February 3, 2021

Photo credit: A rendering of 1693 Fort Street, a six-storey student housing rental complex proposed for Fort Street at Belcher Avenue. Comprised of 23 homes, the project will feature multi-room ‘pods,’ also known as rental co-housing, for international post-secondary students. © D’Ambrosio Architecture/Urbanism; Aryze Developments


Avenir Seniors Group, the developer of an 11-storey seniors residence underway along Admirals Road in Esquimalt, is pursuing a second adult-oriented project in the seaside municipality. Eyed for 819-823 Esquimalt Road, near the intersection of Esquimalt Road and Dunsmuir Road a stone’s throw from the Victoria-Esquimalt border, is an eight-storey complex that could be comprised of over 100 residences. As part of the proposal Avenir is rezoning a trio of properties currently housing a two-storey commercial building, a single-family residence and a residential duplex.

Construction of a new condominium in Langford’s core is officially underway as sales of the 85-suite offering push beyond 50 per cent sold-out status. Belmont Residences East – the second phase of condominiums at the MyBelmont Master Plan Community in Langford’s centre – is earmarked for completion in 2022 and rises as the fourth residential building adjacent to Belmont Market on former Belmont Secondary School lands. At a height of five-storeys, Belmont Residences East (located at 940 Reunion Avenue) features a variety of floorplans in one-bedroom, two-bedroom and one and two-bedroom flex layouts spanning from 648 to 1,191 square feet, with parking included.

New plans for the final phase of construction at Uptown Shopping Centre have emerged as Saanich’s appetite for more housing and a desire for higher densities along upper Douglas Street make their mark. The updated proposal from developer Shape Properties, which could yield some 300 rental apartments and retail space in the form of an approximately 20-storey tower, is being adapted to the newly-minted Uptown-Douglas Plan that spans from the shopping plaza to Tolmie Avenue. An earlier vision for the property called for an 11-storey rental tower with 134-units.

A convenience store and gas bar have been proposed for a corner lot at Glanford and Vanalman avenues. Dallas, Texas-based 7-11 via Ontario-based EXP Services has submitted a proposal for a six bay Esso-branded gas station and a 2,800 square foot convenience store at the former location of Glanford Auto Service, a mechanic business that recently closed and its real-estate put up for sale. According to plans submitted to the district, the 7-11 is planned with a triangular footprint with an angled frontage facing the intersection, along with a street-side gas bar with access off both thoroughfares.

The West Shore communities of Colwood, Metchosin and Sooke topped the region’s uplift in property assessments for 2021 after a record-breaking year of real-estate sales on the south Island in 2020. The municipalities saw average assessments rise by 7 per cent in Colwood and Sooke, and 10 per cent in Metchosin. The Town of Sidney and the City of Victoria saw the lowest rise among the Capital’s 13 communities, landing at 1 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.


Two cohousing condominium projects rising in tandem in the West Shore’s community of Sooke and in Sidney on the Saanich Peninsula are earmarked for completion in 2021. West Wind Harbour, a six-storey complex along Sooke’s waterfront, has sold-out of its 34 residences as it nears its occupancy stage. The project launched in 2019. Ravens Crossing in Sidney, situated on Seventh Street at Brethour Avenue, got underway in 2020 and includes 35 residences over four floors. Only one unit remains available for purchase in a one-bedroom configuration. Relatively uncommon in British Columbia, market-priced cohousing (not to be confused with co-operative rental housing) has gained traction in recent years as an alternative model to condominium residences operating with an elected oversight committee known as a strata council. In lieu of a council, all owners are given the opportunity to vote on operational expenses and management decisions.

‘Pod-style’ international student housing has been proposed for Oak Bay Junction by builder/developer Aryze Developments. The six-storey concept features a collection of 23 co-housing suites, described as ‘pods,’ in layouts spanning between two and four-bedrooms with space for approximately 80 people. Residents will share common features like in-suite kitchens, communal spaces and main bathrooms, while individual rooms will include a bed, a desk and in some cases, a private bathroom. Planned for 1693 Fort Street at Belcher Avenue, the project will replace a single-storey rental complex comprised of a half-dozen apartments – if approved – with a stepped triangular structure designed by Victoria-based D’Ambrosio Architecture + Urbanism.

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