Victoria International Marina

Dockside.

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Those who enter the Victoria International Marina’s main building are probably going to spend a lot of time looking down.

Really, it’s hard not to when the floor is so mesmerizing. “It’s to mimic that we’re in the shallows over there, and then as we go this way it gets deeper,” says Steve Sinclair, the marina’s head of operations. Sure enough, in one corner of the room, the floor is a swirling epoxy blend of white and light blues; moving towards the centre of the space and then to the other end, it gets deeper in shade, introducing greens and even purples. From shore to open ocean.

It is a fine introduction to this luxurious property, which debuted in June 2018 with the 10-day Melges 24 World Championship Regatta. The 28-slip state-of-the-art marina specializes in luxury superyachts, able to moor boats measuring up to 175 feet.

“It’s unique to Canada, unique to the west coast in many ways,” says executive concierge Jennifer Belinski, whose job is to cater to the needs of her visitors—be that with restaurant recommendations, onboard provisions, or private helicopter tours. “We’re hoping to build the industry more so that we can see more of a focal point here. We are the gateway [to the Inside Passage] and we have amazing cruising waters here.”

Located on Victoria’s north shore overlooking the harbour and a set of seaplane runways, the marina is a truly high-end option for those looking to dock at Vancouver Island. The interior facilities—brought to life by local firm Western Interior Design Group—are pristine, with boardrooms (which can be rented out by the general public), a crew lounge and gym, and rather stunning shower spaces complete with sea creature wallpaper; on top of that, a fine dining restaurant in an adjacent building is scheduled to open in the ensuing months, focusing on West Coast tastes and ingredients.

In terms of the actual moorage services, the marina spared no expense. “One thing the owners of these vessels asked for was security and we really do have that here,” says Sinclair, a former National Baseball League pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners (who can count a certain Alex Rodriguez among his former teammates). “I’ve got 22 cameras throughout the marina and the building. We have infrared tracking at night where we can see if anything human is coming in from the outside, and I’ll get notified right away.” Of course, privacy is just as important as security—so this advanced system actually recognizes people based on gait, not face, to differentiate between boat owners and intruders.

Ocean conservation is also important here, and the marina has started to do its part by dropping a few concrete reef balls into the surrounding waters, allowing crabs and the like to make new homes out of them; the facility is also working with Clean Marine BC, a local green boating initiative, to become eco-certified at the highest level.

The marina is located on the traditional territory of the Songhees First Nation, and actually sits at the site where band members used to welcome visitors ashore. To honour this history, a Songhees totem pole is currently being carved; it will be erected on the property for all to see, acting as an important acknowledgement of the Indigenous community and a reminder that this land is your land, this land is my land, from Bonavista, to Vancouver Island.


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August 13, 2018