Feb 25 - 'Tiny Town' returns to RAP

Plus Low-cost Lynx lost to air travellers

Good morning !

Today, one of Victoria's biggest gardening events returns after a long hiatus. Keep reading for more on that and on the return of shipping-container homes after a much shorter hiatus.


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Today’s approx. read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌧️ 11 / 1

Tomorrow: 🌧️ 6 / -2

Tuesday: 🌧️ 5 / 4


Shipping-container homes return, with new BC-Victoria deal on homelessness

Photo: BC Housing

The “Tiny Town” of 30 small homes used to get people off the streets will be back beside Royal Athletic just months after closing. It will reopen as “Caledonia Place” in the same city-owned parking lot next month and will run until fall 2025.  

The supportive housing village—which includes services, 24/7 monitoring and staffing, meals, and central washrooms and showers—was first launched in early 2021. Funded by Victoria, BC Housing, and more than $500K in public donations, it was supposed to be short-term but was renewed multiple times as new permanent housing for occupants failed to open.  

Expected relocation won't happen
It wound down last year, with its last residents moving into youth housing. The Alliance to End Homelessness sold it, and it was expected to move but remain in the region's core. That buyer is BC Housing, which paid $300K and will use new provincial funding to continue Our Place's operations there. 

City and province sign new homelessness MOU
In addition to Caledonia Place, BC has agreed to fund St. John the Divine Church to open 30 shelter spaces all winter, rather than only during emergency weather. Some service providers have argued that the emergency-response activations were too abrupt to coordinate and communicate to the vulnerable, saying funding for consistent spaces would be better.

The new BC-Victoria deal also creates teams (“HEART”) and housing programs (“HEARTH”) to respond to encampment. 

Victoria councillors had called last fall for more support on homelessness from the province and feds, saying the city was stretched beyond its role and capacity. The Point-in-Time count conducted a year ago tallied 1,665 people homeless in Greater Victoria. 


After 4 years, Seedy Sunday returns today

Bees pollinating. Photo: Shutterstock

Hosted by a group of volunteers from the Victoria Urban Food Table, it’s one of the oldest seed exchange events in the world. Now, after a pandemic hiatus, it's back beginning at 10am in Quadra Village. 

These seed exchanges aren't just a place to find some tulips. The decades-old local event delivers education, community collaboration, sustainability work—and, increasingly, food security. Since the start of the century, Victoria's swap has shifted from ornamental plants toward vegetables locals want to grow at home.

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

This week's forecast: Rain until March.

Missing woman, 45, last seen in Nanoose area; her truck was found empty in a logging road ditch. [Photo/updates]

Gas prices surge by double-digits, reaching $1.80 in Victoria and Nanaimo. [Nanaimo News Now]

UVic women lose semifinal; will play for basketball bronze today.

UVic men win semifinal; will play for gold.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Westshore-area First Nations pursuing clean-energy upgrades and new projects

Photo: T’Sou-ke Nation rendering of community and health complex.

With Island-region First Nations increasingly looking at energy sovereignty and sustainability, last week the T'Souke, Pacheedaht, and Malahat secured $792K in total from BC's First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF). 

T'Souke First Nation will put its $493 chunk toward a community complex that uses a solar voltaic system (converts sunlight into electrical energy). The nation has been working on clean energy projects since 2008, based on principles of looking seven generations ahead and doing long-term conservation to benefit the residents of that future. 

Malahat First Nation is also looking at adding a photovoltaic system and plans to put new heat pumps in high-priority homes. The biggest recent Malahat energy project, though, is building Canada's first Indigenous-led gigafactory. It will make grid-scale and residential, industrial, and commercial storage batteries.

⭐️ Capital Picks

🥘 What to eat this week: Read Tasting Victoria's roundup of restaurant news and deals.

🔍 Ever seen a Barnacle-Eating DroidNudibranch? They're breeding right now in Sidney waters. [Video]

The James Bay teacup tree is beginning to show off blossoms as well as cups. [Photos]

🤝 Now hiring: Inclusion Support Worker at Fernwood NRG.

🎭 Ainadamar—one night remains at The Royal Theatre! This 80-minute fusion of flamenco and opera only has one performance left—Feb 27 at 7:30. Tickets from $30.*

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Another low-cost airline lost, as Lynx abruptly departs 
The Canadian airline flew frequently from YVR and added some Victoria-Calgary flights in 2022. But after filing for creditor protection it cut all flights as of tomorrow, stranding some travellers. [CP / Yahoo]

Last year, a fellow low-cost flier, which had several Victoria routes, was folded into WestJet.

Mozart, Verdi, and The Little Prince operas coming to Victoria
Pacific Opera says its 2024-25 season will feature adaptations of the French children's classic and a Renaissance tragedy by Victor Hugo, as well as a Mozart political drama likened to TV's Succession. [Announcement

Second Tsartlip First Nation teen scouted for soccer in Spain 
Marquez Caffiero, 13, was chosen to represent Canada in a tournament with Real Madrid. He said he was partly inspired by fellow Tsartlip teen Joseph Seward, 14, who last July was accepted into Real Madrid academy to train for 10 months. [CHEK]

🗓️ Things to do

🌱 Victoria Seedy Sunday: Exchange and buy locally grown seeds and plants at Quadra Village Community Centre. Today. 10am-2pm.

😂 Che Durena: The Toronto-based comedian is bringing his North American tour to Capital Ballroom. Today. Doors 7pm. Show 8pm.

🖼️ Celebrate! Art Show: Check out works by local artists at this juried art show at the Arts & Culture Centre in Colwood. Until Mar. 14.

🎺 Island Big Band: The Island-based jazz group will perform at Hermann’s Jazz Club. Today. Doors 5:30pm. Show 7pm.

🌸 Tsukino Con: Today is the last day of the anime and Japanese culture convention at UVic. [Info/tickets]

👗 Fashion markets: Vintage and second-hand at the ReLove Market in Victoria International Marina (11am-5pm). Vintage and local designers at Fashion Splash in Da Vinci Centre (11am-4pm).

🪦 BC Black History cemetery tour: Ross Bay, 2-3pm. [Info]

👀 In Case You Missed It

Victoria's plan to cut waste 50% enters a new phase, including apartment pickups and more public bins. [Capital Daily]

Sidney offering bike-repair kits to public in BC-first program. [Capital Daily]

Friday headlines: Takeaways from BC budget; Saanich road plan; Electric plane update. [Feb. 23]

$250K fine for illegal prawn traps in Glass Sponge Reef near Sechelt. [DFO]

Small fire and sprinkler flooding at 950 Humboldt apartments, per Victoria Firefighters Assoc.

That’s it!

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