Find out about things that affect you and your community.
May 2012

Hi DRA Member,

Find out about things that affect you and your community.
Go to our Website at:
Follow us on Twitter at: @VictoriaDRA
Like our Facebook Page: Victoria Downtown Residents Association

As always, if you see anything you'd like more information on, or would like to get involved in any of the activities, events or committees mentioned, please get in touch.


Throughout 2012, monthly Board Meetings will be held on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Meetings start at 7:00 pm and once the meetings commence, the front doors are locked (for security reasons). 
Meetings may be rescheduled from time to time, in consideration of holidays and other commitments. The date for each meeting is confirmed the month prior at the Board Meeting. DRA Members and those who are interested in joining the DRA are welcome to attend.
Our next regularly scheduled board meeting is on Wednesday 23rd May.
Please note that our meeting in May will be held at the Downtown Community Centre located at 755 Pandora Avenue.

The next Roving Refinery event is being planned, so stay tuned for details.
The Roving Refinery is a DRA members' social event where you will get a chance to meet other downtown residents and merchants in your neighbourhood.  Do you have a suggestion for our next Roving Refinery?  Let us know by sending your email to <>


We have so much history right at our doorsteps!
In June, local historian, tour guide and author, John Adams will be giving DRA members a tour along one of his many routes (Wharf Street, Chinatown, Humboldt Valley, and many more).  Polls closed Sunday 20th May and we’ve tallied your votes and the winning route is Government Street from the Inner Harbour to Chinatown. (And as we had a tie, John has kindly offered to mix in some of the other stories from the other tour.)
When: Saturday, 9th June 1-3 PM
Cost per person: $5.00 
To Register for this event and get more details visit our website!  
If you prefer to pay in cash please contact Wendy <>
For more information on John Adams, see:


Container Gardening Workshop May 30th

Join us for our second workshop of 2012 on container gardening. As the summer approaches, we will be planting warmer plants such as basil, tomatoes and beans. Come and get your hands dirty!
When: Wednesday, 30th May 6-8 PM
Where: Silver Threads 1728 Douglas St 
Cost per person: $15 
To Register for this event or get more details visit our website
If you prefer to pay in cash please contact Wendy <>
Space is limited to 15 participants.
All materials for the class (soil, seeds, seedlings, fertilizer, containers) will be provided, including trowels, buckets, watering cans, and printed handouts. There will also be a selection of other plants for sale; salad blend, nasturtiums, beans, things that do well in containers.
The workshop will cover:
  • Planning your garden - how physical factors (amount of sun, wind, soil type, drainage) affect success, attracting beneficial insects, pest management without pesticides, and crop rotation
  • How to make healthy soil and why it’s critical for a successful garden
  • Growing food in containers-how to maximize food production in a small space. Tips on types of soil to use, varieties to plant, and keeping your containers growing at peak capacity all season
  • Seed starting - 10 secrets to starting seeds and growing healthy seedlings
  • How to extend the growing season
About our Facilitator: Amy Crook is a Certified Master Gardener with 4 decades of experience. She has been growing food since she was a small child on her grandparent’s farm. Amy’s teaching focuses on motivating everyone to grow their own food using practical skill building techniques, and emphasizes success, not sophistication.


1. Projects & Proposals

The following properties have projects or proposals under review:
840 Fort Street – The Sawyer Residences | Owner: 0742170 BC Ltd with Hillel Architecture
603 Pandora Ave – Plaza Hotel/Monty’s | Eric Barker Architects - Updated design

2. Official Community Plan (OCP)

Representatives from the City will be meeting with the Land Use Committee on 24th May from 6-7 PM. City reps will be giving a presentation, the purpose of which will be to provide information in preparation for the OCP Public Hearing including an overview of key changes to the plan since last year's draft and ways to provide feedback on this version in advance of the Official Community Plan. 
The OCP Public Hearing will be held Wednesday, June 27 at 7:30 at City Hall.
How to provide feedback to Council:
Attend the public hearing
Send an email to <>

Mail written correspondence to:
Mayor and Council
City of Victoria
1 Centennial Square
Victoria BC, V8W 1P6
The proposed Official Community Plan is available on the project website

3. Johnson Street Bridge – Bridge Approaches

In advance of the Public Workshops, City staff met with the DRA Land Use Committee on 8th May to discuss project timeline, an overview of Council-approved design principles for public realm, the public realm elements requiring input and related budgeting commitments, an overview of the City-hosted workshop, and next steps.

More information about that meeting can be found here.
The Community Workshop on public realm elements related to the Johnson Street Bridge Replacement Project has been scheduled for June.
When: Saturday, 9th June 10 AM to 3 PM
Where: Delta Ocean Point Resort, 45 Songhees Road
More details will be released on our website as the information becomes available.


1. Johnson Street Bridge (JSB) Update

Three Firms Shortlisted for JSB Contract - 9th May 2012
The City of Victoria has completed the pre-qualification for the contract to replace the Johnson Street Bridge and three qualified firms have been selected. Eight firms submitted proposals and listed a number of noted subcontractors. Interest came from local, national and international firms representing a wide variety of skills and experience in building bridges.
The full media release issued by the City is available here.

2. Technical Information Session on Victoria's Proposed OCP:  Development Permit and Heritage Conservation Areas
The City of Victoria is hosting an information session for the design and development community on Development Permit Areas and Heritage Conservation Areas in Victoria's Proposed Official Community Plan. The format is a presentation, running twice at 4 pm and 5:15 pm, with planning staff available to answer questions.  Anyone is welcome to attend; broad circulation of this notice through networks is encouraged.  We ask attendees to send a RVSP.  The deadline for event registration is June 4. 
When: Wednesday, 6th June 2012 from 3:30 to 6:30 PM 
Where: Council Antechamber, Victoria City Hall 
Information on Development Permit Areas (DPA) and Heritage Conservation Areas (HCA) in the Proposed Official Community Plan will include:
  • Alignment with urban place designations in the Proposed Plan;
  • Reduction in the number of urban design DPAs from 32 to 22;
  • Modest expansions of 1995 DPA boundaries in some areas;
  • Consistent with the recently adopted Downtown Core Area Plan, parts of Rock Bay are designated as two new DPAs, one of which is also an HCA; 
  • A new DPA ("DPA 16") for general form and character of multi-unit (three or more) residential, commercial and industrial development on lands which are not in another DPA;
  • New design guidelines for multi-unit (three or more unit) residential, commercial and industrial development in DPA-16 and Rock Bay.
For more information on the technical information session and to register for June 6, please contact Helen Cain, Planner, at <> or 250-361-0508.  

For other information on the Proposed OCP, please contact Cameron Scott, Senior Planner, at <> or 250-361-0534.

3. Victoria 150 CITYVibe

Looking for ways to connect with Victoria's festivals and outdoor events this summer? Available in hard copy and iPhone app, the Victoria 150 CITYVibe is a free guide to 150th anniversary celebrations, and City-sponsored festivals and outdoor events in 2012.
A soft copy of the guide is linked here and more information can be found at the City of Victoria.


The VTAG program is a volunteer program formed by residents who wish to improve the appearance of their neighbourhoods by painting out graffiti on power poles along their streets.  The program is facilitated by the City of Victoria in cooperation with Victoria Police Department’s Block Watch program.  BC Hydro supports the program and has consented to their poles being painted in a prescribed manner.
Those wanting to participate in the VTAG program should contact the Program Coordinator through or the City’s Graffiti Outreach Coordinator at
The paint and supplies you require will be provided.  This includes paint, rollers, trays, brushes, litterbags and masking tape.


City Councillor and DRA Council Liaison, Lisa Helps, has organized bi-weekly Community Coffee Hours and invites those who are interested in joining her and other community members in open discussions on a variety of topics. 
Visit Lisa's website for dates and locations



Featuring local farmers, food and music!

When: Wednesdays, 11 AM - 5 PM
Where: Market Square, Inner Courtyard


This well-known market features an eclectic mix of arts, crafts, imports, and entertainment. The Farmers’ Market will feature farmers selling their locally grown produce and fruits; homemade breads, pastries, and tortillas; cheeses; preserves, chutneys, and relishes; free range eggs; and much more.

When: Sundays but June 3rd, from 11 AM - 4:30 PM
Where: Bastion Square



When: Wednesday, June 20th, from 5 - 9 PM
Where: Chinatown, Fisgard Street
The theme for the summer’s first Chinatown Night Market will celebrate the roots of the dragon boat festival and the year of the Water Dragon. The event will include an artistic enactment of the folklore about the origins of dragon boating and the Chinese dragon. It will also feature local artists, dancers, musicians, actors and local performing groups and street vendors. 

Thanks for your time!  

We look forward to meeting you and seeing you at events and in the community throughout 2012!

Wendy Bowkett
Chair & Treasurer
Victoria Downtown Residents Association
Copyright © 2012 Victoria Downtown Residents Association, All rights reserved.

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