Missing Middle Housing

Whether starting out, growing a family, or down-sizing, everyone deserves a good home.

Provide your feedback on the emerging concepts for missing middle zoning, which have been informed by early community input and technical analysis. Your feedback will help us navigate some important choices and trade-offs that will inform what the future of missing middle housing looks like in Victoria.

About the Missing Middle Initiative:

Census data shows Victoria continues to lose young families as their housing needs evolve. And it’s not just young families who would benefit from missing middle housing. There are many other people looking for housing

Whether starting out, growing a family, or down-sizing, everyone deserves a good home.

Provide your feedback on the emerging concepts for missing middle zoning, which have been informed by early community input and technical analysis. Your feedback will help us navigate some important choices and trade-offs that will inform what the future of missing middle housing looks like in Victoria.

About the Missing Middle Initiative:

Census data shows Victoria continues to lose young families as their housing needs evolve. And it’s not just young families who would benefit from missing middle housing. There are many other people looking for housing options in between single-family homes, which cost just over a million dollars on average in Victoria, and apartments or condos which often lack outdoor space.

In Victoria, we need more housing options that address the diverse needs of our community. That’s why one of our housing initiatives – the Missing Middle Housing Initiative – is focused on creating more townhouses and houseplexes (including duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, etc.) – to help diversify housing choices in between an apartment or a single-family home.

The City of Victoria is now looking for input to help navigate important choices and trade-offs, as the policies around the future of missing middle housing are refined. Your input will help us create a more inclusive community with more housing choice for people at all stages of life. We appreciate your participation in the process.

To learn more about Victoria's Housing Strategy visit www.victoria.ca/housing




How we got here – Early Engagement (Phase 1)

Early engagement for the Missing Middle initiative took place between March 2020 and May 2021. Through community meetings, surveys and workshops the City asked about priorities, preferences, barriers, and opportunities relating to missing middle housing.

Some highlights of what we heard included a ranking of objectives for missing middle housing and a prioritized list of site characteristics like access to outdoor space and parking. We also listened to feedback on preferred design, form, and character.

If you participated at this stage, thank you for sharing feedback.

Here is the complete engagement summary from the early engagement.

Here is the Missing Middle Housing Initiative Update Report from July 2021.




Where we are now - Engagement Phase 2

We would now like your feedback on the emerging concepts for missing middle zoning, which have been informed by early community input and technical analysis. Your feedback will help us navigate some important choices and trade-offs that will inform what the future of missing middle housing looks like in Victoria.

Phase 2 engagement moves between the Inform and Involve levels of the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation.

We invite you to participate in this Virtual Open House, which includes:

Thank you for your interest in the future of missing middle housing in Victoria!


Do you have a question about the Missing Middle Housing Initiative?

If you have any questions, please include them here. City staff will answer your questions.

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  • Can the city impose a “repair or demolish” on properties which fall below habitable standards or which present dangers to passers-by?

    Joseph48 asked 19 days ago

    If you suspect a building poses immediate safety risks, you can report the concern to Bylaw Services through the online form, or by phone or email.

    Also, the City recently passed a Rental Property Standard of Maintenance Bylaw, which aligns with the Province’s Residential Tenancy Act, and sets out minimum standards for rental housing to ensure the quality, safety, and livability of rental units. The bylaw applies to all residential rental properties including rental apartments, rented condo units, secondary suites, garden suites, and unauthorized suites.

  • I don't want to be surrounded by high density housing. How will home owners be protected from this idiocy?

    John196101 asked 25 days ago

    Conversations with the community and stakeholders have informed options for Missing Middle housing that are sensitive to the scale of other housing in neighbourhoods. Considerations factored into this include building orientation, location on the let, allowable size, scale, and design features that minimize impacts in the area. Please take the survey and share your feedback on how these considerations could be improved.

  • Hello, which level of government is responsible for bylaws and zoning that impact the addition of missing middle housing?

    Ruby S asked 11 days ago

    In British Columbia, the Local Government Act gives municipalities the power regulate land use through zoning bylaws (see Division 5). The Act also allows municipal governments to establish Development Permit areas (see Division 7) that require certain forms of development, such as missing middle housing, to demonstrate compliance with a set of design guidelines before they can seek a building permit. Here are the proposed Missing Middle Design Guidelines that would compliment proposed approaches to zoning for missing middle housing forms in Victoria.

  • I attended the recent online event and heard about evolving design guidelines but I’d like to know what specific zoning measures are contemplated for 3 zoning criteria; floor area (maximum), site coverage (maximum) and combined side yard setbacks (minimum)?

    Steve99 asked 29 days ago

    We haven't reached that level of detail yet, as your feedback on the concepts for Missing Middle Housing will help inform the appropriate metrics (like site coverage maximum and related metric of minimum open site space) that could facilitate missing middle housing forms while maximizing usable outdoor space and tree planting space. To ensure large canopy trees continue to grow as a ubiquitous feature of Victoria’s urban forest, missing middle zoning could also include a requirement that there are no below-ground structures underneath at least the portion of the open site space that corresponds to the root zone that supports a large canopy tree (35 square meters).

    If you've already taken the survey, but want to provide more detailed feedback to inform these considerations, feel free to email us at engage@victoria.ca. We will be reporting back to Council early in the new year on what we've heard from this phase of engagement and seeking Council's direction regarding the drafting of zoning bylaws for their consideration. There will be opportunity for public review and comment of the detailed draft zoning bylaws if Council advances to the stage of a public hearing.

  • Why are we allowing free exclusive street parking in some residential areas? I live in a cond where I pay $25 a month for parking yet my house owning neighbours pay nothing. I pay directly to my condo association for upkeep of our parking area and pay through my taxes for the upkeep of my neighbours street parking. Inequitable and unfair! Perhaps residential parking should come with an extra cost. $25 a month seems reasonable.

    Paul asked about 2 months ago

    Thanks for your feedback. At a high level, our recently approved Sustainable Mobility Strategy, GoVictoria, outlines the values, priorities, and policies that will shape the future of how we will manage the right-of-way, including on street parking (see page 44-45). This Strategy will help to guide important upcoming work to modernize our parking regulations and ensuring that the approach to managing and valuing on-street parking is proportional to demand for mobility needs (e.g. different permitting programs in high demand locations). Stay tuned for more on this!

  • Is the elimination of single family/R1 zoning on the table? It's had success in other cities and I'd love to see it tried here.

    SNChalmers asked about 1 year ago

    Missing Middle zoning would be additive, rather than eliminating options. The proposed approach to zoning for Missing Middle housing, on which we're seeking feedback during this phase of engagement, would change zoning for properties that currently have the basic R1-B, R1-A, R1-G, and R-2 zoning. These zones account for the majority of land in the City's Traditional Residential areas. The existing permissions in these zones, including those that allow someone to construct a single family dwelling, would be carried forward into the new zoning, however permissions would be added that allow missing middle housing as well.

  • What was the process to increase the original OCP assignment of 10% of city growth in traditional residential area's to 30%? Has the OCP been ammended to this new level of density? What was the community consultation on this change and how does it align with IAP2 guidlines?

    RMJ46 asked about 2 months ago

    Victoria's Official Community Plan (OCP) was adopted by Council in 2012 after two and a half years of public consultation with more than 6,000 people. The OCP's growth concept (pg 17) envisions 50% of new housing in the Urban Core (i.e. downtown), 40% in and near Town Centres and Large Urban Villages (including Traditional Residential areas within close walking distance), and 10% in the Remainder of the City.

    The colours look similar, but it's important to note the OCP's growth concept (pg 17) is different from the Map 2 - Urban Place Designations (pg 37). The latter is where Traditional Residential areas are defined, and the OCP provides general guidelines for built form, uses, and densities therein. Note: Some of the Traditional Residential areas may be within the growth concept's "close walking distance" of Town Centres and Large Urban Villages.

    The Missing Middle Housing Initiative is largely implementing the OCP's guidance for Traditional Residential areas that has broadly supported a variety of ground oriented housing forms since adoption. However, see the OCP Amendments summary sheet for some modifications that are being considered (seeking feedback now!) for their potential to facilitate strategic accessibility and heritage conservation outcomes. 

  • Will the engagement team be meeting with CALUCs from the various neighbourhoods?

    Chris Petter asked 29 days ago

    All Community Association Land Use Committees were invited to attend one of three Ask a Planner online sessions (see recordings posted at the top right of this page) as well as participate in the survey. In addition, Community Association Land Use Committees are invited to submit written feedback directly to the City. Feedback received from all members of the public and organizations will be provided to Council for their consideration when staff report back to Council on the Missing Middle Housing initiative.

  • Will there be any options for people with suites to turn them into duplexes? For example, I live in a basement suite in a house right now. Will this new program include people who want to sell their basement suite?

    emilycb asked about 2 months ago

    This may already be possible for you through the updated Schedule G - House Conversion Regulations,  which is a use permitted by most basic detached dwelling zones (e.g. R1-B, R1-G, R1-A). If a house meets the requirements in the House Conversion regulations to permit two or more strata units, an existing secondary suite could potentially be converted into a strata unit. If the house and potential conversion does not meet Schedule G, then a strata conversion of an existing suite may not be possible under the existing zoning. 

    For questions about a specific project, you can contact our Zoning team at zoning@victoria.ca or 250-361-0316. 

  • Besides the survey what other early engagement opportunities will be made available?

    Rowena Locklin asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your question.


    Following the early engagement, staff will review feedback as well as early technical analysis and prepare an engagement summary and a report to Council for early 2021. Following Council direction, we will undertake broad community engagement focused on hearing community feedback on scenarios and key considerations for policy and zoning changes developed based on early engagement input and technical analysis. Community feedback gathered at this stage will inform potential modifications to the draft recommendations.

Page last updated: 01 December 2021, 09:37