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Goldstream Provincial Park

Sun, 23 Jul by Bryon Howard

Nestled in an old growth forest less than 17 kilometres from downtown Victoria is Goldstream Provincial Park, a crown jewel in the British Columbia park system.  Goldstream is home to dozens of hiking trails, waterfalls, an abandoned gold mine, a world-famous annual salmon run, black bears, bald eagles, spring wildflower displays and endless vistas to soothe the soul.

Since there is such an abundance of things to see and do in this 477- hectare park, first-time visitors should begin their day at the park’s Freeman King Visitor Centre. Join an individual or group tour or one of the many interpretive programs and lectures that discuss Goldstream’s rich natural history.  An introductory tour might start with a hike through a forest canopy formed by 600-year old Douglas fir trees.  Several moderate hikes will take you to viewing platforms for the park’s wildlife and waterfalls, including Niagara Falls, cascading 47 metres into a canyon pool.  Adventurous hikers visiting the area will want to embark on the steep and challenging climb to the summit of Mt. Finlayson, a 419-metre mountain offering magnificent views of the Olympic Mountain range and Greater Victoria area.

While Goldstream offers year-round activity, the park bursts at the seams every year from mid-October thru late December when tourists and bald eagles from all over Canada come to observe the natural spectacle of streams of salmon traveling to the Goldstream River to spawn and then die in the very spot they were born four years earlier.  Tourists come to see Mother Nature’s circle of life on full display and the eagles come to feed on the salmon.

Due to the park’s proximity to Victoria, Goldstream is a perfect day trip for the city’s residents and visitors.  For those looking to explore the park in-depth, there are campsites, picnic areas and children’s playgrounds. Since Goldstream is located on the traditional fishing grounds of local First Nation tribes, recreational fishing is restricted to members of these indigenous cultures.

Whether you are an advanced hiker, mountain biker or just a nature lover yearning to find comfort in the embrace of an old growth forest, Goldstream Provincial Park has what you are looking for.  For residents of Victoria who already enjoy a plethora of natural and man-made beauty, having Goldstream Provincial Park as a neighbour is just another bonus.

 

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-465-0210 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

A Stroll Along Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Sun, 09 Jul by Bryon Howard

A visit to Victoria is incomplete if it does not include time spent enjoying the city’s majestic Inner Harbour. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade and you will discover the magical mixture of scenery, activity, architecture and ecosystems that keep tourists and locals alike coming back whenever they can to breathe in the fresh ocean air and take in the views.  Look one way and you will see Victoria’s iconic Parliamentary buildings and the historic Empress Hotel.  Look the other way toward the sea to behold a colorful flotilla of yachts and boats against a backdrop of azure blue sky and water.

Situated fully within the city of Victoria, the Inner Harbour, also known as James Bay, bisects the downtown area to the front of the Empress Hotel and extends northeast to the Johnson Street Bridge. Home to dozens of restaurants, breweries, whale watching tours and ecotourism activities, the Inner Harbour serves as a port of entry to Victoria and Vancouver Island.  Ferries and small cruise ships shuttle tourists who, in only a few steps, can embark into the heart of the city.  The Harbour is a whirlwind of activity during the day and well into the evening – in good weather and bad.  As dusk settles, the lights come on, the local buskers start playing and people-watching kicks into full gear.

Throughout the warm weather months, the Inner Harbour plays host to a series of music festivals, art fairs, boat shows and sailing events.  There is always something going on.  You can enjoy a local craft beer and watch the sunset, take an ecotour to the regions of the Outer and Middle Harbours, or just sit on a bench surrounded by overflowing flower baskets and watch the rest of the world go by.  Amateur photographers are everywhere –  waiting for the perfect light.  The iconic architecture of British Columbia’s capitol city combines with the vibrant flower arrangements and natural beauty to create one of the most-photographed locations in Canada.

If it is your first visit to Victoria, you are bound to end up at the Inner Harbour.  Hop a ferry, stroll the promenade, and enjoy some fine street musicians and a good meal.  If you are fortunate enough to visit again, we will know where to find you because everyone falls in love with Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

 

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-465-0210 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

A Foodie’s Guide to Victoria

Sun, 11 Jun by Bryon Howard

Victoria’s restaurant scene is an intoxicating mix of urban charm and rural sensibility. The city is home to a growing number of farm-to-table restaurants specializing in their own brand of “West Coast Cuisine.” Some have compared the city’s food obsession to the ultimate foodie city – San Francisco, but the Victoria restaurant world is uniquely its own. Local farms, markets, wineries and breweries provide the ingredients and a group of young, entrepreneurial chefs and restauranteurs work their magic to create consistently high-quality dining experiences.

When restaurant owners in Victoria talk about locally-grown food, they really mean it, unlike other major cities that are situated hundreds of miles from the nearest farm. Victoria’s location along the coast allow chefs to work with fresh ingredients pulled from the sea and fertile farmland surrounding the city. With a seemingly never-ending supply of fresh seafood, produce. cheese, wine, beer and whiskey, “farm-to-table” is not a passing fad in Victoria. It is a lifestyle that is warmly embraced by restaurants and residents alike.

Victoria’s municipal records show that there are over 500 active food service licenses in the city. If you add in the public markets, food trucks and kiosks scattered around town, that number easily increases to over 600. The food industry is a major player in this beautiful city by the sea. Here are a few of Victoria’s favourite eateries that will not fail to impress even the toughest food critic:

Saveur – This French-inspired local favourite specializes in five-course tasting menus. The food is fresh, fanciful and on everybody’s “Top Ten” list for Victoria fine dining.

Spinnakers Brewpub – Spinnakers is a local landmark that has been delighting locals and tourists since 1984. Blessed with a beautiful water view and excellent food, Spinnaker’s can also boast of being Canada’s first craft brewery in the modern era. Stop by the pub for a good meal and a good pint. As an added bonus, the pub offers a number of moderately-priced, historical guesthouses dating back to 1884.

Pagliacci’s – Victoria may have a British heritage, but the locals love a good Italian meal. Stop by Pagliacci’s to enjoy fresh Italian food and their world-famous focaccia bread. You will not be disappointed.

Olo – The word Olo means “hungry” in Chinook jargon. Every item and ingredient on the menu is organic and locally-grown. The ambiance is friendly and down-to earth and the changing menu is a testament to sustainability and innovative use of local food bounty.

These are just a few of the hundreds of eateries that comprise Victoria’s thriving restaurant scene. The abundance and diversity of dining options in beautiful settings is just one of the many draws pulling people to this special city.

 

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-465-0210 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Discover Victoria By Bicycle

Wed, 03 May by Bryon Howard

Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, is famous for its thriving real estate market, magnificent scenery and stately Victoria architecture. The city and the surrounding landscapes present a feast for the eyes and memorable vistas that are best enjoyed on a bicycle. Blessed with mild winters and humidity-free summers, the biking trails in and around Victoria beckon riders of all ages, fitness and skill levels. The city can boast of more cyclists per capita than any other Canadian city and a ride along one of Victoria’s well-travelled bike routes is a great way to acquaint yourself with this southernmost major city in western Canada.

When it comes to cycling in Victoria, the options are infinite. Here is a newcomer’s guide to just a few of the city’s more popular trails:

The Galloping Goose – This relatively flat, 55-km trail is the perfect choice for families and casual cyclists. The trail starts in a busy section of town and then meanders through farmland and evergreen forests to an old abandoned mining town. Built on a former railroad, the terrain for the most part is flat with a few easily managed hills.

Hartland Bike Park – Serious riders in search of a challenge head to Hartland Bike Park – about 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. This woodland paradise offers options for all experience levels, but is used primarily by intermediate and advanced cyclists. Don’t forget a trail map if you visit Hartland since the complex network of trails can be confusing.

The Seaside Touring Route – This popular route, specifically designed for visitors, takes the rider by many of the city’s noteworthy attractions. This route has it all! Look one way and you will be treated to a surreal view of the mighty Olympic Mountains. Look the other way and breathe in the deep blue Pacific Ocean. The 39-km route can be modified to virtually any length with water views most of the way. Don’t forget to wave to the resident seals at Oak Bay Marina.

Given the abundance of bike trails and natural beauty, Victoria has emerged as a mecca for international bike racers. The annual Tour de Victoria takes place in August and is a mass participation event attracting both world class riders and weekend enthusiasts. There is even a 3k race for young children.

If you are contemplating a move to Victoria or just joining the thousands of tourists who visit each year, consider getting to know this beautiful corner of the world on two wheels. Grab your helmet and enjoy the view!

 

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Calgary Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.