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