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Elevated ‘Skywalk’ with 40-metre spiral viewing tower proposed for Malahat Summit

Click to play video: 'Spectacular tourist attraction proposed for Malahat Highway'
Spectacular tourist attraction proposed for Malahat Highway
WATCH: A B.C. First Nation and the people behind the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish want to build a spectacular natural tourist attraction on the Malahat Highway on Vancouver Island. Kylie Stanton reports – Mar 7, 2019

Southern Vancouver Island could be next in line to get a high-profile tourism project.

A new “Skywalk” is being proposed for the Malahat Summit that would offer visitors scenic views from atop a 40-metre wooden spiral tower.

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The project is a partnership between the Malahat Nation and A.Spire by Nature, a new company involving two of the founding partners of the Sea to Sky Gondola.

An example of the elevated wooden walkway that would lead to the spiral viewpoint. Malahat Skywalk

According to proponents, the attraction would see tourists walk 650 metres through an arbutus forest on an elevated walkway before climbing the spiral.

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Views would include the Finlayson Arm and nearby coastal mountains.

“Inspired by our exploration of elevated forest walks in Europe, we want to bring the concept of an accessible, environmentally sound and culturally significant tourism experience to Vancouver Island,” said A.Spire by Nature principal David Greenfield in a media release.

Proponents say the project would create about 100 construction jobs, and between 20 and 50 jobs once in operation.

The attraction is envisioned as a draw for tourists from nearby Victoria, as well as road-trippers travelling the Malahat Highway.

Malahat Skywalk. Malahat Skywalk

“The Malahat Skywalk is a project that our Nation is proud to partner on. Not only is it a tourism experience that speaks to sustainability and the connection to our land, but it will also provide opportunities for many generations of the Malahat Nation to come,” said Malahat Coun. George Harry Jr.

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“We look forward to telling the stories of our people and welcoming the visitors to our community through the Malahat Skywalk experience.”

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The proponents have submitted a rezoning application for the project to the Cowichan Valley Regional District, as well as a management plan to the provincial government.

The group says they hope to start construction in the fall, with the attraction opened by June 2020.

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