Proud to say I live in Langford

I don’t have a mullet, my car isn’t on cement blocks and I’ve never burned garbage in the backyard.

I don’t have a mullet, my car isn’t on cement blocks and I’ve never burned garbage in the backyard.

But I have watched the races at Western Speedway, there are a couple of broken dryers outside my house and I have paid for an item with nickels and dimes, maybe even last week.

I love my city and I love living here. Langford is great. There, I said it. And since this is in print, I can’t see you rolling your eyes at me. Unless you, too, are from Langford, it’s probably hard to know where I am coming from.

In the 10 years I have been in Greater Victoria, I have lived in downtown Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt, Vic West and Langford.

Of all these communities, I deem Langford to be the best. I have lived here nearly four years.

But whenever I tell people south of the West Shore where I live, I get a look … you know the look.

Peoples’ thoughts revert back to a time when Langford was known as Dogpatch. A time when Langford had few jobs and where infrastructure was just a four-syllable word.

But the Langford of today is an innovative place. A place that finds $30 million to build recreation facilities during a recession without raising taxes, a place that is putting an emphasis on bike lanes and local business.

My daughter is nearly two and this city is such a great place to raise a kid. The trees in my neighbourhood are taller than any building nearby. I live two blocks south of a lake, two blocks north of a creek and a block away from a pond. You can’t get that in any concrete jungle.

Sure, maybe Langford hasn’t always had the best reputation, but as it nears its 25th birthday, it has evolved into a family-friendly city with trails, parks, sporting facilities and plenty of public events and festivals.

Mayor Stew Young told me recently that he and his fellow council members had to start from the bottom when the city incorporated.

The way this city has been transformed is nothing short of amazing. Langford was built on dreams and positive visions. It’s not Dogpatch or a land of big-box stores. It’s a self-sufficient community.

Langford has been revamped by visionaries who believed in a city that everyone else once considered a write-off.

If you haven’t been out here in a while, I want you to know that Langford is more than just the home of Costco.

I am not one of the people who remember it as Dogpatch, but I’ve heard of it, much like I’ve been told of the great snowstorm of ’96.

I was told by one man who grew up in Saanich that when he was a teen he would stay away from “Langford Girls.” I am sure you already have a picture in your mind of what a Langford Girl is.

But now I think Langford girls are great, being one myself and all.

Langford’s success is the envy of neighbouring communities and council’s approaches have been praised by many. What else does this fabulous city need to do to wash away its reputation as the black sheep of the Capital Regional District?

When I heard Langford used to be a bedroom community my mind was boggled. Everything I need is right here – I rarely venture off the West Shore into the Deep South.

My job sends me across the West Shore and my daughter’s daycare is in Colwood, but I always know when I’ve crossed the municipal boundary back to Langford. I see the flowers in the boulevards, the free trolley driving and hear a singing water fountain – I know I’m home.

The only bad part of living in Langford is telling people I live in Langford.

Charla Huber is a reporter for the Goldstream News Gazette.

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