The plan to connect Colwood’s Royal Beach development to the Esquimalt Lagoon ecological bird sanctuary with a multi-use waterfront path has received a federal funding boost of $6 million.
The path will not only create a scenic route for residents but also help improve local habitats and support biodiversity while protecting sensitive ecological areas of Esquimalt Lagoon, the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) said in a funding announcement Monday.
The waterfront path project includes plans for natural infrastructure to safeguard the Esquimalt Lagoon from sea-level rise and restore riparian vegetation in the salt marsh.
It also hopes to inspire more people to walk or bike from Colwood’s town centre to the waterfront where they can then continue on to what Mayor Doug Kobayashi described in a news release as a “vibrant seaside village” planned for Royal Beach.
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“This accessible multi-use pathway will allow visitors to enjoy the spectacular waterfront in Colwood, while protecting sensitive ecological and archaeological shoreline areas,” he said.
The oceanfront development is being built east of Metchosin Road, across from Colwood’s other newly developed community of Royal Bay.
Federal funding for this project comes from the Canada Community-Building Fund, formerly known as the federal Gas Tax Fund, and is part of a larger investment of over $103.5 million to support 45 community infrastructure projects across B.C.
The announcement was made by Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, alongside B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs Anne Kang and Councillor Jen Ford, UBCM President.
The 135-acre waterfront site of Royal Beach, southwest of Victoria, will be home to approximately 2,850 homes and units including retail and commercial space.