Marine businesses pack up shops, leave James Bay

Victoria Marine Electric and Trotac Marin moving closer to customers

Manager Rod McDonald stands at the doorway to Victoria Marine Electric on Erie Street. The longtime James Bay company is relocating as there is no longer enough business for them in the area.

Manager Rod McDonald stands at the doorway to Victoria Marine Electric on Erie Street. The longtime James Bay company is relocating as there is no longer enough business for them in the area.

Two of the last remaining shops serving the marine industry are leaving James Bay, marking yet another nail in the coffin for a once-thriving fishing industry at Fisherman’s Wharf.

After 37 years of business on Erie Street, Victoria Marine Electric closed its location Sept. 29 and reopened on Sumas Street in the Burnside Gorge area.

“We probably should have moved 10 years ago,” said Rod McDonald. “We’re moving to the other side of Victoria so our customers don’t have to drive all the way through Victoria to get to us.”

The business does wiring, plumbing and repairs for boats. These days, its main clients are the navy and boat owners from Sidney harbour.

Also on the move is Trotac Marine, at 85 Dallas Rd., which supplies the commercial fishing fleet and other marine industry with fishing gear and other hardware.

The business, which celebrated its 39th anniversary Friday, plans to move to 370 Gorge Rd. East, only two blocks from Victoria Marine Electric’s new location.

“We’ll be neighbours again (though) not by design,” said owner Campbell Thomson.

Thomson took over the business from his father, and is now training his kids.

His reasons for moving are similar to McDonald’s.

“We’re here because of Fisherman’s Wharf, which held at one time 250 commercial fish boats,” said Thomson. “That landscape has all changed.”

Moorage rate hikes at Fisherman’s Wharf caused many fish boats to move to Sidney, he said.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, which also controls the property upon which his building sits, has raised his rent by 400 per cent since taking over from the federal government.

 

He also can’t secure a long-term lease from the authority. For all these reasons, it’s time to leave, he said. He aims to make the move in early December.

 

 

Just Posted

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read