Resources for Residents
Below are helpful resources and information for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can visit the Public Service Centre at Victoria City Hall in person to make financial transactions. You are no longer required to make an appointment.
Located on the ground floor, the Public Service Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. excluding statutory holidays. Upon arrival, please line up outside the Pandora Avenue entrance of City Hall. Ambassadors will be there to greet you. You will exit the building into Centennial Square.
Anyone entering a City building is expected to wear a face covering. This includes entering City Hall, public washrooms, and parkade elevators and indoor stairwells. We continue to clean frequently and do all we can to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Together, we can all do our part to stay safe.
For general information, please call 250.385.5711.
Development Services and Permits
The Development Services and Permits counter on the second floor will continue to provide service by appointment only. Planning is underway for re-opening at a later date.
The Province’s four-step restart plan outlines a gradual return to activities, including indoor and outdoor sports and fitness. We are seeking further guidance from provincial sports and recreation organizations so we can finalize our program plans. We are getting everything in place so we can resume issuing permits for sports fields and safely restart low-intensity indoor fitness classes such as yoga and Aquafit. Please check victoria.ca/recreation to stay up to date.
We are offering a variety of indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities for spring/summer 2021. Learn more.
The City’s outdoor recreation facilities such as playgrounds, sports fields and tennis courts are open for public use, and groups such as sports teams can make field bookings. Learn more.
Outdoor Physical Distancing Measures
- Beacon Hill Park - Some roads in the park are open to pedestrian use only to increase opportunities for physical distancing while enjoying the park and staying active. Most parking lots remain open and accessible parking stalls have been added. Learn more.
- Physical Distancing on Local Streets - In April 2020, the City created more usable space for pedestrians along local streets to ensure people can practise physical distancing. Learn more.
- MyCity Online can be used for many online payments and services.
- Engagement Events - Following the advice from BC’s Public Health Officer for physical distancing and avoiding large groups, the City has postponed all in-person public engagement events until further notice. To learn about City projects that you can engage on virtually, click here.
- Saturday Garden Waste Drop-off is open on Saturdays from 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Public Works Yard, with measures in place to allow safe operations and physical distancing. Please be prepared for longer than usual wait times given the new measures in place and increased volumes of garden waste for drop-off. Learn more.
- Victoria Conference Centre events will not proceed until further notice. Learn more.
- Public Hearings - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public hearings are held electronically to provide virtual access to City Council meetings, which can be viewed on our live stream webcast. Learn how you can tune in and participate.
- Financial Relief - On Thursday, April 9, 2020 City Council made amendments to the 2020 Budget to deliver a financial relief package to help those in the community who may be experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Zero per cent tax increase from the City in 2020 for residential or commercial ratepayers
- The deadline to pay property taxes was extended to August 4, 2020 and a reduced penalty was put in place for late payment. Property Tax Notices were mailed out the week of June 14. Learn more.
- The deadline for utility bill payments was extended to 90 days
- Build Back Victoria - In 2020, the City developed initiatives to assist businesses with their re-opening and recovery through a permit process to expand operations and services outdoors in public space. Learn more.
- Economic Stimulus - In 2020, Council invested $575,000 in economic stimulus grants:
- Strategic Plan Grants - Council increased the funding of this grant program by $100,000 and allotted $250,000 in 2020 for a second round to encourage the community to bring forward creative project proposals with a specific focus on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. See details here.
- My Great Neighbourhood Recovery Grants - An additional $100,000 was added to this grant stream for community-led projects that focus on resiliency and recovery. Learn more.
- Everyday Creativity Grants - Established in 2020, this new program increases access for everyone to be creative and enjoy the arts. A total of $125,000 is available and grants will encourage applicants to provide new creative programs to engage citizens in the arts and encourage broad participation and learning opportunities. Learn more.
- Get Growing, Victoria! City Parks staff are temporarily using the Beacon Hill Park nursery to grow vegetable and herb seedlings for people in the community who need them most. Learn more.
- Support for DVBA - Victoria City Council continued its support of the Downtown Victoria Business Association to enable the organization to focus on supporting local businesses through the pandemic. In July 2020, Council paid the DVBA the annual levy the City collects from businesses, even though Council had extended the property tax deadline to August 4, 2020. Learn more.
- On March 26, 2020 Council passed a motion requesting the Province take measures to provide rent relief and a ban on evictions for small business and non-profits during the provincial state of emergency on an urgent basis. Learn more.
- On March 19, 2020 Victoria City Council passed a number of important measures to support residents, local business and the non-profit sector facing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.
Federal and Provincial Government Supports
The federal and provincial governments offer a range of resources to those who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn what is available to you.
Help for Vulnerable Populations
- On March 11, 2021, the Province announced that a sufficient number of indoor spaces to support moving Victoria's encampment residents inside had been secured through an ongoing partnership between the City of Victoria, the Province and BC Housing. The final site list will be done in partnership with the City in the coming weeks once all of the agreements between BC Housing and the property owners have closed.
Work to move encampment residents inside has begun. Because two of the sites secured this month by BC Housing require significant additional retrofitting to prepare them for use as emergency shelters, the process will continue until the end of April 2021, rather than the end of March as originally planned. Learn more.
- In January 2021, the City permitted a temporary Community Care Tent adjacent to Beacon Hill Park at the south end of Cook Street near Dallas Road. Operated by the Red Cedar Café, the space provides outreach support, essential resources and first aid for people who are sheltering in the park due to the pandemic. The community organizers received the City’s Emergency Social Services Grant of $6,500 to operate the Community Care Tent, which will be in place until March 31, 2021.
- The Salvation Army also applied for an Emergency Social Services Grant and was awarded $86,520 to operate mobile showers. The focus is to provide showers and clean clothes to those most vulnerable in our community. The mobile showers operate Monday to Friday starting at 9 a.m. and move around to select parks where people are sheltering. The terms of the grant allow the showers to operate until March 31, 2021.
- In November 2020, Council created the one-time Emergency Social Services Grant to help provide hygiene and emergency social services to those sheltering in parks. Learn more.
- In September 2020, Council passed amendments to the Parks Regulation Bylaw intended to help address a number of the issues related to increased sheltering in parks. The primary focus of the amendments is safety for individuals sheltering, for staff working in parks, and for citizens visiting parks. Learn more.
- On July 28, 2020, the City of Victoria was granted an injunction, requiring people without homes sheltering in environmentally and culturally sensitive areas of Beacon Hill Park to relocate to less vulnerable locations within the park. Learn more.
- Starting in 2020, BC Housing led a coordinated plan with Island Health to move people out of temporary sheltering sites in parks and into indoor housing. For more information about the provincial effort to move people indoors: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0020-000759
Learn more about the local supports that are available to youth during the pandemic here.
Food in the City
As we adjust to this new normal, access to food has become even more important to us. Here are some local resources you can use to help you with your food needs.
For helpful health and safety, and mental health resources, click here.
No flushing of wipes to prevent cloggling of sanitary sewage pump systems. Please do not flush any type of wipes down toilets. Wipes, including disinfecting wipes and wipes marked as "flushable", are to be disposed of in the garbage.
Any type of open burning is still prohibited in Victoria. This has been reinforced by additional provincial restrictions prohibiting any type of open burning.
Make some noise! The community is invited to head out daily at 7 p.m. on their balconies, porches or yards to cheer, play an instrument or bang pots, to demonstrate their support of health care workers and other frontline staff working hard to keep us all safe and healthy.
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