Editorial Written by Kristen Ross
Happy Valley – It’s All In The Name
In a place famous for its superb quality of life and stunning natural beauty, it’s no surprise that Vancouver Island and the communities that call it home are thriving like never before. With a name like Happy Valley it’s hard to imagine this neighborhood could be anything but charming; fortunately, this is undoubtedly the case for this rapidly growing community.
Located in southern Langford, just twenty minutes from Victoria’s inner harbor, Happy Valley is a unique combination of rustic farmland and residential neighborhoods. As have the finest communities along the West Coast, Happy Valley is working to achieve a sustainable, environmentally conscious mindset. Once the home of a flourishing agricultural community, evidence of its natural assets remains strong. From thick brushstrokes of forested area to its numerous lakes and hiking pathways – nature clearly has the upper hand here.
One need not be an avid outdoors enthusiast to enjoy Happy Valley’s abundant nature – here there is something one from every level of fitness can enjoy. The infamous Galloping Goose Trail, a 60km scenic route that connects Victoria to Sooke, runs directly through Happy Valley and is enjoyed by both cyclists and dog walkers among others. Those looking for motor-free options into the city also use it as an alternative commute. Long committed to the creation of an extensive trail system, as Langford and its communities continue to grow, so do its sustainable transportation options.
For those who need to be near the water to call a day complete, there are many options nearby. Close to City Centre Park, Langford Lake is the largest in the immediate area and is a well-known stomping ground for summer swimmers, as well as those who enjoy fishing, or simply a relaxing day out on the water with friends and family. Glen Lake, one of the many pristine stops along The Galloping Goose, sports a charming boardwalk and boat launch with plenty of areas to while away a long summer day. Thetis Lake and Florence Lake, both located in north Langford, are particularly popular among the four-legged family members.
Some of the more unique destinations in the area include the Happy Valley Lavender & Herb Farm, a superb testament to the owner’s love of this gorgeous purple perennial, and The Goldstream Station Market – a farmer’s market where goods are grown, baked, made and sold by area locals.
Despite its close proximity to Victoria, residents have everything they need for daily living here at home. A quick five-minute ride from the heart of Happy Valley is the Westshore Town Centre, Langford’s largest shopping centre, which boasts over 80 stores including many of the most popular national chains such as HomeSense and Sport Mart. It’s also home to a multi-screen Cineplex screening the best in current cinema. Additional shopping hubs include Millstream Village, Goldstream Village and the Red Barn Market, which offers high-quality, organic local produce. All locations easily accessible by transit, residents and visitors also have the option of taking the city’s own Trolley, which operates strictly by donation.
With so many unique natural features coupled with the ease of daily living, it’s not hard to see why Happy Valley’s reputation precedes it. As one resident of this vibrant, ever-expanding community put it simply – it’s all in the name.