projects that will be carried out over the next 30 years, based on staff projections of population growth, the impacts of climate change, and water treatment requirements. The plan calls for $2B in infrastructure spending, including 21 proposed new water projects. A key project—and the most expensive—is the proposed Goldstream Water Filtration Plant at the Sooke Reservoir, slated to cost $1B.

The question underpinning the need for the proposed filtration plant in the first place, is whether the Leech River should be brought into the Greater Victoria Water Supply System (GVWSS) to provide additional water to the Sooke Lake Reservoir and resilience to the overall system.


Voting is open!

Best Indian restaurant? Best patio? Best bakery? Do you have a favourite spot in each of those categories? Cast your votes in the 2024 Tasting Victoria Best Restaurant Awards to give your favourites some love.

Look out for the Westshore hot spots that were nominated as some of the best in the area, and cast your votes here! 


Local patios to enjoy the warm weather

With warmer weather on the horizon, it is the perfect time to start prepping for outdoor activities and spots to check out. For locals looking to soak up some sunshine, we put together a list of some favourite local patios. Pop on that sunscreen and grab some delicious food or drinks at these five Westshore patios. 

Sooke Oceanside Brewery: Founded by Sooke local Ryan Orr, Oceanside Brewery crafts delicious beer and seltzers for customers to enjoy. Oceanside offers a variety of different beers, including seasonal options like Bear Beach Porter, which offers a bold molasses profile with malt sweetness. With a beautiful patio to enjoy your beers in the sun, Oceanside is located at 5871-A Sooke Rd., and is open throughout the week at varying times. 

Millstream Brewery: Located in Langford, Millstream Brewery makes craft beers and offers tasty menu options to pair with them. Millstream also hosts a “Firkin Friday” event, where they sell a small unique batch every Friday at 5pm by glass only to test out different flavours and get feedback from guests. Firkin Friday is first come, first served, and they change the beer weekly so each batch is special. With great options for indoor and outdoor seating, Millstream is open every evening of the week. 

Table Nineteen: With family-friendly options, a golf course, and a great menu, Table Nineteen is a great patio option to check out on a warm day. Located on Latoria Road, the restaurant offers lunch, dinner, and kids menus, and a detailed alcohol and wine selection. This is one of Table Nineteen’s three locations, with its first opening in Whistler back in 2020.

Bin 4 Burger Lounge: Looking for a delicious burger? Bin 4 Burger Lounge offers a variety of different eats ranging from burgers, fries, salads, and much more. Also offering a menu for dietary restrictions, Bin 4 is located on Goldstream Avenue and is open Sunday through Thursday from 11am-10pm, and Friday and Saturday, 11am-11pm. 

The Met Bar & Grill: Enjoy a meal at the Met Bar & Grill in Langford with their breakfast and dinner options. Open throughout the week and closed for lunch, the Met has a beautiful rooftop patio to enjoy your meals from. The Met is kid-friendly, so take family and friends and sample the food and drinks together.

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Around the 'Shore

🚏 Sooke locals petition for more direct bus services: Frustrated Sooke residents are signing a petition to reroute bus No. 61 after years of long and unpredictable bus waiting times. The route would allow for a more direct connection between Sooke and downtown Victoria, and  would not require a transfer bus at the Langford exchange.

🦎 Poisonous rough-skinned newts spotted in Langford: Langford residents are being warned to be wary of a highly poisonous salamander that has been spotted several times in the wetlands area of Westhills Park. Rough-skinned newts are highly poisonous and can be lethal to humans and pets if ingested. They can also cause skin irritation if handled. The city is advising people to stay alert and informed about the danger of these newts. [CHEK

🏐 Belmont Secondary School volleyball coach retires: Ken Lowe, volleyball coach, teacher, and athletic director is retiring after 32 years of working with Belmont Secondary School. Lowe helped his teams bring back many championships, and supported them throughout their time in high school; looking to travel the globe with his wife, Lowe is excited for new things but says he will miss his time at work. [Vancouver Island Free Daily]

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Community Events

🏸 Drop-in badminton: Challenge your badminton skills at EMCS Society’s drop-in badminton at Journey Middle School. Going from 6-7:15pm for everyone, and 7:15-9pm for advanced players, matches will start March 14 and go every Thursday until April 11. The drop-in fee is $5, or free for students and children. 

📚 Fleece & Fibre: Head to the Sooke Region Museum this March 16 to hear author Francine McCabe discuss her book Fleece & Fibre. Starting at 3pm, McCabe will share stories of the world of small-scale textile farms and also bring her own fibres and hides for show and tell. 

🔥 Chaharshanbe Soori (Persian Fire Festival): Enjoy an evening of celebration and warmth this March 12 with Chaharshanbe Soori, the Persian Fire Festival. Head to the Langford Station from 5-9pm and enjoy activities to mark the culmination of the winter season and the anticipation of spring. The event is free for all to attend.

What’s Offshore?

No ships today!

Westshore Snaps

After the flash hailstorm at Coburg Peninsula, Esquimalt. —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!

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