Edition 4.5 is here, hot off the presses!—and it’s been a long time coming. We’ve had some content updates ready for quite some time, but because we knew that important and substantial changes to Gabriola’s parks and trails system were in the works, we put it off until those were completed.

The cover looks the same, but the insides are quite different! The biggest change, of course, has been the addition of additional parkland and new connections between the Village and Gabriola’s “north end.” As the map says,

As a condition of land development approval for the Mallett Creek subdivision, a 40 acre (16 ha.) addition to Cox Community Park was created, connecting the southeast corner of Cox Community Park to the Gabriola Community Healthcare Centre (GCHC) on Church Street. The new Burnside Drive Community Trail assists walkers from Descanso Bay Regional Park and Cox Community Park in travelling to the Village without having to journey on the heavily trafficked sections of Taylor Bay Road and the Ferry hill. This connector trail forms an important part of the GaLTT’s vision for a complete “Descanso to Drumbeg” trail from one end of Gabriola to the other.

Cooperation among the developer, GaLTT, and the RDN Parks Department resulted in permission for the public to walk and cycle on the new private road within the development and on formal trails connecting that road to Cox Park and to the end of Burnside Drive. Extensive new boardwalks (thank you GaLTT volunteers!) were needed to cross Mallett Creek and its surrounding wetland.

Within the new park area, an extensive trail system includes a signposted connection from the end of Lochinvar Lane to the GCHC. The long-established but newly licensed short, forested trail to Paisley Place (site of planned new affordable housing) and the 2024 realignment of the north-south trail through the Paisley Park panhandle both feed into this connection. This trail system connects Cox Park to the Spruce-Church connector, the GCHC, the school grounds, the new affordable housing development, and the Village.

But of course those aren’t the only changes. Trails elsewhere have been added, mistakes have been corrected, info updated. One of the previous ABC walks has been replaced by a route that uses the new connections.

Look for the new map at the Farmers Market starting on May 18th (Opening Day) and from our usual suppliers (Descanso Bay Campground, Gabriola Museum, Mid-island Co-op, North Road Sports, Page’s Marina store, Ravenskill, and the Visitor’s Information Centre at 480 North Rd) soon after.

Please note that we’ve raised the price and the map will now sell for $7. (We’re sorry to do it, but the costs of everything, including printing, go up every year, and last time we reprinted we barely broke even).

Tags: , , , Categories: Maps, NewsPublished On: May 17, 2024

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