(City of Victoria)

Just in time for summer, a public dock within a popular park has been expanded to give swimmers and paddlers better access to Victoria’s Gorge Waterway.

More than doubling dock space to reduce crowding, upgrades at Banfield Park allow for safer deep-water access and accommodate limited watercraft access at low tide, according to the city.

The expansion adds a five-by-10-metre platform, plus new rescue equipment, including a reaching pole and life ring device, new signage, two swim ladders, and flip-up dock cleats to temporarily secure kayaks.

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“Banfield Park has become one of the most popular spots in Victoria to swim and paddle year-round,” said Mayor Lisa Helps.

“The expanded dock gives people more room to stay active and safely enjoy this special part of Victoria’s waterfront.”

Led by the Gorge Swim Fest Society, local residents worked with the city on the dock expansion design, which aligns with the Official Community Plan and Victoria West Neighbourhood Plan.

The city says the project also included an aquatic assessment to mitigate impacts on the marine habitat and a safety assessment, with plans to enhance other parks along the Gorge Waterway.

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