Vic West to get park, thanks to bridge project

Victoria city council has put to rest any concerns that city-owned land, with million dollar views of the Inner Harbour, will be sold to commercial interests.

The s-curve on Esquimalt Road in Vic West will be eliminated, as the city builds a new Johnson Street Bridge, opening up one acre of land.

On Thursday, council committed to transforming the land into space for public use.

“It does provide the city with some strategic view points of the Inner Harbour,” said parks director Kate Friars. “In Vic West, we don’t have a city-wide park and we do believe this would be an incredible opportunity to establish (one) in that area.”

A park classified as city-wide contains the type of amenities that will bring people from across the city, such as Beacon Hill and Topaz Park. On this lot, one option is an amphitheatre to make use of its natural slope.

Council passed the motion Thursday at the governance and priorities committee. Discussion about the look and feel of the park will take place with community consultation next year.

“What an extraordinary gift to the city,” said Coun. Pam Madoff. “It could possible be an initiative for our 150 birthday.”

Coun. Philippe Lucas brought practical concerns to the table.

“With the new bridge in place, this will be just off the new pedestrian pathway,” he said. Accessibility in terms of parking and bus shelters also need to be considered “so that it’s not just an amenity to the Delta (Ocean Pointe) hotel guests.”



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