Burnside Gorge Neighbourhood Plan

Great Neighbourhoods are the result of committed citizens, careful planning, financial investment and thoughtful design. A neighbourhood plan is one part of creating sustainable, vibrant communities.

Your Neighbourhood Plan is Being Implemented!

With your help, we have drafted a plan to help guide growth and future development and investment in Burnside Gorge over the next 25 years.

The draft Burnside Gorge Neighbourhood Plan is available here.

Proposed Changes

We are proposing changes to the Official Community Plan to implement your vision for the future as identified in the draft Burnside Gorge Neighbourhood Plan.

  • Update Future land use designations to support the development of new housing and urban villages, and to enhance the vibrancy of business and industrial areas
  • Update the boundaries and guidelines for Development Permit Areas, to support new development that is sensitive to the existing neighbourhood and enhances our community
  • Create a Heritage Conservation Area to protect unique historic character while allowing for sensitive change over time

The changes will go to a Public Hearing of City Council with the proposed amendment bylaws, and the revised Burnside Gorge Neighbourhood Plan for approval.

Proposed Amendments to Land Use (Urban Place) Designations

Land Use (Urban Place) Designations guide future growth and change in terms of building uses, heights and densities. Several changes are being proposed to support the development of new housing, urban villages and enhanced employment areas as proposed by the draft Neighbourhood Plan.

Urban Place Designations identify future land use, density and forms. Each Urban Place Designation includes objectives and policies for the lands it applies to. An Urban Place Designation does not entitle a certain type of building to get built, as it is not regulation. These designations are used by Council in considering future zoning. 


  1. Map: proposed Amendments to Urban Place Designations
  2. Map: current Urban Place Designations
  3. Text changes: Proposed amendments to OCP Figure 8: Urban Place Designations
  4. Legend – definitions of existing Urban Place Designations

Proposed Amendments to Development Permit Areas and Guidelines

Development Permit Areas allow the City to apply guidelines for the form and character of most new development. The City is proposing applying two sets of guidelines:

  • The existing city-wide Guidelines for: Multi-Unit Residential, Commercial and Industrial already apply to most of these areas, but would be extended to any areas where they don’t currently apply. Read the existing design guidelines here. {http://www.victoria.ca/assets/Departments/Planning~Development/Development~Services/Documents/DPA16%20Design%20Guidelines.pdf}
  • A new set of Revitalization Guidelines for Corridors, Villages and Town Centres is being proposed to implement the Urban Design directions of the draft Neighbourhood Plan, with a focus on creating quality pedestrian-friendly buildings, sensitive transitions to lower-density parts of the neighbourhood, and livable new developments. Read the new design guidelines here.

Corridors: Many of the major street corridors are expected to accommodate new commercial and residential development over the next 25 years. These areas are proposed for new or expanded development permit areas to support quality development that fits in with the neighbourhood, transitions sensitively to adjacent areas, creates pedestrian-friendly environments along the street and for new residents.

The Town Centre and Urban Villages in Burnside Gorge are expected to be areas of focus for growth and change in the next 25 years, establishing pedestrian-friendly areas for living, working, gathering and accessing daily retail and services. These areas are proposed for new or expanded development permit areas to support quality development that enhances the neighbourhood.


  1. Map – Proposed Amendments to Development Permit Areas for Corridors
  2. Map – Proposed Amendments to Development Permit Areas for Town Centre, Large Urban Villages and Small Urban Villages
  3. Maps – detailed boundaries of proposed Development Permit Areas
  4. Revitalization Guidelines for Corridors, Villages and Town Centres

Proposed Heritage Conservation Area

A heritage conservation area is an area with special heritage value and character. The conservation of these areas contributes to Victoria’s overall character for the enjoyment of future generations.

What does a Heritage Conservation Area mean for property owners?

A property owner inside a Heritage Conservation Area must apply for a heritage alteration permit to construct an addition to the property, construct a new building, or alter the exterior of an existing building. This is to protect the integrity of the historic buildings and the overall character of the neighbourhood.

Why the Manchester-Dunedin block?

The Manchester-Dunedin block represents one of the few remaining areas of the neighbourhood that has retained its original housing stock for more than one hundred years. The majority of these homes were built during a construction boom that Victoria experienced from 1900 to 1913.

The Burnside Gorge area is on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen People whose settlements dotted the shores of the Gorge Waterway and who used upland areas for hunting and plant collection. In the 1800s, the Hudson’s Bay Company sold much of the land, which was carved into large farms. With the construction of bridges and a street car line in the later part of the nineteenth century, this area became accessible to middle class families who built Edwardian colonial bungalows, Arts and Crafts styled houses, and one of the oldest homes in the neighbourhood is located in this block, a Queen Anne revival styled cottage built in 1893. Burnside-Gorge was a popular home for motormen as it was affordable and close to the former streetcar barn on Pembroke Street. One house with a notable history is the home at 632 Dunedin Street, which once acted as a chapter house of the Poor Clares, a Franciscan order of Roman Catholic nuns. The founder of the Poor Clares’ Monastery, Mother Mary Agnes, lived here from 1912 to 1914.


  1. Proposed HCA: map and summary
  2. Statement of Significance
  3. HCA Info Sheet

Burnside Gorge Neighbourhood Map