The Location

The City is looking for a new location to site the Crystal Pool. It is currently considering the Central Park Middle (CPM) school field as an alternative to North Park (NP).

THE LOCATION

CONTEXT

Current and Proposed Location of Recreation Centre:

NP: Current location in North Park
CMS: Proposed location at Central Middle School

PRIORITY AREAS FOR GROWTH (OCP)

The City’s Official Community Plan identifies the neighbourhoods in the north end of Victoria as being most suitable for growth and the southern ones to be least suitable.

Growth Statistics

Population Change 2011 to 2016

From 2011 to 2016, the concentrated and high density neighbourhoods of North Park, Downtown and Harris Green saw their resident population increase 15.5%

EMPLOYMENT
DENSITY

Victoria’s downtown and the corridors north of the downtown and into the industrial lands of Rock Bay have been and will continue to be home to the majority of workers in Victoria and the region.

Situating a public recreation facility along this corridor would be convenient to employees and beneficial to business taxpayers.

VICTORIA’S AVERAGE PROPERTY VALUES BY NEIGHBOURHOOD

(IN ASCENDING ORDER)

  • The northern neighbourhoods close to the existing recreation centre have the lowest property values in the city and presumably provide the most affordable housing options.
  • The newly proposed location for the recreation centre, abutting Rockland and Fairfield, favour access to the households with the highest property values.
  • Lower land values can also be an indication of lesser public amenities and other valued services lowering wealth creation of homeowners in these areas.

See where your neighbourhood ranks!
By Mark Brown and Romana King
Apr 11, 2017

Neighborhood rankings from a realtor magazine article advising on where to buy out of all 150 neighbourhoods in the CRD

Please note that we do not agree with these realtor rankings of Victoria’s northern neighbourhoods which place many of these areas at the very bottom of the list of the region’s 150 neighbourhoods.

That said, moving the recreation centre away from these ‘low scoring’ areas and toward the most ’coveted’ neighbourhoods in the region isn’t going to improve the standing of these areas to northern residents or realtor rating systems.

OCP’S GREENSPACE AND PARK ACQUISITION MAP

Don’t build on greenspace in park deficient neighbourhoods!

Area identified as park deficient and targeting for park acquisition in Victoria’s OCP

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES ARE OF NOT USING AN EQUITY LENS

What are the long term unintended consequences of removing a significant public asset from northern neighbourhoods that already house disproportionately high community burdens and have disproportionately fewer community assets and benefits ?

UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS IN VICTORIA:
LOW INCOME

People Living Below the Low Income Measure (LIM) (LIM refers to households earning less than 50% of median income)

The vast majority of the lowest income quintile households live on the north end of downtown, North Park and Hillside Quadra. Conversely, the areas with the smallest proportion of these households are Fairfield, Gonzales and Rockland.

Applying an equity lens would evaluate the existing location as vastly preferable to the Central Middle School for a significant investment in public recreation.

HOUSEHOLDS LIVING IN CORE HOUSING NEED (OVERCROWDING)

There are two areas of town with high proportions of households living in core housing need (15-20%):

North Park, and in particular, the areas immediately abutting Crystal Pool/Central Park

– Blanshard Court (Evergreen Terrace) in Hillside Quadra

MOBILITY AS INDICATOR OF ACCESS/CHOICE AND WEALTH

This map depicts Daily Private Vehicle Kms Travelled and is a proxy for:
-household vehicle ownership
-higher disposable income
Households with vehicles and higher incomes have more choice when it comes to accessing recreation and wellness.
The existing recreation facility is centred in the area with lowest vehicle ownership and easily accessed on foot.

OTHER WAYS TO DISCERN DISPARITIES IN WEALTH AND ACCESS TO PERSONAL GREEN SPACE

Proportion of households that are renters, blue areas represent areas where in excess 2/3rds of households are occupied by renters.

TODDLER DENSITY (TODDLERS PER KM2)

Areas in green denote the highest number of toddlers per square km. The immediate area surrounding both the existing and proposed recreation centre locations have higher number of toddlers than the rest of the city,

That said, there’s a vast discrepancy in the income levels of these families with the proportion of children living in poverty being significant (20% or greater) throughout the north end of town near the existing recreation centre (see map on page 30).