Victoria too short on downtown parks, says residents association
Victoria boasts a beautiful harbour and iconic mountain views, but one group says the city needs less concrete and more parks.
The president of the Victoria Downtown Residents Association says there are a large number of young families and renters living in the core and a lot of them don’t have vehicles to access greenspaces.
“Oftentimes we are living busy lives and it is very challenging to make it out to something like that,” said president Paul Gandall. “Having access to greenspaces and playgrounds improves the quality of life and mental health of the individuals living in a neighbourhood.”
The City of Victoria has previously called for more parks and outdoor amenities, in 2001 and then again in 2017.
“We haven’t seen much motion towards actually implementing the recommendations contained in these documents,” said Gandall.
Victoria Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe agrees the city lacks greenspace.
“It is a good time for us to start saying, 'Should we be looking at how we can make this happen and do we have the funds to move it forward?'” said Thornton-Joe.
Money is an issue after funds were recently diverted to affordable housing and the CRD says there are no downtown spaces that meet the requirements to become a park.
Councillors are eyeing potential creative spots to put parks, such as on top of parkades, and plan to consult with residents in the near future.