Renderings of possible improvements to come to Ship Point (City of Victoria)

Discussions surrounding what to do with Victoria’s Ship Point continue this week.

In a Committee of the Whole meeting this Thursday, September 14th, Victoria city council will be considering a proposed ‘Master Plan’ for an overhaul of Ship Point.

The proposal would see the seawall completely altered and landscaped, parking options removed and improvements to the area as a public space implemented. 

However, where the funding for this project would come from remains uncertain.

City council and staff have a long-term vision to completely change the site of Ship Point but there are also structural integrity issues of the seawall that must be addressed in the short-term. 

Council will now review the Master Plan, prioritizing certain aspects of their Master Plan and strategically finding cost efficiencies for the ordeal. 

(City of Victoria)

The project was initially launched in 2017 and saw that over the next several years, improvements would be made to Ship Point and the rest of the Inner Harbour to make them more welcoming as public-use spaces. 

Specifically, the Master Plan calls for the lower promenade to eventually become an accessible space rather than a parking lot that will be designed for maximum flexibility with public events and festivals in mind. 

During non-event times the plan calls for sitting space, green space and gathering space to be the main function of Ship Point. 

The city envisions food trucks and sea-cans being used as micro-retail spaces for local businesses to use as pop-ups — similar to how the Langford Station is utilized for small retailers. 

Based on estimates made in 2018 for the entirety of all phases of the project, the total cost will be upwards of $66 million.

(City of Victoria)

Some of the aspects of the planned changes may be subject to change pending funding opportunities. 

In conclusion, the seawall must be stabilized and that will be the priority for city staff and council, but the rest of the plan might change slightly over the next handful of years.

Regardless of what changes may happen, the plan to turn the area from a parking lot into a hub for residents and visitors to use is the ultimate vision and city council needs only to figure out where the money will come from to fund this project and where to draw the line when it comes to expenses. 

For now, temporary measures such as turf and games have been placed at Ship Point for the summer months to help the area feel a bit less like a parking lot. 

(City of Victoria)

What kinds of public features would you like to see incorporated at Ship Point? Let us know in the comments below!

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