The former Burnside elementary on Jutland Road in Victoria is part of a proposal aimed at enhancing the neighbourhood through new subsidized housing and community amenities. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

New housing, community amenities in works for Burnside school site

Plans part of a broader picture for urban village centre for Burnside Gorge

Dean Fortin knows the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood well.

The executive director of Pacifica Housing held that same role with the area’s community association before joining Victoria city council as a councillor then as mayor. He’s familiar with the challenges residents face and was enthusiastic about the announcement Friday of the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the City and the Greater Victoria School District to bring new subsidized housing to the former Burnside elementary site.

“Pacifica is excited to be enhancing the Burnside Gorge community with affordable market housing for families, child care facilities and renewed public space,” he said in a release. “We listened to what the residents wanted in the local area plan process and are pleased to deliver on their aspirations for their neighbourhood.”

The plans, which must still go through the public process and be approved by city council, call for 88 units of two- and three-bedroom suites, as well as new child care spaces and programming space for the neighbourhood.

A decision approved by the SD61 in 2016 will see seismic upgrades and modernization completed on the school, which will be renamed the Burnside Education Centre. It will eventually be home to students and staff from The Link at S.J. Willis Alternative School.

The City would lease land north of the school to housing provider Pacifica for 60 years, with nominal rates initially. Pacifica must still secure funding to build the structure.

Mayor Lisa Helps called the three-way collaboration “unprecedented” and said it would provide such benefits as “much needed family housing and childcare spaces, as well as community development opportunities.”

As well as falling in line with the City’s housing strategy through 2025, she said, the proposal “is a great first step toward creating a walkable urban village at the Cecelia and Jutland roads intersection, as envisioned in the neighbourhood plan.”

The site is in the same block as the Burnside-Gorge Community Centre and is within walking distance of Cecelia Ravine Park and the Galloping Goose Trail.

SD61 board chair Edith Loring-Kuhanga likes the synergies the plan creates by integrating a refurbished Burnside school.

“The Board of Education strongly believes our schools strengthen communities, and having the opportunity to create a neighbourhood hub with amenities for families, young children and learners is the first step to building a healthy, sustainable and prosperous community,” she said.

editor@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Victoria’s Clean Team collects 600 used needles in a week

Number of used needles found downtown steadily increasing over 12 years

How schools across Greater Victoria are handling marijuana legalization

Districts and campuses have different approaches to pot use and education

Disney channel TV series being shot in Oak Bay

The new TV series is called ‘Pup Academy’

Vancouver Island homeowners buy more earthquake insurance than the rest of B.C.

Insurance Bureau of Canada says that’s because the perception of risk is greater on the Island

Anxiety amongst voters on amalgamation referendum

Non-binding referendum asks Victoria and Saanich residents to endorse citizens’ assembly

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land for expansion

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

Most Read