Township finds its own identity

Esquimalt is shedding its rough and ready exterior

With the official grand re-opening of the renovated McDonald’s Restaurant on Esquimalt Road last week, it’s a good time to look at how this $700,000 facelift is a reflection of the Township of Esquimalt overall.

McDonald’s is the first big business on Esquimalt Road to undergo such a major renovation, and owner Ken Taylor hopes it will be the first of many as the township re-invests in itself.

A quick look around the municipality and it’s easy to see that Esquimalt is not resting on its laurels. The Archie Browning Centre is almost finished a significant expansion and renovation, as is the Esquimalt Rec Centre. Admirals Road is undergoing improvements including the addition of bike lanes, sidewalk and street lighting upgrades – and community spirit is at an all-time high with the creation of the Township Community Arts Council last year, the new weekly Esquimalt Farmers Market and the recent purchase of the 106-year-old English Inn by Vancouver-based Aragon Properties.

Taylor stated he “believes” in Esquimalt. “There are a lot of good things happening here,” he told the News.

As the owner of five McDonald’s restaurants in the Greater Victoria area, Taylor has seen the most growth in his Esquimalt location, and local business owners tell us, he’s not alone.

Just a few years ago, the Township was struggling with identity, suffering from regular vandalism and graffiti. It’s delightful watching this municipality bloom and come into its own, growing out of its ‘awkward teen years’ and turning into a municipality you might take home to meet your mother.