The Brewer, the Baker, and Land of the Maker

Often known for its industrial history of cement mixers, scrap metal recycling, and mechanics shops, the Rock Bay area of Burnside Gorge is starting to create a new name for itself as the “maker centre” for creative industry in Victoria. It is an identity that is starting to shape a new neighbourhood plan for the area.

In Rock Bay you’ll discover a toy maker, a jewellery maker, and several artists and photography studios. You will also find eight furniture makers, several cabinet makers, and half a dozen door and window manufacturers. The area has also become a local go-to for fresh roasted coffee, craft beer from three local breweries, fresh bread, and wood-fired pizza.

Burnside Gorge is Victoria’s most diverse neighbourhood in terms of how land is used. In addition to serving as a key industrial area, the neighbourhood is home to 6,000 residents and 1,400 businesses that employ 14,000 people. More than 92,000 vehicles a day commute along Douglas Street, Burnside Road, Gorge Road, and Bay Street into downtown.

The neighbourhood can expect to see significant change in the years ahead as sewage treatment is contemplated, new bus lanes are built on Douglas Street, new protected bike lanes are created, and new housing and development projects move forward. A new neighbourhood plan for Burnside Gorge will help guide these projects and community identified priorities for City investment in the neighbourhood.

Most of Burnside Gorge’s 6,000 residents live at the north end of the neighbourhood, towards the Saanich border. Earlier input has already identified that people would like to see more shops and services in the area, particularly a grocery store, located closer to residential areas. Improved access to the water, Galloping Goose trail, and park space have also been identified as priorities for the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood. There is a strong desire to see the area become more walkable and friendlier to families and people who bike.

Share your input on the future of the neighbourhood at three upcoming neighbourhood options events:

Tuesday,   January 26

5:30   p.m. to 8 p.m.

Gabriel   Ross (2500 Rock Bay Avenue)


Thursday,   January 28

3   p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sandman   Hotel Victoria (2852 Douglas Street)


Saturday,   January 30

10   a.m. to 2 p.m.

Burnside   Gorge Community Centre (471 Cecelia Road)


BC Transit and the District of Saanich will attend events on Thursday, January 28 and Saturday, January 30 to share information on new Douglas Street southbound priority bus lanes and neighbouring Uptown area of Saanich.

Built on community input, a new neighbourhood plan for Burnside Gorge will be drafted and shared with the community this spring. A short-term list of community priorities for the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood will also be developed and actioned over the next three years.

Over the next four years, 10 new neighbourhood plans will be created for Victoria. New plans for Fairfield, Gonzales, and Victoria West are set to begin in March this year. Work to update plans for Fernwood, Jubilee, North Park, Rockland and Fort Street Corridor will occur in 2017 and James Bay, Hillside Quadra, Oaklands plans will be updated in 2018.

Sequencing of new neighbourhood plans was based on consideration of neighbourhood characteristics, recent development pressures, and existing working relationships between neighbourhoods.

New neighbourhood plans will focus on neighbourhood village centres and transportation corridors, and also identify community priorities for each neighbourhood. The plans will help guide new commercial and residential development and capital investment such as cycling and walking paths, priorities for parks improvements and upgrades, public art, and placemaking opportunities.

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