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  • Sun. April 9 - Harris Green redevelopment goes ahead

Sun. April 9 - Harris Green redevelopment goes ahead

Plus: Fiancee of man shot by Duncan RCMP may purse legal action. Easter egg hunts. New History Mystery.

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Good morning !

Thank you for your Easter egg hunt stories, and keep them coming in! Below we have a few examples of public egg hunts in the region that you can check out today. If you enjoy scavenger hunts, we do have a non-egg one for you today too: the latest History Mystery.

Cam Welch

📸 Harris Green Village seen from northeast, across Cook. Rendering: Starlight Developments


Massive Harris Green redevelopment will go ahead

The new “Harris Green Village”—featuring 1,500+ rental units, commercial space and park space, and the Island’s tallest tower—returned to Victoria council for final approval last Thursday. The redevelopment’s 1,000-unit Phase 2 and Phase 3 would replace the current Harris Green plaza containing Market on Yates and London Drugs. Its 526-unit Phase 1 (which includes the project’s only 80 affordable-designated units) would be a half-block away on the former car dealership site on the downtown side of Cook, next to the peach-coloured towers.

The proposal from Starlight began three years ago, and much of the process happened under the previous city council. Public hearings happened this winter, and the new council requested several environmentally minded alterations to the plan in a conditional third-reading approval. Those included using only electric power (with some exceptions); reducing parking spaces; increasing total bike spaces to 2,500; and providing transit passes to any interested car-less occupants in the first three years.

The developer accepted most changes but cut the requested 15 car-shares to 9 and changed the three months of bus passes to 100 tickets for more flexibility. It also declined to cut parking spaces in the later phases down to around one for every three dwelling units. It will stick with just over one per every two, and will lease any unused stalls to the public.

Construction will likely take much of the rest of the decade. The first phase beside Cook (which Market on Yates is slated to relocate into) will be fully completed before the later phases between Vancouver and Quadra begin.

Capital Bulletin

☔ Major rainfall continues: Rain continues today as a second system hits BC, with hazards for much of the Island. Rain up to 80mm for inland and western Island. High southerly winds. High rivers and possible flooding.

🌧️ Cloudy today. Periods of rain. Wind 20-40km/h except 60 neat Juan de Fuca Strait in late afternoon. High 12C / low 5C.

📦 WIN Cooperative expands donation hours to Tuesday-Sunday 9:30am-4:30pm for clothing and household items.

📸 City of Victoria Archives | Doug Irving


History Mystery: Windswept tree winner, and challenge #8

Congratulations to Doug Irving for identifying Dallas Road’s locally famous “Windswept tree,” as it’s called in the City of Victoria Archives. It’s also been known as the Harry Potter Tree (after the series’ “Whomping Willow”), and former city councillor Pam Madoff told CBC that before that it had been called the Duck Tree (for what kids had to do when passing under it) and the Narnia Tree (as if it held the closet portal from that series).

The horse chestnut tree stood twistedly in that spot for a century, but was removed in 2019 as part of the sewage and bike lane project that redeveloped Dallas. The city cited internal decay and years of being hit by cars in its decision to choose to keep a healthier nearby elm instead of the local landmark. Recently The Westshore looked at what it takes to preserve an urban tree during development, and some of the factors that show streetside trees are not doing well.

Boats in the back

Irving shifted the angle of the photo in order to catch a ship in the background, and he has his speculations about what the ship is in the original photo:

“I am assuming it was either the Princess Marguerite or Princess Kathleen which were matching three-funnelled steamships which originally arrived in Victoria from the John Brown & Company Clydesbank Scotland shipyards in 1925,” he wrote. “These steamships were designed for the CPR for the triangle route between Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle.”

History Mystery #9

Send your present-day photos of the below location to [email protected] by Friday at noon with your name, History Mystery #9 as the subject, the photo address or location, and any other details you want to share!

Davin Cochrane (right) with his family. Photo: GoFundMe


Fiancée of comatose Duncan man shot by RCMP may pursue legal action

Davin Cochrane, 32, was shot in the head by police on March 28 after driving a Bobcat-style skid-steer down neighbourhood streets and allegedly striking police vehicles that intervened. Cochrane allegedly stole the vehicle after leaving the hospital where, following a car crash that injured his head and body, he was awaiting surgery and had been given narcotics.

His partner Sarah Brown told CHEK she is now looking at legal action against the police and hospital. Cochrane has been in a coma in Victoria General, with part of his brain removed, and Brown has been commuting to visit with the couple’s children. She told the Times Colonist that Cochrane was several years removed from past mental health, addiction, and criminal issues and has been a wonderful father to her two children, aged 11 and 6, and their newborn Mylah.

Friends have organized a fundraiser to help the family, including Cohrane’s father who drove to the Island from grande Prairie after the shooting. The friends allege that the hospital knew Cohrane’s past drug issues but gave him ketamine. The Independent Investigations Office is investigating the shooting and the surrounding police actions.



Come back to mischief!

Apr. 12, 14, 18 at 7:30pm | Apr. 16 at 2:30pm | Royal Theatre

In Pacific Opera Victoria's production of Così fan tutte, t/wo men make a simple bet that turns hilariously complex as they aim to trick their fiancées into infidelity.

Recognised as the most profound of Mozart's Italian comedies, this gloriously passionate romp brims with some of the sweetest music Mozart ever wrote.

Don't miss the chance to experience Mozart's masterpiece. Tickets start from $29, book at PacificOpera.ca or call 250.385.0222.

Capital Picks

🐇 Easter hunts: Locations today include Dominion Brook Park on the peninsula (1-2pm), Bilston Creek Farm in Metchosin (10:30am-5:30pm), and Butchart Gardens.

🎵 Slim Sandy Band at Norway House: Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers hit the stage at 9pm today for their album launch celebration.

🏡 Looking for an investment property? Running an AirBnB can make impressive cash flow. Here are the top buildings downtown to purchase a short term vacation rental condo.*

🎶 Rihanna tribute night: The best of RiRi from her eight (maybe someday we’ll get the ninth) studio albums, plus remixes and various collaborations. 10pm-2am at Upstairs. [Tickets]

🧸 Vintage markets: The ReLove Market has second-hand clothing at 650 View (noon-6:30pm today) while the Easter Vintage, Retro, & Collectible show features everything from teddy bears to coins to artwork at the Mary Winspear (9:30am-4pm / 8:30am early bird).

😊 Now Hiring: Assistant Deli Manager at The Root Cellar.

*Sponsored Listing

In Other News

🏗️ New UVic buildings get Lekwungen names

The two new residence and dining halls are Čeqʷəŋín ʔéʔləŋ (Cheko’nien House), the name given to the territory and peoples of what is now Oak Bay, and Sŋéqə ʔéʔləŋ (Sngequ House), meaning “snow patches.” Sŋéqə ʔéʔləŋ is named after a village in what is now called Cadboro Bay, which was used for camas harvesting, trading, and cultural and spiritual practices. [UVic]

🗳️ Race about to begin for four Salt Spring commissioner roles

The island voted last fall to have a Local Community Commission (LCC), which is like a municipal council but operates more through the Capital Regional District. The CRD’s Salt Spring Island electoral area director Gary Holman will automatically be one of the five LCC members, who will meet about once a month to tackle issues from parks and rec to dogs biting livestock. Nomination period opens this Tuesday; the election is May 27. [Gulf Islands Driftwood]



United for mental health

Did you know young people are at higher risk, with 70% of persons living with a mental illness seeing their symptoms begin before age 18?

In Case You Missed It

🦇 Bat fungus reaches BC: Island roosts such as Metchosin’s community hall attic could be at risk this spring due to migration after the recent discovery in southeastern BC. [Capital Daily]

🏊 Chlorine leak evacuates Saanich Commonwealth Place: The Fri. afternoon leak was repaired with no injuries, and the facility reopened Sat. morning.

🏒 Oceanside wins VIJHL: The Generals defeated the Saanich Predators in overtime on Friday to take the Island’s junior hockey league cup. [Nanaimo News Now]

🤖 Islanders compete in robotics: Students are headed to Texas to compete using robots they’ve built. [CHEK]

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