COLUMN: A time of change for Esquimalt

The Victoria News has offered the wonderful opportunity to me of writing a short article about what is happening in Esquimalt.

  • Fri Aug 19th, 2016 5:00pm
  • News

By Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins

The Victoria News has offered the wonderful opportunity to me of writing a short article about what is happening in Esquimalt. I am excited to have this opportunity and the hardest part will be in keeping it to the required size.

With  so much going on in Esquimalt this summer — from new developments and infrastructure improvements, to exciting arts and culture events, it’s a great opportunity to highlight some of these.

We are all excited about Esquimalt Town Square, the feature development project in the township, which will revitalize our town centre with mixed uses, amenities and services, including a new library and campus for the Justice Institute of B.C. While this is a big step in development, other developments are also generating excitement.  We’ve started construction on the Esquimalt Adventure Park on Fraser Street, an innovative addition to our parks system which includes a spray park water feature. Our renowned hotel, the English Inn, is expanding to include a phased residential development, and the Inn itself will be undergoing expansion. Red Barn Market will be moving to the corner of Admirals and Esquimalt roads, and the Tudor House development is taking shape right across the intersection.

We have improved our network of bike lanes and sidewalks, and Esquimalt Road is getting a makeover between Head and Lampson streets with a new surface and intersection upgrades. Design guidelines are also being planned for the Esquimalt Road Corridor. These guidelines will help ensure our corridor improvements are coordinated and designed with all users in mind. Watch for upcoming public consultation opportunities.

All of these projects and improvements are moving forward within the vision of our Official Community Plan, which provides direction for future growth and development in the community.

It has been a kaleidoscope of arts and entertainment so far this summer with the Memorial Park Music Fest, Farmers Market, Esquimalt Arts Festival, Esquimalt Lantern Festival, and others. I have good news — the high quality offerings continue right through the fall. Watch for Esquimalt RibFest Sept. 9 to 11, featuring the Cars, Rods and Rides show, Sculpture Splash Sept. 17 to 18 and Township Classics at the English Inn starting on Sept. 25. I encourage everyone to visit our website at esquimalt.ca for updates on upcoming events, public input opportunities, initiatives and projects happening this fall.

The combination of an affordable real estate market, an active arts and recreation scene  and improved services and amenities means that Esquimalt can look forward to more young families moving to the community to live, work and play. This bodes well for our future.