The former Burnside elementary on Jutland Road in Victoria is part of a proposal aimed at enhancing the neighbourhood through new subsidized housing and community amenities. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

New housing, community amenities in works for Burnside school site

Plans part of a broader picture for urban village centre for Burnside Gorge

Dean Fortin knows the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood well.

The executive director of Pacifica Housing held that same role with the area’s community association before joining Victoria city council as a councillor then as mayor. He’s familiar with the challenges residents face and was enthusiastic about the announcement Friday of the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the City and the Greater Victoria School District to bring new subsidized housing to the former Burnside elementary site.

“Pacifica is excited to be enhancing the Burnside Gorge community with affordable market housing for families, child care facilities and renewed public space,” he said in a release. “We listened to what the residents wanted in the local area plan process and are pleased to deliver on their aspirations for their neighbourhood.”

The plans, which must still go through the public process and be approved by city council, call for 88 units of two- and three-bedroom suites, as well as new child care spaces and programming space for the neighbourhood.

A decision approved by the SD61 in 2016 will see seismic upgrades and modernization completed on the school, which will be renamed the Burnside Education Centre. It will eventually be home to students and staff from The Link at S.J. Willis Alternative School.

The City would lease land north of the school to housing provider Pacifica for 60 years, with nominal rates initially. Pacifica must still secure funding to build the structure.

Mayor Lisa Helps called the three-way collaboration “unprecedented” and said it would provide such benefits as “much needed family housing and childcare spaces, as well as community development opportunities.”

As well as falling in line with the City’s housing strategy through 2025, she said, the proposal “is a great first step toward creating a walkable urban village at the Cecelia and Jutland roads intersection, as envisioned in the neighbourhood plan.”

The site is in the same block as the Burnside-Gorge Community Centre and is within walking distance of Cecelia Ravine Park and the Galloping Goose Trail.

SD61 board chair Edith Loring-Kuhanga likes the synergies the plan creates by integrating a refurbished Burnside school.

“The Board of Education strongly believes our schools strengthen communities, and having the opportunity to create a neighbourhood hub with amenities for families, young children and learners is the first step to building a healthy, sustainable and prosperous community,” she said.

editor@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

UPDATED: Bail conditions released for Esquimalt man facing multiple sexual assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Victoria police seize over one kilo of fentanyl, guns and cars

Andrew Ritch is facing charges of drug trafficking and firearm offences

UPDATE: Missing Langford teen found safe

The 13-year-old Langford boy reported missing Wednesday has been found

Tour de Victoria rolls through the region Saturday

Expect traffic delays across Greater Victoria on Aug. 18

Fire chief stops driving lesson to fight fire

Sooke fire concerned over second suspicious bin fire this year

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read