Aug 17 - Rent prices dip in Victoria

Arrests at Fairy Creek. $20K lost in romance scam. Heat wave causes record energy use.

Good morning !

Today we’re taking a look at the recent arrests at Fairy Creek and the latest on Victoria rental prices, which appear to have dipped in cost but are still staggeringly high.


Do you rent your home?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Today’s approx. read time: 5.5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌤️ 26 / 12 

Tomorrow : ☀️ 23 / 12  

Saturday: ☀️ 27 / 14  

🌫️ Air quality: Low risk today (3/10), no smoke expected.

🚘️ Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Arrests at Fairy Creek as injunction enforcement resumes

Photo: Ada'itsx/Fairy Creek Blockade Facebook

On Tuesday afternoon, RCMP arrested three people—who were released without charges—for not leaving the Savage Patch camp.

This blockade, organized by a group separate from the primary one in 2021, ramped up in recent weeks at Edinburgh Mountain near Port Renfrew. It obstructed logging-related traffic over a bridge with an owl statue, and called for more old-growth protections.

Crown drops 146 cases

The resumed raids come one week after the Supreme Court of Canada rejected the BC Crown’s appeal of the Henderson decision, which found that RCMP did not properly read an injunction before the arrests in 2021. In response, the Crown confirmed it has now dropped 146 cases. In total, 158 cases against Fairy Creek demonstrators—including Henderson’s—have been dropped.

New calls to disband controversial RCMP unit

On Tuesday, RCMP announced it would resume enforcing the court-ordered injunction in the Fairy Creek watershed in Pacheedaht territory—one day after the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) called for the disbandment of the community-industry response group (C-IRG) whose actions at Fairy Creek and elsewhere are being investigated federally.

In an open letter, the UBCIC called “the systematic and continued harassment” and “excessive use of force” by the C-IRG on unceded Indigenous land “unlawful, unethical, and unacceptable.”

Split on logging issue continues

Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones, a prominent blockade supporter, condemned the RCMP’s actions against demonstrators and the continued logging in the old-growth forest, saying in a statement that “the loss of every tree is an affront to my Indigenous rights, sovereignty and title, as it is to every Indigenous person.”

The Pacheedaht First Nation, which signed an agreement with forestry company Teal Jones, opposes the current and past blockades.

BC has deferred old-growth logging at Fairy Creek and a number of other areas until Feb. 1, 2025; demonstrators argue this has not stopped all old-growth logging in the region.

Exclusion zones also return

The RCMP also tried to set up a media exclusion zone, according to Brandi Morin, a freelance Indigenous journalist reporting from the scene.

The BC Supreme Court determined that broad exclusion zones are unlawful because they “clearly interfere with important liberties,” including “freedom of the press and freedom of peaceful assembly." Capital Daily was part of that court case.

Three years since blockades began

The nearly 1,200 arrests since August 2020 have made Fairy Creek the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Cooling station at Sooke Fire Hall open today from 10am to 4pm for those seeking a cool place as the heat wave continues.


Victoria a brief outlier, but rental prices still through the roof

Photo: Shutterstock

The cost of renting an apartment, house, or condo has shot up by a national average of 8.9%, or around $170 per month, compared with July 2022—although Victoria bucked that trend—according to listings on

Victoria prices actually dipped, with the average cost of a one-bedroom unit (be that an apartment, condo, or standalone home) dropping 7.3% year-over-year in July. Two-bed prices were down 2.4%.

The listing site’s latest report points to record-level growth in Canada’s population, students rushing to sign leases ahead of the fall school term, and would-be buyers wary of two-decade high interest rates holding off on snapping up homes as the main reasons for the Canada-wide increase.

But it was different in the Garden City.

“Victoria, being on the Island, being away from the Mainland, you don’t have quite as much competition,” David Aizikov, senior data analyst with, told Capital Daily.

The August 2023 Rent Report lists Victoria as the eleventh-most expensive city in which to rent a one-bedroom at $2,054. By comparison, Victoria’s $2,098 one-beds ranked fifth-most expensive in Canada last summer.

A two-bedroom rented for an average of $2,871 last July—the third-most expensive out of 35 Canadian regions. Last month that apartment would have cost $2,698 on rent day.

Apartment and condo prices in Victoria went up 1.8% last month, in line with the national average of 2.1%.

And the number of rental units on the market dropped 16% from June to July as more units were taken off the market.

“Even though we're seeing a lot of price exhaustion, more people are choosing not to move,“ Aizikov said.

Victoria’s vacancy rate sits at 1.4%, contributing to the “tightest conditions in the rental industry” Canada has seen in 20 years, he said.

“What that basically means is that if you’re looking for an apartment it is effectively a seller’s market and landlords can set the prices that they want, and there’s really no motivation for them not to set lower rates.”

A healthier vacancy rate would be in the 3-8% or 5-8% range, Aizikov said.

Victoria’s vacancy rate has been low throughout the past decade and local rent has surged dramatically overall in recent years, despite this recent plateau.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🐙 See a jellyfish with tentacles—likely a sea nettle—that washed ashore in Port Hardy. [Photo]

💸 Last year, Victoria Foundation awarded $525,000 to 18 social-purpose organizations across the Island to launch investment-ready projects. Read more in Pulse Magazine.*

🎧 Bench Mob on CFUV: An hour of missed and overlooked music. Discover some unknown gems. Thursdays, 1-2pm.

🩰 Early bird special for Capital Daily readers. Save 20% off adult tickets for Ukrainian Shumka Dancers’ Nutcracker. Limited time only. Promo code: Nut-Capital-Daily at Royal and McPherson Theatres or 250-386-6121.*

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Nurse imposter charged for alleged offences in View Royal: Brigitte Cleroux has been charged with impersonation, fraud over $5,000, and assault in her brief employment at a View Royal surgery clinic in fall 2020. Cleroux previously has been convicted of impersonating a nurse and currently faces 17 charges in Vancouver connected to her employment at BC Women’s Hospital. [CBC]

Oak Bay woman loses $20K in romance scam: The woman was manipulated over the course of eight months and was convinced to send money to a man who she had met online and had never met in person. The complaint of a “romance fraud scam” was made to the Oak Bay Police after the woman was advised by a financial planner to not send additional money.

BC Hydro records largest energy use during heat wave: The heat wave this month isn’t the only thing breaking records—BC Hydro recorded its largest use of energy for August as residents attempt to stay cool. According to BC Hydro, while demand this month has been high, it’s only three quarters of the usual winter month use. [CHEK]

🗓️ Things to do

🎻 Dublin 2 at Butchart Gardens: The band will perform music from the Emerald Isle tonight on the open-air stage, 8pm.

🎥 Capital Bike presents The Engine Inside: The documentary showcasing the impact of bicycles on communities and environments will be screened tonight at The Vic Theatre, 7pm.

🎷 Rowan Farintosh Group at Hermann's Jazz Club: The saxophonist will be joined today by trumpeter Owen Chow, guitarist Wes Carroll, bassist Steven Taddei, and drummer Sascha Enna. Doors 5:30pm, show 7-9pm.

🎸 West Soul Collective & Garden of Eden: The two bands will perform tonight at the Victoria Event Centre. Doors 7:30pm, show 8pm.

🎙️ Music in the Bay: Jazz musician Edie DaPonte will perform tonight at Cadboro-Gyro Park, 6-7pm.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Satan Wants You directors on their new documentary: The film tells the story of Victoria’s satanic panic, starting with the book Michelle Remembers. [Capital Daily]

Maria’s Deli closing at the end of the month: The beloved Saanich deli has been operating for 46 years. [Tasting Victoria]

Wednesday’s headlines: Hullo cancels more sailings on its second day, lemonade stand raises $900 for hospitals, radio station gets blocked by Facebook over the Online News Act, and more. [Aug. 16]

Hwy 4 closure: The highway will be closed for two full days, today and Aug. 24, for the removal of dangerous boulders.

10 millionth cruise ship passenger arrives in Victoria on the Queen Elizabeth, after 54 years of cruise ships visiting the city.

Cougar spotted in Brentwood Bay: Central Saanich Police spotted the cougar on Greig Avenue Monday night.

Blue-green algae bloom at Prior Lake: The CRD warns against swimming in the lake located at Thetis Lake Regional Park and advises that dogs be kept on a leash.

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.