Best Of South Delta: A sample of what you like
What do you like about Ladner and Tsawwassen?
That was the broad question we asked readers in the South Delta Leader's annual Best Of survey.
And you sure told us by voting online and on "old school" paper ballots. And it's your responses to specific questions over 13 categories that spanned arts and culture to our wired world of social media and cellular communications that are featured in the following pages.
We also chatted with a few prominent locals to get an idea of what they consider to be their personal "Best Of."
So, sit back and have a read about the people, places, events, and much more that you considered to be tops in South Delta.
Mayor Lois Jackson
Mayor Lois Jackson moved to Delta in 1968 and has never looked back.
"I enjoy everything about South Delta, whether it's the sea, the sky, the village, the feel of the community, and most of all the people," she says.
But ask her to choose between Fred Gingell Park, Diefenbaker Park or Boundary Bay she can't come up with a winner.
"I can't pick one. I love it all."
The answer to the question, "What do you like best about South Delta?" starts with a right hand exit off Hwy. 99 for Brad Cooper.
"What I love about South Delta is that I can be driving down Hwy. 99 after having a meeting in Vancouver, go through the (Massey) Tunnel, turn right on River Rd. and smell horses. And I am now calm," says the president of Vancouver Pacific Financial who moved the company from Vancouver to Ladner in the spring of 2002 in order to find that balance between a busy business life and hometown tranquility. "It's a very calming community."
For many years when Cooper worked in the hustle and bustle of Downtown Vancouver the commute home had that special reward.
"Man, I made that right turn and the stressful day just went away," he says. "And I'm still just 30 minutes from one of the greatest cities in the world and I can come back into this quiet, little, slumbering village."
Cooper adds he enjoys being active in his home community—he's served six years as president of the Ladner Business Association—and achieving that was problematic when he was based in Vancouver.
Another aspect of South Delta he enjoys is the character of Ladner Village.
"Ladner has an actual town centre," says Cooper who has lived in South Delta for 22 years. "You can walk from the barbershop to the flower shop, and over to the bakery and you're on the street with people and it's friendly," he says. "It's a great place to be."
Cooper says the village also has a depth of history that makes it authentic.
"It's old. It's historic. But change is coming. And hopefully the character of the community adapts with the changes and everything stays true to the keeping that pulse still going."
Although Deneka Michaud lives in the Yaletown area of Downtown Vancouver, she often finds herself gravitating back to South Delta outside of her work days as Manager of Communications with the Delta School District.
Five years with Delta Cable, and the better part of a year with the school district has provided plenty of reasons to make the trek back here.
"I know the community so well, so when weekends come and if I find we have nothing to do I say to my husband, 'Oh, let's go watch the eagles, or let's go to the strawberry farm or Wellbrook Winery," she says, adding she enjoys picking fruit at both locations during the summer months.
"I also love Westham Island," Michaud says. "The farms, as well as seeing the wildlife is very special. I also like visiting OWL (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society), going out there and visiting the birds.
"Then there's the Ladner (Village) Market. It's amazing."
And a trip, at least twice a month, to Maguro Sushi in Ladner is an almost must for the spicy salmon sashimi.
"It's fresh, wild and spicy sauce is not creamy—it's spicy," Michaud says, adding she's usually a brown-bagger come lunch times, but makes a visit to Maguro Sushi a special treat.
Manoj Sood, a Ladner actor who played Baber Siddiqui on CBC's Little Mosque on the Prairie, says he saw a news story last fall about a group of snowy owls in Boundary Bay.
He went down 72nd St. to see if he could spot the owls but there were cars parked everywhere.
"So, I just turned around and forgot about it," says Sood. "I go running down on the dyke at the very end of River Road west two weeks later and in the distance I see this white blob. I got a bit closer and I realized that it was a snowy owl."
Sood looked around and realized there were at least eight of these majestic Arctic owls.
On the way back home he saw a farmhouse and it brought him back to a boyhood memory from Alberta of when he saw an owl swoop down from a tree.
"I imagined a little boy living in that farmhouse and watching those owls," said Sood, who was so inspired by the event that he went home and wrote a story of a little boy and girl who live in Delta and meet each other in a saltwater marsh while watching owls.
"What I love about Delta is that, yes, it's a city, and it's got its nature, but you never know what's around the corner and you can be easily inspired here."
Local businessman and Vancouver Giants owner Ron Toigo grew up in South Delta and has no plans to leave.
"What's not to like," he asks. "You've got the beaches, you've got the small community. It's literally within half an hour of anywhere. The airport, the city or the border."
Asked what he likes to do for fun, Toigo laughs and says he likes golfing at Tsawwassen Springs (Toigo's company owns the golf course).
But when he's not golfing, he enjoys walking around Centennial Beach with his Shetland sheepdog or along the Millennium trail in Ladner.
And the weather is a big perk, too.
"I work in Vancouver and many times I leave in the rain and as I come out of the tunnel on the other side a lot of the time it's sunny."