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July 4 - Could you have a $50K treasure collecting dust?

Council to decide on future of Centennial Square today, McKinnon Pool to close after 50 years.

Good morning !

Our first story looks at the Centennial Square updates that will be decided on during today’s committee of the whole meeting.

We’ve heard from many Capital Daily readers who say the fountain should be left as is, but according to city staff the fountain is eroding and requires complicated restoration. Instead, the city is proposing to keep the characteristic monoliths at the fountain’s centre, locating them elsewhere in the square.

Is keeping the monoliths, but removing the fountain, a good compromise?

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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: ☀️ 22 / 13

Tomorrow: ☀️ 25 / 12

Day after: ☀️ 27 / 14


Council to take next steps on Centennial Square redesign today

Image: City of Victoria

Councillors will decide today if the proposed plans for the square are ready to move forward or if further direction for staff must be taken.

There are multiple issues to address, from aging infrastructure to outdated urban planning. Centennial Square was built in the 1960s, with the fountain—donated by sister CRD municipalities to celebrate Victoria’s centennial—at the very heart. Now the city is reimagining the square’s purpose, with public festivals and community gatherings occurring more frequently there than they did when it was designed.

The proposed plan compiled feedback from pop-up events and the online survey, with 1,500 responses in total, 20 different stakeholder groups, and 12 design ideas from an “Ideas Jam” the city held.

If approved, the redesign would cost $11.2M, though $4.5M will be taken from the Growing Communities fund, bringing down the city’s rebuild bill to $7.5M. Phase 1 of construction is anticipated to start next year, with completion expected in late 2026. After that, Phase 2 would focus on adding greenery and commercial kiosks, which is slated to begin in 2027 and finish by early 2028.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Large cougar sighting in Central Saanich. [CSPD]

Applications open for heat-pump program. [BC gov’t.]

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Art appraiser comes to Vic, looking for the next unnoticed treasure

Sketch for Lake in Algonquin Park, by Tom Thomson. Image: Heffel Fine Art Auction House

Six years ago, a retired Edmonton nurse found a painting in her basement that turned out—just as her dad had said—to be a Tom Thomson, that sold for $470K+ at auction.

That same year, a Victoria man used his seniors’ discount to buy a $70 painting at a thrift store. But this was no $70 painting.

It was a work from English-born Sybil Andrews who moved to Campbell River after the Second World War and whose paintings were rediscovered by the art world in the 1970s and ’80s.

Boats at Dock fetched upward of $50K at auction.

Now, not everyone is going to stumble on a masterpiece at a second-hand store or hidden in the basement, but you never know, eh?

If you have some artwork—be that a painting or sculpture—and you’re wondering its value, now is the time to dust it off.

An appraiser from Heffel Fine Art Auction House in Vancouver is coming to the Island in a couple of days and she wants to see what you’ve got.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🚍 New handyDART online shop for tickets and passes. [BC Transit]

🌊 Explore maritime innovation on the COAST podcast. Hear ocean innovators discuss Blue Economy advancements and marine secrets for a sustainable future. Tune in today!*

🗣️ Indigenous language lesson: Learn the Hul’q’uni’num word for July from Cowichan Tribe member Jared Qwustenuxun Williams. [Video]

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Arrest made in Langford rainbow crosswalk vandalism
One man has been arrested and another suspect identified in the June 24 spray painting incident that was caught on camera, RCMP said yesterday. The graffiti left on the crosswalk in front of Spencer Middle School displayed profanity and is being investigated as mischief under the Criminal Code, they said. [RCMP]

UVic closing McKinnon pool by fall, after 50 years
The school pool has “reached the end of its natural lifecycle,” UVic says, arguing it isn’t used enough to justify $1.5M in repairs. Varsity swimming and Pacific Coast Swimming will move to municipal pools. No long-term plan for the site is set yet. Another sunsetting sport facility, the Ian Stewart ice rink, is set for redevelopment into a mixed-use “district.”

Victoria Hospitals Foundation hits the $10M mark
More than 5,900 donors have contributed to the Imaging is Power campaign to raise $11M to replace six vital pieces of medical imaging equipment at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals, including a new CT scanner and the upgrade of three MRI machines. Since 1989, the foundation which works with Island Health, has raised more than $163M to benefit area hospitals. [Victoria Hospitals Foundation]

New film commissioner leaves after just two months
The Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission confirmed to CHEK that Peter Hayman has stepped down and that Kathleen Gilbert, who retired after 14 years on April 30, is back temporarily.

🗓️ Things to do

🍭 Candyland Pride: Queer, femme comedy duo Candy Whip has paired up with King Fling for this sweet Pride show tonight. 8:30pm [Info]

🎹 Joan Bessie: See the chart-topping singer perform her hit music at Hermann’s tonight. 7pm. [Info]

🎶 Oak Bay Summer Concert Series: See Daniel Cook and The Radiators perform at Willows Park tonight. 6pm. [Info]

😂 Comedy Fundraiser: See Island comedy star Syd Bosel perform at this fundraiser for Amy’s Bunny Barn at Heckler’s tonight. 6pm. [$25]

🍸 The Residency at Clive’s: Have a drink mixed by Nathan Moran from Vancouver’s Laowai Cocktail Bar at Clive’s tonight. 5:30-8:30pm. [Info]

🧑‍🎤 Coast to Coast: See the ’80s concert experience at the Charlie White Theatre tomorrow. 7:30pm. [Info]

🏳️‍🌈 Pride in a Word: Head to the Victoria Conference Centre for an evening of queer literary readings tomorrow. 6:30pm. [Info]

🤣 Comedy for a Cause: Enjoy some laughs from top local comedians at the Vic Theatre while supporting Community Living Victoria, a non-profit that supports individuals and family members with intellectual disabilities. Tomorrow, 7:30pm. [Info]

🪩 Kilbourne and bedtime snack: Dance all night to these DJ sets at Capital Ballroom tomorrow. 9pm. [Info]

🎵 Diana Braithwaite, Chris Whiteley & Band: See these internationally acclaimed Blues artists at Hermann’s tomorrow. 7pm. [Info]

🖼️ Generations: The Sobey Family and Canadian Art: See works from Emily Carr, the Group of Seven, and Kent Monkman until Oct. 27. Free Open House on Sat. 10am-5pm. [Info

👀 In Case You Missed It

Wednesday’s headlines: Wind blows away Canada Day drone show; Man donates safety devices to Langford Lake; Chinatown gate to be restored; And more. [July 3]

Summer: Bacteria is back at area beaches. [Capital Daily

Missing Saanich seniors both located: William Bender, 70, and another missing man, 84, have been found.  

Missing person: Nicholas Marion, 28, last seen June 20 in Youbou. [RCMP]

Attempted arson goes wrong, pants set ablaze. [CHEK/CP]

Bristle worm swims through water in Esquimalt. [Video]

That’s it!

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