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  • June 14 - Council pushing referendum on new Crystal Pool

June 14 - Council pushing referendum on new Crystal Pool

Plus, it's another (rainy) weekend with more festies


Good morning !

Vic City Council has decided to ask whether you want to borrow a honking load of money to build a new Crystal Pool. We’re talking $170 mill.
Don’t forget, the Y is on the way out of downtown and Crystal’s got what, four or five years left in it? Maybe?

We have tons of swimmers here in Vic. It would feel wrong not to have an indoor pool within city limits, wouldn’t it?


Should the City of Victoria borrow $170M to build a new Crystal Pool?

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Today’s approx. read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌦️ 16 / 10

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 15 / 9

Sunday: 🌧️ 16 / 10


Vic city council closer to a referendum on diving into a new pool

Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre Feasibility Study rendering courtesy City of Victoria

Six years after abandoning the idea of building a new natatorium to replace the charming but clearly-had-its-day Crystal Pool, the council’s committee of the whole is pushing for a referendum asking you whether you want to borrow $168.9M to do it.

Councillors were given three option sites and yesterday, they turfed the most expensive one—the parking lot next to Royal Athletic Park with its ballpark price tag of $232.9M.

So it’s down to two choices as to where a new pool would be built: exactly where it is now with a sticker price of $209.2M; and for $215.9M, next door where the softball diamond and basketball and tennis courts sit.

That’s where the pool was expected to go way back in time before that little COVID-19 episode of ours when a brand-spankin’ new swimming pool would only cost you $69.4M.

“I’m not 100% certain that this is the right time to be expending $200 million on a recreation centre,” Mayor Marianne Alto said following yesterday’s lengthy council meeting which was extended by two hours. 

“Having said that, I am content with putting that question to the public.” 

Alto lamented not approving pool construction as a councillor in 2018 when it would have cost one-third the price. “If we had, we would be swimming in the pool by now,” she said.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Traffic disruptions and CCTV deployment downtown. [6-9pm]

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


At 27, FernFest has been around the block (and we’re glad it’s back)

Finger-lickin’ FernFest. Photo: Don Craig Photography / FernFest Facebook

FernFest is back today and tomorrow in Victoria, and this year’s festivities look especially exciting.

Marking its 27th year, FernFest is a neighbourhood celebration of local music and arts organized by Fernwood NRG—a charitable non-profit organization run by and for the residents of Fernwood—that brings live music, food and beverages, kids activities, art projects, and tons of other surprises to the Fernwood Square and surrounding community.

The highlight of the festival this year? Undoubtedly, the colourful variety of food and beverages on display at the artisan market, which will be open tomorrow from 11:30am to 7pm right behind the community centre.


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⭐️ Capital Picks

🌲Forest creature: See the unique tree growth that looks like a person near Sombrio Beach. [Photo]

🚒 Fire Hall open house tomorrow 11am-2pm. [1025 Johnson]

HarbourCats on the road until next Friday

🤝 Now hiring: Operations Coordinator at COAST (Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies)

🗞️ In Other News

Dutch Bakery building for sale
Operators of the beloved Victoria bakery say they plan to remain open in the same location but will relocate if the new building owners no longer want the business. The bakery was opened in 1955 by Dutch immigrants, Kees and Mable Schaddelee. Their descendants still own the business. [CHEK]

Victoria MP Laurel Collins mocked by Australian news anchor
Collins was made fun of by Sky News anchor Rita Pinahi for becoming emotional—“wildly emotional,” in Collins’ own words—while speaking in the House of Commons about the effects of climate change, which she says disproportionately affects women and girls. [Sky News]

Some Saanich residential street speed limits to drop to 30km/h 
Speed changes will affect busy streets, including Interurban, Ring Road, and McGill which will drop to 40km/h. Speed limits on roads in the Tillicum neighbourhood and Lansdowne Panhandle will drop to 30km/h. The changes align with Vision Zero, a European system to reduce road fatalities. There have been several collisions involving pedestrians in Saanich—including teens killed or injured—in recent years at intersections and crosswalks, prompting the changes. [Times Colonist]

Motorcyclist arrested for hit and run, driving while prohibited
RCMP also said the driver showed signs of intoxication when they made the arrest on Metchosin in Colwood on June 9. The bike matched the description of one that allegedly sideswiped a vehicle on Sooke earlier in the day. The 33-year-old man arrested was driving without a valid licence. [RCMP]


Your prescription for better health? A walk in the woods 

Research shows that simply walking in nature can lead to a lower risk of depression. When you combine a walk in the woods with therapy, you get the ideal conditions for health, growth, and wellness.

Tall Tree’s nature therapy offers a new path to healing for youth, teens, and adults beyond the clinic walls. If you’re ready to experience the benefits of nature therapy, book now at Tall Tree Health. 

🗓️ Things to do

🎵 Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest: The festival is back for five days of live music on its 25th anniversary. Ship Point. June 19-23. [Info]

🎬️ Two W̱SÁNEĆ productions: the animated short, ṮEṮÁĆES, and the film ĆELÁṈEN TŦE ṮEṮÁĆES followed by a discussion and questions with Elders. Sidney Museum. Mon. 10am. [Info]

🎈Fern Fest. The neighbourhood celebration is back, featuring live music, lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Dancers, magic, an art market, and a kids zone. Fernwood Square. Today. 5-10pm. Tomorrow. 11:30am-10pm. [Info]

💎 Victoria Gem Show. Check out this massive gem and mineral show, with 50 vendors showcasing their items. Pearkes Recreation Centre. Today. 1-9pm. Tomorrow. 10am-6pm. Sun. 10am-5pm. [Info

👑 Queen: It’s a Kinda Magic. Let this Queen tribute band transport you to the 1980s. Are you ready, Freddie? Royal Theatre. Tonight. 7pm. [Info]

Bowie Forever. Ziggy. Aladdin Sane. Thin White Duke. Experience this David Bowie tribute act. McPherson Playhouse. Tonight. 7:30pm. [Info]

🤣 Theatresports. Garden City Improv is joining forces with KWENCH Culture Club to bring the competitive improv comedy mayhem of Theatresports to Vic for the first time in 10 years. KWENCH. Tonight. 8pm. [Info]

🕺 Disco Fantastik. Dance the night away and get creative with paint and art stations scattered throughout the venue. Tonight. Victoria Event Centre. 10pm. [Info

🎶 Shambhala Music Festival pre-party. Get ready for the 25th Annual Shambhala Music Festival with the Official Shambhala 2024 Pre-Parties. Each pre-party will give you a chance to win a ticket to the SOLD OUT #Shambhala2024. Upstairs. Tonight. 10pm. [Info]

💃80s Dance Party. The best of Whitney, Madonna, Prince, and more will play at this retro dance party. WHAM! Capital Ballroom. Tonight. 8pm. [Info]

🎵 An Evening with MaMuse and the Gettin' Higher Choir. The 25th fundraiser for Mozambique through The Caia Connection. Alix Goolden Performance Hall. Tonight. 7-9:30pm. [Info]

🧒 Children’s Garden Gnome Hunt. Ten garden gnomes have escaped from The Seed & Gift Store and are hiding throughout the gardens. The Butchart Gardens. Today-Sun. [Info]

🎥 Tarantino Night. A party dedicated to all things Quentin Tarantino, with music, drag, and dance. Lucky Bar. POSTPONED

🎨 Art Battle Victoria City Championship. Come watch as artists transform blank canvases into beautiful pieces of art in minutes. Winners off to TO for 🍁championship. Victoria Event Centre. Tonight. 6-9:30pm. [Info]

🎼 Music in the Park. Free live music shows, happening at parks across Colwood every weekend this summer. Check the schedule to find info on locations and performers. Every Fri. & Sat. [Info]

👀 In Case You Missed It

Thursday headlines: Student assaulted at SD61 middle school; Bonnie Henry and 4 others get VIU honours; Uptown getting bigger, taller; And more. [June 13]

CRD stepping up safety on trails. [Capital Daily]

Mud matters in a climate-change fight. [Capital Daily

Beacon Hill Children's Farm celebrates 39 years with a few cute photos of its residents. [Instagram]

Saanich equestrian: driver revved engine on purpose, causing fall. [CHEK]

That’s it!

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