The NPNA is thrilled to be a recipient of the Healthy Communities Initiative grant from Community Foundations of Canada with funding from the Government of Canada! This amazing grant was developed to help communities bring public space to life. Covid has taught cities across Canada that public space that meets the needs of residents is incredibly important. This federal grant is designed to activate underused public spaces in equity deserving neighbourhoods.
You can see the other projects funded from this grant here. You can also follow #HealthyCommunities on Instagram, as well as these accounts to see all the projects taking place across the country: Infrastructure Canada on Twitter and Community Foundations of Canada on Twitter and Instagram!
The location of this exciting project is Vancouver Street between Caledonia Ave & Green Street. The North Park Neighbourhood Association is working with the City’s Transportation department to activate this portion of Vancouver Street in coordination with planned placemaking investments. This project aligns with the recently completed bikeway improvements on Vancouver Street. The Transportation Department is contributing funds to support public art and public seating as well as coordinating Mobile Vendors through the Build Back Victoria Program.
The “work in progress” site plan is pictured above.
While plans are still underway we are working on a design that includes the following elements. If you have thoughts on how this design might be improved, or if you have an activity or program you would like to see take place at the plaza, let us know!
- A mural along Royal Athletic Park by artists Kay Gallivan, Caitlin McDonagh, and Lydia Beauregard.
- The first phase of the mural will be completed by the end of July. A second phase will start at the end of August. See pictures below for the evolution!
- A little free library will be installed at the corner of Vancouver Street and Green at the entrance to the 940 Caledonia parking lot. See the photo of the little free library below! Thank you to community volunteer, Allan who made the LFL out of recycled materials!
- Secured and moveable seating and shade
- Imagine bistro seats with umbrellas and benches for reading as well as secured seating provided by the City of Victoria.
- Play elements
- This plaza will have something for everyone! We’ll use chalk to design physical literacy obstacle courses for the kids, and have chalkboards, chessboard tables, ping pong tables
- Rotating Food Trucks will be in place on the west side of Vancouver Street. Food trucks will apply for permits (free of charge) through the City of Victoria’s Build Back Victoria program.
- Whimsical lighting in the trees will add an inviting ambience to the street.
- The focal point of the Plaza will be a lending hub. This will be an 8×12 foot structure that will be staffed when open. To borrow items from the lending hub, there will be a sign out process that will include a requirement to leave contact details, a commitment to return the item by a specific time, and a limit on the number of items that can be signed out at one time. Community members can stop by the lending hub while it is open to borrow things such as:
- board games
- chess & checker sets
- lawn games (croquet, bocce, lawn bowling, badminton, frisbees, twister)
- art supplies (sidewalk chalk, painting sets, easel, charcoal, pastels, watercolours)
- gardening tools (hand tools only, nothing electric)
- bicycle repair kits, bike pump
The following Plaza Rules will be posted and would apply to everyone equally. The rules are:
- Plaza hours: 9am-9pm
- no smoking/vaping/drug use/ alcohol consumption
- Be respectful in your language and volume of voice/music
- Please pick up after yourself
This project is funded from June 2021-June 2022. While there are some elements that we intend to make permanent (lighting, mural, little free library, secured seating), the rest of the elements (lending hub, moveable seating) will only be in place until June 2022.