Two people walking on the beach in Campbell River | Graeme Owsianski

Celebrating New Vancouver Island Businesses

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Campbell River | Graeme Owsianski

With each new year comes an opportunity to reflect and to look forward in anticipation of things to come. 2022 on Vancouver Island was a year filled with new ventures, including carefully curated stores, delicious restaurants, and unforgettable activities. 2023 promises even more adventure as several new businesses prepare to open their doors to guests.

Here are some new Vancouver Island highlights.

Victoria’s Inner Harbour | Reuben Krabbe

South Island

Foodies rejoice! Victoria’s food and beverage scene had a stellar year in 2022 featuring flavors and cuisines from across the globe. Standouts include North Saanich-based Fox & Monocle, which was the only BC-based restaurant to make Canada’s Best New Restaurant list. Family-owned Small Gods Brewing Co. should be on your brewery bucket-list, and Tofino’s Rhino Coffee opened up their second location in Langford.

Eat in Victoria
Yellow Point Farms | Tourism Cowichan/Peter O’Hara

Cowichan Valley

The Cowichan Valley never ceases to delight with their wide range of urban activities and rural adventures. Yellow Point Farms expanded to include a seasonal petting farm and a store featuring fresh produce and goods from their farm and others nearby. Gamers will want to visit The Fort video and board game café in Duncan for rainy-day fun, followed by a warming cup of noodles from Neko Ramen.

Visit Cowichan
Salt Spring Island | Andrea Johnson

Southern Gulf Islands

The serenity that greets you on arrival at any of the Southern Gulf Islands is merely the start of an unforgettable visit. In 2022, the islands welcomed a plethora of new business that celebrate local food and encourage conversation among neighbours. Bodega Ridge’s new restaurant Lola seems destined to be an award-winner, and Chill Winston bakery serves up delicious ice cream sandwiches that are a perfect complement to a day spent exploring the islands.

Explore the Islands

Sneak Peak: Coming in 2023

Salt Spring Island’s beloved Francis Bread is set to open a new bakery in early 2023, featuring their delectable wood-fired breads and pastries.

Odd Burger, a vegan fast-food chain founded in Ontario, is set to open franchise locations in both Nanaimo and Victoria in 2023.

The Vancouver Island Ferry Company is expected to open their much-anticipated Nanaimo to Vancouver foot passenger ferry in 2023, making the crossing between the Island and the mainland in just over an hour.

A float therapy centre will be opening in Campbell River in 2023. Quadra Float will feature calming rituals such as float therapy, halo therapy, and reiki offerings.

Qualicum Beach | Parksville Qualicum Beach/Jordan Dyck

Nanaimo to Campbell River

Businesses in Vancouver Island’s mid-island region, from Nanaimo to Campbell River, blossomed in 2022. Not one, but two mobile sauna companies began delivering a piece of Finland to your door, expanding the Island’s unique spa offerings. And several new retailers opened brick-and-mortar stores, including the Comox Valley’s Shoppe Kindred lifestyle store and Nanaimo’s Hoxton Home.

Mid-Island Communities
People walking along the rocky shoreline in Bamfield | @melaniewonder (Melanie Grisak)
Bamfield | @melaniewonder (Melanie Grisak)

Pacific Rim

Some fabulous spots opened this year in some of the more remote areas, adding huge incentive to jump in the car for a road trip. In picturesque Bamfield, The Bamfield Wreckage offers delicious family-style food in a beautiful location. In Tofino, Toki Doki opened an Instagram-worthy, airstream-based restaurant featuring Japanese-inspired diner food outside the popular Tofino Brewing Co.

See the Island's West Coast
wa’lilas Hotel | Tourism Vancouver Island/Jordan Dyck

North Island

It’s true what they say—the farther you go, the more you’ll discover. The North Island had a resurgence of new business this past year, with several ventures opening across the region. Among them are two new kayaking operations, offering visitors more opportunities than ever to explore this remarkable part of the world from the water. And Kwa’lilas Hotel transformed their café into a gallery celebrating Indigenous artists of the region.

Explore Vancouver Island North

With so many new experiences to add to your Island bucket list, a visit soon is a must.