Victoria mulls plans to transform Ship Point at Inner Harbour

Victoria mulls plans to transform Ship Point at Inner Harbour

Victoria city council will be considering a proposal to overhaul the Ship Point parking lot area of the Inner Harbour later this week.

In 2017, city council asked municipal staff to create a master plan on how to redevelop the waterfront property.

Two years later, in 2019, a proposal was presented to council, but was ultimately dropped. Now, on Thursday, city staff will present a new Ship Point Master Plan 2.0 to council.

The new plan remains largely the same at its core, with a proposal to turn the current Ship Point parking lot into a festival pier and plaza, with space for a picnic area, terraces, and potentially a pavilion.

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A pop-up parklet is pictured at Ship Point on Aug. 17, 2023.

The overall plan “envisions a mix of civic, cultural, social, and commercial uses and activities, and provides a place for community gathering and celebration year-round,” according to a staff report submitted to council on Sept. 1.

The timing of the project aligns with Ship Point’s need for remediation work.

The site was extended over the harbour’s natural shoreline in the early 1970s, and “poor quality fill materials” were used to construct the Ship Point seawall, according to the report.

The need for repairs offers the city an opportunity to reimagine the surface parking lot, staff say.

In 2018, the city estimated that the entire Ship Point overhaul project would cost approximately $65.5 million, which included costs for construction, landscaping and engineering.

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(City of Victoria)

Estimated costs have only risen since then, and city staff say they’re interested in hearing from council about the specific scope it envisions for the project, given the “costs and cost uncertainties associated with the long-term vision for the site.”

Construction of the project will be carried out in phases to minimize disruptions, according to staff.

“The commencement of this work, which had been postponed due to prolonged staff vacancies, is now anticipated to take place in early 2024,” reads the report.

(City of Victoria)

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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