Editorial: Making your village a place

Feltham Village sounds like a great place, but does anyone really call it that?

Feltham Village sounds like a great place, but does anyone really call it that?

The restaurants, businesses and services surrounding the intersection of Feltham Road and Shelbourne Street are often overlooked, even by Gordon Head residents.

For one, the area is a five-minute walk north of University Centre, East Saanich’s biggest hub. And yet Feltham has everything a village needs (short of a pub).

There are no hard rules around the concept of placemaking – it’s community specific, based on the happenstance of the geographical layout. What’s key is supporting the destination by ensuring safe, accessible routes for pedestrians and cyclists while also allowing cars access. Establish those things and nearby residents will be enticed. Businesses such as Naughty Nellies’ fish and chips could grow as a social hub, rather than a take-out pit stop during the rush hour home.

Saanich’s official community plan recognizes Feltham as one of just seven villages, though the term is pliable. Among those villages is Cadboro Bay Village, which thrives on the simple but crucial proximity of two crosswalks within 200 metres along Cadboro Bay Road. The entire commercial atmosphere of that village is predicated between two four-way intersections which slow traffic, with wide roads that are more friendly to cyclists.

A crosswalk between Feltham Road and Arbordale Avenue makes a lot of sense. It creates a relationship between those living on the west side of Shelbourne to those on the east side who have safe and easy access to the amenities surrounding the Gordon Head recreation centre, a skate park, lawn bowling, a secondary school and the diamonds, which thrive in the summer as the region’s home to senior men’s baseball.

Some of the more significant challenges along Shelbourne will take years, if not decades to correct. The protruding power poles of the Feltham/Shelbourne intersection deny cyclists a safe staging area while also obscuring pedestrians from the views of right-turning drivers.

Bikes are commonplace, but they’re as unwelcome on the narrow lanes of Shelbourne Street as they are welcome on the designated bike paths of the Gordon Head Local Connector and Lochside Trail. Rezoning of the residential area immediately north of Feltham could invite future village stops, perhaps another restaurant. Add in some incentives for owners to yield a portion of their street-front property to create bike lanes and Shelbourne can become a safer, less car-dependent area.


Just Posted

War bride’s oversea voyage to Canada took a leap of faith

More than 45,000 women immigrated to Canada after the Second World War

One woman’s scrapbook uncovered at Fort Rodd Hill tells story of thousands during Second World War

Joyce Margaret Whitney served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps from 1942 to 1946

Hundreds mark Remembrance Day with ceremony at Saanich municipal hall

Revellers took in the ceremony, then went into the hall for coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies

Son of Second World War veteran returns to Norway to see site of rescue, repatriation

Six-man crew crash lands in Nazi occupied territory, only known instance of entire crew surviving

Colwood house helps homeless veterans get back on their feet

Cockrell House has helped more than 100 people since it was established in 2009

VIDEO: Pups in the pool: West Shore rec centre’s Dog Swim a success

West Shore Parks and Recreation goes to the dogs Sunday night

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Victoria Jazz Orchestra concert raises funds for the Single Parents’ Resource Centre

Maria Manna on tap for the Nov. 16 performance in Victoria

Renowned men’s chorus ‘Back by Popular Demand’ in Victoria

One of Canada’s premier singing ensembles kicks off its 39th season on Nov. 16

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Most Read