City of Langford Open House – March 29th

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The City of Langford Open House is this weekend! Join the event at City Centre Park this Saturday March 29th from 10am – 2pm! Make your voice heard for changes and improvements you want made in the City of Langford. Similar events in the past have been responsible for the addition of numerous children’s playground upgrades, extended trails, sports facilities, and more! Visit The City of Langford Open House this weekend and share your thoughts on how to further improve the fastest growing city in British Columbia.

Many of these upgraded or added amenities have directly affected Westhills. Residents now have the added benefit of convenient access to Goudy Field, Westhills Stadium, City Centre Park, Langford Lanes, The revamped Langford Lake and Glen Lake beaches/parks, Westhills Park, and kilometers of extended trails that pass through the Westhills neighborhood. All of these added amenities make Westhills a vibrant and exciting place to live!

 

Townhome Living at Westhills

Townhome Exterior Rendering

The new Grob Court Townhomes are now available at Westhills. They provide a great opportunity to purchase a new home starting in the mid $300’s (incl. net GST).

A few of the outstanding features that come standard in these beautiful homes are luxury geo-exchange in-floor radiant heating throughout; quartz or granite kitchen counter-tops; imported ceramic tile bathroom and laundry room floors; 6 piece stainless steel, Energy Star appliances; high grade, 12mm laminate flooring on the main level; and window coverings throughout.

The impressive list of standard features continues outside the home with a unique contemporary design accompanied by fully landscaped and irrigated front and rear yards. The fully fenced rear yard features an over sized patio that is surrounded by a beautifully landscaped garden. This amazing outdoor space acts as an extension of the indoor living area and is a perfect spot to relax or fire-up the BBQ and entertain friends.

Westhills is well-situated just a stone’s throw away from shopping, grocery stores, entertainment, and all the amenities of the Westshore.  To see everything these affordable, attractive homes have to offer, click the link!

The Great Hike

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Dana Meise (red jacket) standing on the Trans Canada Trail at Westhills with Corey Small of Keycorp Marketing and Clive Webber, Trail Coordinator for Trans Canada Trail

Dana Meise began hiking nearly 6 years ago with the goal in mind to hike solo across Canada via the Trans Canada Trail. This is no easy feat as the trail a stretches a span of approximately 23,000 kilometers. To date Dana has hiked a whopping 16,000 km over approximately 1,000 days, where some days he has hiked nearly 70 km. With no benefactors or charities involved, this hike is simply an opportunity for Dana to explore, adventure, and experience all that Canada has to offer through the Trans Canada Trail.

We met up with Dana as he hiked the section of the Trans Canada Trail that connects through Westhills. Battling a bit of fatigue from his most recent 7 month hiking stint, he spoke about this journey which started in Newfoundland and has brought him to Vancouver Island and more recently the Westshore.  He spoke with such passion about the history, community and beauty that the Trans Canada Trail encompasses. He made mention to portions of the trail that were once used by the First Nations people thousands of years ago. It’s amazing to think that something that was an important transportation route so many years ago has been preserved and can still be experienced to today. The Trans Canada Trail displays a unique preservation of the Canadian history with landmarks, the connection of amazing cities and people along the way.

His eyes lit up when he spoke about the beauty of his mission, as many of the things he experienced only those that have walked the trail would understand. From beautifully forested trails to spectacular Albertan mountain ranges to vast British Columbian ocean landscapes, Dana has seen a lot of what Canada has to offer.

Dana also distinguished the community aspect of his journey and all the people he has met along the way. He has come across thousands of people on his hike from all walks of life and from many different cities in Canada and all over the world. Although the scenery may change, the Trans Canada Trail holds true and acts as the rope that ties all these different communities and people across Canada together.

Even though some nights have been treacherous, thinking about Dana’s story of the time he slept outside in negative twenty degree weather, the experiences of history, beauty and community are things he will never forget. These same experiences are at our fingertips. With the Trans Canada Trail and the Galloping Goose literally in our backyard at Westhills, we encourage all of you to get out and use these amazing features to your benefit. Meet your neighbours and enjoy the history, beauty and community that Dana spoke about

Check out Dana on Twitter @TheHikingFool and on Facebook as The Great Hike, to follow him on his journey and see some of the amazing things he has experienced.

Westhills is Walkable!

The Times Colonist posted an article that boasted Victoria as being one of the most walkable cities in Canada. The concept of walkability is one that is very near and dear to the heart of Westhills, as we foster a new community that values sustainability!

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The Westhills Master Plan embodies the goal of creating a unique, large-scale master-planned community based on principals of social and environmental sustainability. Major guiding factors of the design and implementation of Westhills are: considerations of location, alternative transportation modes, environmental preservation, community agriculture, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. These characteristics are demonstrated in the creation of approximately 6000 new residential units, with supporting commercial, civic and educational facilities. Approximately 84 hectares (208 acres) is designated as park and open space (equivalent to 40% of the total land area).

The planning of all Westhills neighbourhoods has been influenced by Traditional Neighbourhood Design (TND) principles, which encourage the responsible use of land and resources in compact, walkable communities.

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The Westhills vision includes buildings that will accommodate both live and work spaces, a village centre, neighbourhood retail service centres, an internal commuter bus service, and a commuter rail station. High quality public spaces, mixed uses, cultural and educational facilities and residences will provide for a community available to all ages and various income levels. This will further foster the walkability of Westhills as many, if not all, of your required amenities will literally be right in the community!

Winter Preparation Tips on Heating in the Westhills

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With the arrival of colder weather, there are some important aspects of your heating system you should keep in mind, as it pertains to your Westhills home. The information below will help ensure that your heat pump operates as efficiently as possible throughout the winter season.

  • Your system is designed to maintain a constant temperature throughout the entire home.
  • Temperature settings are controlled by your home’s central thermostat. To maximize energy efficiency we recommend that you program your thermostat to maintain a single temperature – try not to increase temperature settings by more than 1.5°C at a time.
  • If you are leaving for the day (for example going to work) or planning to be away from home for a few days, we do not recommend turning your system to “OFF” or turning down the temperature setting by more than 5°C. It is usually more energy efficient to maintain a normal room temperature during these brief periods of absence. Otherwise the system will have to work extra hard to bring your house up to temperature when you return.
  • Avoid leaving windows and doors open during colder times of the year. Even an open door from the main residence into an unheated garage can be a major source of heat loss.
  • Open blinds on a sunny day to gain passive heat. Close them again at dusk for insulation.
  • Feel free to close doors and vents for rooms that don’t need heating (like a spare bedroom); but do not close or block (for example with furniture) the vents or cold air returns in occupied rooms.
  • Regular maintenance of your heat pump system is important for ensuring optimal efficiency and best performance of the equipment.
  • SSL tracks the maintenance needs of each home and sends notification when it’s time for a tune up. If you receive notification, the SSL staff and technicians are flexible and will work with you to arrange an appointment time that will fit your schedule.

If you are experiencing any difficulties with your heat pump system please call SSL at (250) 391-7260 or check their website for more information.

A Day In The Life of a Westhills Resident – Angela!

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About six months ago we had the terrific pleasure of sitting down for coffee with Janet, a resident living in Lakeview Ridge of Westhills. While chit-chatting about her love for the community she now calls home, she told an amazing story about her next-door neighbour, Angela, and their small world tale of having grown up on the East Coast and realizing they had the same sister! Read as Angela tells us more….

The update – Janet and I are moving closer to finding our long, last sister Judy. As far as we are concerned, we were meant to find one another and have since continued to develop their beautiful friendship.

Sitting down with Angela in her beautiful, Westhills home on a nice, crisp fall day, we sipped coffee and she shared her Westhills story. Her and her husband Roy moved into their Westhills home in September of 2010. Every Saturday Angela would trek on site to photograph the progress of her home’s construction so that she could share her excitement with her friends and family.

Once she had moved into Lakeview Ridge, Angela and Janet met and formed a bond almost immediately. They went on to co-founded the Real Ladies of Langford Lake, a group of “fun-loving gals who live on Langford Lake and just want to have a good time”. The ladies took a break over the summer, but have gathered a few more members since we spoke with Janet. They are now looking forward to getting some activity/mingling events organized for this fall!

The ladies group is one of the reasons that Angela adores Westhills. “There is a sense of community here and people desire to connect with their neighbours, particularly now in our fast paced world.”

This community feeling is not difficult to sense. Angela participates in her street’s garage/driveway parties, where neighbours will all pull out their lawn chairs and sit in their front yards socializing with one another. The party is on if one of the garage doors is open past 4PM – bring your favourite beverage!

We couldn’t help but notice that Norah, Angela’s kitty was also a part of the neighbourhood and a very valued part of Angela and Roy’s family. Norah doesn’t go outside, but often can be found peeking out the window at her animal friends as they pass through her yard.

Now being a resident of Westhills for over two years, Angela said that her top favourite reasons for living in Westhills started with the setting, as the grounds and surrounding areas are taken care of so well, including the introduction of Parklands, a park bordering Lakeview Ridge, Glenvale, Parkdale Creek and future phases of Westhills. This new park features two playgrounds, one for preschoolers and one for older children.

The second, Angela said, was the incredible value for money Westhills homes offer. Angela was particularly impressed with the opportunity to customize her home with the options, upgrades and colours she wanted. Her Westhills home is truly hers.

Lastly, the location of Westhills is a fantastic reason for living in the neighbourhood. Her and Roy can walk down to grab a coffee within ten minutes of leaving their home. The amenities in the area are outstanding – grocery shopping, home decor, clothing, electronics, plus the recreational opportunities like Langford Lanes Bowling, City Centre Park and the outdoor exercise circuit, walking trails and Langford Lake!

Beyond anything though, Angela wanted to be clear, “A friendly, welcoming community creates vibrancy that others want to be a part of” and that is why she has recommended that her friends check out the neighbourhood! It’s clear that the community of Westhills embraces and respects everyone which has ensured a safe and charming place to live and play.

Fall Landscaping Maintenance

After the pleasant busyness of the late-summer and early-autumn harvesting crunch, and before the winter rains truly set in, you’ll enjoy a window of fine weather and working conditions to do a little garden and landscape maintenance. Part of the joy of the season on Vancouver Island is its calm, its meditative quality—the unhurried preparation for shortening days, cooler temperatures, maritime rains, all on the heels of heat and produce bounties.

First off, clean up your spread. Remove the above ground husks of any perennials that have browned and died back, and gather ground litter like dried leaves and twigs. Such detritus—as well as big weed patches and discarded equipment—is excellent for cultivating slugs, which you most certainly don’t want in your garden beds. On the subject of slugs, autumn is a great time to apply some anti-slug defenses such as beer traps. Baiting out slugs in early autumn, before they’ve laid eggs, can save you much hassle later on—and doing another round of bait later on in the season can target the hatchlings you missed.

Now’s a good time to transplant, because plants you get in the soil in autumn have time to adjust to the ambient conditions and develop root systems ahead of next summer’s water stresses. You should also get spring bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths into the ground now. You can prune back most hardy species this time of year as well.

If you’re a garlic fan—and few aren’t, given the plant’s impressive culinary, homeopathic, and ornamental properties—mid- to late fall is an excellent time to get some cloves in the ground. In our climate—and, really, most temperate climates, save for those with truly severe winters—bulb development seems to proceed best by overwintering. The plants are thus exposed to stimulating cold and are ready all the earlier to produce stalks and leaves in late winter and early spring. Place the cloves upright—that is, in the vertical position they were in the bulb—with their tips a couple of inches below the surface.

Perhaps you’ve planted garlic and other vegetables to be overwintered—kale, lettuce, carrots, and the like—this fall. Buffer the fluffed-out and amended soil they’re now nestled in against the pelting winter rains with a mulch of some kind. Dried leaves, straw, and even cardboard are examples. If using organic material as your mulch, try to make sure it’s free of weed seeds; otherwise, you may be causing as much trouble as you’re saving.

Speaking of weeds, a proper layer of mulch will help smother some of the next generation. To make your life easier, be sure to conduct a thorough weeding in the autumn to knock back as much as you can those species that may lie dormant or, worse, flourish in the wintertime. Weeding can be an absolute chore, tough on the knees, the back, and the hands, but it’s a necessary one, and your future spring and summer incarnation—the one readying all manner of edibles and ornamentals to go into the ground—will thank you for your autumn labours. If you simply can’t attend as fully as you’d like to all corners of your property, at least make an effort to remove any remaining seed-heads (This can be as simple a process as swiftly clipping them off and hauling them away, without worrying about excavating the root system.) It isn’t a perfect solution, but you will be making some kind of headway against those opportunistic non-desirables that—in between bouts of cursing and back spasms—we sometimes ruefully honor for their absolute tenacity.

If you’ve got irrigation installed, blow out your hoses to avoid freezing ruptures. Pressurized air can rid your system of residual water. Now’s also a good time to do a general inspection of all of your landscaping infrastructure—fences, edging, raised beds, and the like—ahead of potentially damaging winter storms and the odd freeze.

So, get out there on these pleasant autumn days and get your hands dirty! Above all else, you’ll be communing with your garden and your larger yard during a special time of year and thus deeply perceiving the seasonal cycle.

Bring on the Rugby!

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The recreational opportunities in and around the community of Westhills are phenomenal! Unique to this area is access to international rugby. In mid 2011, the City of Langford and Rugby Canada partnered, making City Centre Park and Westhills Stadium national headquarters for the Canada’s men’s and women’s rugby teams, providing the first ever location to hold a Canadian invitational!

Starting on Friday, October 12th the Westhills Stadium will be taken over by the Americas Rugby Championship! Games will be taking place on Friday, October 12th, Tuesday October 16th and Saturday, October 20th.

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience world-class sporting event, right in our very own backyard. Rugby Canada’s international 15s team will be joined by teams from the US, Uruguay and Argentina. This is the third annual tournament, which in the past has been hosted by Argentina, but for the first time will be held here in Langford.

The opportunity to invite these talented athletes to play in our city has been welcomed by both Rugby Canada and the City of Langford. Langford is home to Rugby Canada’s High Performance training centre and world class facilities, and bringing the championship here, “makes it that much more special” said Graham Brown, Rugby Canada CEO.

Check out these exciting and entertaining rugby games! Tickets are available for sale at tickets.rugbycanada.ca.

Westhills Resident’s BBQ

Over the past weekend Westhills hosted a resident’s BBQ. It was a great opportunity to bring together neighbours from Lakeview Ridge, Parkdale Creek and Glenvale, for some food, fun and a chance to mingle and what location better than Parklands in Westhills?!

More than 250 people attended and the buzz afterwards shouted out success! Residents in each of the subdivisions met with one another and chatted about things that were happening in and around Westhills.

The weather was perfect…. a bit windy to start but got nicer as the afternoon wore on, but not too hot. It was great for hanging out for a couple of hours and chowing down on the burgers, hotdogs and salads that were prepared.

Many Westhills children came out to play on the new playground and fill their tummies with lunch. There were games for the kiddos like Frisbee and races, and everyone left with a prize. A number of Westhills dogs came out to enjoy the dog treats and water we had for them!

All in all, the resident’s BBQ was a fabulous success. We look forward to next year’s event!

Westhills & The Community Celebrated BC Day!

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The Westhills BC Day Celebration has passed us by and what a celebration it was! With well over 3,500 people attending and at one point over 800 children on the field playing and running about, we welcomed a number of musical talents to the Westhills stage over the course of several hours.

The well organized event brought out friends and family, as well as neighbours throughout Westhills and the surrounding community, to listen to live and local musicians, while the kiddos had a safe, fun place to play. It was a fantastic atmsophere as everyone enjoyed the afternoon.

This particular event has identified support from the local community for an alternative venue and opportunity for live music, right here in Langford! Clearly, from the number of families that attended this year’s event, it was an appreciated convenience to have a family-friendly, FREE event that was close to home for those that live in the West Shore.

In reflecting on the day, this event could not have taken place without the support of the City of Langford and many local businesses that contributed resources. Volunteers, musicians, artists and artisans, as well as those that attended the Westhills BC Day Celebration had a blast! You’ll have to look forward to next year’s event, as it promises to be just as fun as this year!

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