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Pacific Undersea Gardens


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#1 VicBooster

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 02:33 PM

I hadn't been to Pacific Undersea Gardens in many years and decided to check it out a couple of days ago.

I couldn't believe how poorly maintained the facility was. Some fish looked sick and there were very few varieties that I could see. Granted, the water was sooty because of the recent rain, but the condition of the tanks left a lot to be desired. Almost no care has been given to maintaining a nice aquatic environment. The facility is also showing signs of disrepair and wear. Rust was evident in some spots, lights were burned out on the exterior and a good point job hadn't been applied in some time. It's like the maintenance staff followed the city of Victoria's Johnson Street Bridge maintenance check list.

Even though the pamphlet and signs in the facility said there would be a dive show, no diver ever came down and staff said there wouldn't be a show that day. They stopped short of saying there hadn't been any shows in some time.

The gift shop was no better. There was a window which was broken and couldn't open, so management stuck up a piece of paper telling employees not to touch it. An ice cream cooler sat empty with a sticky note warning employees to keep the lid open, and a little machine that kids could crank the handle on to flatten coins was out of service.

I would give this facility a 1 out of 10 whereas many years ago it was truly an entertaining and educational experience. Because of its prominent location on the harbour it is a poor reflection of Victoria to have our visitors experience something so disappointing.

#2 Holden West

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 02:44 PM

The UG is on the client list of interior designer JC Scott (who also just did the Quadra liquor store).

So I would have thought it would be in tip-top shape.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#3 yodsaker

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 04:12 PM

Thrill to authentic Kokanee cans rusting on the sea bottom!
That chancre on the Inner Harbour should have been towed and scuttled long ago. IMO the worst tourist ripoff in town. It degrades the I.H.

#4 Baro

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 04:57 PM

Yeah get it out of there and replace the valuable water-realestate with an upgraded Coho terminal, or something of interest.
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#5 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:33 PM

Poor reviews here:

http://www.tripadvis...h_Columbia.html

#6 victorian fan

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:33 PM

Reviews say:

AVOID! TOURIST TRAP! DO NOT GO!

Shameful!!!!!!!!

An Expensive Rip-Off

etc.

#7 sebberry

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:34 PM

Was looking at reviews on Google. It seems like the reviews from pre 2002 were OK, but went downhill after that.

(http://maps.google.c...&num=10&start=0)

Did ownership change or something? Seems like a money maker type of place with tourises. I wanted to check it out but now I won't.

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#8 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:45 PM

Was looking at reviews on Google. It seems like the reviews from pre 2002 were OK, but went downhill after that.

(http://maps.google.c...&num=10&start=0)

Did ownership change or something? Seems like a money maker type of place with tourises. I wanted to check it out but now I won't.


...the old reviews look like BS.

#9 spanky123

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 07:32 PM

The attraction has been in rough shape for years. As long as tourists keep shelling out money to visit it then nothing will likely change.

Hard to blame the owners for not putting any money into it. When you wake up in the morning, open up the TC, and see a nice graphic of the inner harbour missing your attraction then you know the writing is on the wall.

#10 sebberry

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:20 PM

I smell a business oppertunity. If only I could come up with the money to buy it :P

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#11 Holden West

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:15 AM

Install two diesel engines and turn it into a Colwood/Victoria commuter ferry. Avoid the crawl and watch the fish. God, I'm a genius.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#12 G-Man

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 07:18 AM

I have had dreams of it burning to the waterline for years. It would be a nice spot for a second mega yacht marina.

#13 Holden West

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:40 AM

Oak Bay Marine Group has owned it since '72. If they've tired of it, sell it. If it's unprofitable, close it. Perhaps the lease of the real estate is too valuable to abandon.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#14 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:47 AM

Oak Bay Marine Group has owned it since '72. If they've tired of it, sell it. If it's unprofitable, close it. Perhaps the lease of the real estate is too valuable to abandon.


I suppose it's neither. It still looks kind of cool from the outside. And from the outside, you have no idea what's in store for you once you enter. Some might think they'll be going down 1000 feet. If you are around the harbour, it seems like a pretty inexpensive little show, less than the cost of a movie, certainly less than the museum or even the Wax Museum (WM is $12 adults). It seems odd that on their website they'd chose to talk about all the junk they pull out of the harbour every year.

#15 Bob Fugger

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 09:07 AM

Install two diesel engines and turn it into a Colwood/Victoria commuter ferry. Avoid the crawl and watch the fish. God, I'm a genius.


Awesome, I had the same idea awhile ago...well, the Albert Head/Inner Harbour ferry part, not the strapping engines onto PUG part, LOL!! :D

#16 Holden West

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 09:19 AM

They should hire an attraction designer to give it a once-over and refurbishment.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#17 yodsaker

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 11:29 AM

Didn't I read somewhere a few years ago that the lease was up or about to expire? This tin can isn't worth the pennies the city gets from the lease, when it expires scuttle the thing. The Inner Harbour deseves better than a blatant eyesore tourist trap. I went there with my daughter when she was about three (about 1996-7) and it was crap then. Any favourable reviews must have been written by Bob Wright's minions when they had nothing to do until quitting time.

#18 G-Man

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 11:40 AM

It would be Victoria Harbour Authority that gets the rent on the space.

#19 aastra

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:59 PM

Great spot for a floating restaurant.

#20 manuel

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 11:22 PM

even better spot to park a surplus blue bridge.

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