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Municipalities respond to 'blanket' housing policies

Plus, what restaurant has the best views of Victoria?

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Apr 5 | Today: 🌧️ High 9C, Low 6C | 7-day forecast

Good morning !

With spring coming, Vancouver Island farms and cideries are breathing new life into our little corner of the world. So, I figured it’d be great to document that process by visiting some blooming cideries this month for a photo story. Subscribe to Tasting Victoria to get that story first.

Plus, I figured while I’m here (in your inbox), I’d give you a taste of the 2023 Tasting Victoria Restaurant Award winners presented by Gordon Food Service. Read below for more.


Ryan Hook, Interim Editor@Tasting Victoria

Province releases plans for housing as municipal leaders gather in Vancouver

📸: Province of BC / Flickr

On Monday, Premier David Eby announced a slew of BC-wide policies aimed at tackling the housing crisis. Included are house flipping taxes, the complete legalization of secondary suites, as well as overhauling municipal zoning rules to allow for “missing middle” housing across the province.

The ability to build more units on single-family lots has been a prominently debated conversation on Victoria city council for years before it finally passed this January.

Speaking before council that night, Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto said that it was clear to her that the province would be moving to blanket the province with policies that will demand higher density across every municipality with Eby’s ascension to premiership.

Legislation to densify single-family lots up to four units—with more permitted in areas near transit hubs—are set to be introduced this fall, along with other housing policies such as the Housing Supply Act.

After Eby’s announcement, Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch told the Vancouver Sun that he has concerns that municipalities will lose land-use planning powers with these new changes from the province.

Hundreds of municipal officials from across BC are meeting in Vancouver today for the second day of a housing summit hosted by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). Alto spoke on a panel about accommodating rapid growth, along with the mayors of other large cities in BC.

The NDP government was elected in 2017 with a housing platform that promised the building of 114,000 housing units by 2027. On Monday, Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon indicated that the province was close to reaching those targets.

But critics in the BC Liberal party say that the government is now counting housing units first built in the 1980s in that number, and are accusing the government of creative accounting to meet their campaign promises.

Analysis from The Tyee shows that the NDP government appears to have expanded its original definition of what is considered built to include the 20,000-plus units that have come on the market due to the speculation and vacancy tax.

By Michael John Lo with files from Shannon Waters

Capital Bulletin

💲 BC Archives eliminates licensing fees for use of its materials. [Royal BC Museum]

⛴ BC Ferries prepares 180 extra sailings over Easter Weekend: 128 extra sailings will be scheduled between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay. Sailing waits during peak hours are to be expected and passengers are advised to arrive early, even with pre-booked tickets, the company said.


Tasting Victoria readers vote for their favourite burgers, views, new restaurants, and more

📸: Burger Crush

Tasting Victoria’s mission has always been to inspire you to try new and different places, and to be plugged into what’s going on in the food scene in the city.

This week, we’ve been sharing some of our favourite categories from the 2023 Tasting Victoria Restaurant Awards presented by Gordon Food Service. Here are the first place winners.

Best View | sponsored by Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard
With its perfect view of the Inner Harbour, Boom + Batten’s elevated casual dining offers guests an experience inspired by the Pacific Northwest surroundings. The stunning architecture and detailed décor are almost as impressive as their sweeping waterfront views. This is the only place you will be able to feast while gawking at some of the largest yachts moored at the Victoria International Marina. See the runner ups.

Best Burger Restaurant
Locally owned and operated, Bin 4 Burger Lounge specializes in gourmet burgers, appetizers, fresh salads, hand crafted cocktails, and local wine and beer. Bin 4 opened its first location on Yates Street in 2011, and two more Victoria locations since, as well as others in Vancouver’s South Granville, Kelowna, Nanaimo, and Burnaby. Its dedication to gourmet burgers has spanned BC, and now, has it atop Tasting Victoria’s Readers’ Choice Awards. See the runner ups

Best First Date Restaurant | sponsored by Brown’s the Florist
Inspired by Northern Italian cuisine with a Pacific Northwest twist, Il Terrazzo Ristorante has served Victoria for three decades in the heart of Old Town. Located in an old hotel and courtyard, this lively, unique dining experience offers a diverse, well-rounded menu and extensive wine program. It’s truly got something for everyone, as evidenced by its win for best First Date spot in our reader’s choice poll. Here’s who claimed second and third.

Best New Restaurant | sponsored by The Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa
Eva Schnitzelhaus was born out of the desire to serve German food in a fun and casual environment, while taking inspiration from the Pacific Northwest. The service is fast-paced and relaxed while the food is simple and made with great ingredients in a traditional manner. It clearly made an impression on our readers, who voted it as the best new restaurant in the city. Find out who else ranked.

See the full list of categories and winners for the 2023 Tasting Victoria Best Restaurants Awards presented by Gordon Food Service here.



Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, the award-winning musical, returns

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story is a tender and delicate tale woven inside a high-energy concert led by the boisterous international Klezmer sensation, Ben Caplan. This musical played for one week during the Belfry's 2019 SPARK Festival, and that was simply not enough for a show as astounding as this!

“Richly humorous, wildly entertaining, and deeply moving.” The Globe & Mail

A truly original, captivating, wise, and glorious exploration of human resilience and survival. Inspired by the true story of Hannah Moscovitch’s great-grandparents, this triumphant musical has toured internationally, garnering awards across Canada, Australia, and the UK.

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story runs from Apr. 18 to May 14 with pay what you want tickets available for all performances.

Capital Picks

💃 A varied extravaganza at the VEC: Keith Sonic presents this variety show including music, burlesque, and more tonight at the Victoria Event Centre. [Tickets]

💊 Heart Pharmacy has a list of pharmacy services that can save you an arduous journey of finding a doctor's appointment. Learn more here.*

📷 BC in Pictures at the Royal BC Museum: Catch this free event today at noon where the museum’s curator of art and images, Dr. India Rael Young, will look at tourist photographs from different eras and explore what they tell us about how we view our province. [Details]

*Sponsored Listing

In Other News

👨‍⚕️ BC first in Canada to set nurse-to-patient ratios
Agreements between the province and the BC Nurses Union will see $750M invested in the coming three years to implement minimum nurse-patient ratios as part of a new staffing model agreement. It’s a negotiation years in the waiting, according to the union. The minimum ratios are 1:1 for critical care patients, 1:2 health patients, 1:3 for specialized care patients, and 1:4 for in-patient and palliative care patients and 1:5 for rehabilitative care. While there is no set date for the ratios to come into effect as union-employer negotiations are still underway, thousands of additional nurses will have to be hired if the agreement is ratified by union members. [Vancouver Sun]

🚲 Hillside mall launches bike valet pilot
Plans for a bike valet have been in the works since the opening of Walmart at Hillside mall. Tomorrow, the bike valet—operating similarly to the city-run bike valet service at Government Street—will open for its first day from 10am to 6pm. These hours will run from Monday to Saturday, with shortened hours 11am to 5pm on Sunday, with expanded hours as the weather warms. The pilot will run from April till September.

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Your family real estate team

Where will you fit in? The Capital region offers a diverse range of municipalities and neighbourhoods. Find your neighbourhood with 8X Real Estate.

Access listing, sale prices, and arrange private showings online.

In Case You Missed It

🗳️ BC Electoral Boundaries Committee recommends changes: A new more urban Westshore electoral district, Langford-Highlands, has been recommended, along with four in the Lower Mainland and one in the Interior, for the next BC election. [Capital Daily]

🏛️ Murray Rankin, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, offers in-person and virtual support with provincial government services for constituents. Contact his team at [email protected] or 250-472-8528.*

🌿 Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club plans lawsuit against the provincial government: The club is planning to file an injunction and a lawsuit following the raid of their products on March 23 by the ­Community Safety Unit, an agency of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General that focuses on the illegal production and sale of cannabis. [Times Colonist]

*Sponsored Listing

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