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Ladysmith Love Letter

I guess I just really love this town. 

For years now, I’ve gone back and forth between wanting to tell the world about it, and wanting to keep it a secret – but I’ve made my decision, so here’s my Love Letter to Ladysmith.

It’s a small town, but it’s close to everything you could ever need. It has quaint shops and eateries, and a great sprawling beach with a spray park and playground. There are hiking and biking trails galore, with little undiscovered gems of nature everywhere you look. The people are friendly, and there are more volunteer organizations than you can shake a stick at. The weather is the mildest in Canada, and there’s something to do every day of the year. 

Ladysmith rolls up from the Pacific on undulating hills, offering ocean views on just about every street corner. Hardly a day goes by without seeing an eagle or two soaring in the skies. Nestled amid water, forest and mountain, it’s a nature lover’s paradise. Note to gardeners – things grow here, often of their own accord.

In the Middle of it All

For transportation purposes, Ladysmith is about 10 minutes away from an airport that’ll get you to Vancouver, Calgary and beyond; the Duke Point ferry terminal is just a bit further up the road; and for the adventurous, the float planes arrive and depart from the Nanaimo Harbour, about a half hour’s drive away.

For concerts, movies, and your big-box store / chain restaurant requirements, you’ve got Nanaimo to the North and Duncan to the South, both about a 20 minute drive from Ladysmith. There are farmer’s markets even closer by. 

Russell Farm Market & Garden Center, a few minutes down the road

Day trips will take you to up and down the Island and all it has to offer: alpine adventure awaits at Mount Washington, the world-famous Butchart Gardens beckon from the Saanich Peninsula, and the ancient cedars of Cathedral Grove are just a stone’s throw from Coombs Country Market and the goats on its roof. 

But closer to home, the enticements of the Ladysmith area itself are as pleasant as they are diverse. 

Dining in Ladysmith ranges from a British Pub to a Tapas Bar to a Creperie, as well as Indian and Asian delights. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free eating experiences are available, as well as good old fashioned Fish & Chips. And the Olde Town Bakery’s cinnamon buns are the BEST you’ll find on the Island (full disclosure – I’m strongly biased in that opinion).

Tasty Treats at the Olde Town Bakery in Ladysmith

The local Holland Creek trail system offers a leisurely stroll on the town side, and a more challenging hike on the wild side opposite the creek. It’ll also lead you up to Heart Lake, a quiet, reflective spot to catch your breath after the long climb up the hill.

I could go on.

And I will! 

Transfer Beach is a wonderful spot for families to spend the day, with rolling lawns, a giant playground and splash park, and a sand court for beach volleyball enthusiasts. There is also a picturesque amphitheater for community gatherings, concerts, and ‘selfie opportunities’. Kayak rentals are available, and fish are jumpin’.

Splash Park at Transfer Beach in Ladysmith

For the cultured soul, Ladysmith has an Art Gallery, a Museum, and a “Little Theatre”. The High School music and drama programs are also excellent, if you’re fortunate enough to get a ticket to a performance. 

Special events in Ladysmith happen with regularity throughout the year. The Summer brings concerts in the park, parades, and fireworks at the beach. There’s a Maritime festival that’s always a hit with families, and for those of a more automotive nature, there’s a “Show and Shine” and a “Brits on the Beach” event every year. And of course, when the weather turns cold, there’s always the Ladysmith Light-Up Festival and Parade to look forward to in late November. Remember the town of “Whoville” in Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch who Stole Christmas”? Well, that’s pretty much Ladysmith throughout December and January.   

The Ladysmith Festival of Lights Parade, during the Fireworks Spectacular

To sum up, life on Vancouver Island is pretty sweet – and life in Ladysmith puts you close to all the Island has to offer. It’s a great place to be!

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Get your home ready to sell!

First impressions are crucial, and improving the look of your property can help you sell your home faster and for more money. Whether you’re a first-time home seller or you need a refresher, here’s a quick list of simple things that can help you get your house in tip-top shape and ready to sell. 

Outside: Optimize your Curb Appeal!

The attractiveness of your property, as viewed from the street, is one of the most important marketing tools in selling your home. The whole idea behind curb appeal is to accomplish one goal: entice prospective buyers to look inside the house. Here’s a few things you can do to maximize your home’s “wow factor” and get them in the door:

  • Clean and tidy exterior surfaces, doorways, eavestroughs and downspouts
  • Make sure all fences and gates are in good condition 
  • Sidewalks and driveway clean and in good repair
  • Mow and edge the lawn, rake leaves, and clean up any pet “surprises”
  • Prune unruly tees pruned, trim hedges 
  • Weed and tidy the flower beds
  • Put away bicycles, toys, sports equipment, etc.
  • Stack firewood neatly

Inside: Clean it and Stage it!

Once your awesome curb appeal has set the stage for prospective buyers, “clean” is the first word for the inside of your house. “Tidy” comes in a close second, though. Wherever possible, simplify the surroundings – as a general rule, the more things there are to look at, the smaller the room feels. Here’s a few other things you’ll want to think about:

  • Clean floors, walls, ceilings, doors, windows and mirrors  – remove smudges and stains
  • If you have kids like I do, make sure you clean around your light switches… 
  • Replace any broken or burned-out light bulbs
  • Make sure pet areas are clean, organized, and odour-free
  • Organize all closets – remove as much as you can
  • Make the kitchen and bathrooms shine!
  • Put up clean towels in the bathrooms
  • Remove any personal items from the medicine cabinet
  • Consider re-painting rooms with a neutral shade to appeal to as many buyers as possible
  • Consider removing family portraits and replacing them with small mirrors – this will help potential buyers “see themselves” in the home!

At the end of the day, when you put your home on the market, you’re in the business of selling – and you want your product to look its best. If you spend a little time putting your home’s best face forward, you’ll reap the rewards of a potentially quicker sale and a higher selling price.