Wednesday June 16, 2021 | LANGFORD, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Another recreational facility opened in Langford today, this one is all about climbing the walls.
Boulder House today officially opened their second outlet, located in a brand new standalone building on Langford Parkway (behind Starlight Stadium). Their first outlet is in downtown Victoria (that one opened in 2016). It will be open to the public starting tomorrow.
The indoor climbing facility is two-storeys tall. On the main floor is a 150-linear-foot wall. There’s also a dedicated training area and a 6000-sqft section just for kids.
A plus for Langford:
Langford Mayor Stew Young as usual has his eye on the big picture, and told a crowd of about 50 people gathered for a media event that he hopes an Olympic-winning wall climber will some day come to Boulder House in Langford. Climbing will debut next month at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (the 2020 Olympics were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now running July 23 to August 8, 2021).
This fits nicely within the long-term vision — already well fleshed-out — of Langford as a national sports capital. The city is already home to other high profile sports including rugby, soccer, golf and cycling as well as being home to the YM-YWCA in the west shore, the Eagle Ridge Arena at City Centre Park (presently being used as a BC COVID immunization centre), the Island Training Centre by Pacific FC, and being part of West Shore Parks & Recreation (including the Q Centre, home to local lacrosse).
Between the stretches of Langford Parkway, West Shore Parkway and Bear Mountain, the range of sport and recreational facilities makes a strong imprint on the energy of the west shore municipality that just keeps growing. Today Mayor Young touted at figure of now nearly 50,000 in population, made possible by continued housing development.
The City of Langford owns the land upon which the Boulder House building was constructed over the past year at 1109 Langford Parkway, and Boulder House owns the building. The building is within the area that Langford calls “City Center Park”. The old city center is still considered just that, located on Goldstream Avenue in the city’s original core area.
“We know what kind of community we are here in Langford,” said Mayor Young, referring to being family-oriented but also “making recreation available to everybody”, and getting business done, he told the gathering of invited guests, Boulder House personnel, and media.
“We’ve come to a size now that we can look at these sorts of partnerships (as with Boulder House), and do it,” said Stew Young at the podium within the climbing facility today.
The climbing community:
Boulder House co-owner Jean-Marc de la Plante told the gathering today that many members of their climbing community visit the downtown facility every day. No doubt that’s the hope and expectation for the new west shore facility. He and co-owner Rob Somogyi were excited to show off the facility today with tours.
Bouldering is a form of free climbing that is done on short climbing walls without ropes. As a substitute for the ropes, the floor below the wall is covered by a large mat to catch one’s fall. The focus is on the “fun movement” with an easier learning curve than traditional climbing using ropes.
“It’s an individual sport that is practiced as a collective,” said de la Plante today. “From beginner to expert, it’s always challenging,” he told the group indoors, speaking from a podium with the colourful climbing walls as a backdrop.
This sort of climbing is something that can give confidence to youth through movement literacy and body awareness, according to Boulder House. The local school district SD62 has been invited to bring students for non-traditional physical activity.
Back to events:
Now with the Step 2 reopening (as of yesterday, June 15) public health orders allow for gatherings of up to 50 people, wearing masks when indoors.
The Boulder House event today was among the first that the City of Langford has held as things begin to open up during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Young says that nothing slowed Langford down. During the pandemic they just kept planning for build-out and activities, as circumstances would allow. The Boulder House facility took just over a year from the initial meeting to today’s announcement.
Opening to the public:
Boulder House in Langford opens to the public tomorrow June 17, 2021. Reservations can be done online on the Boulder House – Langford website.
The dedicated wall for kids to use is unique in Canada. Taking up the full 6,000 sq ft area of the top floor of Boulder House Langford, the TreeHouse is an exact replica of the main wall for adults on the ground floor, modified to size for youth up to age 12.
There will be options for summer camps and birthday parties, as public health orders and guidelines allow.
Members and Punch Pass Holders were able to test the facility from June 10 to 15.
Step 2 of the BC Reopening Phase (June 15 to 30, 2021)
Step 3 of the BC Reopening Phase (July 1, 2021 at the earliest)