End of an era as Buddies Toys leaves Oak Bay Avenue

Buddies Toys closed its Victoria location on West Oak Bay Avenue and merged with the parent location in Sidney. The former Estevan location moved to Oak Bay Avenue in 2015. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Buddies Toys closed its Victoria location on West Oak Bay Avenue and merged with the parent location in Sidney. The former Estevan location moved to Oak Bay Avenue in 2015. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

The five-foot-tall Playmobil characters that have stood on guard outside Buddies Toys on Oak Bay Avenue are no more.

Buddies Toys officially closed its Victoria location at 1831 Oak Bay Ave. on July 31. The store is merging with the existing Buddies Toys in Sidney at 2494 Beacon Ave.

Buddies Toys moved to the Avenue in 2015 from its long time home in Estevan Village.

READ MORE: GardenWorks’ time on Oak Bay Avenue winding down

It’s another change to the area known as West Oak Bay Ave., which sits a kilometre from Oak Bay Village and is due for significant upgrades with two more condo buildings in the works. Red Barn has also been a hit since arriving in 2016 though GardenWorks nursery faces a move in the near future as that property will be developed mixed residential with ground floor commerical.

Despite the growth, the emerging village of South Jubilee will be without a toy store, for now.

The decision to leave Oak Bay Avenue was a tough one, but for straight-forward reasons, said owner Lauren Powell, who declined to comment beyond her July 1 post on Facebook.

“Sad and happy emotions fill me,” said the post. “It will be a big change.”

In the post Powell said she’s in the process of taking over the 30-year-old business from her mother and wants to do it justice.

“In the same breath, I have to try to maintain my work/life balance so I’m still smiling when I come home to my family. By focusing on our Sidney store I have a hope of doing that.”

Powell lives “a stone’s throw” from the Sidney location, which made the choice “relatively easy.”

“What isn’t easy is saying goodbye to our amazing customers and truly spectacular staff. Some of you have been with us since the beginning.“

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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