Pat Bay Visitors’ Centre re-opens to fanfare

It was the hard work of the communities and the members of the Chamber who fundraised to get the centre back up and running.

  • May. 20, 2015 4:00 p.m.


With all three Saanich Peninsula mayors, a smattering of municipal councillors, Saanich North and the Islands MLA Gary Holman and Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May in attendance, the re-opening ceremony of the Visitors’ Centre on the Pat Bay Highway on May 15 was a veritable who’s who of local politics, showing just how important the centre is to the region.

“Tourism is a really important part of this economy,” said May.

“I’m hoping we see a lot more people come off the ferry and see what the Saanich Peninsula has to offer. We really need people to know about the attractions here.”

“Each of the municipalities has an interest in this place,” added Holman. “This isn’t just any visitors’ centre. This is a regional gateway, and the province needs to play a role in supporting that.

“It doesn’t need to be big support, but little bits of support in the right areas can go a long way.”

With the centre’s re-opening, there’s a sense that it’s here to stay, said Holman.

That rings especially true with the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce moving onto the premises as their primary location.

“This is about being collaborative,” said Chamber President Craig Norris.

“We have an over-arching role for the whole Peninsula and we have to get back to that root. This gets us back there. This is the responsible thing for us. We can grow from here.”

With the smell of hot dogs and burgers grilling on the barbecue, and a turnout of more than 50 people — all smiling and chatting — there was a definite sense of celebration to the afternoon.

The Pat Bay Visitors’ Centre closed in 2013 due largely to financial reasons. It was the hard work of the communities and the members of the Chamber who fundraised to get the centre back up and running.

“Having the information centre re-open again, it’s an important part of the welcoming experience,” said Donna Petrie, executive director of the Sidney Business Improvement Area. “These guys, they are the ambassadors for our community.”

“This is a place to stop and enjoy yourself, and go a little slower,” said May of the Peninsula. “From the bottom of my heart, congratulations.”

Just Posted

New Star Cinema gets green light

Cameo development approved Monday night

Stelly’s sidewalk gets green light

Federal funding brings project to fruition

Witnesses sought for alleged drunk driver crash in Sidney

Crash happened June 16 on East Saanich Rd. and Canora Dr.

Fake crash warns students about real consequences

Saanich Peninsula emergency crews warn against distracted driving

An upstart ferry company might be a Malahat alternative

A new ferry service might alleviate Malahat congestion. Dogwood Ferries is a… Continue reading

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

GoFundMe page launched for families of missing Vancouver Island fishermen

Search for three men whose vessel capsized near Tofino on June 15 continues.

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

Boys show concussion symptoms faster than girls

Researcher hopes to create concussion blood test

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Most Read