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[Vic West] The Railyards | Ph 6 U/C


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#1 aastra

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 06:16 PM

I went and had at look at the commercial building at the Railyards today. There's a bike shop/bike & kayak rental place and a very large cafe (licensed, unless my eyes deceived me). The cafe has a decent patio. It seemed very pleasant to me. I wonder how well those businesses will do there.

I wasn't a big fan of the Railyards but I think I'm starting to change my tune. I like the colours and I also like some of the newer townhouses. The overall form of the development makes for a very smooth transition into the SFD neighbourhood beyond.

#2 gumgum

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 07:41 PM

It's odd how this development has been pretty much ignored by us forumers.
It's not my cup of tea, but you make an interesting point about its size being an appropriate "step" from single family to the highrises of the core.

#3 G-Man

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 07:45 PM

I've been to that cafe a couple of times actually it is very nice and yes it is licensed.
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#4 Galvanized

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 08:17 AM

The cafe isn't too bad, what bugs me about that part of the development is the fact the townhouse backyards are facing the commercial area which kind of kills the vibrancy. They should have thought it out a bit better and put the front entrances towards the cafe, they way they did it was backwards by not building the commercial part first.
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#5 gumgum

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:34 PM

I've grown quite fond of this neighbourhood. It has a cozy, warm feel to it that I wouldn't have expected a year ago. I hated the style initially, but I've decided that it looks pretty damn cool:










I don't like a ground frontage of this commercial building:




#6 G-Man

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 08:47 AM

Wow I can't believe that this thread has been dead for over a year.

Anyways was over in Vic West yesterday and noticed that the sign at Railyards says that there are new lofts common to the site with the address of 787 Tyee.

Is this just an old sign referring to the building that is already there or a new sign?

#7 Mike K.

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 09:12 AM

It's new :) Woodframe construction and smaller units should be ok in this market.

797 Tyee (Gateway) is virtually sold out.

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#8 G-Man

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 09:13 AM

So this will right next door to the last buiding that went up?

Also does this mean that their hare-brained plan to put SFD's on the remainder of the land is dead?

#9 Mike K.

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 09:27 AM

The SFD's may still be built beside the townhomes.

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July 15, 2014: [Mayor] Fortin told C-FAX's Bruce Williams that he expects the [Johnson Street Bridge] project to be completed "on time and on budget."


#10 G-Man

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 09:28 AM

If that occurs it will be a crime against smart growth.

#11 Baro

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:36 AM

Railyards cafe is dead, probably office is moving in.
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#12 jklymak

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 11:50 AM

Railyards, Dockside, Selkirk, all seem good on paper, but I still wonder if planned communities like this can be made to work. Give a single developer a large hunk of land, will one vision ever produce something that is vibrant and vital? They seem nice enough, and they don't seem to have too much trouble selling the units, but I'm not holding my breath for these to become viable villages their creators intended.

#13 Baro

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 12:06 PM

I've always thought on big "master plan" developments like these that you have to leave space for the project to sort of settle in and grow its roots. So maybe have the master plan only plan 75% of the site, build the whole thing in their perfect master plan but have 25% of the land designed for future in-fill. Not 25% of the land off to the side, but scattered throughout. So between two big master-planned buildings you'd leave a good sized lot to be built upon later. Maybe the developer owns the land and just holds off building for a good 5 years or so, or better yet that land is sold as any other city lot to be developed by others in the future.

Anyone who tells you they can master-plan a community is either a lier or a deluded fool that understands nothing of cities *cough* moses *cough* corbusier. I wouldn't even trust the most progressive and knowledgeable group of urbanists to master-plan a community, even when built in flexible phases over time.
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#14 G-Man

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 04:12 PM

^ I agree. I am happy that there is the slight hold-up with Railyards and Dockside because we need them to rework the desgin so it doen't all look the same. Selkirk may work yet but it was still not dense enough to have the vibrancy it needed.

#15 Coreyburger

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 12:02 PM

Master plans can end up with lots of the same, but then again,the Songhees is not master planned and it also ended up as more of the same. The Songhees is also a giant residential ghetto.

#16 jklymak

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 12:44 PM

According to the Marina proponents, Songhees indeed had a master plan http://www.victoriai...harbour_history, and in fact it appears to have been followed quite closely. Each building spaced far apart with a little park around them. So I guess when folks here say that neighbourhood plans aren't worth the paper they are written on I'll shut up, because this one is pretty bad. The residential ghetto seems built in.

The official city plan is http://www.victoria....g_songhees2.pdf, complete with faux Victorian cupolas and all.

#17 G-Man

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 12:45 PM

Yeah the Songhees Plan was a real disaster from start to finish.

#18 Caramia

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 05:17 PM

The conversation about LeCorbusier has been moved to Urban Design... http://vibrantvictor...read.php?t=3451
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#19 Ernesto

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 04:36 PM

I see this thread hasn't been added to since 12-05-08 so I wonder if anyone will read this. However, I did want to say something about the Railyards.

First of all, a disclaimer. I own a unit there. I liked the development right from the start because of its design, its modest scale and its so far good site planning. With half the project still to be built, there is still room for mistakes particularly as the developer now seems to be scrambling off the master plan to find something economically viable to carry on with. Nonetheless, what is there is a human, interesting neighbourhood in a spectacular location that seems to have been enhanced by what has been done so far. Selkirk Water(s?) is one of the nicest spots in Victoria in spite of the noisy scrapyard.

Some of the contributors have questioned the concept of master planning and Songhees is certainly an example of how it can turn out badly. Some of that failure can be attributed to when the buildings were designed. When the first buildings were built Victoria wasn't attracting the kind of money that was around when the Shutters was designed. So most of the buildings now look unattractive and dated. Such is the fate of most architecture. The site planning doesn't help and some smaller scale building and a greater mix of uses would have helped. I certainly did not choose to buy there.

The Railyards chose a different approach – a smaller, more intimate scale and a unified architectural theme. You may not like the style but it is well done and done at a more affordable level than most new Victoria developments. Given the site, density is more than reasonable and public access to the waterfront is generous and well designed. I looked at Dockside Green and though its buildings are attractive and will, I think, age well, it's not nearly as good a site as the Railyards. The designers have done well with a difficult site, squeezed between 2 roadways and separated from the water by a considerable distance and a big industrial use.

I think it is very useful to have discussions like the ones in this forum. How else do we learn to improve our environment than looking at what we have already?

#20 aastra

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 05:38 PM

Good post. I agree with most of what you say. I've become a big fan of the Railyards, but when it first came down the pipe I was rather critical of it. I think I was assuming it was going to be a wishy-washy mess with really low aspirations. Nope, the Railyards demonstrates a really precise vision for that corner of the waterfront. The neighbourhood is comfortable and has a very pleasant vibe about it, and the architecture is about as distinctive and interesting as we could ever expect for a lowrise development in this market segment. Also, I like the fact that it isn't a mirror image of the successful Selkirk neighbourhood across the way (even if I was originally hoping for something more along those lines).

But, as with the Selkirk, it would have been nice if there had been a bit more density, so as to support a reasonable number/variety of commercial units. I'd like to see them up the density a bit as they get nearer to the corner, and maybe also evolve the format into something a little more urban, but I realize there are perils in that.

...with half the project still to be built, there is still room for mistakes...


I've thought about this many times myself. There's something about the newest building that bugs me. It doesn't seem to flaunt quite the same Railyards vibe as the older buildings. I wonder, does the format have the legs to cover the remainder of the site? Will the subsequent phases end up mocking or even betraying the original concept outright, like a beloved sit-com that's still running long after its "best before" date?

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