For some people, the West Shore tends to revolve around its two largest municipalities, Langford and Colwood.
But events and developments happening just down the road in View Royal point to a growing community making gradual and noticeable improvements in liveability and services.
The official ribbon cutting and open house this weekend for the new fire hall – a.k.a. the public safety building – marks the entering of a new era for the town’s emergency responders, all of whom reside in the community and have a vested interest in keeping it safe.
From a community amenity perspective, the completion of the Shoreline Trail from the middle school to the E&N Rail Trail – Phase 2 of which was just finished as well – creates a safe connection for students who would likely rather walk trails to school than go along busy Admirals Road.
For history buffs, the trail along the water’s edge is, in part, a re-creation of a historic canoe portage between the Gorge Waterway and Esquimalt Harbour.
Looking around at some of the building projects in View Royal, most visible is the Eagle Creek Village commercial and residential development, progressing steadily at the corner of Helmcken Road and Watkiss Way across from VGH.
Not only will the tenants already confirmed for the project, such as Quality Foods, the YM-YWCA and Coast Capital, add to the variety of services and amenities available, the project, when completed, will provide the town with a significant amount of tax revenue to enable it to undertake further community improvement projects.
Residential developments in the works and completed, such as Coho atop the hill on Wilfert Road, and those on Watkiss Way and in the Six Mile neighbourhood continue to add to the town’s housing stock and create more choices for people who want to live on the West Shore but be a little closer to town.
All told, View Royal is a thriving community that seems to have the best of both worlds: it’s neighbourhood living close to the shopping and recreation areas of the West Shore and the core municipalities.
Those things are already proving attractive to new residents, and should do so in future for those people who want everything.