Tofino, Vancouver Island, B.C.

Think Pacific Ocean, surfers, sailing, beautiful vistas and amazing restaurants


Two things made me want to check this place out: firstly, it was one of the few places on Vancouver Island that was supposed to have good restaurants (according to Yelp), and I judge places by how well they eat. Secondly, two friends of mine, a married couple, had been here about ten years ago, and had loved it, and insisted I needed to make sure I saw it before leaving the island. My friend Tom came with me — it was a four hour drive from where I was staying, and both of us agreed that Tofino was amazing! Next time I come this way I’ll rent a place there for an extended stay.



(Above three pictures taken by Thomas Malone)


Wolf in the Fog: best new Canadian Restaurant, 2014 Tofino, B.C.

I found this restaurant via Yelp, and only after eating (and we were beyond happy) discovered how acclaimed it was. We ate like kings for $32 US/head (no wine).


I found this very small restaurant on Yelp, but the location for it is completely wrong, as in the opposite side of town; so, I kept having to ask for directions in order to find it.

I HAD tried to call them, but I got an answering machine asking me to leave my name to ask for a reservation and they would call me back — don’t think so. So we walked there (Tofino isn’t a very big town), and arrived around 6pm. At first the hostess didn’t want to seat us. I however gave her my, “I don’t take no for an answer” body language, and she asked if we would be willing to sit upstairs — which is where I would have wanted to be anyway as it has the better view. When we arrive we were almost the only ones up there, and ended up at a corner table with a view of the water… perfect.

Once we had ordered, the place started to really fill up, and when we left at around 6:45 there were a line of people waiting to get in. We overheard one group of hipster types talking about how this was their third day in a row coming here, having something different every time, and they intended to come again the next day.

For dinner, We shared a chopped kale & grains salad, with nuts, seeds, freshly made cheese, & camalina oil dressing $12 CAD ($9.36US); (the image is of the 1/2 serving)
It was VERY tasty and amazingly filling. Fact is, just 1/2 of that would have sufficed as a light meal.

For my main I had cod cheeks (yes, all fish have cheeks, and they are considered to be delicacies), with clams, saffron, tomato and sofrito $16 CAD ($12.49 USD) — there was an undeclared in the menu dollop of what I think was mayonnaise on top of the dish, which I assiduously had to remove (my liver is not currently healthy) — otherwise the dish was very flavorful and I have no idea why they felt that they had to add the fat.

Tom had the grilled cornish hen with yogurt, farro, cauliflower, lemon and olives $32 CAD ($24.98 USD), all I am going to say is he was making little moaning noises as he ate it

For desert, on the suggestion of the folks sitting next to us, (who seemed like maybe they were locals — they said this was the best place town)….  we shared a butterscotch brûlée with caramelized white chocolate and raspberry gelato (I had one spoonful and Tom ate the rest) $9 CAD ($7.02)

Above 2 pictures taken by Thomas Malone

Cathedral Grove Forrest, Macmillan Provincial Park, B.C.

Located along route BC-4 on Vancouver Island, is the otherworldly Cathedral Grove Forest, in Macmillan provincial park.


Both Tom and I had the same reaction when we first stepped into this grove of trees, it seemed unreal. It reminded Tom of the forests of Pandora in the movie Avatar, I thought it was a bit like Star Wars… either way it was a magical.



Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, B.C.

Fact is, there’s not much to see on Vancouver Island OTHER than mother nature, this is one of those sites.


The tide is out — Tom and I walked most of the way out; the sand was full of these really pretty purple shells, and families were out there, some seemed to be digging for clams…  but then when we got close to where the beach ended I started having stomach cramps which in my world means time to find a bathroom — but quick, ah the joys of being me.

That said, leaving the park and heading north along our proscribed path we quickly found that Tim Horton’s a Canadian doughnut chain type place has not only has clean bathrooms but coffee and sandwiches that give McD’s a serious run for their money.

World’s Biggest Hockey Stick & Puck, Duncan B.C.

Over the front door of the Duncan Arena and performing arts center is a HUGE Hockey Stick and Puck. IMG_1400

This hockey stick weighs 61,000 pounds and is 205 feet long. The Guinness world book of records has certified it is the biggest hockey stick in the world, Minnesota USED to have the biggest but what there is now ranked as third in size.

Ironically, I’d driven past this thing multiple times and never saw it, thanks to the Atlas Obscura website for finding it for me.

Taken by Thomas Malone

For the obligatory Ken Josephson inspired shot, for those who don’t know…  he was the modern artist who originally explored distortions of scale in photography — and was also one of my favorite teachers at the Art Institute of Chicago, they’ve actually mapped out exactly where you and the person taking the shot need to stand with yellow marks on the pavement.