Lunch Time Lectures

Hosted by Mayor Lisa Helps and City Manager Jocelyn Jenkyns

This lunch time lecture series explores city-making in the 21st century. What does Victoria look like in 30 to 40 years? How do we get there? Lunch Time Lectures at City Hall will provide doses of inspiration from near and far and will examine how, together, city hall, residents and businesses can seize the opportunities and challenges of being a leading-edge city in the 21st century.

All lectures run from noon to 1 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall and are webcast.

Click here for past lectures, as well as videos where available.

  • Monday, October 1, 2018 - World Happiness, with John Helliwell
    What makes a city a happy place to live? This talk will draw on 20 years of happiness research and a recent paper ("How happy are your neighbours?”) reporting Statistics Canada data on life satisfaction in more than 1,200 Canadian neighbourhoods and communities.

    John Helliwell is based in the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research, the supporter of this happiness research for the past fifteen years. He is an author and editor of all six World Happiness Reports, and author of the synthesis chapter in the more recent Global Happiness Policy Reports. For more details, see
  • Monday, November 5 - From NIMBY to YIMBY, with Dr Ann McAfee
    Improving sustainability in the context of limited land and funds and many demands places pressure on city councils to make difficult choices.  Policies to make more efficient use of existing infrastructure and provide housing choice in established neighbourhoods often pit existing residents against newcomers. In the mid-1990s Vancouver Council was faced with a NIMBY-YIMBY debate.  Over three years Vancouver involved 100,000 people in identifying and directing city choices.  This talk will describe the Vancouver engagement process, successes in finding shared values for change, and challenges in maintaining momentum in the context of changing political directions.  

    As Co-Director of Planning from 1994-2006, Dr. McAfee led Vancouver’s CityPlan process.  Since ‘retiring’ Ann has worked internationally advising on policy planning and public engagement.  As advisor to Auckland’s Unitary Plan, Ann advanced public engagement methods using social media.  Dr. McAfee is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners, a member of Lambda Alpha International Honorary Land Economics Society, and co-recipient of the Kevin Lynch award for distinguished planning practice.  Ann is an Adjunct Professor of Planning at UBC.  

  • Monday, December 3 - Community Sustainability throughSocial Purpose Real Estate, with Jacqueline Gijssen and Jennifer Johnstone
    Challenging real estate markets affect not only housing, but every aspect of our community including non-profits, social enterprises, small business and our environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability. Since 2009 the Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative (SPRE) has worked to mitigate the impacts of a crazed real estate market on social, health, community organizations, arts, culture and environmental groups and other non-profits and social enterprises. SPRE seeks to build capacity in the sector, develop partnerships, undertake research, and advocate for strong policies that protect space for community. With real estate impacts rapidly spreading outside of Vancouver, including Victoria and parts of the island, there is growing alarm at the loss of community spaces. What is social purpose real estate and why is it important to the future of our urban centres and communities? Join SPRE in a conversation on preserving space for community in the 21st Century. To learn more about SPRE go to: