The Goldstream Gazette’s most-read stories from 2022

Brendon Moore celebrates after winning his race during the final race night at the Westshore Motorsports Park Saturday, Sept. 17, as the track shuts down permanently. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)Brendon Moore celebrates after winning his race during the final race night at the Westshore Motorsports Park Saturday, Sept. 17, as the track shuts down permanently. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
Dusk on the beach at Esquimalt Lagoon. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)Dusk on the beach at Esquimalt Lagoon. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)
Alberta YouTuber Steve Wallis recently made a video of him “stealth camping” in a Langford roundabout, which has been viewed more than 677,000 since being posted April 7. (Screenshot courtesy of Steve Wallis/YouTube)Alberta YouTuber Steve Wallis recently made a video of him “stealth camping” in a Langford roundabout, which has been viewed more than 677,000 since being posted April 7. (Screenshot courtesy of Steve Wallis/YouTube)
Drivers perform donuts during the final race night at the Westshore Motorsports Park Saturday, Sept. 17, as the track shuts down permanently. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
Colwood resident John Palmer and a colleague ordered 10 large pizzas from their home town of Windsor and had them delivered at a cost of $600 both to enjoy a unique taste from home, but also to relive old memories. (Courtesy of John Palmer)Colwood resident John Palmer and a colleague ordered 10 large pizzas from their home town of Windsor and had them delivered at a cost of $600 both to enjoy a unique taste from home, but also to relive old memories. (Courtesy of John Palmer)

In a couple of weeks, dates will start to end with a 23.

In a trend of seemingly continuous chaos, 2022 has been a dramatic year.

While the world has been gripped by massive news stories – the war in Ukraine, the death of Queen Elizabeth and the men’s World Cup to name but a few – there’s also been big news in the West Shore this past year.

The Goldstream Gazette took a look back to at the most read stories from 2022.

1. PHOTOS: Checkered flag waves for the last time at Westshore Motorsports Park – Sept. 17, 2022

The last day of racing at the Western Speedway was a much-dreaded date for many but became a sadness-tinged day of celebration with a sell-out crowd saying goodbye to the track.

“Everyone is holding back tears, and they are not doing a very good job of it, myself included,” said general manager Daryl Crocker.

Since that day volunteers have been busy looking for a new location for a race track and for the racing museum. Most of the items in the museum are being stored by Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame president Dave Ferguson – hundreds of items in all – while others have been returned to their original owners or their families.

The artifacts’ temporary storage will last as long as the search for a new speedway location continues. A new location was being looked at back in November in addition to the four identified in the summer, but Steve Copp, president of the Vancouver Island Safe Speed Association, was being coy about how far along discussions are.

“It’s probably the most hopeful of the bunch, and right now we are working with the owners of that one and hoping to get a meeting with the local government to see if it is a possibility. We think there is a good possibility, but until we get that next step in, we can’t be 100-per-cent sure.”

2. Colwood is the sexiest town in Canada, at least when ranked by purchases – Feb. 7, 2022

Perhaps fuelled by a surge of self-congratulatory ego or outraged residents from other municipalities, one of the most-read stories of the year was published back in February, which proclaimed Colwood to be the sexiest town in Canada, according to online sex toy retailer PinkCherry.

The store ranked towns and cities based on consumer purchases from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021, with Colwood topping the list of towns (populations under 300,000).

But Colwood residents weren’t the only Island residents getting busy – Courtenay ranked at number three on the list of sexiest towns, with Parksville at number four and Sidney at five. Eight of the top 10 in the category were towns in British Columbia.

3. YouTuber finds stealth camping nirvana in Langford roundabout – Apr. 12, 2022

Camping is a chance for a getaway and Vancouver Island has many beautiful spots to pick from. China Beach, Strathcona, the roundabout on Langford Parkway… at least that’s where one Youtuber chose to set up back in April.

Steve Wallis documented his experience stealth camping inside the roundabout on Langford Parkway in front of City Centre Park. For the more than 800,000 subscribers Steve Wallis has racked up since creating his eponymous channel in 2010, the adventure was to be expected.

“I try to come up with the most unique camping locations I can,” he said. “I started my YouTube channel years ago with more regular camping trips and they did fairly well, but all the videos started looking the same, so I knew I needed to spice it up somehow.”

“Stealth camping” involves camping in unorthodox and often technically unauthorized places and avoiding detection.

A gas fitter and furnace repairman by trade, Wallis now makes videos of himself camping in everything from a U-Haul van parked in an industrial park, to an abandoned bunker.

“I’ve been looking for a roundabout for years, for the perfect roundabout to crawl into and camp in. Goldstream was my home location for a while, so I was familiar with the area and I knew that there would be a great location here.”

4. Colwood resident’s pizza passion goes viral after he orders delivery from Windsor – May 11, 2022

Unfortunately for one Colwood resident, the 30 minutes or its free rule did not apply to this newsworthy pizza order.

Back in May, John Palmer spent nearly $600 to have 10 large pizzas specially prepared and shipped overnight from his hometown of Windsor, Ont. over 3,000 kilometres as the crow flies.

Despite thinking people would judge him crazy for such an extravagance, he has found himself a minor international celebrity in the weeks since the story was first reported.

“I feel really great. First off I have really great pizza, and I have extra in the freezer … but on top of that, I also had an opportunity to share a really fun story that highlights the extra steps people will go to help somebody out, a complete stranger. I feel really good about being a part of a positive news story.”

5. West Shore mom saves stranger’s family vacation after online plea for medication– Mar. 29, 2022

A West Shore resident was left feeling frazzled and anxious at the start of what should have been a relaxing Mexico vacation.

Except Kirsten Marten forgot her youngest son’s medication. She put out a desperate plea on Facebook and found a Good Samaritan in Marina Miller.

Miller found and purchased the required medication and had it waiting at the hotel when the Greater Victoria family arrived to start holidaying.

They return this week, but Marten was so grateful and overwhelmed she thanked her new acquaintance publicly, in the same format she reached out in the first place.

“If you can be helpful, be helpful and if you can’t, stand back for someone who can,” Miller told Black Press Media.

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