May 19 - Rents up from last year

Grey whale migration. New local campsites. B&B... or AirBnB? Friday fire. Weekend events.


Good morning !

Hope your long weekend is going well! We asked yesterday about what you’re doing to enjoy it, and the most common response was outdoor activity (such as hiking or gardening), followed by attending the Highland Games.


Are you planning to attend the parade tomorrow?

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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: ☀️ 15 / 8

Tomorrow: ☀️ 17 / 10

Tuesday: 🌧 15 / 8


Local rents remain above $2,100 for one-bed unit

File photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily

Victoria one-bedroom units’ average asking rents remain above $2,100, and two-beds above $2,700, per the latest report. The April marks of $2,113 (10th in Canada) and $2,769 (6th) are up 5% and 6% from the rental site’s report from this time a year ago.

The region hit these thresholds last fall and has mostly hovered in that range since then, though two-beds have actually declined slightly after peaking above $2,900. Currently Vancouver, Burnaby, and Toronto are all above $3,000.

The latest report from Zumper, another rental listings site whose report covers fewer cities, has those priciest cities becoming even pricier recently, with all three rising for the first time since last year. That report had Victoria 4th-worst in Canada for one-bedroom costs, with asking prices again around that $2,100 threshold.

Both reports flagged Alberta and Saskatchewan cities as some of the biggest jumpers compared to a year ago, with around 15% rises in multiple prairie cities. Last year, for the first time in a decade, BC lost more residents to immigration than it gained. Many of those departures were lost specifically to Alberta.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Tomorrow is a stat holiday in BC.

Some light smoke possible today. [Forecast map] 

Fire ban in effect as of Friday for Category 2 & 3 fires.

Expect plenty of ferry traffic over this long weekend.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Grey whales’ incredible migration through Island waters

Cameron Venti / Unsplash

Their April-through-June coastline journeys go from breeding lagoons in Baja California and Mexico to their summer feeding grounds in northern Alaska. It's the longest seasonal migration by any mammal.

However, not all grey whales you see around the Island are making that full trip. As the Tofino Whale Centre wrote last month, many commonly spotted grey whales are “locals” from the Pacific Coast Feeding Group (PCFG). They travel within a smaller range, and can be seen well into the summer.

The 11m-14m-long Eastern Pacific grey whales are a miraculous sight, and their story is even more miraculous: Rebounding from near-extinction due to commercial whaling twice in the last 200 years.

But the whales, which have long been of deep significance to the Nuu-chah-nulth and Makah, still face threats from consuming plastic and other pollutants; a climate-change-related dwindling of their food supply; orcas that pick off about a third of travelling calves; and entanglement in fishing gear.

Read (or listen to) more at Capital Daily on grey whales’ migration, their history in Island waters, and the threats they have faced.


Juan de Fuca Provincial Park adds campsites

China Beach campsite. Photo: GoCampingBC / BC Parks

The province recently made its single largest investment into Juan de Fuca park, with $2.7M going toward 21 new drive-in and 26 new walk-in sites for camping and two new accessible shower and flush toilet buildings at the China Beach campground. These are the first showers and flush toilets at that site.

This latest upgrade comes a year after BC announced 10 new raised tent platforms for Juan de Fuca and new bear-preventing food caches. The Juan de Fuca Trail traverses 47km of wilderness from the Westshore to Botanical Beach, one of the richest tidal areas along the west coast.


Special event: Philosophy MD celebrates anniversary with open house

Victoria's award-winning medical spa Philosophy MD will celebrate its second trip around the sun on May 23 with an open house from 11am to 7pm. The community is invited to meet the experts, tour the artfully designed centre, and toast to healthy skin and confidence! Shop anniversary treatment packages, skincare, and other luxe retail treasures. 

Bring a friend, and RSVP by email to [email protected].

⭐️ Capital Picks

 🧊 The majesty of Antarctica captured by Island photographer Kristian Gillies.

🎺 Fernfest lineup released for June 14-15 festival.

🌷 The spring wildflowers of Nanaimo. [Photos]

🤝 Now hiring: Operations manager at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Society

🗞️ In Other News

Pacific FC’s historic streak snapped by 0-1 loss to Ottawa
PFC was the first Canadian Premier League team to ever go five games without conceding a goal. The locals were tied with Ottawa atop the league standings; the rivals also played to a 0-0 draw in the multi-league Canadian Championship quarters on May 8 and will settle that series on May 29.

Dog saved owner from drowning in Shawnigan, she says
A woman with epilepsy who has multiple seizures per day says her dog can often anticipate them, and pulled her to shore immediately before one began last summer. [CTV]

Bed & breakfast can have business licence after all, council decides
Victoria council concluded, 7-2, that Humboldt B&B was wrongly caught up in short-term rental (STR) enforcement. It has operated for years, but city inspectors argued that it had recently changed its model (and its building) to operate more like STRs. [Times Colonist]

Fire aboard Coho cancelled sailings & drew 5 US fire crews
An RV caught ablaze on Thursday’s 3pm from Victoria, but service resumed Friday. [Victoria News]
Then on Friday in Victoria, a shed fire on Blackwood / Somerset was so hot it melted the neighboring home’s windows, the firefighters’ union said. Nearly a full platoon was sent to douse it. Photo & more details below.

🗓️ Things to do

🎉 Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival: North America’s longest continually running highland games continues at Topaz Park. Today. 8am-7pm.

🎭 Musical Mayhem: This sing-a-long cabaret at Victoria Event Centre will feature drag, burlesque, dance, and Broadway music. Today. Doors 6pm. Show 7pm.

🎹 John Lee Trio: The pianist will be joined by bassist Kosma Busheikin and drummer Graham Villette at Hermann’s Jazz Club. Today. Doors 5:30pm. Show 7pm.

🌾 Victoria Choral Society presents performances of Golden Harvest and The Houses Stand Not Far Apart today at UVic's Farquhar. [2:30pm]

Community Day at the Maritime Museum: Entry by donation today (9:30am-4:30pm) to kick off the summer season. 

🏡 Backyard Fest music and arts festival continues today in Nanaimo.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Community mourns local father, 42, whose artwork and design graced many companies around the region. [Capital Daily]

The return of the Highland Games for a 161st year. [Capital Daily]

15-year sentences for mother and stepfather in death of Port Alberni boy, 6. [CBC]

Pickleball players hold sound test in effort to save court. [Capital Daily]

Friday news: Surprise sweep shakes Pandora; Canada’s best new restaurant; bus lane extensions; a year since on-the-job death in Oak Bay. [May 17]

That’s it!

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