Victoria’s construction boom set to continue

If you think that there are more construction cranes towering over Victoria’s skyline these days, you’re not mistaken.

If you think that there are more construction cranes towering over Victoria’s skyline these days, you’re not mistaken.

The city saw a seven per cent increase in construction permit values last year, and a 19 per cent increase on the residential side of the industry.

According to the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA), the construction boom will likely continue.

“The residential increase covers the whole gamut of residential construction, but the cranes you’re seeing are primarily related to the multi-family condo market that has been really hot,” said VICA CEO Greg Baynton.

Baynton said the early numbers for this year are promising, with the Greater Victoria region posting a roughly 30 per cent gain in residential and non-residential construction projects over January and February of last year.

At least part of the boom comes as a result of what Daryl Simpson of Bosa Properties called a changing culture at Victoria’s City Hall. He said the various departments of the city have become far more accommodating and efficient when dealing with new development.

It’s a sentiment that is echoed by Ken Mariash of Focus Equities. He credits Mayor Lisa Helps with driving that change in corporate culture.

“It’s a feather in our cap to hear Ken Mariash say that he feels that the culture (at city hall) has changed. To hear a large scale developer say that it’s easy to do business in Victoria, it’s a real testimony,” said Helps.

Baynton said other municipalities across B.C. are working to follow Victoria’s lead.

“For developers, time spent in approvals, permits and hearings amounts to increased money and risk,” he said. “It takes political leadership to remove barriers and help bring projects to market.”

The construction boom has a substantial impact on the region in terms of employment. VICA estimates between 30,000 and 35,000 people are employed in construction on Vancouver Island. Although statistics for Victoria are not kept on a separate basis, figures from the organization’s annual report show more than half of all Island building permits were issued within the Capital Region District. Those figures translate into the construction industry being directly responsible for more than 15,000 jobs in Victoria.

Bayton said those employment numbers reflect an increase of more than 15 per cent, over 2014 — a number that’s good news for the city.

Moreover, VICA predicts the construction boom will continue. Their analysis indicates the infrastructure deficit created over many years of very slow activity will continue for at least the next three years.

And there may be even more good news on the horizon.

None of the current outlooks for the industry have taken into account the federal government’s infrastructure investment strategy.

That initiative, details of which are due to be announced later this month, involves an infusion of $9.5 billion per year, doubling the current federal infrastructure investment to nearly $125 billion over the next 10 years. That funding will help to fuel projects for roads, water treatment, sewage, roads and public facilities.

“All of this combines to provide a very positive outlook for the industry in Victoria,” said Baynton, adding it might be a good time to get used to the sight of cranes.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)
Retired Victoria woman looking to cook, clean or garden in exchange for rent

Sylvia Bailey is hoping to use her love for cooking to help afford rent

Victoria police are searching for a suspect after a stabbing Monday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police searching for suspect in late-night stabbing

Victim taken to hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries

The drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Island Health opens COVID-19 testing site at UVic

As with all other sites, an appointment is needed to receive a test

Thousands filled Centennial Square in June for the peace rally for Black lives, sparked by outrage over the death of George Floyd in the U.S. (Black Press Media file photo)
Survey seeks input on racism in Greater Victoria

Confidential answers to inform work with immigrants and marginalized people

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

Carolyn and Steve Touhey came across a pod of humpback whales while on their boat Sunday, Oct. 25. Photo supplied
VIDEO: Boaters encounter pod of humpbacks in Georgia Strait

Pod spotted between Comox and Texada Island

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

The voting station mimicked a real voting station in Nicole Choi’s classroom at Chilliwack middle school on Oct. 22, 2020, where students had to show their ID (student cards), be checked off a list, and mark a secret ballot behind a screen. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. students choose NDP majority in mock election

More than 90,000 youth took part in school-based election process

Crew transport bus at the Trans Mountain pipeline project work site in Burnaby, March 2020. (Trans Mountain)
Check your workplace COVID-19 safety plans, Dr. Henry urges

Masks in public spaces, distance in lunchrooms for winter

B.C.’s Court of Appeal is in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judgment reserved in Surrey Six slayings appeals

Six men were killed in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Kelowna City Hall has been vandalized overnight. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna City Hall hit by anti-pandemic vandalism

Graffiti condemning the virus appears overnight on City Hall

FILE – A woman smokes a marijuana joint at a “Wake and Bake” legalized marijuana event in Toronto on October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Home nurse visits could play big role in reducing cannabis use, smoking in young mothers

The program, dubbed the BC Healthy Connections Project, involves public health nursing home visits

Candice Woloshyn prepares her flower beds for the next season at her ‘Dirty Girl Flowers’ farm in Merville. Despite the pandemic, Woloshyn was able to sustain her homegrown business as community members opted for regular deliveries of fresh cut flowers. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.
Vancouver Island flower farmers were blooming as the pandemic wilted everything else

Floriculturists saw increased subscriptions as fresh flowers became a ‘sight for sore eyes’ during isolation

Most Read