Neighbourhood Priorities

The people of Hillside-Quadra are passionate about our neighbourhood and envision a future where the neighbourhood is as healthy as possible.  Accomplishing this is sometimes complicated by zoning, private land interests, regional priorities, busy streets and the lack of an updated Local Area Plan (last one completed was in 1996).  Nevertheless we should never doubt abilty of committed neighbours to accomplish what is in the best interests present and future generations!

950 Kings Rd

One pressing neighbourhood priority is the remaining 3.5 acres of the former Blanshard Elementary School.  Owned by regional interests, the Capital Regional Hospital District, has tentatively planned to build mixed market housing and another residential health facility right next to Evergreen Terrace (the largest concentrated low income housing complex in Greater Victoria) and the (under construction) Summit at Quadra Village (a complex care, residential hospitalreplacing Mt,Tolmie Care Hospital and Oak Bay Lodge).  These planned developments can in no way fill the neighbourhood-accessible, community building potential of a 7 acre school campus that was critical to the urban renewal planning that was intiated in the 1960s.  While bulldozing a neighbourhood to build a highway (Blanshard St.), concentrated low income housing (Evergreen Terrace) and a school (Blanshard) has its own host of problems, the school was crucial to the neighbourhood not being irreparably damaged by these changes.

Fast forward to 2019 and time is ticking on the future of this critical area of Hillside-Quadra/Quadra Village.  The Downtown Blanshard Advisory Committee (the neighbourhood association for Hillside-Quadra) has put forward a proposal that underlines the feedback that was shared through consultations/meetings with the Healthy Neighbourhood Group, consultations connected to the Summit at Quadra Village, feedback from neighbours about childcare and assessment of Community Centre needs that would help the neighbourhood (excerpted from December 2018 letter to Mayor and Council):

"When the school closed the site became increasingly unavailable to local residents, peaking with the purchase and planning of the Summit of Quadra Village.  Boredom amongst tweens/youth and a lack of access to reasonable playspaces became visible in the neighbourhood. While the use of the (now named) Quadra Village Community Gym has been a good first step towards community access to the remaining 3.5 acre parcel of the school building and property the City has a unique opportunity to purchase 950 Kings and with it a future that could include:

-green space accessible to residents

-Community Centre operated amenities such as the Quadra Village Neighbourhood Gym, daycare and other community program space

-potential for a Library Branch on the scale of the new Emily Carr (Uptown) branch or the Goudy branch (Langford)

 The quadrant featuring Evergreen Terrace and the (under construction) Summit at Quadra Village has two large regional providers/interests in BC Housing and the Capital Regional Hospital District that do not have mandates that readily flex to include neighbourhood amenities that are not about housing or hospitals.  As a result there is a danger that the building and lands at 950 Kings will become part of an over concentration of regional amenities that don’t account for quality of life in Hillside-Quadra.  By purchasing 950 Kings, the City of Victoria would be investing in enhancement of a vulnerable neighbourhood through access to green space and valuable community services.

Hopefully we can meet soon to discuss the possibility of Victoria City Council initiating the purchase 950 Kings in the spirit of an inclusive and thriving Hillside-Quadra!"

An expanded Community Centre is part of the draft strategic plan of the new City of Victoria, concerned residents are lobbying for a library in the Hillside corridor, neighbours are rallying for neighbourhood spaces and the neighbourhood association is meeting with City Councillors and other stakeholders to bring forward a vision combining green space and meaningful amenities for 950 Kings and area bordered by Bay, Blanshard, Hillside and Quadra.

Please consider writing the City of Victoria's Mayor and Council at councillors@victoria.ca to request the purchase of 950 Kings.  Also consider attending one of the following to voice your support: 

February 24, 1pm-2pm: Independent "Rally for Community Spaces in Hillside-Quadra"  at 950 Kings Rd

March 4, 7pm-9pm: Hillside-Quadra Neighbourhood Action Committee Meeting at 905 Kings Rd

For inquiries about improving your neighbourhood please contact the Hillside-Quadra Neighbourhood Action Committee at nag@quadravillagecc.com or the Community Centre at kelly@quadravillagecc.com .

*Additional priority items towards quality of life in and near Hillside-Quadra include traffic calming, funding and implementation of reccomendations for Topaz Park, non-Central Park options for Crystal Pool redevelopment and colllaborative processes for any future Evergreen Terracce and SJ Willis redevelopments (stay tuned for updates).