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Like all UWCs, Pearson College is committed to a mission that was far ahead of its time, and yet is more pertinent today than ever—an educational force designed “to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.”

Perhaps due to its slightly, off-the-main road location in Metchosin, there is a misconception that Pearson College UWC is an elite private school for international students. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.

In 2019, Maclean’s magazine gathered data on 415 communities across Canada to identify the best spots to live in Canada. They were looking for what they call “supercharged small towns”—communities with rural charm with close access to urban jobs. They defined a “community” as a town or city with its own mayor.

They selected and compared 415 communities using the following categories: wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture.

And guess what? Three of our West Shore municipalities made the list as towns that are offering an attractive alternative to big-city living!

It wasn’t that long ago that technological innovation was mostly associated with the computer industry. A steady stream of electronic devices and digital services—that improve so quickly, they become obsolete in a few years—continue to impact our lives in ways we never imagined a few decades ago.

Today, with climate change ever-present, the need for fundamental new discoveries across a network of diverse industries has never been greater. Innovation today is less about getting a competitive silo advantage and more about experimenting and researching possibilities in collaboration with others; finding ways to re-imagine aspects of our economy so we can continue to prosper with the lowest possible environmental impact. The shift underway will be explosive; unlike anything we’ve experienced since electricity and the internal combustion engine took center stage early in the 20th century.

Sometimes, all it takes is one good idea to get started, right? This month, our issue is packed with ideas to somewhere nearby you’ve never been before or to something that you’ve wanted to do, but never got around to. Accomplishing this, won’t be difficult, when you have a ‘GoWestShore Bucket List’ to follow!

There is something about spring that’s so lovable. What’s not to love about getting outdoors—in the longer-lasting, sunny days of spring—without having to suit up. Life in the spring lane means I notice things more—or maybe there is just more to notice—like the sounds of returning birds and happy pond frogs or quick sightings of baby bunnies, ducklings, and frolicking squirrels.

And the colour of spring! Is there anything more hopeful than the singular spring colours in the leaves and grass and fields? My spirits rise when flowers start to bloom. Without a really fixed plan to do so, I find myself echoing the bright aura of their colour pallet, shedding my taupe, black, brown and greys for vibrant reds, yellows, purples and sky-blues.

I know for sure that I get more done in the spring. It’s easier for me to revitalize my exercise regimen when I use nature as my outdoor gymnasium. Spring is the time to live in the sunshine, eat outside and drink in the air.

It’s apparent walking through the various phases of the Westhills community, that what is happening here offers prospective homeowners a very different lifestyle from traditional suburbs built in the past century.

Westhills’ location is key. It’s situated on the shoreline of Langford Lake and surrounded by both Municipal and Provincial Parks. As a result, this master planned community has forests and lakes all a short walk, hike or bike ride away for a community playground and recreational pursuits.

“The lifestyle element available here is the best of both worlds,” says Rob Muller, Sales and Marketing Manager for Westhills Land Corp. “You’re close enough to downtown Victoria yet you can live right on nature’s doorstep.”

Knowing that there is a spirit of benevolence and generosity operating in our community goes a long way to helping us love our home town that much more—regardless of whether it’s the holiday season or not! All of us on the West Shore can be proud of the local efforts being made to help others manage and enjoy this year’s holiday festivities.

U-bicycle North America, Western Canada’s first station-less bicycle-sharing platform, has officially launched in Langford with eight virtual parking zone locations around the City.

This May, U-bicycle placed its first station at Belmont Residences. The property backs onto the Galloping Goose Trail and is biking distance to Langford Lake, regional parks and other convenient amenities, making this U-bicycle station a frequented stop for Langford residents.

The partnership between Belmont Residences and U-bicycle has been a smooth ride. They are sponsoring half of the network (30 bikes) and the other half is sponsored by the City of Langford.

In past issues, I’ve investigated how the diversity of community activity and landscape in the West Shore makes it such an amazingly place to live, work and play. They’re easy themes to explore and even easier to find things to do once you get there! This summer, I set myself a stiffer task: I set out to capture the spirit of music in our community. What started me on this quest, initially, were comments made by musicians I’d interviewed in past issues. Each one, at some point in the interview, credited their school and music teachers for developing their interest and talents