Sooke, rejoice! Tim Hortons is expected to open up shop in Sooke as early as March.
The coffee shop will be part of a 3,600-square-foot convenience store that will serve a Petro-Canada gas station.
Construction is expected to start in October. Originally the store was expected to open this fall.
The proposed half-hectare development will be built on a parcel of T’Sou-ke Nation land located between Saseenos elementary and Edward Milne community schools, said Jeff Frank, senior director with Castle Main Group, a First Nations development company.
For the last few years, Frank worked closely with the T’Sou-ke band, Tim Hortons, and the B.C. Transportation Ministry to get the project off the ground.
“It’s been a long way coming, but the [T’Sou-ke] band has shown a lot of perseverance and doing it for the right reasons,” Frank said.
“They want to build a project that will service the community for many years.”
The issue now is that the site doesn’t have a wastewater system.
And while that’s OK for phase one, Frank said they will need to have discussions with the District of Sooke for subsequent phases.
There’s also the concern of keeping the flow of traffic going as locals cram into a lineup to get their hands on a fresh doughnut and coffee.
Frank said the group is negotiating with the Ministry of Transportation on the best possible layout.
Frank is optimistic of the outcome.
“The ability for bands to create wealth on reserve is one of the key items in that process of reconciliation,” he said. “What the T’Sou-ke Nation is doing is exemplary.”