Two dozen things we love about this place: Fisherman’s Wharf lures visitors (4)

Fisherman’s Wharf has been a key fixture on the shoreline of Victoria’s Inner Harbour for decades.

To the casual visitor, the point of entry was always Barb’s Fish and Chips — that, and some quaint float homes visitors would peruse while waiting for their take-out order.

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Barb’s is still there, and doing brisk business. But something wonderful happened as the years ticked by. At its own languid pace, the entire Fisherman’s Wharf area matured into one of the best-kept secrets in the city.

The area located at the cross-section of Dallas Road and Erie Street in James Bay offers a little bit of everything, from eco-tourism to ice cream and an assortment of other food kiosks. Live, work, play — you can pretty much have it all at Fisherman’s Wharf.

>> FIND MORE THINGS WE LOVE HERE

Feeding harbour seals from the dock is an ongoing tradition, while the experience of buying fresh seafood caught only hours earlier is another must-do. Kayak rentals, whale-watching and fishing charters, trips on the Harbour Ferries — there are more possibilities than hours in a day.

The upside for busy parents is the recently constructed Fisherman’s Wharf Park, located only steps away.

Built in 2012, the park serves a multitude of purposes. Not only did it revitalize the area (doing away with a rather bland-looking field in the process) it established what is considered the region’s largest rain garden. Though erected as an environmentally friendly way of managing nearby stormwater, its community herb garden and picturesque viewing bridge has resulted in plenty of foot traffic.

Local residents tend to forget that among the arsenal of attractions at Fisherman’s Wharf is a fully functioning marina that offers moorage for pleasure craft and commercial fishing vessels.

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (a non-profit organization formed in 2002) is tasked with managing the wharf and and its surrounding attractions, including Ogden Point and the Inner Harbour Causeway.

The long-term vision for Fisherman’s Wharf took a giant step forward last month with the announcement that nearby Heron Bay was included in a $40-million revitalization project connecting Ogden Point to Rock Bay through what has been branded David Foster Way.

mdevlin@timescolonist.com

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