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Meet the Fleet – City celebrates Public Works Week with City trading cards | May 16 2022
The City of Victoria is celebrating this year’s National Public Works Week by launching a limited edition set of City fleet trading cards. The five pack of cards showcases the unique fleet vehicles that help maintain the city and highlight the important role of Public Works crews in keeping Victoria the vibrant city we call home.  “Public Works crews operate at the heart of our city to keep Victoria running smoothly and improve our quality of life,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “It’s thanks to their hard work and combined dedication, that our streets are clean, our garbage is collected, and our underground system is running smoothly. National Public Works Week is a great opportunity to recognize this work, while also having a little fun with trading cards while we are at it.” “I am excited to celebrate National Public Works Week with these new trading cards" said Deryk Lee, Assistant Director of Public Works and Engineering. "It's a fun and creative way to not only recognize Victoria's impressive fleet, but also the tremendous work our crews do everyday. Young ones, and those young at heart, can enjoy them while also learning a little bit more about how important Public Works is in our city.” The trading cards showcase five City fleet vehicles – garbage truck, Zero Waste truck, sidewalk sweeper, street sweeper and sewer cleaner – and are available to the public in a pack at City Hall while supplies last. The cards feature photos, stats on the fleet members and little-known facts about the vehicles. National Public Works Week is taking place across North America from May 15-21 this year. The week-long event celebrates the contributions of public works in planning, building and managing the everyday operations at the core of local communities. There are over 300 employees in the City of Victoria’s Public Works Division. The City has a Green Fleet Plan that will transition fleet vehicles to electric and renewably fueled transportation alternatives in the years to come. Check out the trading cards at victoria.ca/meetthefleet
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Two Important Housing Initiatives Coming to Council | May 10 2022
Two important housing initiatives are coming to Council this month. The City’s Missing Middle Housing Initiative report recommendations will be discussed by Council at the May 12 Committee of the Whole Meeting.  Then on May 19 at the daytime Council meeting, Council will consider advancing the revised neighbourhood plans for Fernwood, North Park and Hillside-Quadra, and associated Official Community Plan amendments, to a Public Hearing. Should a Public Hearing be set, the City will share with the community the dates and ways to participate. Read the revised plans, guidelines and proposed implementation steps, along with a video of these two project’s presentations and discussions from the May 5 Committee of the Whole here. Share Your Thoughts To share your thoughts with Council on the Missing Middle Housing Initiative report or the draft neighbourhood plans, please email mayorandcouncil@victoria.ca. Missing Middle Housing Initiative Report This report summarizes what the City heard during phase two of community engagement on the Missing Middle Housing Initiative. It identifies how public input, combined with additional technical analysis, guided the evolution and greater detailing of how zoning and land use policy could change to make it easier to build missing middle homes in Victoria. The report includes discussion of what the zoning and approval process for missing middle housing could look like and seeks Council’s direction about whether to bring forward bylaws that Council could consider sending to a public hearing later this spring. The Missing Middle Housing Initiative is about creating housing choices in between single-family homes and low- to mid-rise condos, such as houseplexes (triplexes, fourplexes, fiveplexes and sixplexes) and corner townhouses. It also could include opportunities to conserve homes with heritage merit by allowing new homes to be built in these backyards where the owner agrees to heritage designation. Opening the door to building more missing middle housing is one important response to the current housing crisis in the city. Census data shows that Victoria continues to lose young families as their housing needs evolve. And it’s not just young families who benefit. There are many others looking for housing options because single family homes are expensive – just over a million dollars on average in Victoria – or because they might want access to more outdoor space, sometimes lacking in apartments and condos. Learn more about the Missing Middle Housing Initiative. Draft Neighbourhood Plans The draft neighbourhood plans for Fernwood, North Park and Hillside-Quadra have been revised based on community input. At the May 19 daytime Council Meeting, Council will consider sending the neighbourhood plans, urban design guidelines and associated Official Community Plan amendments to a Public Hearing. Should a Public Hearing be set, the City will share with the community the dates and ways to participate. Read the full Council report and associated documents here. For a quick summary on what’s proposed in your neighbourhood, you can also check out individual eight-page neighbourhood plan summaries for Hillside-Quadra, North Park and Fernwood. Community engagement to update these three neighbourhood plans began in 2020. After two phases of engagement, draft plans and design guidelines were shared with the community in October 2021. Revisions to these plans have been made based on public input received in the third and latest phase of engagement that took place over the fall and winter. Learn more about these draft neighbourhood plans.  
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PRE-REGISTER: Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues Series Returns May 30 | May 10 2022
The City of Victoria and City Family’s popular series, the Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues, returns with Dialogue #5 on May 30 having been placed on hold in early 2020 due to the pandemic. Three upcoming conversations will enable community members to participate in person in reconciliation on Lekwungen territory. Guided by members of the City Family and special guests, the conversations seek to build the community’s knowledge and understanding of reconciliation – what it is, why it is needed and why community participation in reconciliation is important. “We are excited to reconvene the Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues to provide opportunities for the community to gather in person to learn from our Lekwungen neighbours and other Urban Indigenous people,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “The upcoming Dialogues will explore the experiences of Urban Indigenous people living in Lekwungen territory, consider Victoria’s colonial civic built heritage alongside Lekwungen lands and cultural practices, and present a proposed Reconciliation Plan presented from the City Family and Lekwungen youth on how the community can carry on the work of reconciliation moving forward.” The public is invited to pre-register through Eventbrite to participate in some or all of the Dialogues. The format will vary and may include storytelling, discussion and other forms of learning, with each conversation being approximately 2.5 hours in length. Each Dialogue will include an Indigenous welcome by Florence Dick of the Songhees Nation, and a witness ceremony at the end. The three conversations will include: Dialogue #5 – Guests of Lekwungen: Urban Indigenous Experiences in Canada Monday, May 30 from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Victoria Conference Centre, Carson Hall Urban Indigenous people living in Lekwungen territory are not people of the Lekwungen lands. Yet as Indigenous people in Canada, they are often displaced from their own homelands through the process of colonization, including the sixties scoop and other colonial practices. This Dialogue will share stories that highlight the experiences of Urban Indigenous people living in Lekwungen territory and the diversity of Indigenous experience. There will also be live musical performances. Dialogue #6 – Rethinking Heritage in the Context of Reconciliation Monday, July 11 from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Victoria Conference Centre, Carson Hall Victoria has an award-winning heritage conservation program that has retained many of the early settler buildings in the city. At the same time as these buildings were built, Lekwungen heritage was systematically dismantled and erased. This Dialogue will feature members of the Songhees Nation, Esquimalt Nation and City staff who have worked together on the Government Street Refresh project and will explore how to retain and celebrate the city’s colonial-built heritage at the same time as recognizing, honouring and making visible once again Lekwungen culture and land practices. Dialogue #7 – Na’tsa’maht: Going Forward Together Monday, September 12 from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.) Victoria Conference Centre, Carson Hall Working with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, in 2017 City Council established the City Family to take a Lekwungen-led approach to reconciliation. In this Dialogue, the City Family will present a Reconciliation Plan to the City and the community to carry on the work of reconciliation for decades to come. Participants will be asked to make a reconciliation commitment of their own. The session will feature Songhees Nation and Esquimalt Nation youth. Held over the next five months, the Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues will provide opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to come together to share their ideas and stories and explore how we as a community can make the culture, history and modern reality of local Indigenous Peoples present and apparent throughout the city – and understood and valued in people’s everyday lives. The series is free to attend and will be webcast live. All are welcome. Free childminding will be available (up to two hours) and complimentary refreshments will be provided. Learn more and pre-register.  (Artwork by Brianna Bear)
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Get Growing, Victoria! Seedlings Available Starting May 20 | May 09 2022
The award-winning Get Growing, Victoria! program returns to every Victoria neighbourhood this spring. The program shares free garden resources, including vegetable and herb seedlings, garden materials like compost and mulch, and gardening education with people who face barriers to growing their own food. Seedlings are grown in the City’s nursery and distributed in partnership with community organizations. Seedling varieties are selected for easy growing for the novice gardener and suitable for a variety of locations, such as garden beds or container gardening. Spring distribution provides vegetable and herb seedlings and includes tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, swiss chard, kale, lettuce, basil, chives, nasturtiums, calendula, shiso and miner's lettuce.  Spring 2022 Neighbourhood Distribution Days Please bring your own trays to transport your seedlings. Date Time Location Details Fri, May 20 noon- 2 p.m. Victoria West  Vic West Community Centre, 521 Craigflower Rd. Seedlings only Sat, May 21 noon- 2 p.m. Downtown  Yates Street Community Garden, 1014 Yates St. Seedlings only  Street parking only Sat, May 21 noon- 1 p.m. Burnside Gorge  Burnside Gorge Community Centre, 471 Cecelia Rd.  Seedlings only Parking available in the community centre parking lot Thu, May 26 5:30- 7 p.m. Fernwood  Fernwood Community Centre, 1240 Gladstone Ave. Seedlings only School parking lot on Gladstone Ave. Fri, May 27 10 a.m.-noon North Park Franklin Green, 1019-1045 Mason St. Seedlings and compost available  Street parking only  Sat, May 28 noon- 2 p.m. Oaklands  Oaklands Community Centre, 1-2827 Belmont Ave. Seedlings, compost and wood chips available Street parking only Sat, May 28 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. James Bay Irving Park 250 Menzies St. Seedlings only Street parking only  Thu, Jun 2 9-11 a.m. Rockland Government House Iris Garden, 1401 Rockland Ave. Seedlings only Parking available on site  Fri, Jun 3 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Hillside Quadra  Quadra Village Community Centre, 901 Kings Rd. Seedlings only  Street parking only Sat, Jun 4 noon- 2 p.m. Jubilee  Bank Street School,  1623 Bank St. Seedlings only  Street parking only Sun, Jun 5 noon- 2 p.m. Fairfield Gonzales Robert Porter Park, 1350 Fairfield Rd. Seedlings only Street and school parking lot  Summer distribution dates for fall/winter crops will occur from July 25 to August 14. For more information about the program, visit victoria.ca/getgrowing.
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What's Up at Council on May 12? | May 09 2022
What's Up At Council? is our bi-weekly video series that gives you a glance at what's coming up for discussion and decision making at evening meetings of Council.  Hosted by Mayor Lisa Helps, this week's episode is available here and on the City of Victoria's social media channels.  Here's What’s Up At Council on Thursday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. View the meeting agenda and tune in to the live webcast.       What Was Decided? Council Highlights provide a snapshot of the progress made on City programs, initiatives and on Council decision-making. Sign up to receive our Council Highlights by emailing engage@victoria.ca. Public Hearings In-person attendance at Public Hearings has been restored. You can also participate online. Learn more.  Who Voted for What? You can see and track Council voting records at the click of a mouse with the Council Meeting Dashboard. The dashboard makes it easy to see how members of Council voted on a particular motion and gives you more tools to access and analyze information about decisions that impact you. The dashboard begins at the start of Council’s four-year term in November 2018.
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