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Author: Support

Pemberton Holmes

Moving From There to Here, in Paradise

As we go about our days in the perfection of British Columbia’s beauty and our Island community, it’s easy to forget about the stresses of moving. We come and go through life’s phases, even if we  don’t move far. For some, it’s time to downsize. Others are moving to retire. For many, it’s a chance to live in a home of their own.

For more than 135 years, one Island real estate company has helped smooth the transitions. Pemberton Holmes is a name Vancouver Island recognizes. It’s hard to find a piece of land that hasn’t had a Pemberton agent involved in bringing the beauty of our surroundings to individual families and businesses.

Affordability & Outdoor Beauty in the Perfect Place to Live

Parksville Downtown’s Pemberton Holmes location is owned by managing broker, Jason Ridout. We spoke with him recently about the achievements of his team of community-oriented agents. Ridout told us, “Parksville might be the most desirable post-retirement community on Vancouver Island. And young professionals and families are moving from areas on the Mainland where affordability is out-of-the-question. Our Pemberton Holmes’ agents are part of the community. We know that you don’t have to choose between having a home, having a family, and enjoying the natural beauty of our beaches and forests.”

Pemberton Holmes has fifteen offices and 300 realtors across Vancouver Island. The 7th generation of the founding partners is now part of the business, so you know that quality is built into the core of Pemberton Holmes’ service.

Ridout explained, “I partnered with Mike Holmes and the Pemberton Holmes knowledge base because professionalism, agent support, and teamwork are core values. We are proud of our agents’
commitment to their clients, and we know it’s reinforced because they live in the communities they serve.”

Community Partners for Growth & Movement that Brings Life

“When there’s an event in Parksville, we gather our team to get involved. We are neighbours. Our agents have life-long relationships with clients who’ve bought or sold a home. Many times, our agents help with a compassionate hand during a move that might have otherwise been stressful,” Ridout said.

“We have world class beaches in Parksville and it’s such a joy to help a young family, or a retiree moving to the West coast, to find their perfect home. Parksville has so much within a walkable distance. I can’t imagine a better community than the one my family has chosen. We have it all here — the infrastructure to support business and remote work, plus good schools and incomparable beauty on our doorstep.”

Friends & Neighbours for the Moves of Your Life

Whether you’re ready to downsize on ‘Island time’ or looking to get your family into a home with a yard, Pemberton Holmes’ Parksville office knows how to help. Plan to stop in and meet the agents at their Parksville Downtown location, next door to Memorial Plaza.

Extreme Eatery

Homecooked Comfort with an Extreme Challenge

The team at Extreme Eatery in Parksville Downtown knows how to provide great food with friends and a
side-order of fun. Think of all your down-home favourites — burgers & beer — then add a twist with
Caesars to die for and poutine from around the globe. Plus, The Gladiator Challenge for those who dare!

Humble Beginnings Leading to Expansion

We caught up with Extreme Eatery’s owner, Kymon Giakoumakis, to ask how his restaurant dream came
to fruition. “Mostly, we have a great team. We take care of our people and our customers, and they take
care of us. We opened our first location just before the pandemic started, after years of food truck
success. We dug deep, worked hard, supported the community — and now we’ve just opened our
second location in Qualicum Beach,” Giakoumakis explained.

The Extreme menu calls out with tried-and-true tastes you love. A chicken burger with candied bacon,
Swiss cheese, and apple slaw. Juicy beef burger patties made in-house and gyros, too. Fries and onion
rings. Poutine that means business. Extreme Eatery has all the good stuff.

Extreme Means Dialing Up Flavour & Options

“We took a classic diner menu and turned up the volume — created our ‘Extreme’ version. Poutine was
a great area to have fun. We’ve developed unique poutine combos no one else offers… not only pulled-
pork poutine, but Greek, Mexi, and perogi options. We’ve sourced local, bakery-fresh brioche buns and
turn them into works of art. Our house-special double-EE sauce is roasted garlic aioli supreme Extreme,”
Giakoumakis said.

Caesars Like No Other, Take the Challenge

“Our goal was to have food that looked great on social media and tasted even better! A TikTok
influencer went viral, and we have people coming from all over Vancouver Island and the Mainland for
our amazing Caesars. Our Gladiator Challenge has been a big hit — a mountain of great food and drink
and a time-limit to finish the Challenge meal. We created a fun experience that is difficult and delicious,
but achievable. Our wall-of-fame pictures show those who conquered it all!”

A Neighbourhood Spot for Great Food & Friends

Locally-sourced, freshly ground beef and pork products from the best butcher in the area mean that
Extreme Eatery’s quality is top-notch. Now, the original food truck is a catering hub for private events,
office parties, bonspiels, and golf tournaments.

Whether you’re looking for a classic burger with all the fixings, or perfect fish tacos for a summer beach
picnic, Extreme Eatery’s got you covered.

Plan to stop in for lunch or dinner this week. Or gather the gang for an Eggs Benny brunch on the
weekend. Extreme Eatery’s patio is easy to spot on Morrison Avenue, across from The Beach Club. Get
ready for a meal to remember. As the Extreme Eatery team promises, “You’re going to need a napkin!”

Tour Memorial Avenue

After you’ve enjoyed a visit to the Parksville Outdoor Theatre in the Community Park, it’s time to discover Memorial Avenue.

Memorial Avenue

Make a left turn onto Memorial Avenue, and you’ll find yourself on one of Parksville’s most storied and welcoming streets. In the wake of the First World War, the Parksville Women’s Institute made a poignant choice by designating this avenue as a memorial to the brave men from Parksville who lost their lives in service overseas during the war.

As a tribute to each fallen soldier, an elm tree was lovingly planted, and these trees stand tall and proud to this day, preserving the memory of these courageous individuals and their sacrifice. Walking along Memorial Avenue, you can’t help but feel the weight of history and the enduring spirit of remembrance that graces this remarkable street.

Memorial Plaza

Established in 2022, Memorial Plaza has quickly become a vibrant hub for a myriad of events that grace Parksville throughout the year. This inviting space offers a multitude of opportunities, whether you’re seeking a tranquil spot to enjoy takeout for a leisurely and shaded lunch or planning a rendezvous with a friend beneath the comforting canopy of the city’s historical elm trees.

Memorial Plaza stands as a testament to the town’s commitment to community and connection, serving as a welcoming place for residents and visitors alike. For a comprehensive overview of the exciting events happening in Parksville Downtown, be sure to click here to access the Parksville Downtown Calendar of Events.

Rod and Gun Bar & Grill

As your visit to Memorial Plaza ends, head towards Alberni Hwy. Cast your gaze to the right and you’ll come upon the historic Rod and Gun Bar and Grill. The roots of this establishment trace back to the early days of Parksville’s history.

In 1885, the pioneering spirit of John and Anne Hirst led them to be the first to settle at the mouth of the Englishman River. Here, John and his brothers embarked on farming endeavors and constructed their first hotel, the Seaview. Unfortunately, the Seaview met a fiery end, but this setback didn’t deter John Hirst. He purchased a wooded plot of land from Theodore Parks, the town’s inaugural postmaster and the source of Parksville’s name.

With determination and vision, John erected a new hotel in 1896, known as the Rod and Gun Hotel. The name was a reflection of the hotel’s popularity among the numerous hunters and fishermen who frequented the area. This landmark was among the very first structures to be built within the present town site, symbolizing the enduring spirit of Parksville’s past and its continuing commitment to hospitality.

Over the years, the hotel has undergone several renovations and transformations. While it may no longer offer accommodations as it did in its early days, the Rod & Gun has maintained its presence as a thriving pub and restaurant on the same historic site since 1998.

During the summer months, visitors and locals alike are drawn to the charming and shaded patio located on the side of the building. This delightful outdoor space serves as an ideal spot to enjoy a leisurely lunch or partake in a refreshing afternoon beverage, adding to the enduring allure of the Rod & Gun as a beloved gathering place in the heart of Parksville.


Ready for the last leg of our tour? Discover the heart of Parksville Downtown and Middleton Avenue.


Parksville Downtown

Once you have enjoyed the sights at the Island Hall and Old Beach Club resort, continue the tour towards Parksville Downtown.

Hwy 19A

Climb the small road up to Hwy 19A – affectionately known to the locals as the old Island Highway. This historic route has woven itself into the local memories since its inception in 1912. Originally a rugged gravel road, the Island Hwy underwent several progressive expansions to accommodate the burgeoning growth of this region throughout the 20th century.

During the late 1990s through the early 2000s, a significant construction effort gave birth to the ‘Inland Island Highway,’ designed to modernize travel routes on Vancouver Island. While the new Island Highway replaced Hwy 19A as the primary choice for most island travelers, the old Island Hwy remains a beloved choice for those seeking a picturesque and relaxing journey along the coast.

Parksville Downtown

As you cross the old Island Hwy, you will be entering the heart of our downtown business district – Parksville Downtown. Greeting you as you cross is a captivating public art installation that eloquently conveys the three fundamental layers of our biosphere: the sky, the land, and the sea. It’s a testament to the deep connection between this community and its natural surroundings.

You will also see one of several information kiosks placed throughout the Parksville Downtown area to assist in your exploration.

Vintage Shops

Heading up McMillan Street you will pass by Morison Street, the home of eclectic restaurants and vintage shops. Morison Street is just the beginning of your culinary and shopping adventure in Parksville Downtown. Throughout the area, a treasure trove of restaurants, vintage shops and locally-owned businesses eagerly await your exploration. Each of these establishments adds its own unique charm and character, personifying the way of life in Parksville, and promising a delightful and diverse experience for all who visit.


As you draw near to Memorial Avenue, you will discover the home of the McMillan Arts Centre (The MAC) on the right side of McMillan Street. Once Parksville’s McMillan School, it originally constructed in 1914 to accommodate the area’s growing student population. For decades, it served as an educational cornerstone for the community. With the opening of the new Parksville Elementary School in 1977, the McMillan School bid a farewell to its last generation of students. But its story was far from over.

Thanks to the determined efforts of the local arts community, the old McMillan School underwent a remarkable transformation. In 1986, it reopened its doors as The MAC – a vibrant community art center. Today, The MAC serves as a cherished venue for art exhibitions, captivating music performances, and a variety of other arts and culture events. It proudly functions as the ticket office for performances at the Parksville Outdoor Theatre in the Community Park, embodying its commitment to fostering creativity and culture within the city.


Continue to make memories down Memorial Avenue on this leisurely walking tour.