Neighbourhood Boundaries

Consultation has concluded

Have Your Say Update
Thank you to all those who shared their feedback. The online survey is now closed. The report is now public and available to view in the "Reports" section (to the right).

Summary
Victoria City Council proposed changes to the current neighbourhood boundaries in the following neighbourhoods: Fernwood, Oaklands, Jubilee, North Park, Fairfield, Downtown, Burnside Gorge.

City Council proposed these changes to help reconcile some geographic anomalies and to align neighbourhood boundaries with residents’ sense of place. The City would like to hear from all residents regarding these proposed adjustments. Please provide your feedback by answering the

Have Your Say Update
Thank you to all those who shared their feedback. The online survey is now closed. The report is now public and available to view in the "Reports" section (to the right).

Summary
Victoria City Council proposed changes to the current neighbourhood boundaries in the following neighbourhoods: Fernwood, Oaklands, Jubilee, North Park, Fairfield, Downtown, Burnside Gorge.

City Council proposed these changes to help reconcile some geographic anomalies and to align neighbourhood boundaries with residents’ sense of place. The City would like to hear from all residents regarding these proposed adjustments. Please provide your feedback by answering the survey below. All feedback received will help Council make their decision on each of the proposed boundary adjustments in September 2021.

What We’re Engaging On
Proposed changes to the neighbourhood boundaries. For more details, view the Council Led Workshop – Neighbourhood Boundaries agenda item and Council’s discussion at the February 4 meeting here.

A subsequent Council discussion (including specific resolutions) was held on February 25, which you can view here.

How We Got Here
In 2019, Council introduced an action to ‘resolve anomalies in neighbourhood boundaries’ in the Strong, Liveable Neighbourhoods section of the City's Strategic Plan.

On February 4, 2021 Council held a discussion about current neighbourhood boundaries. Council made several observations including that:

  • Reconciling geographic anomalies that may fit better in an adjacent neighbourhood
  • There may be opportunities to better match boundaries with the neighbourhoods in which residents perceive themselves to be living
  • Neighbourhood populations vary substantially and may present challenges for neighbourhood associations, e.g. too big for effective representation or too small to recruit volunteer support
  • Some village centres are divided between neighbourhoods

With the above considerations, several boundaries were discussed as possible areas for change (see map). Council directed staff to engage residents through their neighbourhood associations about the proposed boundary area changes.

Share additional feedback about the proposed neighbourhood boundary changes here:

Thank your for your feedback!

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

I live in the area of Fairfield that is potentially changing to downtown and I don't agree with the proposed change. I could maybe see the rationale for changing the boundary for the area north of Fairfield Rd if that aligned with the views of the residents there but the area south of Fairfield Rd doesn't make sense to be considered downtown in my opinion. That would include Mt. St. Mary's, S.t Ann's Academy etc. and that whole area feels like Fairfield to me. Changing it to downtown would actually be a step backwards in terms of aligning with my own sense of place.

Introspect 6 months ago

I live in between Bay and Haultain Streets, which is presently classed as Fernwood. To me, it feels like Oaklands where I live. We are separated from the rest of Fernwood by Bay street. When I walk around the neighbourhood, it is through Oaklands, to Oaklands park, up the pedestrian-friendly King Street. My feel of place is Oaklands.

Colin42 6 months ago

It is self evident that Gonzales is distinct from Fairfield and has much more in common as a neighbourhood with Rockland. While, as a Gonzales resident, I am supportive of an independent Gonzales Neighbourhood Association, I also believe it could be combined with Rockland's. Both neighbourhoods have a similar look and feel, shared values, and residents' interests would largely be aligned under a shared association. What is clear is that shoehorning Gonzales into what is effectively the Fairfield Community Association is not working.

rap75 6 months ago

I said I agreed with the North Park/Fernwood boundary change mostly because of the work of the NPNA and the Cook Street businesses to beautify and make safe their areas. It feels to me like the east side of the Cook St. is more relevant to North Park than to Fernwood. However, in spite of that I tend to agree with Charles that if North Park is going to be seen as the enemy by vocal Fernwood residents, it's not worth it to force this boundary change on them. It's a shame there hadn't been more time devoted to dialogue between the City and our neighbourhoods for a collaborative outcome, perhaps even a modified boundary change.

Lettye99 6 months ago

I think it's important to consider what might happen to Haultain Corners if the Fernwood boundary is extended. How will Fernwood's land use committee view this? Will expensive condo developments be approved that are out of the price range of most families (like what happened in the Cook St Village)? Or will quality affordable housing be built that fits in with the existing character of the neighbourhood and the wishes of residents already living there?

Alo246 6 months ago

I oppose Gonzales separating from the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association, and in particular I oppose any role by the group calling itself the Gonzales Neighbourhood Association. I have lived in Gonzales for over 30 years.

In my view the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association has done a very good job through its executive and committees to address a broad range of concerns/needs of various community residents and to generally enhance living in this community. Its land use planning committee has established procedures to provide opportunities for residents to voice their different views and to report back to Council a summary of the range of opinions and concerns. It has guidelines that recognize the issue of conflict of interest for committee members and members must stand down from participation on these specific issues.

By contrast, it seems to me that the Gonzales Neighbourhood Association is a collection of residents recruited by one shared interest – opposing almost all multi family developments (which would provide opportunities for cheaper housing than single family residential and more dwellings for people to live in our neighbourhood). It does not appear to have any interest in the views of community members that differ from them. And it does not have any interest in wider community needs such as child care, or recreational and educational programs for residents of all ages.
Isabelle403

Isabelle46 6 months ago

I live in one of the areas that would move into another neighbourhood. So far I have heard not one advantage to me for a boundary change. Nor any disadvantage. I got a flyer telling me that "Council identified potential benefits for relocating proposed boundaries." This tells me nothing. What benefits? There are a lot of "mays" on the "How We Got Here" sections on the Neighbourhood Boundaries page. How about something definite?

Adam49 6 months ago

As someone else stated, "Disingenuous is a polite way to describe the public face put on these boundary changes." However, in this particular instance I am not as polite. I live in the Gonzales neighbourhood and there are no proposed changes to our boundaries.
That said, stating the reasons for the proposed changes are to "Help reconcile some geographic anomalies and Improve residents’ sense of place." says absolutely nothing. No one understands what that means because it doesn't mean anything.
Everything that Lisa Helps and this current council does in their approach to supposedly governing our beautiful Victoria, is to either state something vaguely or not at all, so that their hidden agenda can proceed unabated. It doesn't matter if it is the DBA survey that categorically stated that the businesses need vehicular traffic to continue on Government street only for that now to be restricted till noon as of this week or the countless requests to review the proposed changes to Richardson street for bike accommodation, or the ongoing destruction of Beacon Hill park and the impact on all Victoria residents. It simply doesn't matter!
So when do you hear from Lisa Helps? You hear from Lisa Helps when she wants to take another opportunity to add to her national reputation in pursuit of her ambition for a future Provincial or Federal political appointment. Items such as the recent cancellation of Canada Day celebrations in support of the horrific discovery or missing First Nations children from Residential schools or the removal of the statue of Sir John A McDonald as a gesture of reconciliation. All very worthy causes in their own right, but certainly not what the Mayor or Victoria and her council should be focusing on.
Yes, tackling real problems such as homelessness, drug addiction, lose of tourism and businesses due to the pandemic is hard work.
What we need from this Mayor and her council is to work towards supporting the real issues that directly affect Victoria residents.

goonergunner 6 months ago

"Council identified potential benefits for each of these boundary changes". Where can I look over these benefits to see if it's true and applies or just bad perception. I'd like to peruse these before I answer my one survey "slider style" question of negative option.
M.G. Choices

gord228 6 months ago

Disingenuous is a polite way to describe the public face put on these boundary changes. The proposed changes were first dropped on the FCA in February of 2021 much to the surprise of both board members and the general public. The City's initial plan was to rush these through through by April of 2021 and it was only due to public resistance that the "consultation" date was pushed back. Despite multiple direct questions including some to counselors present at land use meetings the City has yet to provide any concrete justification for these changes beyond vague terms like "house keeping" or "sense of place". They have also been misrepresenting the fallout such as funding to the community associations which is tied to population. What makes this especially frustrating is that the city has clearly stated in public meetings that Fernwood will not get an updated Official Community Plan and in its place that "Villages and Corridors" will apply.

How convenient then that moving the Fernwood boundary to Chambers (for example) would place the Caledonia development immediately within the 400m of an "urban village" where as now it is outside of that. The proposed changes have too much synergy with the major Caledonia development and mock-ups for the "future" of North Park Village to be taken as anything other than an attempt to sidestep concerns while reducing venues for community oversight. If the City is going to flat out misrepresent their intent how can we as community members possibly have any meaningful engagement?

Instead of these cynical boundary changes how about the city providing Fernwood with an updated Official Community Plan as well as publicly posting the full "Villages and Corridors" plan so we have a concrete and public base for these discussions?

fernwood beach 6 months ago

Yes, the downtown district is currently undersized and should be enlarged to accommodate higher density. Single detached homes are considered a luxury nowadays in light of population growth at the expense of wildlife and the forest. We need to be more efficient with the use of current allotted space and minimize expansion horizontally.

ZZ Raven 6 months ago

Boundaries should exist along major, easily identifiable streets. Chambers St does not qualify. There is a Fernwood community garden located on Garden St that the proposed boundary change would be re-located to Oaklands. Fernwood resident gardeners would be unfairly impacted by the boundary change. The vagueness of information regarding the motivation for changing boundaries that have existed for over half a century leads to distrust and suspicion. I suspect that future development approvals may be impacted by these boundary changes and believe that it has the potential to be detrimental to the Fernwood Community (such as expanding Harris Green commercial and high density development). I also expect that funding for the Fernwood Community Resource Group which has been very active in the development of Fernwood would be cut. Fernwood also has more than its share of low-cost housing developments and social services. These needed resources need to be located more equitably with the other Victoria neighbourhoods. Consequently, I do NOT support any changes to the boundaries of Fernwood and question the vision the Victoria City Council hold for the future of Fernwood .

Mom 6 months ago

It is difficult for one to formulate an opinion on the proposed changes without receiving answers to other questions before hand. It appears that this survey has been constructed in such a way to meet a specific agenda that has not been made available to residents affected. For example; I live in Fernwood which could see boundaries shrink on a number of sides. Will this result in less funding to the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group? Will the proposed changes, if accepted by residents, be used by City Council to meet other hidden objectives such as confining low cost housing to specific neighbourhoods. Fernwood already has more than it's share of low cost housing. This needs to be more equitably distributed to other neighbourhoods. Will existing zoning be the next target if the boundary changes are accepted. It is time to come clean on what is really behind the proposed changes.

Richard1 6 months ago

Oaklands densification plan is different from North Jubilee's. You can already see how there are many more townhouses on the Oaklands side of Shelbourne than the North Jubilee side. If all of Shelbourne becomes part of Oaklands, there could be even more densification in the area. North Jubilee has fewer streets than Oaklands, so it is not possible to disperse the increased traffic. The result will be a higher volume of traffic cutting through residential streets from one major artery to the next. This would be a challenge for residents! Also, having part of Shelbourne "belong" to North Jubilee gives our neighbourhood an opportunity to have input in what happens there. We live right next to Shelbourne St and any changes to it will definitely affect us as well.

Theresa 6 months ago

Don't change boundaries so you can hide changing crime demographics. We already have a sense of place. Start prosecuting criminals and reducing crime. Do your jobs

CKM 6 months ago

I feel that there is merit to merging Fernwood and North Park in full, the two neighbourhoods are so intertwined that their development should be considered as a whole, especially if Chambers is to become the new border.

Domasin 6 months ago

I live in the area that will be affected by the proposed boundary change, and while I don't feel strongly either way I do feel that the city is not being transparent in their motives. It's hard for me to be on board with the change when the reasoning is quite vague and doesn't seem to have any strong concrete arguments behind it. I'm not sure whether there is a hidden agenda to the proposed change, or whether the city just hasn't fully thought it through, but I don't feel like I am able to make an informed decision about my thoughts on the issue due to a lack of information.

Msom 6 months ago

By the way - if you didn't know, our bike lanes are being upgraded to have audible signals for the blind. This is good, because no one wants to get run over while boarding a bus. But I haven't seen any cost numbers for this upgrade to all our bike lanes. Lisa, anyone? Any numbers?

Daver1234 6 months ago

If we could get a tad more detail from council on the two points raised in this survey it would help citizens to make informed decisions.
- "Help reconcile some geographic anomalies." What geographic anomalies?
- "Improve residents’ sense of place." What does "sense of place" even mean?

How would these two issues be addressed by the proposed boundary changes?

Daver1234 6 months ago

With a complete lack of information on why these changes should occur, beyond feel-good bureaucratic platitudes, I get the sense there is more going on here than council is willing to reveal. Is the city looking to expand the already massive growth in high-rise rabbit warrens down both sides of Cook street into the current Fernwood area? Are we looking at the start of a twenty year plan to "upgrade" this wonderful urban area and turn it into a cement and steel traffic corridor? Impossible to tell from this survey, but with no apparent rational for the changes, I'm thinking we should follow the (developers) money.

Daver1234 6 months ago