Sooke man envisions wishing pond for town centre

Proposal eyed near the new Vancouver Island Regional Library

The Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Big Ben, White House, among countless others, are standing landmarks that make a city, and a community, proud.

Sooke has its own too. Sookie Sam, the Logging Pole, Memorial Park, to name a few.

What if Sooke had an even bigger landmark, one that will be loved and carried on well into the future?

That’s a dream Paul Unwin of Sooke has had for years, but now he wants to swing it into motion with a big proposal: a wishing pond.

“We have an opportunity in Sooke to promote our community to the world and at the same time make our town more enjoyable for residents and tourists alike,” Unwin said.

“This is the gateway to the West Coast and our hope is that each passerby makes a wish for his or her upcoming adventure at our wishing pond.”

Called the Sooke Wishing Pond Legacy, Unwin’s sketches show a natural setting, along with a clock, and wooden sculptures of iconic animals from the area such as bears, cougars, wolves and birds.

His proposed location is in the vicinity of the planned new building of the Vancouver Island Regional Library, which is expected to be just off of Anna Marie Road.

The intention is not only to advertise Sooke’s natural beauty, but provide a visually-appealing and recreational centre for locals and visitors to enjoy. More so, Unwin says, it’s to create a legacy for generations to come.

“This could be a legacy thing, something that sustains itself, and something that people always maintain so it doesn’t go into disrepair,” he said.

Unwin’s experience with wood sculpting and landscaping goes back to his role as town gardener in Port Hardy, where he initiated several public art programs. As such, he noted there was a sense of pride locals had when their town looked pretty again.

“People weren’t vandalizing as much anymore, they were proud of their town.”

Location, size and complexity varies, though Unwin estimates the project would cost around $250,000, albeit he says he’s looking at the local public and council to see what they think of the idea as well.

Beautification and uniqueness is certainly important for Sooke going forward, but it all has its timing, noted Mayor Maja Tait.

“You want things that would encourage someone to get out of the car to walk and look at it, which what a lot of what our public works does,” she said, adding that focus recently has been more infrastructure and function rather than aesthetics.

“Things have been paused because we’ve been focused on the construction of Waddam’s Way, the roundabout and sidewalks.”

Tait pointed out that with any sort of project the District of Sooke always sends a call out to artists so that everyone has an opportunity to provide an idea, though process and public input is just as important.

“It’s always good to receive proposals on things, but for something this size, you’d want more public and council input,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

CRD commission votes against alternate Malahat route through watershed

Commission voted unanimously after several speakers at meeting

Geography among factors behind Saanich’s place on worst intersection list

Site of McKenzie Interchange Project ranks as worst intersection on Vancouver Island

Victoria Police looking for rightful owner of abandoned toolbox

VicPD found a toolbox full of tools on the side of a downtown Victoria street

Live like a tourist but save like a local this weekend in Greater Victoria

Be A Tourist in Your Own Hometown event is back Feb. 22 to 24 and March 1 to 3

Wife remembers B.C. man killed in possible case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill was in Kamloops working to support his family after oilfield job dried up

Early morning shooting in Courtenay

Reporter at taped-off scene outside apartment complex

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

New report calls for regulated heroin sales to curb B.C.’s overdose problem

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

Vancouver Island petition to decriminalize all drugs continues to collect signatures

A Courtenay couple is collecting signatures for their petition to decriminalize drugs in Canada

Most Read