Help Make Victoria a More Welcoming City


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What we’re engaging on:

The City of Victoria is creating a Welcoming City Strategy that will serve as a roadmap to guide Victoria towards becoming a stronger, more inclusive community where everyone, including newcomers, immigrants and refugees, is accepted, respected and feels like they belong.

The Welcoming City Strategy will include recommended short, medium and long-term actions, measures of success, as well as an accountability framework.

How we got here:

The City of Victoria's 2019-2022 Strategic Plan has eight objectives, one of which is "Health, Well-Being and a Welcoming City". Creating a Welcoming City Strategy is an action under this objective. A Welcoming City Task Force was formed last summer and began meeting in the fall, with the purpose of developing the Welcoming City Strategy.

The Council-appointed Welcoming City Task Force is co-chaired by Mayor Lisa Helps and Councillor Sharmarke Dubow and made up of people who reflect Victoria’s increasingly diverse population. The Task Force is leading the Welcoming City work with the assistance of consultants and City staff. Sharing their own expertise and lived experience, Task Force members are reaching out to other community stakeholders through a series of virtual workshops to gather input to inform the Welcoming City Strategy.

Welcoming Standards help communities imagine the possibilities of what they could look like while also measuring progress. To be effective, a Welcoming City Strategy must engage long-time residents; set goals, monitor impact and adjust as needed; be designed for equity and inclusion; and be implemented in partnership with the community.

The Welcoming Standards are drawn from Welcoming America, a non-profit organization leading a movement of inclusive communities to become more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs. The Welcoming Standards are organized into the following categories:

  • Government Leadership
  • Civic Engagement
  • Equitable Access
  • Education
  • Connected Communities
  • Economic Development
  • Safe Communities

Learn more about the Welcoming City Task Force.

When will we be seeking public input?
May 11 - 30 -- Phase 1 Engagement – Participate in Stories, Ideas and Poll engagement activities to help develop Welcoming City Strategy

June 24 - July 11 -- Phase 2 Engagement – Participate in an online Survey to provide feedback on potential ideas for the Welcoming City Strategy

What is the level of public participation?
This engagement ranges from Consult to Collaborate.

HAVE YOUR SAY UPDATE:
Phase 1: Thank you to all those who shared their ideas, stories and lived experiences with us during Phase 1 of engagement.

Phase 2: The online survey is now closed. The community was invited to provide feedback on potential ideas for the Strategy to make sure it reflects the collective voice, vision, and values of Victoria residents. Thank you to all those who participated.

Next Step: Public feedback will inform the draft Welcoming City Strategy that will be presented to Council for consideration this fall.



Language Selections
To read this in another language, go to the top right corner of your screen and click on "Select Language."


What we’re engaging on:

The City of Victoria is creating a Welcoming City Strategy that will serve as a roadmap to guide Victoria towards becoming a stronger, more inclusive community where everyone, including newcomers, immigrants and refugees, is accepted, respected and feels like they belong.

The Welcoming City Strategy will include recommended short, medium and long-term actions, measures of success, as well as an accountability framework.

How we got here:

The City of Victoria's 2019-2022 Strategic Plan has eight objectives, one of which is "Health, Well-Being and a Welcoming City". Creating a Welcoming City Strategy is an action under this objective. A Welcoming City Task Force was formed last summer and began meeting in the fall, with the purpose of developing the Welcoming City Strategy.

The Council-appointed Welcoming City Task Force is co-chaired by Mayor Lisa Helps and Councillor Sharmarke Dubow and made up of people who reflect Victoria’s increasingly diverse population. The Task Force is leading the Welcoming City work with the assistance of consultants and City staff. Sharing their own expertise and lived experience, Task Force members are reaching out to other community stakeholders through a series of virtual workshops to gather input to inform the Welcoming City Strategy.

Welcoming Standards help communities imagine the possibilities of what they could look like while also measuring progress. To be effective, a Welcoming City Strategy must engage long-time residents; set goals, monitor impact and adjust as needed; be designed for equity and inclusion; and be implemented in partnership with the community.

The Welcoming Standards are drawn from Welcoming America, a non-profit organization leading a movement of inclusive communities to become more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs. The Welcoming Standards are organized into the following categories:

  • Government Leadership
  • Civic Engagement
  • Equitable Access
  • Education
  • Connected Communities
  • Economic Development
  • Safe Communities

Learn more about the Welcoming City Task Force.

When will we be seeking public input?
May 11 - 30 -- Phase 1 Engagement – Participate in Stories, Ideas and Poll engagement activities to help develop Welcoming City Strategy

June 24 - July 11 -- Phase 2 Engagement – Participate in an online Survey to provide feedback on potential ideas for the Welcoming City Strategy

What is the level of public participation?
This engagement ranges from Consult to Collaborate.

HAVE YOUR SAY UPDATE:
Phase 1: Thank you to all those who shared their ideas, stories and lived experiences with us during Phase 1 of engagement.

Phase 2: The online survey is now closed. The community was invited to provide feedback on potential ideas for the Strategy to make sure it reflects the collective voice, vision, and values of Victoria residents. Thank you to all those who participated.

Next Step: Public feedback will inform the draft Welcoming City Strategy that will be presented to Council for consideration this fall.


Share Your Story

Thank you to those who shared their stories and lived experiences on whether they feel welcome and a sense of belonging, included or excluded, participate in community/civic life and feel diversity is welcomed. Your input will help inform the development of our Welcoming City Strategy. 


Thank you for sharing your story with us.
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

  • It's hard to make friends in Victoria.

    by JEdney, 12 months ago

    I moved to Victoria in Fall of 2019 from Alberta. Within 6 months, the pandemic hit, so I don't have much experience of the community under "normal" conditions. However, what I've heard since shortly after arriving here is that this it's hard to make friends here; long-time residents are for some reason not typically keen to build new relationships.

    I'm fortunate that my move here introduced me to a great bunch of colleagues and a couple of warm-hearted family friends; friendships that have clung to like a life raft throughout the pandemic, though sometimes anxiously feel like I'm too heavy... Continue reading

  • Feeling undervalued

    by Manzanita1, 12 months ago
    I have lived in Victoria for all but 3 of the last 50 plus years and have resided in Burnside Gorge for the past 30 years. I have never before felt so under valued as a resident of what used to be this beautiful, safe city. This neighbourhood in particular, had suffered immeasurably since the City and Province have put an enormous amount of supportive housing into the area. I no longer feel safe in my community and take every opportunity that I can to go elsewhere to shop and exercise.


    Balanced communities are a must and I feel the... Continue reading
  • Keep it welcoming

    by SMFernandes, 12 months ago
    I’ve lived in Victoria more than 20 years, starting as a student, and always found it a welcoming & pleasurable place to call home. Diversity is so important to keep it so and affordability plays a huge part. People who work here, whether it’s in a company or cafe, should be able to enjoy & invest in living here.
  • Do employers in Victoria share the same value and spirit?

    by Tan, about 1 year ago

    Answer is NO. I came here with 17 years of international working experience. Victoria employers asked me to start at entry level job, the lowest possible level. I said fine. I completed my masters degree in Victoria from a reputed university and knocked on the doors of the employers again. They didn't open the door, not even to check who is knocking! It is frustrating to start my career from scratch again. This is so unwelcoming experience for me and my family. I am living in Victoria for last 2.5 years and trying to secure a decent job for over... Continue reading

  • Not welcoming

    by thegolfguy, about 1 year ago
    I have travelled and lived in many cities across Canada , the US and the world. When i moved here 3 years ago I quickly realized that Victoria is the least Friendly of any city........sorry collection of municipalities that i have ever lived in.

    For all its beauty and reputation there is very little sense of community and a have and have not class segregation is prominent.

    Diversity is always welcome , although Victoria, Oak bay Saanich etc talk a good game but don't live these values. I personally think that until amalgamation happens the CRD will continue to deteriorate... Continue reading

  • Safety First

    by DH250, about 1 year ago

    I have lived in Victoria most of my life, and I have lived in James Bay for the last 20+ years..

    Safety needs to be prioritized in our city. The police and bylaw services need to be funded appropriately to make this city safe again. There are so many people who won't come downtown anymore because of the sense that the city is no longer safe. And it hasn't been safe over the past year -- too many incidences of violence. It needs to be safe for everyone, the housed and unhoused alike. I no longer feel as safe as... Continue reading

  • Bring Back Safe Victoria

    by ConcernedVictorian2021, about 1 year ago

    I moved to Victoria 16 years ago, and my three children were born here. My family used to enjoy walking through Beacon Hill park, visiting the petting zoo, shopping downtown, eating at downtown restaurants. We found Victoria to be a welcoming place 16 years ago. Unfortunately, city council's decision to allow entrenched 24/7 camping in public parks has increased the level of violent crime in the city. In just the past few weeks, a man was arrested for pulling a knife on two women in Bastion Square on a Monday afternoon, a father was threatened in front of his family... Continue reading

  • Make Victoria Safe Again

    by vicwest, about 1 year ago
    When I first visited Victoria as a tourist it was a beautiful safe city one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Everyone was friendly, great ethnic and culture centres were very welcoming and you felt safe at night. Having moved here recently and many of my immigrant friends we do not feel safe and are threatened by people downtown, there is not enough police around and people in my community have been harassed and threatened and do not feel safe. Having lived in Chile and Mexico and many other countries throughout the world Victoria has become one of... Continue reading
  • Diversity of opinion

    by DrSensei, about 1 year ago
    Over my lifetime, our society has become much more accepting of diversity. The sort of casual, generally accepted prejudices that were endemic in my youth have largely disappeared. It would be difficult to overstate just how far we have come. I remember a time when Chinese prejudices against Europeans, or Japanese prejudices against Chinese, or British prejudices against Italians, or a myriad of other prejudices on ethnic or religious bases were freely expressed in Canada, and no one seemed to think it reprehensible. And other aspects of identity, such as sexual orientation, were not mentioned at all! So it's always... Continue reading
Page last updated: 14 Jul 2021, 03:04 PM