Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, left, shakes hands with Christine Gleed, the chair of the board of the YMCA/YWCA Vancouver Island, upon signing a memorandum of understanding that formalizes the organizations’ joint commitment to planning services and programs. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, left, shakes hands with Christine Gleed, the chair of the board of the YMCA/YWCA Vancouver Island, upon signing a memorandum of understanding that formalizes the organizations’ joint commitment to planning services and programs. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

City of Victoria lays groundwork for relationship with YMCA-YWCA

Goal is to expand services as both embark on building new facilities

The City of Victoria has pledged to increase its quality of health and wellness services in a collaboration with the YMCA/YWCA of Vancouver Island.

The two institutions made their working relationship official last week with the signing of a memorandum of understanding, an agreement that recognizes a 50-year history of co-operation. As both the City and the Y embark on building new facilities, the goal in working together is to make sure both provide complimentary services without overlap, said Mayor Lisa Helps said.

“The Y has a request for proposals out right now to build a new facility somewhere in the downtown, and the City of Victoria is rebuilding our Crystal Pool on the existing site,” she explained, noting that between the Y and the city, one million visitors per year utilize their facilities.

“We want to make sure we rebuild them in a way that’s going to have more accessible recreation for more people,” Helps said. “But also to make sure we’re not just building the same thing in both places and really then missing an opportunity.”

Christine Gleed, board chair for the YMCA/YWCA said their organization has had a presence in downtown Victoria for over 140 years, 50 of those spent working directly with the City.

“People expect us to work together,” she said. “We’re not planning any amalgamation. It’s really about committing to running our own facilities in a collaborative way … it’s more about providing more than providing less.”

The Y has carved out an identity as a major provider of child care, and hopes to expand on that as well as housing programs, based on their non-profit model. Gleed points out that as the city grows, less families are living in homes, so demand for gathering spaces such as community kitchens are something the Y is looking at offering with a new space, similar to its location in Vancouver.

“We’re seeing an unprecedented era of co-operation in the region right now,” Helps said. “It’s exciting.”

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

City of Victoriarecreation

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

Just Posted

A Nexii roof panel is lifted during construction of a Starbucks in Abbotsford. Alexzi Building Solutions will be building a manufacturing plant in Langford or North Cowichan to produce the sustainable construction panels. (Photo courtesy of Alexzi Building Solutions)
Langford eyed for facility to make green building alternative to concrete

Langford, North Cowichan possible sites for plant to create sustainable construction panels

Local MP Elizabeth May says the public has a right to know the identity of the company that plans to operate the massive warehouse proposed for Sidney on airport lands but residents who want to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May says public has right to know identity of Sidney warehouse operator

Residents wanting to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts, said May

Bukwila by Art Thompson, set at the steps of Lansdowne campus’ Wilna Thomas Cultural Centre, has been welcoming students to campus since 1997. (Photo courtesy of Camosun College)
World-renowned artist’s legacy lives on at Camosun College

Art Thompson made untold contributions toward Indigenous education, art and advocacy

Did you know, according to the CRD, every person produces an average of 185–200 litres of wastewater per day? Here’s where most of it gets treated, at the new wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. (CRD image)
View Royal signs on to wastewater funding plan

Capital Regional District requesting to borrow up to $34.3 million to upgrade infrastructure

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read