Local family activities for spring break

Plus, bridge improvements, emergency support programs, Royal Bay cleanup, and more

Good morning! 

Spring break is in full effect, as kids get a two-week break from school. Check out our list of family friendly activities to make the most of your kid’s break.


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Bridge improvements mean faster commute times for Westshore residents

In July 2021, the CRD board prioritized reducing commute times, leading to upgrades on Colquitz River Bridges announced last week by BC minister of transportation and infrastructure Rob Fleming. Seismic retrofitting and the addition of bus-on-shoulder lanes aim to enhance connectivity and transit reliability. 

Federal minister of energy and natural resources Jonathan Wilkinson emphasized the investment's role in fostering connectivity and resilience. The project will cost $35.5 million, with $23.5 million coming from the province and $12 million from the federal government. 

The enhancement addresses growing traffic concerns as Westshore's population and commuter traffic levels grow. Between 2018 and 2022, vehicle ownership in the Westshore increased by 10.9%, exacerbating the infamous "Colwood Crawl." 

Construction, managed by Pomerleau Inc., starts in summer 2024 and extends to fall 2025, with minimal lane closures during off-peak hours. These improvements align with BC Transit's 2021 ridership goals and accommodate the region's anticipated 20% population growth by 2038, particularly in the Westshore.


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Local spring break activities for the whole family

Westshore families are looking for activities over the next two weeks, after SD62 students were let out for spring break. With two weeks free for events, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy: 

The Westshore has an extensive list of bike parks to take your kid and challenge their skills. With rollers, jumps, and tracks, enjoy hours of fun on a track closest to you. Langford Bikefest is also around the corner, with two events going from March 29 to 31. Check out the races at Jordie Pump Jam on the first two days and Broad Street Cycles XC on the final day. 

Offering a variety of fun programs, head to Westshore Recreation and take part in the camp programming, such as the active play spring break camp. Westshore Recreation always posts a list of activities for each month, so your kid can sign up to try a new hobby throughout their time off. Looking to drop in for a day? There are a number of time slots to enjoy a few hours of free time, so check out the website and see what is available. 

City Centre Park is one of Langford’s hot spots for recreation, with a variety of amenities to keep people entertained for hours. With options like bowling, mini-golf, an indoor play gym, and so much more, City Centre Park is a great option for multiple activities over the next two weeks. 

While the regular drop-in programs are closed during spring break, the EMCS Society is hosting spring break camps to give kids some extra training for sports. Sign up for the football camp or volleyball camp and get some extra training in with professional coaches; while the camps have started, there is still time to enjoy a few days of activities, so make sure to sign up as soon as possible as there are limited spots available. 

As the warm weather rolls in, it's the perfect time to spend time outdoors. Pull on those hiking boots and check out some of the Westshore’s amazing trails. Check out trail ratings and pick a hike best suited to your kids’ hiking levels so that you can embark on a day of sunshine and exercise. 

Get your reading on during the break at the Sooke branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library. Check out a book or two, or even join in on one of the many events like chess club or storytime. Not a fan of reading? The library also offers rentals on movies and TV shows, gaming, music, and more. 

Take your kids to an Easter-themed silent dance party on March 23 at the Westshore Town Centre. Each guest will be provided with special headphones to dance to Easter tunes, chart-toppers and family-friendly music; with a number of different time slots, you can get tickets for the time best suited to your schedule. 

Check out Sooke’s Seedy Saturday on March 30 at the Sooke Community Hall. Going from 10am to 3pm, check out seed vendors, listen to presentations, and take advantage of the kid activities included. Make sure to RSVP to get all updates about the event.

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Around the 'Shore

⚠️ Greater Victoria receives funding for emergency support programs: The BC Government has just announced that they are supporting Greater Victoria emergency support services through new training and $3.27 million in funding. With the wildfire season approaching quickly, the government will support 100 local projects to better prepare for emergency events. [Vancouver Island Free Daily

🚔 Police arrest suspect after receiving numerous reports on behaviour: West Shore RCMP arrested a 27-year-old man on March 14 after receiving multiple reports of indecent exposure and sexual assault. RCMP have recommended the following charges of sexual assault, indecent exposure and obstructing an officer after he ran away from police confronting him. The suspect is in custody and will appear in court on Friday afternoon. [CHEK]

📑 Langford organizational review leads to some changes: The City of Langford will be hiring eight new staff members and reorganizing other positions after they had an independent consultant conduct an organizational review; the changes to structure and staff have already been approved as part of the 2024 budget. [Times Colonist]

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Community Events

❤️ Café de Love: Enjoy a vintage-themed evening of poetry, music, and pastries at the Metchosin ArtPod Café de Love event this March 23. Going from 7 to 9pm, check out how ArtPod’s latest show The Look of Love transforms into the Café de Love, enjoy music and spoken word, a photo booth, and much more; tickets are available online. 

🧹 Royal Bay Cleanup: Help the Victoria Green Team remove invasive species and replace them with native plants this March 23. Meeting at Metchosin Road, the event will start at 9:45am with a sign-up and end around 1pm; make sure to register beforehand so the team can provide enough refreshments and materials. 

🌿 Sooke Garden Club Meeting: Looking to learn more about plants and gardening? Join the Sooke Garden Club this March 27 for a discussion on growing vegetation on Salt Spring Island. Going from 7 to 8pm, the Garden Club hosts meetings every fourth Wednesday of the month.

What’s Offshore?

No ships today!

Westshore Snaps

Charlie's Trail, Royal Roads University. —Richard Steward, View Royal

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