March 18 - New pitch for downtown Y site

Will Victoria bill BC for homelessness spending? Local company gets national breakthrough

Good morning !

Today's stories look at possible changes coming to the downtown core, and a success story that focuses instead on the open ocean.


Today’s approx. read time: 4 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: ☀️ 17 / 5

Tomorrow: ☀️ 17 / 5

Wednesday: 🌧️ 10 / 6


New plan for downtown Y site would build towers, but no new Y

Christ Church Cathedral. Photo: Sidney Coles

Victoria’s large church on Quadra could be celebrating its upcoming 100th birthday by welcoming new neighbours.

There is now a proposal for two towers on the lot across from the cathedral and the Pioneer Square park/cemetery. This Concert Properties pitch to the city, first covered by Citified, is for a 26-storey with 200+ condos and an 11-storey with 150 rentals. There would be a diagonal corridor between the towers, creating a visual and foot-traffic corridor connecting Broughton to the cathedral.

Rendering: Concert Properties / DYS Architecture

Still no home for new Y

The YMCA-YWCA sold its Broughton building to Concert in 2018, and its leaseback agreement expires next year. It had looked to get into the building proposed to replace the Capitol 6 theatre on Yates, but ultimately wasn’t included in the proposal that came to council

A year ago, Capitol 6 and an extension on Broughton were both on the table. 

Cathedral may get other new neighbours

The frameworks presented last fall would see it financing seismic upgrades and heritage restoration by allowing land plots behind the church to be used for housing (including a tower of up to 23 storeys).

Do you care about a new downtown Y being built?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.


Victoria to begin billing province for extra homelessness spending

Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily

Council voted 6-2 last week to grant Our Place $100,000 for operating costs and a storage facility for unhoused people. But Mayor Marianne Alto says she will start invoicing BC when she feels the city is unfairly needed to step up. She conceded BC may not pay, but said she will soon bring other initiatives to have the city lead on key local issues and “challenge” other levels of government to join in. [Times Colonist]

Victoria council has been calling for more help

Last Oct., councillors voted to continue funding for park camper relocation coordinators, but they expressed frustration at shouldering much of the burden of addressing homelessness. Coun. Caradonna described it as “stepping a bit outside of our lane” to do work he felt BC should eventually take up. At that time, Alto argued that city staff were already too overburdened to even set aside more time to work with the province on regional housing solutions.

There has been some response from BC in the new year

The city and province signed an agreement last month that outlined joint plans on local homelessness, including BC funding response teams and the return of Tiny Town.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

The 9th warmest March day on record at YYJ was this past Sat. [Victoria Weather Records]

But rain will return later this week, per forecast, as highs dip toward 10.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Local company gets Canada’s largest-ever ocean tech seed investment

Scott Beatty, MarineLabs founder and CEO, with sensor buoy. Photo: MarineLabs

Victoria’s “blue economy” of ocean-related technology companies and projects continues to grow. A seed round just brought MarineLabs some $4.5M from investors including Seaspan Shipyards.

MarineLabs is a weather intelligence company that uses a network of sensors to give real-time and historical weather info and analysis. Giving maritime operations this level of detail aims to reduce costs as well as environmental and safety risks.

The company plans to spend the money on development and expanding market reach. The federal government said that the investment will help the marine sector adapt to climate change in line with the National Shipbuilding Strategy.


Wonderful healthcare for families is here 

Imagine a new kind of healthcare experience - warm, welcoming, and designed for families. A specialized team with big hearts and big brains. Focused on prevention and longevity instead of just reactive illness care. In-person, over the phone, or virtual appointments that are never rushed. The Sprout team will see you now.

⭐️ Capital Picks

👛 Cheap eats: 4 local spots that won't break the bank. [Tasting Victoria]

📻 CFUV annual funding drive is underway, with special radio episodes throughout the week and rewards for donating. 

🤝 Now hiring: Certified Dental Assistant at Peninsula Dental.

🗞️ In Other News

Charity will take over Vic West urban farm
Topsoil, located beside the Galloping Goose, has supplied restaurants and delivered food boxes to homes for the past decade. But owner Chris just had a child, and so has sold the farm to longtime charity collaborator FED. [Details]

Calgary brunch favourite OEB opens in Victoria today
The 856 Yates location, announced last Aug. is OEB’s 20th across Canada and the US. It’s one more place to put on Victoria's roster of intriguing brunch spots

Off-leash attack leaves both dogs dead 
A Willows Beach walker says the dog that fatally injured her chihuahua mix on Tues. has been put down by its owners, who offered to pay her vet bills. [Times Colonist] Pets must not “run at large” on most Victoria core-area shoreline due to migratory bird protections, but many dog owners are resistant. 

🗓️ Things to do

🎤 Led Zepagain: The tribute band will perform the music of Led Zeppelin at McPherson Playhouse. Today. 7:30pm

🎧 Dylan Willows Celebration: Current Swell, Jon and Roy, Miina, and others will perform to raise funds for The Zone’s Dylan Willows and his family as he battles with cancer. Today and Tomorrow. 8pm.

🎥 Freud’s Last Session at Cinecenta: The drama film starring Anthony Hopkins will be shown at the UVic theatre. Today. 5pm and 7:10pm.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Victoria’s famous plum and cherry blossoms and the story behind them. [Capital Daily]

Spawning herring change the colour of the water around Denman. [Photos]

6 local restaurants that have perfected winter vegetables—have a taste while they’re in season. [Tasting Victoria]

Sat. news: Victoria council approves raise. Possible new orca group. Flower Count winner. [March 16]

Best restaurant with a view? What’s your go-to spot? Is it a finalist in the Tasting Victoria Best Restaurant Awards? Check out the list and vote for your favourites here.

“Unplanned outage” affected 911 callers in BC on Sat. morning.

That’s it!

If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to a fellow Victorian.

And before you go, let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.