Village and Corridor Planning: Fernwood, North Park, and Hillside-Quadra

We've heard your ideas and what matters most -- and we're excited to share the draft neighbourhood plans for Fernwood, North Park, and Hillside-Quadra.

Your voice is important. Help finalize the draft plans by completing a short survey to share what you like, what you'd change, and what's missing.

The surveys will walk you through key proposals and concepts in the draft plan. If you’d like to learn more you can also:

  • Watch a short video for an overview of each draft plan (video section)
  • Watch an Ask a Planner session recording (video section) to learn more and hear questions

We've heard your ideas and what matters most -- and we're excited to share the draft neighbourhood plans for Fernwood, North Park, and Hillside-Quadra.

Your voice is important. Help finalize the draft plans by completing a short survey to share what you like, what you'd change, and what's missing.

The surveys will walk you through key proposals and concepts in the draft plan. If you’d like to learn more you can also:

  • Watch a short video for an overview of each draft plan (video section)
  • Watch an Ask a Planner session recording (video section) to learn more and hear questions from your neighbours
  • Review material from a recent Open Houses (Documents section to the right).

Review the draft plans:

We also have updated draft design guidelines for new buildings.

Once finalized, these plans and design guidelines will help inform updates to zoning and our Official Community Plan.

A healthy and welcoming city is one with diverse housing choices, sustainable transportation options and joyful public spaces for people with different incomes, lifestyles and family make-ups.

The purpose of neighbourhood planning is to guide growth for more sustainable and inclusive communities over the next 10 to 20 years.


How we got here:

Early engagement with all three neighbourhoods began in 2020. We’ve heard from more 1,800 diverse community members to date.

  • In the spring of 2020 residents were asked for input on issues, opportunities and big ideas about the future of their neighbourhood. Read the Engagement Summary here.
  • The second stage of engagement focused on draft directions and took place between December 2020 and March 2021. You can read the Stage Two Engagement Summary here.
  • We’re now excited to begin the third stage of engagement.


What we heard:

While each neighbourhood has its own distinct traits and individual priorities, we heard throughout engagement the desire for 15-minute communities. This means a wider range of housing options, both on and off transit corridors, walkable urban villages with local businesses, and public spaces that bring people together. We also heard the desire for planning that supports equitable, diverse and inclusive communities.

Highlights include:

  • North Park
    • Ideas for a new public plaza in North Park Village and more green space.
    • Options for the village to grow while keeping spaces for small and local-serving shops.
    • New housing choices for people of different incomes along green and leafy streets.
    • Amenities like a new community centre.
    • Opportunities for maker-spaces, artisans and creative businesses.
  • Hillside-Quadra
    • Ideas for new green spaces and public plazas.
    • Housing opportunities for renters and buyers of different incomes.
    • Opportunities for Quadra Village and smaller commercial corners to evolve over time while maintaining small spaces for beloved businesses.
    • Better ways to walk, roll or scoot between homes, parks and destinations.
    • Ideas to renew and expand community venues like the Roxy and community centre.
  • Fernwood
    • Ideas for a gradual expansion of Fernwood Village with more and refreshed public space, opportunities for smaller shops and more housing choices.
    • Ideas for transforming Bay Street into a better place for people, with more trees, housing choices, shops and wider sidewalks, crossings and bus transit.
    • New car-lite housing options that fit into the neighbourhood, for both renters and buyers.
    • Ideas to enhance public spaces and walking routes.


What decision is being made now? What input are we seeking now?

Feedback from the first two phases of engagement has been incorporated into draft neighbourhood plans for Fernwood, Hillside-Quadra and North Park.

Following this phase of engagement, we will prepare a summary of feedback and revise the planning documents prior to presenting to Council for consideration.


What is the level of public participation?

This phase of neighbourhood planning engagement ranges from inform to consult on the Spectrum of Public Participation.

The City has designed an engagement process that emphasizes equity, diversity and inclusion. We want to hear all voices, including those who are often underrepresented in the community planning process.

For additional resources about the engagement, analysis, and the community engagement process see 'Documents' to the right.


Do you have a question about this project?

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  • have you considered the parking problem in Fernwood for our 'village centre'?

    Mh asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your question. Yes, concern regarding parking in Fernwood Village is something we have heard. We understand from businesses that they rely on a combination of local foot traffic and customers who are travelling from outside the immediate area by car, bus, or bike. 

    Planning for this area seeks to support vehicle parking as well as enhanced public transit, bicycle routes and walkability. In a place where space is limited, managing the parking we have – over 70,000 on-street public parking spaces in Victoria – is important. The City’s GoVictoria Sustainable Mobility Plan identifies the need to balance business and residential parking needs, while also supporting sustainable modes such as cycling, transit, and walking.

  • Hello - thanks for all of this! Where can I find the recordings of the "Ask a Planner" sessions? I was told we would be able to watch the recordings after, but I can't seen to find where they are located.

    Balmoral123 asked 23 days ago

    Thank you for your question. The videos from the first two Ask a Planner sessions are available on the right hand side of the page under videos. The most recent one will be added later today.

  • Have you considered the parking problem in the 'village' are of Fernwood (aka the 'Four Corners'...Fernwood and Gladstone)?...There is a small parkette at Fernwood and Pembroke...IT would be great if that was turned into a short term parking are to supplement parking...like the parking lot on Craigflower at the east end of Bamfield park, by the tennis courts. That lot serves the village along the Craigflower strip there. THe parking lot at Pembroke ('Goward' perhaps...?) is not used much at all by anyone...it was originally created to block Pembroke st.

    Mh asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your question. Yes, concern regarding parking in Fernwood Village is something we have heard. We understand from businesses that they rely on a combination of local foot traffic and customers who are travelling from outside the immediate area by car, bus, or bike. 

    Planning for this area seeks to support vehicle parking as well as enhanced public transit, bicycle routes and walkability. In a place where space is limited, managing the parking we have – over 70,000 on-street public parking spaces in Victoria – is important. The City’s GoVictoria Sustainable Mobility Plan identifies the need to balance business and residential parking needs, while also supporting sustainable modes such as cycling, transit, and walking.

    The City of Victoria is not contemplating removing green spaces like Gower Park for parking. Consultation to date shows a high value placed on green spaces in Fernwood. The draft plan calls for enhancing Gower Park, offering more space to sit and enjoy food from the local business, and providing a safe crossing for people who walk, ride, and scoot along Pembroke Street across Fernwood Road. It also considers ways to support enhanced green space in other areas around the Village.

  • Will we have an opportunity to provide input on the future of Bay Street?

    BaySt asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

     

    Yes. Planning for land use, urban design and refinement of future of mobility objectives for Bay Street from Blanshard Street to Shelbourne Street is being considered through the current engagement regarding local area planning for the Fernwood neighbourhood. 

     

    The most recent engagement process ran from December to March and we heard many ideas for the areas along and near Bay Street. A set of key directions and next phase of engagement is being proposed and, upon Council approval, would be considered through further consultation this fall. 

     

    This topic will be presented to Council at their Committee of the Whole meeting this Thursday.  Once the engagement summary has gone to Council, it will be posted here: Village and Corridor Planning: Fernwood, North Park, and Hillside-Quadra | Have Your Say (victoria.ca)

     

    You can tune into this meeting on Thursday morning or watch for updates online that will include key directions for the Fernwood area, including Bay Street.

     

    Engagement on parts of Bay Street east of the Shelbourne-Bay intersection will be undertaken as part of the next round of Villages and Corridors Planning, which is anticipated to take place in 2022.

     

    Thank you for your interest.

  • If a section of North Park is closed off to make a community centre what will happen on small parallel streets like Mason and Grant which are very narrow? Mason is currently one way. Grant seems to be increasingly used as a detour to avoid the Cook St. and Pandora intersection. Has the City accounted for the massive heritage Garry Oak on the corner of Grant and Chambers?

    Bernadette asked 9 months ago

    Thank you for your question. To clarify, the proposed directions or North Park Street include a temporary public plaza on North Park Street just east of Cook Street. Since this plan will be implemented over many years, no changes to North Park Street will be realized immediately, and a key intent behind this direction is to test it as a pilot project first (making it simple to adjust or remove as we monitor how it works). Any future changes to North Park Street would include a Traffic Impact Study on surrounding streets and would be conducted by the City of Victoria’s Transportation and Engineering Teams at a future date.

    Regarding the Garry Oak on the corner of Grant and Chambers, the City has a Tree Protection Bylaw and is currently in the process of updating this Bylaw. The new Tree Protection Bylaw will help implement the goals of the City’s Urban Forest Master Plan. The Bylaw will provide a balanced approach to protecting and growing Victoria’s private urban forest by protecting retained trees whenever possible, replacing every Bylaw-protected tree removed, and growing tree canopy across the City.

  • What land will the city be purchasing/utilizing for public non means-tested housing? Is there a strategy or plan to illustrate how much more land will be allocated for this in the next 10 years say? These efforts look incredible and very progressive; however, there's little mention of what land is going to contain public housing. When municipalities spend money on beautification, transit, roadways, etc. it will disproportionately benefit landowners. One of the most tried and true methods of addressing housing "affordability" is to build first come first serve non means-tested public housing. This effort houses people, removes portions of land from market increases, and can do a lot to stabilize existing markets. Density on its own isn't proven to combat housing affordability. The city I want to live in will contain public housing for working families making 20-60k per year.

    AdamP asked 11 months ago

    Thanks for your question. Local Area Planning is meant to support broader efforts to maintain inclusive communities for diverse incomes. The City’s Victoria Housing Strategy defines the City’s role in the provision of affordable housing; to assess and forecast Victoria’s affordable housing needs now and in the future, and to establish targets and tools to meet those needs. The strategy directs actions to be completed over a three year period, in order to increase the supply and diversity of affordable and market housing across the housing spectrum and throughout Victoria that meets the current and future residents. Here are a few initiatives you may be interested in:

     

    • The City is actively contributing land to affordable housing, including acquiring new land for affordable housing use, including a recent purchase at 930 Pandora avenue.  This is an ongoing process and requires partnership with senior governments and local non-profit housing providers, as well as is guided by the Housing Strategy and the City’s Strategic Plan.
    • The City provides capital grants for the development and retention of affordable housing through the Victoria Housing Reserve Fund.
    • The City encourages affordable housing in new multi-unit strata development through the Inclusionary Housing and Community Amenity Policy.
    • The City has a number of policies and current initiatives to create and retain rental housing.  

     

    We are committed to these policies and initiatives, as well as other housing related work we have underway. However, addressing the housing crisis – ensuring there is enough of the right supply across the housing continuum –  is a shared responsibility across all levels of government. Although the City of Victoria, as a municipality, plays an important role, we do not have the same legal authority or resources as other levels of government to address the wide array of housing challenges that we face. We continue to coordinate with the regional district and neighbouring municipalities by setting shared goals and targets. We also work together with affordable housing providers and advocate to senior levels of government to achieve these goals. 

     

    While Local Area Planning doesn’t identify specific lots to be purchased by either the City, Province or affordable housing providers in the future, it can help to identify where such housing may be appropriate and things like desired urban design and landscape. Local Area Planning is also a key way in which consider potential areas for residential rental tenure zoning (RRTZ). Both the housing strategy and local area planning aim to protect existing renters and rental buildings, while allowing us to meet future needs for diverse housing choices.

     

    Most non-market housing is constructed either by the CRD, BC Housing or non-profit housing partners. BC Housing funding models include a mix of shelter-rate, rent-geared-to-income and market rate (non-means-tested) housing. There are also projects proposed or approved for affordable housing throughout Victoria and the Region. This includes the proposed mixed-income Caledonia Development in Fernwood, for which you may submit public input (a public hearing has not yet been set), and recent projects in Hillside-Quadra, James Bay, Rock Bay, Fairfield and Harris Green.

  • Why is Oak bay and other affluent areas not doing there part to house the low income why is it dis-proportionally placed in Quadra village area ,thus our high crime rate in area, why is the city not dealing with this very unfair and we have been given false promises of sharing and spreading of the low income housing and homeless problem.

    Russ asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Housing affordability is one of the most significant challenges facing the City of Victoria and the Capital region as a whole today. Addressing the housing crisis requires all levels of government and community partners to work together. The goal of the City’s housing strategy is to encourage new and preserve existing affordable housing and community services within all neighbourhoods. You can learn more about the many actions underway on the City’s housing webpage

     

    The City also partners with other municipalities in the Capital Region to take a coordinated approach to addressing housing as a regional issue. Each municipality in the region is responsible for contributing to housing affordability, and the City of Victoria advocates for collaboration and leadership in achieving these shared goals. You can learn more about the coordinated regional effort on the Capital Regional District’s website

     

    There are many affordable housing projects either under review or recently approved throughout Victoria, including ones in James Bay, Rock Bay, Fairfield, Fernwood, and Harris Green. Within the region, there are also multiple affordable housing projects receiving funding from BC Housing’s various funding programs. Here is a map of all the housing projects across BC: https://www.bchousing.org/projects-partners/Building-BC/homes-for-BC

     

    As to the impacts of affordable housing on the surrounding neighbourhood, studies have show that while there is often concern that new affordable housing will increase crime rates, that is generally not the case. Indeed, through high-quality building design – as achieved through Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) guidance – and thoughtful community integration by service providers, affordable housing can have a positive overall impact on the local area, and increase social cohesion and resiliency. As an example, here is a case study from a BC Housing site in Victoria.  

  • I can't find the place to give you input. I tried to register last week. It didn't work. I guess I'm now registered but the survey doesn't ask anything about my vision for Fernwood. I regret that we no longer have the opportunity to update our local community plan which truly represents the vision of the community. I don't find this process a viable substitute for that.

    ptarmigan44 asked 11 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The current survey and open house addresses ideas to support four key areas that are the focus of city planning – housing choices that support diverse incomes, household types, ages and lifestyles; enjoyable public spaces; resilient urban villages; and safe and sustainable ways to get around. These areas are key components of neighbourhoods, and importantly are areas where local area plans can be most effective. The Fernwood survey and Housing and Amenities survey invite your feedback on what you’d like to see in these areas. If you feel the questions do not address the areas you’d like to communicate, you may also send an email, speak with us individually or as part of a group, or take part in the discussion forums.

     

    Local Area Planning will indeed result in an update to the 1990s Fernwood Plan, and set the stage for City, private or community activities that can help achieve the community vision. Local area planning works in conjunction with city plans such as the Housing Strategy, Urban Forest Master Plan, Sustainable Mobility Strategy, Climate Leadership Strategy, and Parks and Recreation Master Plan to support our varied community values. Additional topics identified by the community – including supporting the arts and culture, placemaking, and other community initiatives – can also be integrated into this process and are anticipated to be the subject of ongoing conversations in partnership with community stakeholders during 2021.

  • Are the 2 development proposals near Vic High considered a done deal...both off Chambers...when considering this plan.

    Doughnut asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The proposal for rezoning to support affordable and mixed-income housing on the lands adjacent to Vic High school, known as the Caledonia Redevelopment, is still in progress and has not gone to a public hearing. This proposal was received prior to the current local area planning process, and our process will respond to whatever is decided at the Caledonia site. Here is a link to the rezoning application with up-to-date proposed plans and information.  The proposal is to rezone to a new residential rental tenure zone in order to increase the density to 1.29:1 floor space ratio (FSR) and permit five residential buildings, including four and five-storey multi-unit residential buildings and three blocks of townhouses, consisting of approximately 158 affordable and below-market rental dwelling units with on-site open space.  

  • I noticed every unit in Victoria is just out of range for people on PWD disability and Income assistance. Is it even legal to increase rent intentionally to push out low-income people? People on pwd get $1200 per month. You cant even get a bachelor for a single person for that much. People on income assistance only get $710 per month. This is why their is so much homelessness and poverty here. People are illegally pushing the boundries of how high you can set rent. And now its gotten out of control and should be regulated and corrected. Or it will continue to create more homeless poverty which will effect the community as a whole. Something needs to happen. Also. By law should stop throwing away peoples tents. With all their stuff in it. Thats their only home. Their only clothes. And the city thinks they can just hide behind bylaw and allow them to throw away tents aka Homes. When shelters are full and are an unhealthy environment for sober people trying to over come homeelssness. I was one of them. Now im.housed and employed to an organization called The Existence Project as a program developer, advocate of homelessness with lived experience and public speaker. Im known as Cory Resilient Ive been featured on the martlet, victoria news and megaphone magazine. Im active in thr community in helping with solutions around housing poverty and homelessness. And the way the system is now. Is causing homelessness. New users and the deterioration of the community as a whole. But the system likes to put the blame on the homeless individual that grew uo 14 years old in the street with no family or parents. Let me know how I can get involved and where I can fit in. Ill show up. www.coryresilient.com

    CoryResilient asked 12 months ago

    Hi Corey, we’d be happy to talk further and will reach out to you directly. We value the input of all community members including people with lived experience of homelessness. The City and region continue to create homes for those needing non-market and below-market affordable housing, with close to 600 such homes approved in Victoria and hundreds in surrounding communities over the last 2 years. Our Housing Strategy includes 44 actions, to support housing for people of diverse incomes, ages, family types and lifestyles and protect current renters.Municipalities, the CRD, and senior governments all play a part. We recognize the need is greater than the number of available homes, and that income supports at the provincial level have not kept pace with housing costs. Our Housing Targets indicate that we will need to add housing across the income spectrum and different types of households.

    The City does not control the price of existing or new market-rate apartments and suites. With vacancy rates of 1% or less, we know it is difficult to find housing and there is pressure on rents. Local Area Planning seeks to make room for diverse housing needs, including for housing created through non-market and affordable housing programs, in all neighbourhoods.

Page last updated: 03 December 2021, 12:47