Spring 2014

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20 W e s t W o r l d >> s p r i n g 2 0 1 4 (top left) Town of Ladysmith, Edward McCrea C reated as a mine- workers' commu- nity in 1898 by B.C. coal baron James Dunsmuir, many of Ladysmith's elegant buildings were moved lock-stock-and-barrel from other Vancouver Island settlements. The new town – originally named Oyster Harbour – was soon bustling with bars, hotels and hard- working men with money to burn. But while the resource boom faded, First Avenue's brightly painted, immacu- lately preserved Edwardian buildings remained, now colonized by chatty cafés and independent shops. A mag- net for sociable locals and highway pit-stoppers, a free Heritage Route walking map from the avenue's Visitor Centre illuminates the stories behind the facades. – John Lee the street: Ladysmith's First Avenue Elegant heritage buildings grace a quiet Vancouver island community the Go spots sHoPs A smiley welcome and stacks groaning with new and used tomes await at cosy salamander Books (535 First Ave), while yesteryear trinkets and tealeaf readings combine at antique-lined Vintage rose, nearby in the old temperance Hotel building (32 High st). shop for clever gifts and housewares at Nancy's, where contemporary women's wear also lures fashion-forward locals (nancysfashionandfurnishings.ca), or drop into next door's top drawer, a popular consignment store teeming with barely used togs — the perfect place to discover your new vintage-cool springtime look (411C First Ave). eAts everything's made from scratch at no-nonsense local legend renee's soup & sandwich, including the town's best cheesecake (720 First Ave). Alternatively, save your appetite for halibut and chips at art-lined Printingdun Beanery (341 First Ave), or dive into spicy, fresh-made stir-fry at colourful Appetit (534 First Ave). Comfort cravings? Consider Mr teriyaki & Miss sushi for satisfying gyoza dumplings (821 First Ave) followed by a perfect pie — beef, potato and garlic "Coal Miner" recommended — at yellow-painted roberts street Pizza (roberts-street-pizza.com). drINKs duck in for a fortifying java at old town Bakery, the locals' favourite natter spot, and chase it with a naughty pecan cinnamon bun (510 First Ave). A few steps away, In the Beantime Café lures with its charming, wooden-floored vibe and white-chocolate raspberry mochas (18 High st). But when something stronger is required, join the pool- playing regulars at the cavernous, old-school sportsmans Pub (640 First Ave), the kind of dying-breed traditional neighbourhood bar where labatt 50 is always the beverage of choice (if you're not driving, of course). doN't MIss one of B.C.'s best community museums, the ladysmith Museum is a sparkling, brilliantly organized little attraction tracing the town's roller-coaster history — with a fascinating focus on the women who helped drive its devel- opment. Check out the timeline in the first room, showing historic locals from dynamic mayor Kathleen Grouhel to ladysmith- born legend Pamela Anderson. the friendly volunteers are ever- ready to explain the vintage exhibits, sometimes adding a dash of colourful gossip to their stories (ladysmithhistoricalsociety.ca). — J.L. [ ] march Home, garden & Business show may Ladysmith seafood Festival may-sept Ladysmith Farmers Market p20-21_The Street.indd 20 14-01-29 11:23 AM

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