Wayne Procter

Wayne Procter

Investor set to change face of Lake Cowichan

It’s official — a third gas station is coming to Lake Cowichan, along with a convenience store, a new hotel, a

It’s official — a third gas station is coming to Lake Cowichan, along with a convenience store, a new hotel, a new pub and a re-branded cold beer and wine store. And these additions are all coming as a result of two building sales to a businessman from Nanaimo.

Wayne Procter, owner of the Gas n Go chain of 23 gas stations on Vancouver Island, has purchased the IRLY Bird Lake Cowichan Home Centre and the historic Riverside Inn, with plans to transform both locations by the end of the year.

He said for several years he has been actively seeking a location for a new gas bar in the community.

“I’ve always liked Lake Cowichan. I’ve always thought it’s an amazing spot, one of the fine jewels we have on the island,” he said. Last summer he noticed the IRLY Bird building was for sale and, after a bit of research to confirm it was a viable location for a gas station, Procter made the purchase.

“We’re reconfiguring it,” he said, noting half the building will remain open as the home centre. The rest will become a Gas n Go and a General Store Market.

“[It will be] about a 2,300 square-foot convenience store and four gas pumps and the canopy will match the aesthetics of the pitched roof on the IRLY Bird building.”

As part of the sale, Procter also purchased the Peters Centre, which is home to several businesses, including the Gazette. Procter said he does not have any immediate plans for the Peters Centre.

Rod Peters, one of the centre and the IRLY Bird’s co-owners, said he and his brother have been looking for a buyer for “quite a few years” and they are glad Procter decided to purchase it.

Peters’ son and his son’s partner have purchased the Lake Cowichan Home Centre, where Peters will continue working three days a week.

“I decided that I didn’t want to quit working, I’m way too social,” he said. “I’m just going to continue on until my son and his lady decide they don’t want me there anymore and then I’ll walk away.”

Peters and his brother purchased the building in 1978.

Procter said while working out a deal with the Peters brothers, the Riverside Inn caught his eye.

“I looked into it, saw it was available, and made a deal with the people who owned it and bought that with the intent of rejuvenating it, cleaning it up,” he said.

The fact the building already contains a liquor store was another selling point for Procter, who owns Best Buy Liquors in Nanaimo and Campbell River. He plans to change the name of the cold beer and wine shop to match his other liquor stores, but has no plans to change the name of the Riverside Inn, which was established in 1885.

There are currently no plans to put apartments or condos in that building.

“It’s going to be a hotel. And we’re going to do it up nice. Re-do all the rooms; flat screen TVs, new furniture, it’s going to be new everything in there,” said Proctor.

The Riverside Inn has approximately 20 rooms. Procter hopes to have six or so completed by the end of June, but the rest of the work will be completed by the end of 2016. He plans to paint the exterior, replace its windows, do some landscaping and freshen up its look overall. He is going to reopen the pub there (which will sell pub food) but he does not plan to to reopen the restaurant. He is instead considering using that space for a banquet hall.

“I don’t think the volume’s there to warrant a restaurant with the pub. Because there’s already a number of eateries in town,” he said.

Procter said Sunfest and the Laketown Ranch development helped him in making a decision to purchase the buildings, although the popularity of hockey in Lake Cowichan will also aid the new businesses during the winter months.

Having vacationed with his family at the Lake many times over the years, Procter said he is confident in the area’s potential.

“It’s a wonderful location. We’re looking forward to becoming part of the community,” he said.

james.goldie@lakecowichangazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The cherry trees on Canada Avenue in Duncan are in full bloom this April, 2021. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan’s cherry trees in full blossom

There are a few things that signal the coming of spring every… Continue reading

(Courtesy photo)
Editorial: Rent bank for Cowichan a wise investment

It’s essentially the collective emergency fund

Cheryl Day, a member of the management team at the Cow Café West Coast Grill, celebrates the 200 Dine Cowichan Meals the restaurant sold in support of Island Savings’ Get a Meal, Give a Meal campaign. (Submitted)
Business notes: Dine & Sip Cowichan raises $10,000 for local food banks

What’s going on in the Cowichan Valley business community

North Cowichan will kick in more funding for the new field house at the Cowichan Sportsplex as the estimates of construction costs have dramatically risen. (File photo)
North Cowichan to contribute $325,000 more towards field house project

Cowichan Sportsplex project’s costs jump significantly

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m.
Jamie Coutts recorded a man following her around downtown Vancouver for a half-hour on Wednesday, March 18. (Instagram screenshot/Iammjammbamm)
Man charged in alleged high-profile Vancouver stalking case that went viral online

Man faces five other charges including criminal harassment and assault with a weapon

A sea lion swims past the window of an empty viewing area Vancouver Aquarium is pictured Thursday, September 10, 2020. The Vancouver Aquarium has had to close its doors to the public due to the lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
U.S.-based theme park company buys Vancouver Aquarium

Aquarium had to shut its doors in September due to COVID pandemic

Legendary broadcaster Bernie Pascall is among in the Class of 2021 to be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. (PQB News file photo)
Island broadcasting legend Bernie Pascall named to Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Pascall named by Football Reporters of Canada as inductee in the 2021 class in the media category

A Sooke man died Tuesday afternoon after his car left the roadway in 7500-block of West Coast Road around 1:30 p.m. and hit a tree. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke man dies when car slams into tree

The man’s SUV left the roadway and struck a tree

A man with a history of sexual offences was arrested after he followed and aggressively tried to talk to two young woman on the weekend. Black Press File Photo
Man convicted of sexual offences arrested after teens followed in Victoria

Women hid in a Quadra Village convenience store as man aggressively tried to get in

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

A deep cut on a humpback whale is shown in this recent handout photo in the Vancouver area. A conservation organization is warning boaters to be extra careful to prevent further harm to an injured humpback whale swimming in the Vancouver area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Ocean Wise, Vanessa Prigollini *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Boaters urged to use caution around hurt humpback off Vancouver

Ocean Wise says watchers first noticed the wound 3 days ago and believe it was caused by a vessel strike

Most Read