A rendering of what Ship Point could look like according to a recently released master plan from the City of Victoria. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Victoria mayor hopes ninth attempt to redesign Ship Point will go through

Revised master plan for waterfront site includes plazas, festival piers and more

The City of Victoria has grand plans for Ship Point.

The waterfront area below Wharf Street is mostly used as a parking lot – with music and cultural festivals taking over at various times during the summer months. But after much deliberation and an open house presentation, the City has presented a revised master plan that aims to transform the area into a pedestrian-dominant series of plazas and connective causeways.

Ship Point has been the muse of master plans for decades, said Mayor Lisa Helps, but most of the ideas have never come to fruition.

“Since the ’50s, this is the seventh or eighth plan that’s been done for the site,” she said. “But it’s never been resourced, because there’s never been a budget allocated to build it. So hopefully this time we actually see the plan come to life.”

The plan must be formally approved by council, which is scheduled for discussion on June 14. If it gets the green light, City staff will begin work on specific building designs and see what can be done under the 2019 budget.

While no numbers have been determined, Helps said it will be a costly procedure.

“There’s a lot of structural work that needs to happen on the pier itself, that’s going to be quite expensive, so we’ll see,” she said. The mayor is hopeful this project will go through because of the hundreds of hours of work that city staff and community members have put into the design.

A rendering of what Ship Point could look like according to a recently released master plan from the City of Victoria. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

“I think it really reflects, almost magically, who we are as a capital city,” Helps added. “Most importantly because it’s been done with so much community input, it’s what people in Victoria feel like we are and what they want that space to be.”

Highlights of the plan include layered green terraces, a grand staircase, a pavilion building along Wharf Street, food and beverage patios, a festival pier, picnic areas, an elaborate plaza for Harbour Air, large promenades for ships and a connective pathway to the lower causeway at the Inner Harbour.

Deliberation about the area has gone on for several years, with such ideas as public beaches considered, but overall they were not favoured by the public.

A rendering of what Ship Point could look like according to a recently released master plan from the City of Victoria. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

To see the plan in more detail, visit victoria.ca/shippoint.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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