by Rebecca Slaven | Cycling to Victoria is perfect for a long weekend and even better if you’re able to take a day off and avoid the ferry crowds. The route from Swartz Bay to Victoria is (almost) completely flat and mostly shaded, which makes it a great ride even during the final hot days of summer.
You can either take public transit or cycle to Tsawwassen. Each method has its disadvantages. The route to Tsawwassen is not the prettiest or the most straightforward. However, public transit brings with it a risk of delay. To take public transit, hop on the Canada Line to Bridgeport, and then take bus #620. Each bus has two racks for bikes, so cross your fingers that you’ll be first in line because the #620 only leaves once every 40 minutes.
You’re best off following a Map My Ride route or checking out HUB because I’ve gotten temporarily lost every time I’ve ridden to Tsawwassen. Whichever route you follow, you’ll have to take the George Massey bike shuttle, which is free and large enough that I’ve never seen it fill up past capacity. The waiting area simply has a bench and a small sign and so it’s easy to miss. The driver is very nice about being waved down by latecomers. Nevertheless, check the schedule carefully before leaving and try to get there early because there are large gaps between shuttle times, with not a lot to do in the area.
Once at the ferry terminal, you’ll be directed up to the front and loaded on after the big trucks and before the cars. The ferries have one or two bike racks and when those are full, cyclists simply lock their tires to their frames and prop bikes against the side of the ship.
When you’ve arrived at Swartz Bay, follow the cycling signs off the ferry to the Lochside Trail, which is fairly straightforward the whole way. There’s one point early on at which it looks like you may need to go on a bridge to cross the road but continue on the flat path to the left, instead. The only bridges you should be crossing are the wooden ones close to the city.
If you have time for a break on your route, stop at Sea Cider. The tasting room has a gorgeous view and the ciders are excellent. The completely vegetarian food from Re-bar makes for a perfect end to a long ride and their cookbook is definitely worth picking up while you’re there.
When heading back to Swartz Bay, stop at Fol Epi and pick up a sandwich to take on the ferry. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place until my last visit to Victoria. I’ve missed out on so many delicious macarons! Happy late summer cycling…
Rebecca Slaven is a librarian, writer, and cyclist. Her subject specialities include law, beauty, and croquet. Her format specialty is the how-to guide. She mostly rides her bike to work but has cycled as far as San Francisco. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
This tiny retreat in California’s Topanga Canyon was built by Mason St. Peter over the course of 2 years (it was worked on two weekends of every month). Between us, we think it would look a lot better here in BC, perhaps on one of the Islands, its lovely deck shadowed by an arbutus or two…
The GOODS from Wolf In The Fog
Tofino, BC | Husband-and-wife folk-pop band Us The Duo will be performing at Tofino’s newest restaurant Wolf in the Fog on Saturday, August 30th. Fresh off their North American tour to promote their second album No Matter Where You Are, Us The Duo will play an intimate show in the upstairs dining room.
Tickets are $50 per person and include a multi-course dinner prepared by Chef Nick Nutting and the Wolf in the Fog team. Doors open at 5:00pm and seating is first come first serve. The show begins at 8:00pm.
Tickets go on sale this Thursday, August 14th and can be purchased at Wolf in the Fog, located at 150 Fourth Street, Tofino, BC or by calling 250-725-WOLF (9653). Read more
The GOODS from Black Rock
Ucluelet, BC | Black Rock Resort in Ucleulet is seeking experienced, energetic and passionate individuals to join our culinary brigade. Breakfast Cooks, Cooks 1 & 2, and Dishwashers are needed immediately. All interested individuals are invited to send their detailed resumes to careers [at] blackrockresort.com. Learn more about the island resort after the jump… Read more
We’ve invited Vancouver Island’s brand new Wolf In The Fog eatery to join the Restaurants section of our GOODS program as a recommended place to sip and sup in Tofino. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be sharing their news and employment needs on our front page in addition to hosting a page for them in our archive of local and independent goodness. We thank them for their support and for making The Island a more delicious place to be.
150 Fourth Street, Tofino, British Columbia V0R 2Z0
Telephone: 250-725-WOLF (9653) | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web: www.wolfinthefog.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
The Restaurant: Lunch 11am–5pm | Dinner 5pm-12am
The Den: Coffee/Sandwiches 6am–5pm | Dinner 5pm-12am
Chef – Nick Nutting
Front of House Manager – Jorge Barandiaran
Bar Manager – Hailey Pasemko
Pastry Chef – Joel Ashmore
Business Manager – Andre McGillivray
Sous Chef – Martin Dean
About Wolf In The Fog
Wolf in the Fog’s culinary influence lies with the local fishermen and foragers, providing a magnificent array of produce from Tofino’s doorstep. Fresh seafood and fish is complemented by meat and grain from Vancouver Island farmers and wild greens and mushrooms foraged from the plentiful forests and seashores of Tofino.
The ingredients land in the skillful and confident hands of Chef Nick Nutting and his team. Capturing the raw vitality of Tofino, Chef Nick Nutting’s seasonal menu – focusing on family style and encouraging guests to engage with the dishes – reflects the allure of Tofino itself: honest, rustic and at the very end of the road. Bold flavours, simple preparation and honed techniques blend to create a menu brimming with passion and verve.
Wolf in the Fog’s cocktail program echoes the Tofitian cuisine prepared by the restaurant team. Signature cocktails crafted by Bar Manager Hailey Pasemko incorporate wild and homegrown ingredients like native berries and cedar and include large format cocktails to match share platters. The carefully curated wine program features British Columbia wines by the glass, a blend of international and homegrown wines by the bottle, and rare and exceptional bottle on the Owner’s Selection wine list. Lastly to the taps – try a selection of beers from local craft breweries such as Tofino Brewing Co., Driftwood Brewing Co. and Hoyne Brewing Co.
Downstairs, The Den offers coffee and freshly baked pastries in the morning, as well as a variety of gourmet sandwiches on artisan breads, fresh from the Wolf in the Fog kitchen.
The interior of Wolf in the Fog is intended to mirror Tofino’s striking natural environment, while retaining a warm and welcoming character. Features include a natural and reclaimed wood structure with modern industrial touches, a beautiful 14-foot feature communal table and original artworks from acclaimed local and international artists.
by Andrew Morrison | I was up in Tofino over the weekend and was able to take a good look inside the construction site of Wolf In The Fog, a two storey eatery soon to open at the gates of town on the corner of Fourth & Campbell. The place has got the small town buzzing, not least of all because it has three ex-Wickaninnish Inn employees – former chef Nick Nutting and FOH staffers Jorge Baradiaran and Andre McGillivray – collaborating as owner-operators. They’re a talented bunch, and the location is as prime as it gets.
Despite the formal trappings of the owners’ shared past (the Wick being a Relais property, after all), Wolf In The Fog is aiming to be decidedly casual casual, especially on the 800 sqft main floor, which will seat 20 indoors (with TVs) and another 18 on the sidewalk patio. The same menu will be shared on the more expansive second floor with its large bar and lounge area (with beer and wine on tap), 60+ seat family-friendly dining room (complete with broken surfboard sculpture), and 38 seat patio. It’s a great-looking space with excellent mill- and metal-work in evidence (I love the smooth curve of the walnut bar), not to mention a killer view.
The upstairs is also home to a dream kitchen that snakes to the back of the building and a rear staff patio for the sweetest of contemplative, mid-rush breaks. As you can see in some of the shots below, Nutting and his cohorts – among them sous chef Martin Dean (ex-Wick, Ensemble) and pastry chef Joel Ashmore (ex-Wick) – can also look out beyond the dining room at the Deadmen Islets and the surrounding (stunning) land/seascape.
Nutting didn’t talk at length about the food, except to say that he really wanted it to be true to the spirit and feel of Tofino, which is about as far away from stuffy as is possible. I’ve eaten his food on several occasions (including in competition), and I know full well that he’s capable of doing amazing and often innovative things with locally sourced ingredients. So while I feel that it’s somewhat of a tragedy that he won’t be using all the tools in his creative bag making sandwiches and the like, I’d be very surprised if they weren’t damn fine sandwiches! What’s more, I don’t think he’ll be able to resist plating the occasional honest expression of his true abilities, which are considerable. It’s in a chef’s nature to show off, if only on occasion.
To round out the casual vibe that Wolf In The Fog is trying to capture, they’ve put together what sounds like a pretty kickass vintage stereo system and lined up a nice collection of vinyl to play, plus they’ve taken a page out of the Mamie Taylor’s playbook and collected colourful vintage, mis-matched tableware from thrift stores in small towns up, down, and all around Vancouver Island.
The team is looking forward to opening at some point in June.
The GOODS from Wildebeest
Vancouver, BC | Wildebeest restaurant migrates to the Island this weekend to invade the kitchen at Tofino’s Shelter. On Saturday May 3rd, Chef Wesley Young and the Wildebeest team will cook up their most popular plates with some local and foraged twists, while award-winning bartender Thor Paulsen will commandeer Shelter’s bar to pair dishes with well-crafted cocktails. For those who prefer a cold brew with their meal, Tofino Brewing Co. will join the party to tap a cask of one-off craft beer. Early reservations are encouraged for what is sure to be a popular event. Please call Shelter to book a seat: 1-250-725-3353. Details after the jump… Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Frankie Harrington, Cord Jarvie, and Joseph Sartor are opening a new location of Meat & Bread - their third – at 721 Yates Street in Victoria, BC’s old Churchill Building. That’s between Douglas and Blanshard, so right in the heart of the city. It’s a heritage space – a little bit bigger than Meat & Bread’s Gastown location – and they have Craig Stanghetta reprising his role as designer. I don’t expect they’ll veer too far from the original modern-meets-heritage aesthetic, and the menu will still be anchored by their famous porchetta sandwich and either a vegetarian or grilled cheese. We can also expect a location-specific signature sandwich, much like Gastown has its meatball and Coal Harbour has its corned beef. They’ve only just taken possession and hope to start construction in early May for a July opening. Need work? They’re setting up interviews for core staff as we speak. Email your resumes to info [at] meatandbread.ca.
THE GOODS FROM SPOTTED BEAR BISTRO
Tofino BC | Spotted Bear Bistro is on the lookout for brunch and dinner service line cooks as well as servers for the upcoming season. Both part time and full time positions are available. Cook applicants must have experience, be passionate about food, work clean and well on their own and be presentable. Time management is vital for both positions. Brunch positions will be approximately 7am to 2pm three days a week and dinner position start times will vary from early afternoon to early evening until 11pm. Hours are great for those that want to enjoy what Tofino has to offer. Applicants must be willing to commit through to Labour Day, and positions through the winter may be available. Serving positions are available both on a part time and full time basis. Applicants must have experience, be passionate about food and wine, and work well in a fast paced environment. Brunch shifts are from 7:30am/8:00am – 2pm and dinner shifts vary from 4:00pm/6pm starts to 11pm. Interested applicants should apply Attention Cameron at sbbistrocatering[at]gmail.com. Learn more about Spotted Bear after the jump… Read more
The southern coast of British Columbia is fronted by dozens of islands, the largest among them being Vancouver Island, which is home to several towns and cities including Duncan, Parksville, Tofino, Campbell River, Nanaimo, Port Hardy, and the provincial capital, Victoria. Between it and the mainland of BC are the Gulf Islands. These include such gems Savary, Galiano, Mayne, Saltspring, Thetis, Gabriola, Denman, Hornby, Lasqueti, Texada, and both Penders (they are a great many others).
In The Islands at the moment (our HOOD palettes are ever-changing), we’re seeing the two blues on the funnel of BC Ferries Coastal Celebration vessel; the brick interior of Victoria’s Habit Coffee; the hot stones in the spa at Sonora Resort; the thirsty August grass at Mile Zero in Victoria; the smooth pebbles of Higgs Beach on Pender Island (tri-colour); purple and orange starfishes; the green of Pagliacci’s exterior in Victoria; sunset on the wooden cabins of Bodega Ridge on Galiano Island; the six shades of a winter storm from the The Pointe Restaurant at Wickaninnish Inn; the blue veins of Beddis Blue cheese from Moonstruck on Saltspring Island; the stunning sand of Savary Island’s better beaches; the light blue of Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria; the copper green dome of the provincial legislature; the yellow of the Mary Jane’s Kitchen sign on Lasqueti Island; a Margarita at Sobo in Tofino.
A WODDEN BOAT MUSEUM IN COWICHAN BAY
GOOD SURFING IN TOFINO AND SOMBRIO
RENAISSANCE BOOKS IN VICTORIA’S BASTION SQUARE
THE SINGULAR EXPERIENCE OF HIKING THE WEST COAST TRAIL
SUMMER BASKING ON WHIFFEN SPIT
THE WIDE AND (USUALLY) EMPTY SUN SWATHE OF VICTORIA’S GONZALES BEACH
GREAT EXPLORING AT FORT ROD HILL
THE VALUE VILLAGE & LOWER JOHNSON VINTAGE HUNT LOOP IN VICTORIA
DITCH RECORDS ON FORT STREET IN VICTORIA
BACH, HAYDN, HANDEL, AND VIVALDI ON REPEAT AT MUNRO’S BOOKS IN VICTORIA
BEACHFRONT CAMPING AT BELLA PACIFICA IN TOFINO
CHOCOLATE DIPPED CONE FROM BEACON HILL DRIVE-IN
PIZZA FROM LA PRIMA STRADA IN VICTORIA
VOLTAGE ESPRESSO STOUT FROM HOYNE BREWING
HABIT COFFEE IN VICTORIA
THE BIG BURGER AT THE SPOTTED BEAR IN TOFINO
SPAGHETTI ALIO OLIO AT ZAMBRI’S IN VICTORIA
ANYTHING AT SOOKE HARBOUR HOUSE
STEAK FRITES AT BRASSERIE L’ECOLE IN VICTORIA
CHAMPAGNE SUNDAY BRUNCH AT THE POINTE IN TOFINO
SEASONAL TASTING MENU AT THE COWICHAN VALLEY’S STONE SOUP INN
DEEP FRIED SOFT SHELL CRAB AT NORI IN NANAIMO
CAJUN HALIBUT SANDWICH AT THE HUMMINGBIRD PUB ON GALIANO ISLAND
ESPRESSO AT THE TOFITIAN
PIMENTO ROOT HASH AT THE CAFE AT HOPE BAY ON PENDER ISLAND
THE BREAD AT PAGLIACCI’S IN VICTORIA
CIBOLO SHRIMP & KEY LIME PIE AT SOBO IN TOFINO
PEA SOUP AT ULLA IN VICTORIA
- Except for rocky Mace Point, Savary Island is almost entirely ringed by white sand.
- Active Pass (the narrow straight between Mayne Island and Galiano Island) was named after the USS Active, an American survey vessel that navigated the area in 1855.
- “Cowichan” is an English treatment of Halkomelem Quw’utsun, or “warm land”.
- The entirely of the undeveloped 100 acre West Ballenasa Island off Parksville is currently for sale for $1.4 million.
- The old Painter’s Lodge fishing escape in Campbell River was a favourite of Old Hollywood stars, including Bob Hope and John Wayne.
- Tofino’s Sobo restaurant was named one of the Top 10 best new eateries in Canada by enRoute Magazine when it was just a food truck operating out of the Botanical Gardens.
- The body of water that encompasses the divide between Vancouver Island and the mainland – including Strait of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound – was named the Salish Sea in 2010.
- Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada (second in North America only to San Francisco’s).
- In 2010, Kuper Island had its name changed to Penelakut Island in honour of the Penelakut First Nation.
Reader T.R. | High above Mt. Pleasant | 8:00am | SHARE YOUR VIEW
We love posting the photographs that reveal the views from our reader’s windows. Whether it’s a back alley in the fall or a sandy beach in high summer, we’re always stoked to see what you see from home, work or while on the road. What does your view look like right now? Take a snap of it and send it in. Check out the gallery of our all-time reader submissions below… Read more
The GOODS from The Modern Bartender
After a successful pop up operation in both Edmonton and Calgary at the end of the summer, Victoria has called on “The Modern Bartender” to be on the move yet again. Shawn Soole from “Little Jumbo” has asked us to set up shop Monday December 9 starting at 4pm and we’re in!
We’ll be taking all manner of barwares and essentials such as a bevy of classic mixing vessels, japanese import bar spoons, piles of jiggers, muddlers, strainers and of course other must haves from our huge selection of books, ice trays and sphere makers, Tiki mugs, assorted syrups and more bitters than you can possibly imagine. Come visit The Modern Bartender at the Little Jumbo in Victoria at 506 Fort Street on Monday December 9 starting at 4pm. Read more
We’ve invited Tofino’s excellent Spotted Bear Bistro to join our GOODS section. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be posting their news in addition to hosting a page for them on our curated list of independent goodness. We would like to thank them for their support of Scout, and for making British Columbia a tastier place to be.