A conversation ensued recently about “the little town that should.” That town would be Sooke.
A video was produced about the efforts being made to make Sooke into a retiree’s dream community. Sure, Sooke has some things going for it, like clean air, a harbour and the great outdoors close by. But, what else does it have, what does it lack? We have a few places to eat, a hotel, inn and some B&Bs. This is all good. Unfortunately what we lack is something for people to do once they get here. We have no theatre, bowling lanes, community centre or “unique” shops and stores.
If Sooke really wanted to become a destination stop then it is imperative to start making that happen. A few ideas would be to ensure the golf course remains, turn the community hall into a movie theatre a few times a week (they do this in a small hall on Saltspring, so it can be done), get a community centre where the young and old can have some place to gather and do things like take classes and play/dance, whatever. Perhaps the Sooke Community Association should turn over the hall to the district, thereby alleviating the financial responsibility from the association. The district is subsidizing it already, as it is the Sooke flats and other holdings.
For a community to be attractive, it needs to give as much as it gets. We need to encourage businesses to update and modernize their exteriors to create that seaside community feel. We can’t wait until it may or may not happen down by the waterfront. Get the developers to start throwing money into a pot for a recreation/seniors centre, get serious about design guidelines and realistic planning and start making it happen. We have nothing to lose.