Seeing things from a different angle

Back alley walks provide a unique perspective on Oak Bay

Gordon Wong

Those looking to take the path less travelled have a great chance to do just that, as a popular Oak Bay walking tour returns to the community.

Tomorrow (June 23) the Mayor’s Oak Bay Back Alley Walks, one of which is guided by Mayor Christopher Causton, offer scenic and historic tours of some of the municipality’s hidden trails and secret paths.

The event features five-kilometre and 10K distances and is put on by the Victoria ‘Y’ Volkssport Club. It has grown in popularity since it began in 1993, with well over 100 walkers of all ages taking part each year.

Judy Haynes, one of its organizers, says the walk shows people a side of their community they don’t often see.

“It goes around through the back alleys of Oak Bay and every year it’s different,” she said. “You can see nice gardens and little connecting trails that people don’t know about.”

It’s also a chance for participants to get to know Causton a little better. The mayor first led the walk in 2006, and enjoyed it so much he’s returned every year since.

“It’s wonderful. You can literally walk from one end of the municipality to the other using only back alleys,” he said. “And it’s a great opportunity to share the community with literally hundreds of people.”

Causton will lead the 10K walk, but the groups walk together for the first part of the event, so those traveling the shorter distance won’t miss hearing Causton talk about some of the sights along the route.

“I just try and make it interesting and tell a few stories and hopefully make people laugh a bit,” he said.

Registration is between 5:15 and 5:45 p.m. Thursday at the Oak Bay Rec Centre. The event is free for community walkers and $2 for Volkssport members. Coffee and cookies will be provided in the Sports View Deli, Bar and Grill at the rec centre beforehand. Walkers will head out at 6 p.m.

For more information about the walk, call Judy Haynes at 250-385-8519. If you’re interested in the Volkssport club, check them out on the web at www.letswalkinvictoria.ca.

editor@oakbaynews.com

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