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

Sidney fundraiser helping kids fight diabetes

Nicola Politano organizing May 26 dance at the air cadet hall

‘ALR golf courses should return to farming,’ says ex-ALC chair Frank Leonard

Former mayor says Saanich could appeal Cedar Hill Golf Course application

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

Saanich taking heat over process surrounding Haro Woods

District delays decision on the future of cycling in popular Saanich park

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

UPDATE: Blood found in missing man’s vehicle

Searchers are sticking to a high-priority area before expanding their search for Ben Kilmer

Watch: Saved from highway harm, ducklings waddle into Swan Lake

Saanich Pound rescue, release ducklings in cute video

175 evacuation orders lifted as floods recede in Grand Forks

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Most Read