WATCH: A new tourist attraction could be coming to a site near the Malahat highway. Luisa Alvarez reports.
Could a skywalk be coming to the Malahat?
A new company, A. Spire by Nature, that is being led by the two founding partners of the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, has announced plans to build a wooden above-ground walkway and lookout tower at the south end of Bamberton on the Malahat.
The project, called the Malahat Skywalk, would be a 650-metre elevated wooden pathway through a forest that would lead to a 40-metre high lookout to view Finlayson Arm and the Coast Mountain. The lookout would be accessed through an accessible spiral ramp.
WATCH: A. Spire By Nature’s video of the proposed Malahat Skywalk
MALAHAT SKYWALK PROPOSAL VIDEO
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MALAHAT SKYWALK PROPOSAL VIDEO
“Inspired by our exploration of elevated forest walks in Europe, we want to bring the concept of an accessible, environmentally sound and culturally significant tourism experience to Vancouver Island,” A. Spire by Nature Principal, David Greenfield said in a statement.
“The Malahat Skywalk will offer opportunities for locals and visitors alike to immerse themselves in local storytelling, cultural celebration and natural interpretive education as well as the stunning natural landscape and vistas of the Cowichan Valley and Finlayson Arm.”
The company has submitted a rezoning application to the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and a management plan to the provincial government. The Malahat Skywalk would be on Malahat Nation territory and the project is a partnership between A. Spire by Nature and the Malahat Nation.
“The Malahat Skywalk is a project that our Nation is proud to partner on. Not only is it a tourism experience that speaks to sustainability and the connection to our land, but it will also provide opportunities for many generations of the Malahat Nation to come,” Coun. George Harry Jr said in a statement.
“We look forward to telling the stories of our people and welcoming the visitors to our community through the Malahat Skywalk experience.”
A. Spire By Nature wants to start construction in the fall and open the lookout in June 2020. According to the company, the Malahat Skywalk would be a draw for tourists who visit Victoria, visit Goldstream Provincial Park or drive along the Malahat.
As the Destination Marketing Organization focused on the South Island, we are delighted to see business partnerships with Indigenous communities to support economic development. We see this new attraction being very popular to individual travellers, cruise visitors, tour operators and to meetings and incentive groups. Destination Greater Victoria works very closely with our partners at Tourism Cowichan Society and other partners to promote the Pacific Marine Circle Route with an ambition to become one of the leading touring routes in the world, this major new attraction will help to further cement this ambition,” Paul Nursey, Destination Greater Victoria President and CEO, said in a statement.