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Charging in Victoria

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Lyon, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    I'm taking the family from Eugene, OR to Victoria in March in our Model X. I've pretty much figured out how to get there; Supercharging makes it easy. I'll be able to pick up a little range in Port Angeles but I'm going to need a place to charge in Victoria. Any ideas? I've got a Chademo adaptor and the Model X will have 72a charging. Which charging networks will I need to join? Apps besides PlugShare?

    Also, I've never been to Victoria as an adult and I've sure never taken kids there. Any recommendations on what to do? Where to eat? What to avoid? What am I missing?

    - Phil
     
  2. sitter_k

    sitter_k Member

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    Great food there, especially seafood, I really liked this small take out restaurant inside a shipping container (yeah you heard me) called red fish blue fish. I hope it's still great.
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Check out Plugshare. There are a few free 80A J1772 stations from Sun Country highway there which are great. There are also a few hotels that have the same thing but you have to be a guest. Victoria is wonderful so you'll enjoy it.
     
  4. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    I wish one of the hotels with plugs had suites large enough. Alas, traveling with three kids can limit one's options. We've rented a small house in the James Bay Area. I'll have access to a 110v and that might be enough if it's left charging the whole time. I image we'll walk pretty much everywhere.
     
  5. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    Well, I don't want to "advertise" and it's no benefit to me anyway, just passing along the information that the Victoria Regent (Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel | Luxury Accommodation in Victoria) has 2-bedroom large suites with kitchens and is right downtown on the waterfront. I don't know what the hotel prices are or whether it fits with your plans (and you've already reserved elsewhere for this trip anyway). I live there but as a resident (about half the owners have put their suites into a "hotel pool"). There's a 60A (48A continuous) and 40A (32A continuous) plug-n-go Sun Country charging station in the secured parking lot, great for overnight charging, free for guests.

    There are also plenty of L2 public free charging stations at all the rec centres, most of the downtown multi-level parking lots, and most of the major malls, however they are all 30A (24A continuous) so rather slow. If you don't want to have to go into the rec centre to get their card key to open the charging handle, you can sign up for an AddEnergie (Home) account - I think the card costs a $10Cdn deposit but all the charging locations in Victoria have the usage paid by the host, so if you use your own card (WAY more convenient) your account will get a $0 charge line item. Some are Chargepoint (e.g. Hillside Mall) and can be opened by any credit card NFC, again electricity cost is paid by the host. Hillside Mall has 12 charging spots so they've seen the future.

    Since you're in James Bay, if you need a relatively quick charge for pay, the Hotel Grand Pacific (across the street from the Legislative Buildings) has a Sun Country 90A station. Downside is it's like $7 per hour to park there, may have even increased over last couple of years.

    Things to do
    1. What better way to use up all your kWh but to go for a drive from the Breakwater (south end of James Bay area) around the "Scenic Drive" out to UVic and beyond (Dallas Road to Beach Drive to Finnerty Road...). It's maybe 30km return.
    2. The Butchart Gardens | Victoria BC Attractions | National Historic Site of Canada is usually a must see for lots of people.
    3. The kids would probably like Beacon Hill Park Victoria BC, possibly its petting zoo depending on age, and it's a beautiful scenic area for wandering, filled with birds and lots of pets. Our ferret used to love to go on walks there.
    4. Plenty of options for tours of all kinds, e.g. whale watching, kayaking, taking a "pickle boat" (Victoria Harbour Ferry & Water Taxi - Tours & Charters, Victoria BC), double-decker bus, etc. Note the pickle boats only operate starting in early March through end of October - their website is frustratingly sparse on 2016 (or any) operating date information. In 2015 they opened March 5th.
    5. We haven't yet tried Red Fish Blue Fish but there are lineups every day. They are highly popular. Lots of very good restaurants abound.
    6. Royal BC Museum is an excellent source of all sorts of information, and it's right in James Bay.
    7. If you like going for hikes etc then Thetis Lake Park is great (Find a Park or Trail | CRD). The whole Victoria area has thousands of fabulous parks. Our favourite 30-minute walk is on Charlie's Trail at Royal Roads University (Charlies Trail | Royal Roads University | Victoria, BC). There are lots of other different forest trails on RRU's grounds as well. While you're paying for parking anyway ($1/hour), if you really need it there's a Sun Country 30A station in the middle of the grounds. If you like deep forest there are places like East Sooke Park Vancouver Island British Columbia about 45min from Victoria downtown. From downtown we like taking Westsong Walkway | Walking In Victoria for some exercise and scenery.

    Hopefully that will give you a few ideas. If you have any questions feel free to post here or PM me. My opinions are free! (except for the cost of having to listen to me)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Forgot to add, we regularly go to Portland for NBA games, and it's no trouble whatsoever in an 85. We'll be doing our first "dead of winter" trips in January and February 2016.

    Two options for ferries, both have advantages and disadvantages.

    1. Vancouver / BC Ferries: beautiful trip through the Gulf Islands. Downside: Seattle traffic

    2. Port Angeles / Black Ball Ferry: no-frills ride but you disembark within hundreds of meters of your rented house, likely. The drive from Olympia to PA is nice.

    Timing-wise, they're actually about the same and depends highly on the sailing departure time. Worthwhile doing both IMHO. Check the Black Ball's departure times from Victoria, that might work out better for the trip back.
     
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  6. Koryin

    Koryin Member

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    Another Victorian here!

    Following up on what Ugliest1 (Hello!) said, the malls all have L2 chargers by ChargePoint. All the parkades + city-own properties have L2 chargers by AddEnergie (They usually have a card you can use to activate it but you need to ask an attendant during business hours). Uptown Mall has a CHAdeMO by GreenLots. The CHAdeMO is the only one that has a fee, the rest are all free (minus any parking fees in the parkade for example).

    I'll also add on Bin4 as a popular restaurant. After 9pm, their food goes half price but the lineups get loooooooong.

    PS: While in Victoria, I'd love to take a look at the Model X if you're so willing. I bet I'm not the only one here that feels that way either.
     
  7. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    Ugliest1, Koryin, thank you very much! If folks haven't already seen/sat in a Model X by then I would be happy to set up a little GTG. Let's talk more as March approaches.

    Looks like GreenLots and AddEnergie are two I need to be prepared for.

    I must have missed the two room suits at the Victoria Regent Waterfront; next time.

    Thanks for the ferry advice. I think we're going to take the Port Angeles ferry on the way up. We may take either the BC ferry or WA state one on the way home.
     
  8. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

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    I would be interested as well. There's a group of Victoria owners - at least a couple of dozen...

    I would recommend double checking that the Coho is running before heading to Port Angeles. Tomorrow morning's sailing is the last one leaving Port Angeles until February 29 - assuming things go according to plan.

    Coho ferry takes 2-month break for refit, dock work


    I would recommend getting the AddEnergie card. Their network of chargers is all over Victoria. As an added bonus, the first hour of parking in City of Victoria parkades is free, so you pretty much get a nearly-always-open spot near the entrance plus free charge, and all for the cost of free. :)

    Almost all charging stations here are 30A, and two plugs, with few exceptions. The one near Beacon Ave at Third St in Sidney is 69A and does not require an access card - it's a convenient spot, but keep in mind that there's only one plug.

    There are tons of things for kids in Victoria. If they're young, I'd recommend checking out the new and improved Cadboro Bay park. They made a new home for the octopus. :) Cadboro-Gyro Park

    DSC04177_001.jpg
     
  9. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    Thanks PBR, I appreciate the warning about the Coho. They're taking reservations for the trip we want to take so things look good so far. I'll keep an eye on it.

    I'll be sure to put those charger locations in my notebook.
     
  10. Biker

    Biker Member

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    I'll add my 2 cents (CDN) here (about 1.5 cents US).

    I was in Victoria in late October and we stayed at the Inn at Laurel Point. They have huge suites and great service. They also have 1 HPWC at 40 AMPS. They didn't ask for it, but I always left the key with them incase another car needed to charge. They were thrilled to have a Tesla staying with them. I believe that the Empress has 2 HPWCs at 90 AMPS - and although they suggest that you be a guest, they will let you use their chargers.

    I got all those other charging cards before my trip and I never used any of them. Just SCs, HPWCs, and regular plugs (120 and 220).

    I'm from Toronto, but was driving up from San Diego to Victoria - I loved Oregon and had a chance to stay with friends in Eugene. Have a great trip.
     
  11. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    Thanks for the information. I was thinking about going to the Empress for the high tea thing but my understanding is that there's some significant renovation going on right now that makes the experience somewhat less than it normally is. Also, that's pretty expensive for the little kids who will not really appreciate it. I'm all for giving them experiences that they'll appreciate later or perhaps will shape their growth in a positive way but it's something like $50 a person. Anyway, I'd be happy to hear thoughts/opinions on the subject. I would assume I would charge if we went for tea.
     
  12. Ocelot

    Ocelot Member

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    Great info from the posters. It would help to know the ages of the kiddos...

    If they are younger a nice spot is Francis King Park...you can see some 'big' trees, which are about a three minute walk from the parking lot, and of course you can then hike as much or little as you want. really a beautiful spot. From James Bay though its about 25 minute drive (same as previously recommended Thetis Lake Park).

    I second the cadboro-gyro park if your kiddos are small..nice place to hang by the beach and play at a park. Much closer to where you are staying is Willows Beach which also has a small play structure, swings, and nice beach.

    the insect zoo is small, but pretty cool for the kiddos.

    you come from Eugene, which I imagine has good coffee. My favourite coffee shops here is the Parsonage. they make a great BLt and reuben as well. fantastico, discovery and shatterbox are also good.
    if your kids are still at the running around age and cannot sit still, FOL epi is a good bakery that makes some pizzas and kids can run around outside. Foo makes good good, especially if you are looking for quick take out. Hernandez is great for a quick lunch. red fish blue fish has some good fish and chips..but check to make sure its open.

    if your kids are older and you want a more 'fancy' meal, i recommend Camilles.

    Hope to see your X drive by...might be first to be in the city!
     
  13. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    Thank you for the info! The kids will be (our 5 y/o has a birthday the day we leave) 8, 6 and 2. They definitely need to move around quite a bit.
     
  14. Biker

    Biker Member

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    Hope that I'm not too late Lyon, but I'm not a fan of the Empress High Tea. Like you said, very over priced. My wife is from England, and she is not too impressed with the Empress version.

    However, I think that if you ask, they'll let you charge anyways. They are pretty good about that.
     
  15. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    It's not too late, we're going in March. Thanks for the advice, it confirms what we were thinking. It's hard to separate what's touristy and what's the real deal.
     
  16. MikeBur

    MikeBur ManualPilot

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    Hi all,

    Thinking of driving from Seattle area to Victoria with single night stop on Wednesday this week. I read a few ferries are not available earlier. Which would you recommend?

    thanks, Mike
     
  17. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    BC Ferries from Tsawassen to Swartz Bay (leaving Tsawassen every odd hour 7am-9pm inclusive) is pretty much it for this month... But the Coho (Port Angeles to Victoria downtown) probably isn't better for you once it's running again in March, since you'd have to do the loop around Olympia. The Anacortes - Sidney ferry doesn't run until late March. The Tsawassen-Swartz Bay run is very good, lots of scenery and the occasional whale sighting. Then it's a half-hour drive into Victoria from Swartz Bay.
     
  18. MikeBur

    MikeBur ManualPilot

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    Thanks. The whole Coho refit and the San Juan winter schedule is a little limiting for sure. Never done the Tsawessen, so might be fun. Of course I could just use a seaplane, though this is much more fun, right? ;-)
     
  19. MikeBur

    MikeBur ManualPilot

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    FYI - despite the heavy rain, I did this round trip easily. The Tsawassen/Sidney ferry is nice, relaxing, 1hr 35min trip though was a little surprised how bad traffic was into Victoria.
    Parked downtown at View St Parkade for free charging (30A, 197V) for 3 hour max and stayed overnight in Westin Bear Mountain (5 80A HWPCs, 1x32A clipper), all details on Plugshare.

    Well recommended, no range or charging anxiety - indeed, a lot of public charge points are free. Much more considerate than a lot of inner-city charge stations in USA.

    thanks for the help and feedback all

    cheers, Mike
     
  20. EcoHeliGuy

    EcoHeliGuy Member

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    My turn,

    A large percentage of government buildings here have chargers ( municipal and provincial ), the downtown parkades operated by the City (not robins) have chargers and really cheep parking rates with the first hour free (Parking not charging). A lot of the premium hotels have chargers.

    The transit system is great if you prefer.

    Food wise I have a few suggestions

    capalano- really great atmosphere and amazing Chef
    brasorie lecole- no reservation first come French restaurant. This place has a line up before opening and is worth the wait. Once they take your info, they will text your cell phone, no need to wait around.
    Roast in the Victoria Public Market- best lunch in town
    Cafe Fantastico- best coffee
    Shine Cafe- love their breakfast
    blue fox cafe- always has a line up for breakfast.
    we have local Brewers (Phillips and Vancouver island) cideries ( sea cider and marridale) and wineries. All worth trying.


    And of course if you need a personal chauffeur, I would gladly drive you around in your Model X
     

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