FAQ’s

Answers to some frequently asked questions about our open house:

How Much Does the Open House Cost?
The open house is completely free!

Can I Buy Food Onsite?
The Oceans Cafe shall be open for coffee and snacks on Saturday and Sunday only (cash only purchases, ATM on site)

Are Displays Wheelchair Accessible?
There will be accessible parking on site and the building is wheelchair accessible, however the ship tour cannot accommodate wheelchairs and the two tours within the building require use of either elevators or a stair-mounted lift. 

Are Kids Welcome?
Absolutely!  Many displays are interactive and there will also be activities for kids outside of the cafeteria (including a fish colouring station and a touch tank).  Kids may also collect passport stamps of the displays that they visit.  Please note that strollers and baby backpacks cannot be taken on board the ship portion of the tour due to the narrow staircases (they may be left on the dock).

Are Pets Welcome?
We cannot accommodate pets on the grounds or inside the building except for service dogs.  Service dogs cannot be accommodated on the ship tour.

Can I Buy Food Onsite?
The Oceans Cafe shall be open for coffee and snacks on Saturday and Sunday only (cash only purchases, ATM on site)

Is There a Gift Shop?
On the weekend (in the afternoons) the Staff Association will have t-shirts, mugs, stickers, and other items available for purchase (cash or credit card)

How Long Does the Open House Tour Take?
Allow about 90 minutes to walk through the building and down to the ship to see all of the displays and longer if you plan to attend one or more of the speaker series.   If you only have limited time then just pick the displays of interest.

When Are the Busy Times?
We expect peak times on the weekend to be between 11:00-2:30 each day.

How Do I Get to the Open House?
We are located at 9860 West Saanich Road in North Saanich.  Take the Pat Bay Highway to McTavish and consider leaving your car at the BC Transit Park&Ride and take our complimentary shuttle to and from the Open House.  Otherwise continue towards the airport and then onto Willingdon Road and turn left at West Saanich and then take the next right.  Alternatively take West Saanich and we are just south of the Willingdon Road intersection.

Where Can I Park?
Very limited parking will be available on-site and also across West Saanich Road on the weekend.  Alternatively please consider the free parking at the McTavish Park & Ride from where you can take our complimentary shuttle bus to and from the Open House.

Can I Take Transit or Bring my Bike to the Open House?
BC Transit offers service to the front door of IOS via route #83 (please see https://bctransit.com/victoria for schedule details) .  There are bike lock up facilities at the front entrance.

Can I Bring my Kayak or Boat to IOS?
Unfortunately our docks cannot accommodate personal water vessels.

How Many People Work at IOS?
We are one of Victoria’s best kept secrets. Our buildings house the Institute of Ocean Sciences, Pacific Geological Centre, Canadian Coast Guard, and the Marine Traffic Coordination Centre and about 500 employees and contractors.

Which Boats Are Usually Tied Up on the Jetty?
Typically at our jetty we have the CCGS J.P. Tully (offshore oceanographic), the CCGS Vector (inshore oceanographic), and the CCGS W.E. Ricker (fisheries research, but now in the process of decommissioning). We also have several other smaller CCG vessels used for non-science work. Usually during the winter months you might see the CCGS Gordon Reid, CCGS Barlett, and CCGS S.W. Laurier. Our new offshore fisheries oceanographic vessel (W.E. Ricker replacement) will be appearing in 2018. During field season (April to October) vessels occasionally tie up for crew changes and scientific staff changes.

I’m interested in Employment at the institute How Do I Find Out More?
Please consider attending Jane Eert’s seminar talk on the weekend to learn about the life of an oceanographer to see if this would be a career choice for you.  Also, you can register for job alerts at www.jobs.gc.ca.

Other Questions?
The best way to contact us is via Facebook or Twitter (@iosopenhouse)

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