Victoria archery club says goodbye to outdoor range in View Royal

Victoria archery club says goodbye to outdoor range in View Royal

Province-owned View Royal property will house handyDART facility

A Greater Victoria club practising an ancient sport loses its outdoor space to a new handyDART facility this fall.

On Sept. 1 the Victoria Bowmen Archery Club says goodbye to the outdoor range it’s called home for a decade. Instead the View Royal property, which is owned by the provincial government, will be developed for handyDART buses and services.

“It’s a tragedy,” said club president Al Wills. “We’ve been shooting outdoors in the western community since 1965.”

The future of the land at 2401 Burnside Rd. has been hotly debated in the community – with View Royal council rejecting two development proposals after hearing resident concerns over noise, parking, air quality and environmental impacts.

Ultimately, it was the provincial government’s decision.

“The demand for service is growing, especially in the western communities, and a new facility is needed to improve service for those who rely on it,” said the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Greater Victoria has limited space for new or expanded commercial and industrial development.”

The Ministry said BC Transit recommended the View Royal property for its central location and proximity to main roadways connecting Greater Victoria, including western communities.

In September, the club was given a tentative deadline of June 2020 to vacate the property.

Founded as the Maquinna Archery Club in 1949, the group has played host to various Canadian and Pacific championships through the years and has won a number, including the 1997 World Archery Championships. In 2010, the club funneled roughly $50,000 into building its facility at the Burnside location, installing fencing and safety infrastructure.

Wills said he’s travelled the world for archery and has never found a location for outdoor shooting as ideal as the club’s current home.

RELATED: View Royal archery club looking for new home after province moves in on property

The club uses Saanich Commonwealth Place during the winter, but Wills said outdoor shooting – with factors such as wind and weather – is the Olympic discipline.

“It’s always been done outside. The sport is hundreds of years old and that’s the way it was,” Wills said. “You shot outdoors for hunting, for protection.”

Archery has a special draw for athletes who prefer to go solo, Wills added. This year, despite public knowledge that the club would be out of a facility come Sept. 1, there was an uptick in enrolment. About 150 people shoot with the club and alumni include five Olympians.

Wills is negotiating with Saanich Commonwealth to see if members can use the indoor space during the summer months too. Ideally, the perfect outdoor space would become available.

“We’ve looked literally everywhere. I have talked to every municipality and every parks department. …We’re still looking.”

– With files from Shalu Mehta.

READ ALSO: West Shore hosts Canadian archery championships


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
nina.grossman@blackpress.ca Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Local Sportspublic transit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The old home at 785 Island Rd. is coming down as the developer was unable to find a feasible business case to save it. (Black Press Media File Photo)
With no takers to move old Oak Bay home, teardown begins

‘We tried a last hurrah,’ developer says

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes delivers the inaugural address at council’s swearing-in ceremony in November 2018. The ceremony included blessings from representatives of two Christian churches. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes delivers the inaugural address at council’s swearing-in ceremony in November, 2018. The ceremony included blessings from representatives of two Christian churches – a fact highlighted in a report released by the BC Humanist Associaton on Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Christian-based prayer at inaugural Vancouver Island council meetings violates court ruling

Blessings violate Supreme Court decision that prayer in council is discriminatory

Leah Davis, store manager at Oscar & Libby’s in downtown Victoria, sets out stock at their Fort Street location. The pandemic has changed the way this retailer and others do business, says owner Teri Hustins. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Pandemic alters holiday business strategies for Victoria merchants

Many independent merchants count on holiday shopping to get them through quiet periods

Goldstream Food Bank vice-president Walter Dubeau is happy to help others by volunteering at the food bank’s Christmas hamper program. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Goldstream Food Bank Christmas Hamper program in full swing

Gratitude evident as hamper helpers happily give back

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Most Read