Village Way; Descanso Bay Boat Launch; Frisbee Golf.

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, August 11 2015

Phase 1 of the Village Way is now on track to have shovels in the ground this February according to Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) Director Howard Houle (Area B, Gabriola, Mudge and DeCourcy).

Houle said the RDN is hoping to have costs for phase 1 of the trail construction in place by September, ready to go to tender in October, and to the RDN Board in December for approval of monies from Gabriola’s Community Works funds.

The trail is intended to be a pedestrian connection from Madrona West to Tin Can Alley along North Road.

Houle said with the current layout of the plan - and to keep some costs down - portions of the trail will be directly adjacent to the road, while other portions will be set back into the Ministry right-of-way.

Within the current proposal, none of the trees in front of Madrona East or further up North Road are expected to come down to make room for the trail.

Phase 2 of the trail - where the RDN and members of Gabriola’s trail and cycling community have been involved - will see plans in place for artwork, benches and other locations along the trail for people to hang out.

Houle said that early in 2016 the RDN will be coming to the community to look for feedback on the plans.

“Phase 2 will be to expand the trail to have more of a public meeting space, signs, art, so the discussion will be where the possibilities are.”

North end boat launch proposal floated

In speaking to the Sounder this past week, Houle said he had received a suggestion from a resident that there be a boat launch installed as part of the lower parking lot at the RDN’s Descanso Bay Regional Park and Campground.

Houle said there had been a suggestion in the past from the Power Squadron to put in a proper boat launch, but no locations had been identified.

He acknowledged there is a launch off Easthom Road, but said it is more appropriate for car-top boats. 

The resident he spoke to was looking for something more usable for trailered boats.

Houle said he is seeking feedback on the idea. Residents can email him at

Rules such as whether campers would be able to beach boats at night (and how many could do so) and other rules would, according to Houle, be secondary to the discussion of whether such a launch should be constructed.

Frisbee golf

Houle was also asked whether there is potential in any of the Gabriola RDN parks for Frisbee golf stands to be set up.

He said the idea is one that could be tossed around, but such an activity would have to be located in the parks zoned P3 (active). So the 707 or Coats Marsh would not be potential locations as they are zoned P2 (passive), but the undeveloped portions of Rollo McClay could be used, or Descanso Bay Regional Park.

If such an installation were to move forward, it would of course require funding and would need to be included on the Gabriola parks work plan which is already busy with items such as a designated off-leash dog area, the Huxley Park development, the Rollo McClay playground and other projects.

The next meeting of the Gabriola Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC) will be Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Gabriola Arts Council building (WI Hall) behind the post office.