Coombs to Parksville Rail Trail - Updates & Status

Village Way Path

The Village Way project was initiated in 2014 and aims to create a safe and accessible path on North Road between the junction of North and South Roads and access to the 707 Community Park at Tin Can Alley. Along the way, the path will touch on the businesses of Gabriola’s village core, Gabriola Elementary School and some seniors’ residences. The concept of a safe path through the village core is a response to community input provided to the RDN at open houses and in surveys. Planning for the project has been carried out with the assistance of Electoral Area B Community Works Funds (federal gas tax money).

The Village Way is to be located within active roadway under the control of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI). It has taken several years of effort by the RDN and other Vancouver Island regional districts to convince MoTI that it should permit local government development of non-vehicular infrastructure within the active roadway. The desirability of promoting and sustaining active transportation is now recognized by all parties, and work is underway on creating the necessary guidelines, processes and licences required to support active transportation infrastructure development and operation over the long term.

The draft Village Way design calls for approximately 1.5 km of 2 m wide path separated from the drivable surface of North Road by an asphalt curb and a 0.3 m gravel buffer. The road shoulder will be repaved and provide 0.9 m of clean asphalt from fog line to curb for use by road cyclists. Road drainage will be managed by a system of spillways or shallow catch basins, manholes, infiltration trenches and culverts. The path surface, which sits at grade with the top of the asphalt curb and starts 0.3 m from top of curb, will be hard surface along business frontages and cart path gravel beyond. A series of retaining walls and slope will separate path from private property.

The planning stage for the Village Way will conclude once all MoTI and regulatory permits have been obtained for the project.

Gabriola Village Trail Map

Questions or Comments?
Contact Joan Michel
Parks and Trails Coordinator
jmichel [at]
250-248-4744 or toll free at 1-888-828-2069