Feb 6 - Victoria rent 3rd highest in Canada

Plus: South Island restaurants among best in Canada, Whitecaps get Island name

Good morning !

We’ve got stories today on Victoria’s sky-high rents and the South Island restaurants that made Yelp’s top 100 list for Canadian food spots.

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Today’s approx. read time: 4 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌤️ 8 / 3

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 7 / 2

Day after: 🌧️ 8 / 3


Victoria still the third most expensive city to rent in Canada

Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily

The average monthly rent paid for a two-bedroom purpose-built rental unit in Greater Victoria was $1,839—almost $500 more than the national average—in 2023. This is a rise of nearly 8%, driven by rental demand, according to a report released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Victoria has the nation’s third-highest rental average, following Vancouver at No. 1 at $2,181 and Toronto at No. 2 with an average of $1,961. 

While there has been an increase in the number of new purpose-built starts, the population also has boomed, keeping Victoria’s vacancy rate at 1.6% in 2023, consistent with 2022. The report said that while rents continue to go up, the increase has been “slightly slower” than in 2022 when rental averages saw the biggest increase since 1991.

This rise in rental costs has not been consistent with wage increases—according to CMHC, a person making minimum wage in Victoria must spend 40% of their monthly income on rent. 

Less than 1% of the 25% cheapest units in Greater Victoria are vacant, with most available rentals listed well above average. The report’s prices reflect occupied units, not just new listings, but it noted that units that changed tenants were 42% pricier than those without turnover.

However, the rental supply in Esquimalt and Langford is expected to grow over the next two years, according to the report, based on the number of purpose-built rentals currently under construction.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Missing person: Nancy Gagne, 48, was reported missing to Nanaimo RCMP on Feb. 1.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


South Island restaurants named among best in Canada

Photo: Shirley Delicious / Facebook

Once again, Victoria’s food scene is making a name for itself on the national stage.  

Yelp recently featured four South Island restaurants in its top 100 places to eat in Canada that embody what it means to live the West Coast Island lifestyle. As chosen from community submissions from Canadian foodies, these restaurants embrace the rugged forest, the hearty ocean, and of course—Victoria’s brunch scene.   


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⭐️ Capital Picks

🌸 Springtime blossoms already! [City’s interactive map]

⚽ Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Mexican Tigres Wed. in Langford

🤝 Now hiring: Gelato Producer-2nd Cook at The Butchart Gardens

🗞️ In Other News

Greater Victoria rescue team helps save 9 lions in war-torn Ukraine
Working with international non-profits, Sooke’s Raincoast Dog Rescue Society moved the lions from a zoo in Ukraine to Moldavia and then to Romania. Volunteers along with Raincoast founder Jesse Adams of Otter Point have helped support and relocate 4K dogs and other—usually smaller—animals since the charity’s 2013 inception. [Victoria News]

BC minister ousted following ‘crappy piece of land’ and other comments 
Dogged for making comments criticized as anti-Palestinian and disrespectful to First Nations, Selina Robinson, the three-term MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville, has resigned her secondary education and future skills cabinet post. BC Premier David Eby says Robinson’s remarks were “belittling” while others called them racist and Islamophobic. [Canadian Press]

Man staggers into Nanaimo casino with stab wounds
The 22-year-old was involved in a skirmish near the downtown Marriott around 8:30 Sun. night. He stumbled into the casino through a back door where workers administered first aid to his serious but non-life-threatening injuries. [Nanaimo News Now]

Whitecaps unofficially add ‘Island’ to the name
They'll be the Vancouver Island Whitecaps while in Langford this week for the Concacaf Champions Cup. Whitecaps say the temporary name is their way of showing appreciation to the local community for hosting the game.

Pedestrians and police save man on Nanaimo’s Bastion bridge
Pedestrians spoke to him as he clung to a lamppost over the railing on Saturday. RCMP eventually arrived and began de-escalation, with a pedestrian helping the man back over the railing. He was sent to hospital for treatment. [Nanaimo News Bulletin]

🗓️ Things to do

🎭 As Above: See this local play at the Belfry Theatre, premiering tonight at 7:30pm. The show will run until March 3. 

🎸 City and Colour with Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats: The bands will kick off their cross-Canada tour at Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena, tonight at 7pm. 

🎞️ Victoria Film Festival: Catch one of several films screening this week for VFF. Check the list of films here.

🌳 Biodiversity events from City of Victoria. Trees, mushrooms, First Nations perspectives. Various outdoor exploring events. Various dates. [Explore outdoors]

👀 In Case You Missed It

Sunday Headlines: New heat records; Early blossoms; New schools under construction. [Feb. 4]

Turtle in distress found near Metchosin is headed to the Vancouver Aquarium for rehabilitation. [Photos]

Monday Headlines: Woman, 29, killed crossing Pat Bay Hwy; Gregor Craigie with actor Eric McCormack ahead of VFF; new Floyd’s; and more. [Feb. 5]

GoByBike Week goes all-season. [Capital Daily]

Victoria rockers Spiritbox were Grammy-nominated for song “Jaded.”

That’s it!

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