A steady drizzle couldn’t dampen the excitement felt from the Colwood community at the official opening of Painter Trail, a paved pedestrian pathway that connects the Royal Bay development with the Wishart neighbourhood.
Mayor Carol Hamilton spoke of the benefits the trail will have for the community, prior to a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“This makes it safe … we can get people off the road and into a safer area. We can improve the connectivity of our community,” she said.
The trail will be of particular use for students of both Royal Bay secondary and Dunsmuir middle school and promises to see even more usage as the area’s development projects get built out.
“It’s a nice connection because we have Dunsmuir kids come to our school often for the academy or visits and now you have a nice little walk … we’re excited about this,” said Royal Bay principal Windy Beadall.
The trail has been especially beneficial for Royal Bay student Kelsey Worth, who uses a wheelchair and used to have a tough route to school along Metchosin Road on days where she would choose to travel with friends instead of take the bus.
“It just makes everything easier because we’re not on the road, so you’re not worried about getting hit by a car, which is always a good thing,” Worth said.
“There’s more room for all of us to spread out so we can talk to each other. And it’s easier on the chair, because there’s no gravel getting into the equipment, which is always a problem with thick gravel.”
Worth lives on Benhomer Drive and said she can now get home from school before her bus typically arrives to pick her up.
Other students from Dunsmuir and Royal Bay were in attendance and planted the first trees that will line the new trail.