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  • May 7 - Four options for Carnarvon Park refresh

May 7 - Four options for Carnarvon Park refresh

Plus: Victoria exceeds housing target while other municipalities fall short, US fights pollution near Island, London Drugs reopening


Good morning !

We’ve got two stories today that touch on new housing in Oak Bay. So far, the municipality has only completed seven new homes of a one-year target of 56, with the mayor saying it’s unlikely they’ll hit their overall target of 664 new homes by 2028.

However, an additional 24 new units could be on the table with Carnarvon Park’s revitalization.

Do you think Oak Bay is doing enough to create new housing?

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Today’s approx. read time: 5 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌤️ 14 / 6

Tomorrow: ☀️ 16 / 8

Thursday: ☀️ 22 / 9


Victoria exceeds first-year housing target, Oak Bay and Saanich fall behind

Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily

Victoria appears on course to meet provincially set housing targets after exceeding its first-year expectations in half the allotted time. 

In Sept., the province announced housing objectives for 10 municipalities to alleviate the housing shortage, with Victoria’s target set at 4,902 new homes being built over five years. 

The Year 1 goal was 659 new units and in the first six months—last Oct. to March 31—753 units went up.

“It’s an incredible accomplishment for Victoria to reach this target so quickly,” said Mayor Marianne Alto. “Meeting the mark well before the deadline set by the province demonstrates that urgently needed housing can be fast-tracked when local governments lean into the effort.”

The city said it is now 15% of the way toward the target, which it said closely aligns with the internal goals of the Victoria Housing Strategy.

Saanich appeared to be approaching the halfway point of its first-year target of 440 new units with a net gain of 195 new housing units (there were 35 demolished homes which count against the target). Mayor Dean Murdock tells Capital Daily the report largely reflects the internal work underway to improve the approval process and that the district is trending in the right direction. 

“There is great work underway to improve our processes and the outcome of that work will be evident in the coming months and years.”

Oak Bay said it had completed seven of 56 units—all secondary suites—targeted for the year with a five-year goal of 664 new units.

“The District currently has not the volume of redevelopment applications in the pipeline that would produce the results required in the Housing Target Order,” the district said in its report to the council.

“Therefore, the District anticipates it will be very challenging to meet the target,” it said.

Last month, the province added 20 municipalities—including Esquimalt, Colwood, View Royal, Central Saanich, North Saanich, and Sidney—to the target list.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

London Drugs on Yates, Tillicum have reopened. [Status updates]

Emergency Preparedness Week Speaker Series. [Saanich]

Gorge Construction reminder. [Until next year]

Missing woman last seen April 20. [Saanich Police]

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Housing, indoor pickleball court under consideration for Carnarvon Park

Plans for rental housing included in potential park revitalization. Photo: District of Oak Bay

Oak Bay is moving forward with its planned refresh of Carnarvon Park and wants the public’s input on four potential options for revitalizing its main building. 

In 2018, it was found that the park’s facilities needed extensive repairs: The tennis courts, main building, and lacrosse box had all reached their lifespan. The project was put on ice during the pandemic but was restored to focus last year. 

In Jan., Oak Bay’s council selected Carscadden Stokes McDonald Architects Inc. to design the project. Having narrowed down potential plans, the park could get a new building similar in size to the existing facility or a much larger pavilion, akin to the one at Windsor Park, with space for childcare—an amenity once offered at Carnarvon—and additional community spaces. There’s also the possibility of a large indoor pickleball facility, with affordable housing above.

Residents have until Fri., to fill out the survey and vote for their favourite option. These plans are only in the idea stage, and will likely change based on feedback.


Don’t miss Victoria’s hottest Medi-Spa event

Join Beam Beauty, Victoria’s newest Medi-Spa as they celebrate their opening. Specials will be available for a limited time at the event and online, starting May 9 and extending through to Mother’s Day. Make sure you don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy a night of fun and indulge in some luxurious pampering. At Beam, they're not just about transformations, they're about elevating your inherent beauty. Dive into a world where each treatment is a celebration of your unique radiance. Let the team be your partners in self-care, accentuating your natural allure with their expert touch.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🐸 Frog in the hose: This Metchosin amphibian was found hiding in a hose wand. [Facebook]

📈 From the fields of Alabama to Wall Street, The Lehman Trilogy is epic theatre. Pay-what-you-wants tickets are available until May 19.*

☕ Hey Happy opens kiosk in Uptown: The popular coffee shop’s new location has launched nine signature drinks to celebrate its opening.

🤝 Now hiring: Impact Investment Associate at Thrive Impact Fund.

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Renovation of former English Inn hits $13M in costs
The former Esquimalt Inn is set to open this summer as a restaurant and, soon after, a hotel. Flashy furniture items have been brought from England, including dishes from London’s Savoy Hotel and tall iron gates—used on the set of The Crown as replicas for Buckingham Palace’s gates—to be installed at the building’s entrance on Lampson. The hotel has added 14 rooms, doubling its capacity to 24 units. [Times Colonist]

BC SPCA puts out reminder to leave napping fawns alone
The organization says baby deer are the most frequently “kidnapped” animals brought to wildlife centres because many people believe they’ve been abandoned. In May and June—fawning season—mother deer will leave their fawns sleeping in the grass for long periods of time since the babies are too small to follow them. Best advice: Leave them in the brush and do not touch them. 

US Coast Guard attempting to mitigate boat pollution near Victoria
The passenger and dog of a fishing boat that sank Fri., near Henry Island escaped on a lifeboat and are safe, but their submerged craft appears to have left a spill. The coast guard spotted a 90-metre fuel sheen, which may have come from the roughly 1,500-1,900 litres of diesel fuel that was on board. The coast guard is working with Global Dive and Salvage, an oil spill response org, to evaluate the pollution threat. [Victoria News]


Who laughs during a funeral?

Your mum will when you give her The Goodbye Girls - Putting the Fun in Funerals for Mother’s Day! Winner of the 2023 American Fiction Award for Humour, the oddball characters and their banter will captivate your mother on her special day. 

Available in-store or online at Bolen Books.

🗓️ Things to do

🎥 Ikiru at Cinecenta: The 1950s Japanese drama film from director Akira Kurosawa will be shown at the UVic theatre. Today. 5pm and 7:40pm. 

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 The Tartan Parade is coming, and so are the Highland Games. [Info]

Looking for something to do this weekend? Subscribe to This Week In Vic to get the full list of what’s on this week.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Monday’s headlines: Locals try to build a better battery; Princess Anne pays a visit; Cascadia Liquor store strike; And more. [May 6]

10 favourite dishes in Victoria so far this year. [Tasting Victoria]

Tomorrow marks 80th anniversay of sinking of HMCS Valleyfield. [Times Colonist]

Heart-shaped rocks made by grads of the Victoria Lapidary Workshop. [Facebook]

Malahat Lookout morning view: [Misty]

Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Learn tips on preventative measures and how to perform skin exams.

That’s it!

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