Local happy hours for the warm weather

Plus, updates to Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, fire bans, PFC game, and more


Good morning! 

As the warm weather persists, many people are looking to spend an afternoon in the sun with a cool drink in hand. So we decided to round up a list of places with some tasty deals and happy hour specials. Read all about it, and more, in today’s edition of the newsletter.


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BC Parks just gave more people access to the outdoors on the Westshore

China Beach campsite. Photo: GoCampingBC / BC Parks

The demand for camping in BC has been steadily rising, with over 1,700 new campsites added to BC Parks and recreation sites since 2017. In 2023 alone, camping reservations increased by 15%, reaching a total of 366,831 compared to 317,647 in 2022.

Thanks to a provincial investment of $2.7 million, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park has benefited from multiple improvements, including 21 new drive-in and 26 new walk-in campsites, along with accessible shower and flush toilet facilities at China Beach campground. These enhancements, marking the largest investment in the park to date, also aim to make the park more user-friendly for people with disabilities and diverse needs.

Additionally, 10 new tent platforms and food caches were added to various campgrounds along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, amounting to a $905,000 investment, the largest in recent years. These improvements support access to the trail, which stretches 47 kilometres along the Westshore to Botanical Beach, renowned for its unique tidal pools.

BC Parks' initiatives align with the Canadian Medical Association's nature prescribing policy, aiming to promote environmental stewardship and improve people's overall health. Through programs like Notify Me, which alerts users to campsite availability, BC Parks aims to accommodate the growing demand for outdoor experiences, ensuring everyone can enjoy the beauty of nature.


Awakening Chinatown is just two weeks away

The Annual Awakening Chinatown festival takes place on May 26, from noon to 5:30 pm.

Presented by the Victoria Chinatown Museum (VCMS), the free all-ages event showcases Chinese Canadian heritage and community spirit, with dance, magic, opera, arts, crafts and more, all taking place in Victoria's historic Chinatown neighbourhood.

VCMS was formed in 2020 to honour the history, culture, and contribution of Chinese Canadians. The society launched the festival in 2022 as part of its mission to create broader awareness of the integral role Chinese culture plays in weaving the cultural fabric of Greater Victoria.

Awakening Chinatown thanks Lead Sponsor RBC, Dragon Sponsor Townline and Monkey Sponsors Downtown Victoria Business Association, Anthem Properties and Campbell Construction.


Local happy hour spots to check out

New Tacofino deals. Photo: Tacofino

Who doesn’t love a mid-afternoon break, or a late night snack? These are the times when you can usually find a happy hour, and we’ve rounded up some of our favourites here in the Westshore. 

Tacofino: Just in time for the sunny weather, Tacofino’s happy hour has been boosted for spring and summer, featuring a $10 food menu and drink specials starting from $5. With happy hour going Monday to Friday from 3-6pm, check out deals like the chips and dip platter, stadium nachos, Tacofino lagers, margaritas, and more. Tacofino has also given its daily features a revamp, with some great deals available open to close all week. 

West Coast Grill: Open daily from 7:30am to 9pm, the West Coast Grill has a happy hour from 2:30 to 5:30pm with a variety of delicious food and drink options. Located close to the Sooke Harbour, this restaurant has outdoor seating with a great view, along with fire pits where guests can enjoy a drink up until 10pm.

Sawmill Taphouse: Previously the 328 Taphouse and Grill, the Sawmill Taphouse is a refreshed version of the previous restaurant with plenty of delicious food and drink options. Sawmill has some tasty weekly features, with offers like $18 signature pizzas and $9 classic cocktails on Thursdays. The restaurant also has a happy hour Monday through Saturday from 2 to 5pm and all day Sunday, offering a range of drinks for just under $7. 

Hardy’s Bar and Grill: Located right next to the Galloping Goose trail, make a stop at Hardy’s Bar and Grill after a long day of hiking. Hardy’s is open weekly from 11am to 9:30pm, with happy hour going everyday from 4 to 6pm. The bar also hosts karaoke night every Friday and Saturday from 6:30 to 10pm so you can enjoy a drink while you sing your heart out on stage. 

Loghouse Pub: Head to 2323 Millstream Rd. to enjoy happy hour at the Loghouse Pub. With a daily happy hour from 2 to 5pm, and a weekend happy hour every Thursday through Sunday from 8pm to close, the Loghouse has some appetizing choices like their $11 sliders. Wash down your food with a drink, which are all under $10, and enjoy the atmosphere indoors or outdoors. 

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Around the 'Shore

🚔 Police look for missing woman: West Shore RCMP are looking for any information to help find 26-year-old Gemina Mitchell. Mitchell was last seen on May 5, and while police have had several leads, they have been unable to locate her: Mitchell is described as a Caucasian woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, standing at five-foot-nine and 140 lbs. [Vancouver Island Free Daily

🔥 Vancouver Island fire bans: The Coastal Fire Centre is implementing fire bans this May 17 amidst the BC Fires. Over the entire Island, Category 2 and 3 fires will be banned starting at noon on Friday in all of the Coastal Fire Centre. Category 1 fires are not included in the ban, but it is recommended to check jurisdictional rules. [CHEK

🚒 Electrical malfunction likely cause of Sooke garage fire: Sooke Fire Rescue put out a garage fire on Sooke River Road this May 12 after residents of the home alerted the team to the blaze. With aid from Otter Point, Metchosin, and East Sooke responders, there was some damage to the property, but no one was injured. [Times Colonist]

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Community Events

🕺🏻 Revolution Dance Collective: The Revolution Dance Collective’s year-end performance is coming up on May 17 and 18. With performances at 6pm on May 17 and 1pm and 6pm on May 18, there are limited seats available, so make sure to secure your spots online

🎶 WE3 at Metchosin Golf Course: Enjoy an evening of food, music, and dancing with WE3’s live performance at the Metchosin Golf Course and Country Club. Taking to the stage at 7pm, WE3 will be covering classic rock hits throughout the evening of May 17

⚽️ Pacific FC game: Cheer on Pacific FC in their game against Atlético Ottawa this May 17 at Starlight Stadium. Starting at 8pm, this is PFC’s first game against Atlético Ottawa this season.

What’s Offshore?

No ships today!

Westshore Snaps

Early morning sea mist at Mystic Beach. —Richard Steward, View Royal

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