Colwood Mayor Rob Martin is pitching the idea of a gondola on a 10-acre lot in Royal Bay, which could connect to a commuter ferry to downtown Victoria along the city’s waterfront. Currently, there is no funding in place for the gondola project and no discussion have taken place at council meetings. (Twitter/@PortlandTram)

Colwood Mayor Rob Martin is pitching the idea of a gondola on a 10-acre lot in Royal Bay, which could connect to a commuter ferry to downtown Victoria along the city’s waterfront. Currently, there is no funding in place for the gondola project and no discussion have taken place at council meetings. (Twitter/@PortlandTram)

Colwood mayor pitches 10 acres for gondola, parking

Project dependent on province approving commuter ferry to downtown Victoria

Imagine a future where you live on the West Shore and commute to downtown Victoria using a commuter ferry and a gondola.

“It’s one of those ideas that you start thinking about and you just can’t stop talking about it,” said Colwood Mayor Rob Martin of his vision. “I don’t believe in using our waterfront as a parking lot, so that’s where a gondola comes in.”

Martin is proposing that a 10-acre, city-owned lot, just behind the site for the new Royal BC Museum Collections gallery along Metchosin Road, be turned into a parking lot and gondola system.

Commuters could park their vehicles and ride the gondola about a kilometre into the Royal Beach area, which Martin has flagged to waterfront developers as as ideal location for a commuter ferry to the downtown core.

He said council hasn’t determined the potential for the 10-acre piece of land yet. There is no funding in place for a gondola project and there has been no discussion of it at council.

READ MORE: Gondola aims to solve James bay cruise conundrum

The mayor expects to see hundreds of new commuters due to the Royal BC Museum extension, a $9.5-million elementary school project along Latoria Boulevard and a projected boom of retail and residential buildings on the Royal Beach waterfront.

In October 2020, the province’s South Island Transportation Strategy pushed the potential for a ferry into long-term priority instead of short-term projects such as electric vehicle charging stations.

Martin pointed out that the next step in the plan is confirming support from the province.

To get there, the city would need a feasibility study, which is estimated to cost around $1 million. It would determine price tags for the provincial government to determine if it’s something worth investing in.

If the ferry idea is rejected a gondola conversation would be moot.

ALSO READ: Colwood mayor pushes for passenger ferry from Colwood to Victoria

Martin said he’s pushing the idea early so he doesn’t get the same results as previous gondola ideas pitched across the region.

In 2013, the idea to carry cruise ship passengers from Ogden Point to Victoria Harbour was shot down after residents aired concerns of privacy loss, property devaluation and loss of views and parkland. Martin wants to build the gondola and ferry before the entirety of Royal Beach is built, so residents would already be aware that a gondola would be set in place.

Similarly, the 2016 idea for a gondola to connect Langford’s Bear Mountain to Mt. Finlayson fizzled after the Westin Bear Mountain hotel was sold in July 2019.

Martin said Seacliff Properties, Royal Beach’s developers, have voiced support for a ferry, but have yet to be included in the conversation over a gondola.

RELATED: Royal Beach reopens to the public, plans to rezone for waterfront hub


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

City of Colwood,infrastructureparking

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

Just Posted

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Langford Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read