Showing posts from January, 2012

Vancouver Island Reviews; Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island is one of the many surrounding "little" islands that make up the Vancouver Island region. Vancouver Island is much larger then this smaller Gulf Island (think 180 square kilometers compared to 32100 square kilometers for Vancouver Island). But still over 10,000 people reside on Salt Spring Island.

Map provided by

Salt Spring is a quick 20 min ferry ride from Crofton (this is the route we took), out of Swartz Bay ferry terminal and also from the Tsawwassen ferry terminal (currently closed for repairs, so Horseshoe Bay). More info

Salt Spring is well known for their ample population of artists, artisans, and musicians. We happened to be visiting Salt Spring to see Jon & Roy at Beaver Point Hall and it was a blast!

Vancouver Island Restaurant Review; Moby's Marine Grill - Saltspring Island

On our recent trip to Salt Spring Island we had the pleasure of visiting the oldest pub on the island. Moby's Oyster Bar & Marine Grill, is in it's 21st year of operation. Moby's boasts an extensive menu with fresh local oysters, pub food (high quality pub food too!) and a variety of delicious appetizers that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

An important fact worth mentioning is they are also becoming a leader in green restaurants and conscious environmental business. They are trying to become 100% carbon neutral! Their menu is focused on fresh local food. The restaurant is situated ocean side, over looking Salt Spring marina (unfortunately it was dark when we arrived so we were unable to take in the wonderful view). There are great choices for vegetarians, vegans and the gluten-free crowd. There are 16 beers on tap and an extensive wine menu (local varieties available!) Moby's also provides live music a few nights a week in the cozy ambiance.


Vancouver Island Interesting Websites 1-26-12

Vancouver Island Pubs - A useful search tool for Vancouver Island pubs, look up your pub options on the super convenient map that is provided!

Vancouver Island Vacation Guide 2012 - Speaks for itself, a Vancouver Island info packed website with lots of "Things To Do" suggestions, maps and Vancouver Island Specials (these include outdoor activities, hotel stays, etc). Any Vancouver Island enthusiast will love this site!

Vancouver Island University - Mid-Vancouver Island's University, this site is full of all the information you need to become a student on this beautiful island.

Vancouver Island Event: 21st Annual Victoria Health Show

This weekend is the long running Victoria Health Show at the Victoria Conference Centre. Look younger, be sexier, feel better, than you've ever felt before. The Victoria Health Show features over a dozen eminent speakers who will discuss natural health, fitness, nutrition, and more! Learn more about your health from the many exhibitors and enter to win the grand prize draw - a weekend at Honeymoon Bay Lodge & Retreat. Tickets cost just $5 (or $7.50 for the weekend pass) for this fascinating show at the Victoria Conference Centre. Runs from Saturday January 28th 10am-6am to Sunday 11am-5am.

This event is put on by The Health Shows

Vancouver Island Restaurant Review; Iron Wok (Nanaimo)

Recently myself, Delea from Details Painting, Katie Hommy (a mortgage professional) and my fabulous realtor Janice Armstrong decided to get together for a lunch out in Nanaimo. We decided on Iron Wok, a gourmet Cantonese restaurant. Iron Wok is located 1350 Stewart Ave, en route to the Departure Bay ferry terminal. I had been there before a few years earlier and was in love with their Kung Pao Chicken (deliciously spicy and flavourful).

Singapore Fried Rice Noodles with the Special Fried Rice in the background.

We each ordered a dish, which included the special fried rice, beef and green beans, the kung pao chicken, and the Singapore fried rice noodles. Our server was prompt, very polite and knowledgeable in regards to the menu. The food arrived quickly and it was authentic and fresh. There is a huge variety of dishes to choose from (including vegetarian, beef, chicken and of course seafood), as well as 10 different combination dishes.

The portion sizes were quite ample, but the grea…

Vancouver Island Music Events 1-23-12 to 1-29-12

THE MARTY's MASTER JAM w/ a tribute to Duke Ellington - Happening Tuesday January 24th (8pm-11pm) in Nanaimo, THE MARTYS Play Duke Ellington Tribute and host Master Jam at Diners - Tuesday 24th
THE MARTYS open with a set dedicated to Duke Ellington, then host the Master Jam at Rendezvous.

Diners Rendezvous holds a weekly jam on Tuesdays usually hosted by talented VIU students, but once a month features a Master Jam by the seasoned band THE MARTYS. This month THE MARTYS will open with a set dedicated to Duke Ellington, then open the stage for singers and players to jam.

THE MARTYS are Marty Steele on keys, Marty Howe on flute and jazz chromatic harmonica, with James (Smarty) McRae on drums. THE MARTYS play red hot, blue cool, funky, swinging jazz, in a way that will WoW you, move you, tease you, and please you.

BONE THUGS ~N~ HARMONY feat KRAYZIE BONE & WISH BONE - Live in Victoria, January 25th CLUB 9ONE9 & Marshall A for DMS Present…………Bone Thugs N Harmony have sold more than…

Vancouver Island Reviews Notable Businesses 1-23-12

Welcome to the Monday edition, where we highlight notable Vancouver Island businesses!

Photo by David Hillier

First up, Mr. David Hillier - in Nanaimo specializing in, but not limited to, Black and White Landscape Photography.
Looking for something to enhance the look and feel of your Home, office, and or Business? Photographic Art may be what you are looking for.
From local points of interest, unique abstracts and still life, to tucked away hidden treasures. These moments in time can be yours to display and admire.

Only Human - Located in Victoria . Onlyhuman was founded in 2007, recognizing the need to showcase furnishings created by the new generation of modern designers. At Onlyhuman we promote fun, modern decor with an emphasis on quality, personality, and original designs. Shop our huge new downtown showroom for furniture, lighting, high-end design imports, ceramics, local art, and music systems from Tivoli Audio. We love to curate an ever changing and exciting showroom, sourcing pr…

Vancouver Island Videos 1-20-12

A few videos from around Vancouver Island!

Vancouver Island Reviews Daily 1-20-12

Happy Friday everyone!

This is Don Staniford. He is a wild salmon advocate, that is being sued by a huge salmon fish farm with ties to Norway.

Right now Marine Harvest and Don Staniford are battling it out in court in Port Hardy.

Massive drug seizure in Nanaimo

18 Year Old Janeece from Victoria is truly an inspiration...

Vancouver Island Daily 1-19-12

Photo By Alyssa Swartz: (a Toronto-based travel and lifestyle writer)

Comox Valley's 15k diet

Nanaimo Early Spring Home Expo - Jan 20, 2012 to Jan 22, 2012 in Nanaimo B.C at Beban Park Centre 2300 Bowen Road

Show Hours: Friday 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Sunday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Show Admission: FREE to the public

Parksville Uncorked - 4 Days of Fine Food • Fabulous Wine • Great Company
February 23th – 26th, 2012
Together in the common cause of fine wines, decadent edibles, and great company, Parksville's finest beach resorts are proud to sponsor the 4th annual Parksville Uncorked Wine & Food Festival.

Vancouver Island Daily 1-18-12

Some news and information from around Vancouver Island! Happy Snow Day everyone!

Road conditions for January 18 - via Victoria Police(twitter @vicpdcanada)

Third fire hall proposed for Cowichan - via @CowNowHub

A 20 minute indoor skipping work out from Kyla Gagnon of Inside Out Fitness

Vancouver Island Snow day

A significant snow fall on the south island brought schools, businesses and events to a halt today. The worst hit was the Cowichan Valley area. Power outages and road closures are prevalant in the Sooke area. Snow is expected to taper off tonight but with lows to -6 for the south island it is going to be slick and slippery out there and everyone should always be driving with extreme caution, if they are driving at all (I opt to just walk if I have to). If you have any beautiful snow pictures, please feel free to share them with your fellow Vancouver Islanders!

Vancouver Island: Nanaimo Youth Sticking Together

Brought to you by Mr. Tali Campbell, a Grade 11 student at John Barsby Secondary school in Nanaimo.

Youth Sticking Together

Vancouver Island's Top 5 Religious Affiliations

This list is more like a top 4 list (once you read the list you'll understand why)

1. Protestant - 40.7%

2. No Religion (does not clarify whether agnostic or atheist) - 38.8%

3. Roman Catholic - 14.4%

4. Sikh - 1%

5. Buddhist - 0.9%

St Anne's Church in Parksville is said to be the oldest Church on Vancouver Island, built in 1898. Interestingly, it is made from logs making it a log church!

Photo By Randy Hall

Vancouver Island: Tofino finding Japan tsunami debris?

On March 11 of last year a horrendous earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, unloading apparently 18 million tonnes of debris into the ocean. Some predict anytime starting now we will start to see debris on the West Coast of North America. Some in Tofino say they already have.

Check out this link: Tsunami Debris Tracking Project.

Vancouver Island Events 1-16-12

Here are some events happening around Vancouver Island this week if you're looking for something to do! Have a great week everyone! Contact me if you have an event you'd like to see here...

Jazz Jam w/Phil Hamelin Trio - Tuesday January 17th at Diner's Rendez Vous in Nanaimo.

D.O.A Live @ The Queens - Canada’s legendary Punk Kings,who helped spread punk rock counterculture around the world, approach a momentous milestone. For nearly 25 years D.O.A. has been happily slashing away at all manner of philosophical enemies. They’ve travelled the globe almost continuously since they formed in 1978. Show is Thursday January 19th at 9pm

Harbour's End & Doug Simpson - Happening January 20th at 9pm @ The Cambie in Victoria. Doug Simpson is a talented singer/song writer, and will open the night up with a solid set that will include some original material. Harbour's End will round out the rest of your evening with a good mix of original and some cover songs. Up beat and show c…

Vancouver Island Daily 1-15-12

Happy Sunday everyone! Today's edition of the Vancouver Island Daily features stories about Ucluelet (one of my personal favourite places on the island!), a food review from a fellow twitter friend and the story that is making national news - a mystery illness hits a student journalism conference in Victoria.

Tourism Ucluelet - From November to March marks the prime season for storm watching on the lovely West Coast of Vancouver Island. There are approximately 10-15 storms per month in this region and they often come and leave very abruptly.

Saxe Point Benny via Food

Victorian Food - Local food reviews for Victoria BC (I love food reviews!). Sunnyside Cafe in Esquimalt is featured, highlighting a delicious looking benny and Huevos Rancheros.

The Varsity features a story that has hit national news, attendees at a students at the Canadian University Press’s 74th National Conference (or “NASH”) in Victoria, BC - shockingly came down with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. An ou…

Vancouver Island Videos 1-14-12

I love perusing the internet (mainly You Tube) and coming across cool videos, here are a few I came across this fine evening. If you have a video you'd like to see on here shoot me a message! vancouverislandreviews (@)

Vancouver Island Music Events 1-14-12

Alex Lamoureux at Joe's Garage - How cool is this, Alex is the 2008 & 2009 BC Fiddle Champ and placed first in the Championship class at contests in Kamloops, Saskatoon, Abbotsford, and Prince George, just to name a few. He most recently was ranked in the top 10 fiddlers overall at the Canadian Grand Masters National Fiddling Championship held in Ottawa, ON in August 2008 & 2009.

The June Fiasco w/Fairweather Father & Jonah Hicks - Modern Rock from Vancouver Island! Playing at the Duncan Garage Showroom at 8pm. If you can't make it to the show you can also watch it online via this live stream CLICK HERE

Sister Speak @ Bard and Banker - After 8 months of touring together, singer/songwriters Samantha Cathcart and Sherri-Anne have teamed up to form Sister Speak. The two artists met in the Chicago music scene shortly after completing their own debut albums. They have since toured the continent, performing on Canada's Global TV, at the NAMM 2010, at some of Vancouver…

Vancouver Island Notable Restaurants 1-14-12

Perogy Buffet - Authentic Ukrainian cabbage rolls & perogies, located in Duncan B.C

Teresa's House of Burgers - Teresa Burgers is a brand new burger place located in the heart of Nanaimo, B.C. At Teresa, they are all about burgers and use the highest quality of fresh ingredients. The owners and staff are focused about only one thing- always serve the best burgers! They go to extraordinary lengths to serve perfect burgers using only superior meats, dairy and vegetable products. They love to create classic and novel taste combinations in order to offer their patrons the best burgers in Nanaimo.

Martine's Bistro - Martine's Bistro's eclectic character is a harmonious blend of old & new, west coast charm with tinge of european flair. Enjoy their menu of fresh local halibut 'off the dock' or herbed djion rack of lamb for an unforgettable dinner with a sunset view of the comox marina and beaufort mountains. Located in the Comox Valley.

Vancouver Island News Stories: 1-14-12

New moving and delivery company established in the Alberni Valley

Mount Washington Hawk Cam - it's the snow season! Check out what the weather is like on our local mountain

Vancouver Island Sunrise; Ladysmith

This morning the sky was a very cool red colour, so we decided to do an impromptu drive down to Transfer Beach in Ladysmith catching this beautiful sight was well worth standing out in the chilly morning air!

Vancouver Island featured You Tube videos 1-10-12

Perusing You tube I always come across some very cool Vancouver Island video, here are a few I found today! Feel free to share yours or pass the link onto me if you'd like to see your video featured here :) Enjoy.

Vancouver Island Restaurants: Union Street Grill & Grotto; Courtenay

One rainy, windy Saturday we decided to take a little trip to Courtenay to take in the Union Street Grill & Grotto. This restaurant has been operating for the past 18 years and by the looks of it probably for many many more years! The Top 3 menu items are as follows:

Walnut Mushroom Burger
Pork n Feta Salad
Jambalaya Bowl

We decided to start out with the featured Oysters Crispy Fried Fanny Bay Oysters with the cucumber dill dip...($8)

We were honored to have a very friendly and engaging server, who brought us our oysters very quickly and perfectly pan-fried. Although I'm usually an "oysters n' hot sauce" kinda person the cucumber dill dip worked perfectly with the somewhat spicy coating on the oysters. Our main courses arrived prompt and delicious looking - I had to try the suggested Walnut Mushroom Burger. The Walnut Mushroom Burger
is their vegetarian burger made with roasted walnuts, mushrooms & garbonzos(beans), topped with sautéed mushrooms served with lettuce…

Vancouver Island: Victoria Street Musicians

If you visit downtown Victoria you'll most likely pass some street musicians (they are also down at the waterfront) check out some rather impressive talent!

Vancouver Island News Stories 1-5-12


Vancouver Island's Top 5 Hikes

Vancouver Island has one of the world's most diverse ecosystems. Rainforests, beaches, rivers and mountains all in one place make it an ideal place for great hikes. Here are our picks for the Top 5 hikes on Vancouver Island! (in no particular order of course)

Ripple Rock - Campbell River: 8km (approx. 3 hrs there and back), moderate and can be done year 'round! Site of the largest non-nuclear explosion in the world, described by the explorer George Vancouver as "one of vilest stretches of water in the world". Ripple Rock can be accessed 15 minutes north of Campbell River, well marked off the Island Highway.

Wild Pacific Trail - Ucluelet: This 2.5km (approx. 45) hikes allows hikers to view the intensity and fury of the Pacific Ocean, while enjoying a protected trail there is much eye-candy with the twisted tree trunks, limbs and roots. You will often see seals, sea lions, mink and sea otters amongst the shoreline.

Cape Scott - Port Hardy: This is the very northern tip …

Vancouver Island Hiking: Harewood Plains, Nanaimo

The Harewood Plains in Nanaimo B.C is home to second growth forest and open meadows and highlights an amazing view of south Nanaimo. It is bordered by Harewood Mines Road, 10th St and McKeown in Chase River. It can be accessed via Harewood Mines road just past Rimrock Trail, or at the end of McKeown Way the first right off of Chase River road past the elementary school.


The Harewood Plains area is privately owned by stakeholders Island Timberlands and the BC Transmission Corporation (they maintain the transmission lines throughout this area). The area contains some rare plants, 10 rare plant species that are considered endangered or threatened. One extremely rare plant called the meadow bird's foot trefoil (Lotus pinnatus), is only found on the Harewood Plains and in a small area in Duncan.

This area is unprotected and at risk for being destroyed by motorized vehicles and people walking off-trail. It is important to respect the land and stay on designated trails. We entered …