September 2015 DRA Newsletter

September 2015 Newsletter

In this issue:
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Nicholas Harrington, Editor, September 2015

The September Mystery Photo

The bronze sculpture pictured below is titled 'Holding a Railway Spike', and is part of the 'Hands of Time' series commissioned for Victoria's 150th Anniversary in 2012. Please click here, and tell us the location of this sculpture (be as specific as possible). The first person to correctly identify the location will receive a $10 gift certificate for Fishhook, 805 Fort Street. Good luck!

Photo by Doug Boyd   
Please send us your unique photos of Downtown or Harris Green to be considered for publication in our monthly Mystery Photo Contest. Please send your submissions to, as a JPEG attachment, with the location specified.

The Summer Mystery Photo Revealed

Congratulations to Sarah C., who correctly named the bronze sculpture, pictured below as 'The Homecoming', and won a $10 gift certificate to The Reef Caribbean Restaurant, 533 Yates Street. 'The Homecoming', created by international bronze sculptor and Victoria native Nathan Scott, was commissioned to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Canadian Navy.
Photo by Benjamin Madison  

Next Roving Refinery: Fishhook

Our upcoming Roving Refinery will take place at Fishhook, 805 Fort Street, on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, from 6 to 8 pm. With only 11 tickets available for this event, it quickly sold out within its first day.
According to the Fishhook website, "Former “Top Chef Canada” contender and Red Fish Blue Fish mastermind Kunal Ghose has joined forces with Hook Fine Foods entrepreneur Steve Kerr to offer downtown Victoria its next big foodie trend: a unique take on the tartine. 

A Gold-Medal Plates alum, Ghose recently opened Fish Hook, a new Antique Row, Fort Street hotspot, in early August. Serving both sit down and take away customers, Fish Hook offers not only tartines, but a wide selection of salads, soups and daily-produced pickles, all featuring a variety of sustainable, locally sourced and farm fresh ingredients."
August Board Meeting Digest

[Thank you to Ruth Annis for the following content - Editor]

DRA Board Update
DRA director Kelly Chirhart has stepped down from the board. The DRA is thankful for her service, and she will be missed. Previous DRA Chair Wendy Bowkett was asked to fill the vacancy. She accepted, and her appointment was approved unanimously by the Board. Welcome back Wendy!

Community Development Committee (CDC) - Kaela Schramm & Don Elliott
  • Government Street Pilot Closures – The first closure of Government Street for the aptly named 'LoveGov' pedestrian mall pilot project, has been planned for Sunday, October 25, 2015. This will be the relocation of Wicked Victoria (see 'Wicked Victoria' article below), an event previously expected to occur in Market Square. Highlights will include a children's Monster March, a Hay Maze, and local bands and food vendors. The second closure is planned for Valentine's Day 2016.
Urban Livability Committee (ULC) - Eric Ney & Nicholas Harrington
  • The Greater Victoria Placemaking Network approached the DRA about sponsoring a community garden that they had planned for the 900 block of Pandora. Shortly after receiving the request, we were advised that the LifeCycles Project Society had made a tentative offer to sponsor this garden so the request to DRA was no longer required. Apparently the sponsoring organization must hold liability insurance for gardens on City owned property, which will require further investigation on our part.
Land Use Committee (LUC) - Ian Sutherland
  • Johnson Street Bridge: Options report for public realm and landscaping represented to Council at the Governance and Priorities Committee (GPC) meeting on August 20. Ian to send a copy to DRA Board for comment. A design workshop to look at the landscaping details of the east and west side approaches to the new bridge is expected to be scheduled in late September or early October. The DRA will appoint representatives to attend and make comment.
  • Northern Junk site– Reliance Holdings: A Community Association Land Use Committee (CALUC) meeting was held on July 28 at the Victoria Executive Centre. There was strong opposition to the proposal to erect a 12 storey tower on the property. The LUC has since been contacted about the possibility of new designs coming forward.
  • Hudson District – Townline Group: A pre-application meeting was held on July 8 for phase 2 of Hudson Mews (780 Fisgard). Townline has applied for a zoning text amendment for the 'Hudson District' to allow for the operation of a Brewery/Distillery/Brew Pubs on the various properties that make up the Hudson District. A CALUC meeting is scheduled for September 8.
  • 613 Herald (Kunju) – Conrad Nyren / Hillel Architecture: Neighbours at 601 Herald have concerns regarding the impact of the project and lack of consultation by the applicant and are taking steps to communicate them to Council and Design Panel. The LUC has attended several meetings with residents of 601 Herald, City Councillors, and the developer in attendance.
  • Northern Quarter Restaurant, 1724 Douglas: An application has been submitted for an extension of hours on Friday and Saturday nights until 1 am (currently midnight), and to permit public participation (dancing) during musical performances. The DRA typically does not support applications for extended hours if the venue is in close proximity to residences. The LUC will draft a letter of comment to the City By-law officer.
  • 727 Johnson Street: A CALUC meeting is scheduled for September 8.
  • St. Andrew's School, 1002-1008 and 1012 Pandora Avenue: A request was sent by the LUC of the North Park Neighbourhood Association (NPNA) to other community associations in Victoria, the DRA included, asking for support in opposing the proposed development by BlueSky Properties /  Bosa Developments. As the DRA's practice is to not comment formally on applications outside of our neighbourhood, the DRA declined the request. To make this practice a policy, the board then approved a motion which essentially directs that out of respect for the other neighbourhoods, the DRA will not comment on proposals outside of our boundaries.
Downtown Service Providers (DSP) - Don Elliott
  • The DSP does not consider parkades as suitable sites for homeless camping.
  • Micro-housing is not appropriate for people with mental health problems and thus not a good fit for the chronically homeless / hard-to-house (typically those living on the street) populations in Victoria.
  • Camping in a city park: no organization is thus far willing to manage a campsite.

Upcoming DRA Meetings

September Board Meeting:
Our October Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be held at the Central Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library, 735 Broughton Street, in the meeting room adjacent to the Inter-Library Loans Office, on the main floor. DRA Board meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, and are open to all DRA members. Please check the home page of our website for updates.

Community Development Committee (CDC):
The next CDC meeting will take place later in early October. CDC meetings are typically held on the first Tuesday of the month, at Lido Waterfront Bistro, 1234 S. Wharf Street . The CDC continues to perform the role of the DRA Social Events Committee. Please check the home page of our website for updates.

Urban Livability Committee (ULC):
The next ULC meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2015. ULC meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 5:30 pm. Please check the home page of our website for details and updates.

Wicked Victoria
The first of the "LoveGov" Government Street pedestrian mall pilot project events will be "Wicked Victoria". Created and presented by the Greater Victoria Festival Society (GVFS), with support from the City of Victoria, the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA), Tourism Victoria, and the Downtown Government Street Businesses, Wicked Victoria will take place on Sunday, October 25, 2015, from noon - 5 pm.

Although the plans are not completely finalized, as it stands, each block of Government will be themed as follows:

Feeling Ghoully Music Zone (Courtenay to Broughton)
Beginning at Courtney Street, and carrying on through to Broughton, Atomique Productions will set up the 'music zone' featuring a small stage with local entertainment, special lighting, blow-ups, and selfie stations.

Ghostly Giving (Broughton to Fort)
This block will be a 'Fun Fair' where non-profit organizations will be invited to host a kiosk to promote and celebrate their organizations, in exchange for providing a Halloween / Harvest themed game, for kids and parents alike, to play at each kiosk.

Moonlight Harvest Market (Fort to View)
The 'Harvest Market' between Fort and View Streets, promises to showcase local harvest produce, pumpkin pies, harvest breads, jams, jellies, etc. Harvest samplings of beer, cider, and spirits from local breweries, cideries, and distilleries will also be offered by some Government Street establishments.

Too Cute To Spook Wicked Kid Zone (View to Yates)
In this block, the 'Wicked Kid Zone' will be all fun and games for the kids, featuring pumpkin designing, giant checkerboards, colouring, face painting, games, and blow-ups. In a central open area, Rogers media will host a live radio broadcast, and kick off the 'Monster Mash March' and family dance. Glow Sticks and Wristbands will be available for purchase, with profits going to support a local charity. A 'Vampire Blood Bank' is also in the works.

And for adults only on Halloween night:

Wicked Victoria Adult Zone (Centennial Square)
Proposed for October 31, from 4 - 9 pm, the creators and sponsors of Wicked Victoria are considering hosting an Adult version of Wicked Victoria in Centennial Square. 'Wicked Victoria Adult Zone' would feature food trucks, a beer/wine/spirit garden, entertainment, 'Adult Game Zone'. The evening would end with a spectacular Laser Light Show and Music Party by DL Sound!

We will publish an update in next month's edition of this newsletter with further details. In the mean time, please visit the Wicked Victoria page of the Greater Victoria Festival Society's website for more information.

Walk On Week

"Walk On, Victoria is Greater Victoria’s pedestrian advocacy group. Formed as a volunteer-run non-profit in September of 2014, Walk On, Victoria aims to give a voice to pedestrians and ultimately to make Victoria a safer and more enjoyable place for everyone to walk."

Walk On, Victoria is preparing to host Greater Victoria's first ever Walk On Week (WOW) October 5 - 11, 2015, which will launch with an event in Centennial Square the morning of October 5th.

For more information about Walk On Week, and a list of events, please visit Walk On, Victoria's home page here.

Social Media Redux

One very dedicated member of our team Posts on our Facebook page, and Tweets to our followers daily. The aim of this section is to give one of our best efforts a second chance at the recognition it deserves by highlighting some of our most interesting Tweets and Posts. Click on any of the headlines below to review what we've been sharing with the world.

August 2, 2015 via Twitter
Great idea - Brewers' Victoria Map
August 6, 2015 via Facebook
New lanterns are being installed today in ‪#‎Chinatown‬! Hope the crows don't shred them to bits again too soon.
August 6, 2015 Victoria DRA retweeted
Police negotiations with man at Salvation Army continue, but Johnson Street, including bridge, have been re-opened to traffic.
August 10, 2015 via Facebook
Will we see the Maritime Museum relocated and revived any time soon?
August 11, 2015 via Twitter
Food rescue project to deliver more perishables to the hungry
August 15, 2015 via Facebook
@vicpdcanada looking for additional witnesses.
August 15, 2015 via Twitter
Options report presented to GPC on Aug 20 re Public Space & Landscaping. Let's have more usable green, less concrete!
August 17, 2015 via Facebook
VicPD Launches Bike Registry to Help Combat Bike Theft.
August 21, 2015 via Twitter
Cash with conditions for the Maritime Museum.
August 24, 2015 via Twitter
Ever wondered what feedback the DRA has provided re various projects & policies? Read archived letters
August 24, 2015 via Twitter
First Nations artwork coming to Johnson Street parkade.
August 25, 2015 via Facebook
BC Supreme Court to determine whether strata members can be stripped of their voting powers.
September 1, 2015 via Twitter
Vancouver Sun looks at BC's rental laws: Fixed-term renters get no protection, while those who rent month-to-month do.
September 3, 2015 via Facebook
Drum riffs and jazz licks coming soon to the Bastion Square Parkade!
September 3, 2015 via Twitter
Magnificent mural taking shape at Our Place recreation room.
September 7, 2015 via Twitter
Crosswalk art planned for Fabulous Fort.
September 10, 2015 via Facebook
Cameras keep count on downtown Victoria streets.
September 11, 2015 via Twitter
Thief loots Victoria mayor's bike during meeting on cyclist parking.
September 11, 2015 Victoria DRA retweeted
Boom! Constant blasting has downtown Victoria on edge.
September 14, 2015 via Facebook
ICYMI: footage from today’s Johnson Street Bridge closure, including the massive Arctic Tuk crane.
September 15, 2015 via Facebook
The Capital Six building on Blanshard Street between Yates and View streets has been listed for sale.

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